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  • Writer's pictureCrone

Crone's claims

Bizarrely, this is a post about values. The trunk of the tree, as I mentioned the other day, is connected to the foundational values we live by - and that is the subject of week three.

Twice before I have written about a Crone Manifesto... it started with 5 Cs and became 6. Given the 7 processes, I figured I should add another.

Compassion, Curiosity, Consideration, Creativity, Connectedness, Cronedom and Corporeality. In case you can't be bothered to read the old posts - and who'd blame you? - here's what I had to say about them with the additional current rethinking inspired by the ToL course assisted by another Tarot reading... YAY!!

Compassion – which means not just being kind and not just not causing harm, but taking others seriously, listening to them, accepting one can learn from anyone and that their view to them is as valid as mine is to me and that I do not have access to God-if-there-were-a-god’s perspective. It means granting them respect and dignity and valuing their needs as well as my own. It means keeping promises and not lying to them.

This still seems apt, although I would like to add that it must be enacted, put into practice, not just thought or felt. Sometimes it means accompanying the other in painful times without trying to fix it. Sometimes it means refusing to turn away.

I drew, astonishingly, The Lovers - "At long last... you see that you are not alone... Another soul searches through this strange land for meaning and redemption... To eat of the fruit of the sacred tree will bring your hearts into alignment... Are you ready to... erase loneliness...?"

This makes me sense how compassion is the admission that all beings seek to make sense of the world and to flourish. It demands that we no longer see ourselves as special and unique.

Curiosity – which encourages one to listen to others, but also to read, explore and learn. Not to assume that I have the answers. It’s about openness and expansion. It keeps one alive and vibrant which makes one better company as well as more cheerful, purposeful and determined.

I'm still happy with this. I'd like to add that curiosity implies an uncertainty - that we do not know. And it should not be the irritable seeking after answers so much as the ongoing search to broaden horizons... which may simply involve an awareness of ever more questions. It also suggests that the other is always more interesting than the self. A kind of humility.

Three of Wands. In my pack this is about waiting for news from far off - but also implies the start of action - "The journey has begun.'

Perhaps curiosity is always just the start - as I said with compassion, action is required. One doesn't hoard information, one acts on it.

Consideration – which is about not leaping to conclusions. Allowing time before reacting. It means taking other views seriously, but not being bowled over by everything. It involves reasoning and judgment, patience and thought. It means being careful enough and cautious enough. It’s about setting limits on openness and imposing some order, without ever being closed or rigid. It’s about realising that, in time, changed circumstances or new information can shed a different light on things.

Ye-es... A process of evaluation? You respect other views, are curious about them and then make up your mind... That fits with what I feel is involved in the 7 processes. It might by dissolution or separation or distillation... but there is always the need to determine priorities or greatest values...

Four of Pentacles. Ha! This is interesting. It is about erecting walls to protect what we have earned. It's about mistrust.

To me this is the extreme of what I saw as a balance against losing oneself in others. It suggests the complete containing and defending of the ego - which is so very far from what I believe to be desirable! However, maybe it is a corrective to my inclination, always, to lose myself, to betray myself by appeasing ("The hounds went that way!"). It's a reminder to hold firm to my core values.

Creativity – which is about allowing newness, adapting what exists, getting a different vantage point, working on rather than accepting ideas. It means being active rather than passive. It means shaping not just being shaped. It is about realising responsibilities. It relates to inspiration and awe and wonder – but also to the absurd, the obscure and the extreme. It is about beauty and order and symmetry, and about intricacy, confusion and fear. It is about being human, being conscious, being alive.

I like this a lot. Wonder has been much on my mind again as I am reading Martha Nussbaum's Justice for Animals and she is a big fan of wonder. She writes, "Wonder, like love, is epistemic: it leads us out of ourselves and awakens a nascent ethical concern." Creativity is always, I think or at least in my experience, inspired by wonder.

I drew The High Priestess. I don't recall ever drawing this card before. The book says it's about "shedding the pretense of obvious opinions, contemplation of many possibilities." It's related to the moon and the unconscious - and a process that goes on deep within...

So, the card does not invoke action at all - or, at least, action in the world. The stress on the unconscious is interesting. While creativity may be inspired by wonder from without, it demands the inner processing of that experience. Again, the card seems to be changing the emphasis - stressing the role of the agent.

Connectedness - not just that humans are social animals and we regulate our stress systems through intimacy with trusted others, but that we are interdependent - and not just with humans but with the planet (water, atmosphere, food). Our sense of sense and understanding of reality is dependent on interactions with others and with place.

This has become more and more important to me. Especially, as with the Gaia concept, on the largest scale.

Four of Swords. Astonishingly, this is about the use of force! Winning at any cost!! But that is how we currently respond to others (through competition in capitalist societies) and to nature (dominion!).

This card, like that other Four (of Pentacles) expresses the opposite of what I feel. They both seem to point to the state of the world as it is - I was too quick to see the earlier card as a kind of corrective. Instead, in these two areas, Consideration and Connection, it seems the cards are affirming that we are totally out of whack.

Cronedom – and of course it’s about being just a little bit sceptical and somewhat frustrated with the way things are. It’s about feeling ‘that’s not right!’ and wanting to work out why and how it could be better. It’s about being a bit older, wiser and uglier and not caring so much about what others think or how they judge. It’s about being able to stand up and say, ‘I’ve thought about this – and this, I think – for now, based on reasoned evidence, is what I believe!’

Ah. I wish I were that brave. But I think I'd like to add to it. I feel... a desire to be immersed in the natural world. To accept death and decay. To turn aside from the kitsch, the sentimental and the cloying. To seek wisdom rather than acceptance. Truth rather than love. To embrace the crooked, eccentric, weird and overlooked.

Seven of Wands. It's the end of a long and exhausting journey. You falter. See your companion, sleek black wings folded. He "cocks his beak ever so slightly, inky black eyes never leaving yours. The message rings true within your spirit: keep your head up and have faith. You plant your staff, gather your strength in alignment with your purpose, and take another step."

Not bad at all!!

Corporeality - the new one. This recognises the importance of the body, the senses, physical vulnerability and physical pleasure. The importance of movement, of contact with an actual, not a virtual, other.

I think of the intelligence of the body. How my reasoning can't adjust the levels of my hormones, my heart rate variability, my immune system. And I think about the body of the earth, of matter, of soil and trees and feeling, sensing creatures.

The Knight of Cups. A card I have drawn quite often in the past - and which I drew in my last alchemical Tarot session. Then, again, it was the final card. "An untamed soul ready to journey beyond the known place to find their destiny. It's about romance, emotional novelty and connection.

It's funny to have drawn it at the same point... in fact it leads me to wonder if I can map my Cs onto the 7 processes. This would be Coagulation.

So, I'll try.

  • Calcination - Curiosity. The journey has begun.

  • Dissolution - Creativity - those connections with the unconscious.

  • Separation - Consideration. Evaluation - protecting what we have found so far.

  • Conjunction - Compassion. The Lovers.

  • Fermentation - Connectedness. The force implied by the Four of Swords...

  • Distillation - Cronedom - near the end of the journey - that long process of distilling values.

  • Coagulation - Corporeality. The Knight of Cups.

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Feb 26, 2023

I reread this post today (Sunday). There's a great deal here to think about. Thanks (as always) for sharing your thoughts xx

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