ENACTING THE WISH October 23, 2019

Arcades Tarot by Camelia Elias, 2019 (Photo: Camelia Elias)

We read the cards for our wishes, or hopes, and fears. So much so that the very concept of ‘wishes and fears’ made it famously in what we call The Celtic Cross, a 10-card spread that uses the card in position 9 to designate our ‘hopes and fears’.

As a Zen inclined person, I have a problem with wishes and fears. That’s partly because I believe in no such thing. There’s no wish and there’s no fear. I’m happy to keep it that way. But there’s enactment of what we might also call passion, desire, or aversion and attachment.

I know this because of the rituals I perform on my birthday. Yesterday I turned 51. I did what I normally do. Do the rounds and run some errands. I don’t have guests. I stepped into my favorite furniture shop and got a whole range of different things, solid, Danish classic furniture.

I picked up the second newspaper at the store that ran a story about me – something I never do otherwise, as I never read any news whatsoever. But this one, and the one the day before it, featured the book I wrote in celebration of my good wits connected to the purchase of a house, my partner’s childhood home, a stone’s throw away from the Atlantic shore in Agger. The book hit the news in Denmark, and because of the large coverage, I was a celebrity on my very birthday. ‘Damn right,’ I thought. No place here for false modesty.

Nordjyske (Photo: Camelia Elias)

I also ordered antiquities from Japan. No birthday without Japan and some of the people I bow to every night. I have secret lovers. Masato Sakai is one of them.

I baptized a Chinese elm tree, a bonsai tree sent to me on my birthday by a cartomancy student, while donning a very red lipstick, also a birthday gift from a student. Many other things too, as duly reported on Instagram and other such places.

But when I sat down with some quiet bubbles, I thought of enacted wishes, and how, once action hits them, our wishes cease to be wishes. They become something else. I call this something else the magic life, as it’s part of how we experience the flow if it, that is to say, if we care to pay attention to what flows right under our noses.

Particularly interesting are the actions of others that flow towards us. When I named the bonsai tree Aoki san, and then endearingly also called it Elmer kun, titling nice Japanese style, what I did was not act upon a wish of my own, but rather go with another person’s act. A birthday wish may inform the giver’s actions, but at the end of the day, what are we really dealing with?

Elmer kun Aoki san (Photo: Camelia Elias)

Ok, I’m not sure I make any sense here, as I lose some coherence in asking this question, no doubt an effect of too much bubbles, but it’s worth considering the fact that whatever we call either our wishes or fears has nothing to do with wishes and fears, but more with enacting a flow that we recognize is part of life happening as it happens.

How might such recognition take form if looked at from the perspective of the cards?

Let’s do a Celtic Cross with my Arcades Tarot, just for fun. I’ll read this in-line, my preferred method of reading the cards, while, however, maintaining the 10 different positions.

Let’s see now. The cards the I got are the following, in their set placements: Situation: Judgment; What crosses it: Sun; Foundation: Fool; The past: World; Aspirations: Force; The Future: Wheel of Fortune; The Self: Devil; The others: Temperance; Hopes and fears: Death; Outcome: Hermit.

Arcades Tarot by Camelia Elias, 2019 (Photo: Camelia Elias)

If this was a Zen class, I’d stop the ‘teaching’ with laughter. Nothing else. But since this is not a Zen class, I’ll say the following, pertaining to my situation – no specific context, other than the post birthday hangover.

My public celebration is supported by my intimate other. I don’t have a direction for my actions – well, how could I? I’m quite happily Zen. I had the world once. If I strive, it’s for mastery. Things come and go – what else is new? I’m the Devil – well, it’s my business, so what the heck… Others are kind, balancing their opinions of my devilishness, and acting in accordance. I fear death, and hope for all sorts of cuts too. I’ll be alone, holding the lamp up for all sorts of questioning.

That’s the message of this Celtic Cross. Not bad at all. It is always precisely as it is.

I don’t know why you read the cards, but I read them for this, for the straightforward idea. There’s never any hiding. Just the image behind what we label ‘hopes and fears’. As with the Hermit: ‘What is hope? What is fear? What is the self? What is the past? What is the future? What is a goal? What is the other? What is now? What is a crossing?

Words, words, words. Nothing is as entertaining. But a word is just a word, not the thing itself. Can we see beyond the word? I think I’ll go and obsess about this one. After all, it doesn’t look like I’ll be doing much else, when retreating to a cave to think about it.

Keep going.

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About Camelia Elias
Camelia Elias, PhD & Dr.Phil., is a former university professor. After 20 years in the academia, she left her career to pursue her interests in teaching and writing on the philosophy and practice of reading cards. She works with contemplative arts, oracular language, and martial arts cartomancy and Zen at her own school, Aradia Academy. You can read more about the author here.
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