Cards and focus. When in doubt, sit in a circle. Reading cards in a circle enables a different kind of storytelling than in the one-on-one situation. For once, there’s the ritual of beginning the circle. This can be simple or theatrical. Each has its function. Everyone participating, while taking her seat on animal hides, can think of the connection to the earth. Sitting in a circle equals grounding.
Then there’s the dedication to formulating a common aim. This type of formulation, or a similar one will do: ‘In this circle today, we will take this issue by its horns.’ Randomly distributed cards among the sitters can also have the function of grounding the issue. How clear is people’s vision? Can they put it into words? Often it helps to embody the situation in the cards. Nothing can be more grounding or commonsensical than getting a distinct impression of what one needs to do, all this by simply imitating the characters depicted on the cards.
Often also there’s no conflict of interests. ‘Do I have to embody the Tower’, someone can ask, upon seeing the lightening striking the tall building. ‘Yes, give it a shout, shatter these windows, you might answer. ‘Do I need to hang now,’ another can ask, and here the answer might be, ‘swing like a pendulum, lose the sense of where your head is.’ In a circle we are all into applied philosophy of action. That’s the magic.
Thirdly, the circle enables the sitters to control the commonly formulated intent by listening attentively to one another. ‘How does what she says, the one sitting across me, apply to how I see it? Common sense turns into common story.
The ringing of a bell can mark the shift to closing the circle. Drink some sacred water that the host might make. Eat fresh fruit in gratitude. If you have a tree nearby your house, say your goodbyes by standing for a moment under its branches. Think of expansion. Think of the expansion that begins with the circle. A circle is like the big splendor of the sun, splendor solis.
It is not difficult to focus. Ring your bells and send out your invitations. Consecrate, dedicate, fabricate. Make a good blend out of the stories that people bring to the circle. And learn. These are my strategies for hosting a good circle. Throw some cards into it, and you’ll be ready to become a scribe. Of your own and others’ lives.
Enjoy your round life stories.
Note on the deck: Reproduction of Naipes Heraclio Fournier’s 1860 cards. J. Gaudais, Paris, 1986