Walking through the land of Avalon today, aka the top of a mountain in Norway, and enjoying having my head in the clouds where spirit roams and you can’t distinguish anymore between the gifts of water, trolls, and thrills, I thought of expansions. The first of August came and went, and the resurgent gift of gratitude connected to pagan feasts and harvests is receding already. Today I was breathing. The sublime rain offered me an extended perspective on my lesson received on the day of celebrating harvests.
Grabbed by the spirit of ritual on August first, and just before my own ritual bath and sauna up here in the wilderness, I read the cards for myself. ‘What can I ask for, on this day of abundance?’, I asked the cards almost prosaically, thinking of the expansiveness of asking for something, anything, even how to be grateful. The cards decided to give me a lesson in humility.
I flinched unperceptively when I saw the trio: The Sun, The World, Death.
‘You will ask for nothing’ the cards said, ‘or else, if you must ask for something, then ask for the abundance of wisdom in your head.’
I went into the heat of the sauna, and while flagellating myself with birch tree branches, I asked for my wisdom to expand.
After the Sun and the harvest of it all, surely what I must do is essentialize everything to the bone. Perhaps the day of abundance should be celebrated with a shout out to memento mori. You can say thank you to the earth, and be ever so lavish in your rituals of gratitude, but you still have to cut everything to the bone.
While my skin got red and marked I kept asking myself an important question:
If I will know how to cut to the bare bone, how to essentialize, will I not also know what the question is, the real question, the question that goes beyond concerns with image and flesh and fantasy?
If I will know the bare bone, will I not know the gift of the earth?
If I will know the gift of the earth, will I not know the answer to everything?
I poured some water unto the stones, and under the old crackling, I heard a voice saying: Abundant wisdom is the song of the mountain.
The rain today was singing that song in overtones. I swooned. The sun and the dog rescued me.
Note on the cards:
Jean Noblet, 1650 as reconstructed by Jean-Claude Flornoy (hand-stencilled set).
Paul-Emile Bécat: Le Florentin. Philibert, Paris 1955
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