Refining the Cycle

I once had a therapist tell me, “Every generation wipes a little shit off from the generation before it.” I don’t think the journey through the cycle of existence could be summed up any better. It’s almost a given that we will add some of our own shit to the pile in the process–every generation does. It doesn’t diminish the worth or the necessity in actively going through that process, and it doesn’t ask for blame to be left at the feet of our ancestors. The cycle simply is. It’s up to us to refine the experience for ourselves and those that come after us.

Tarot Reading – Elemental Spread for Refining the Cycle (A.K.A. Wiping the Shit)

How do we refine our experience in this cycle? How can we be active participants in this process?

Water – Where can I place my focus emotionally?
Hanged Man (Reversed)

It’s always more comfortable to conform… Except when it’s not.
There is an epiphany to be had. A change to be made. A way to approach our emotions that isn’t the way it’s always been. There’s also a voice–whether external or internal–that says, “That’s not the way we do it. That’s not the way it’s been. I don’t understand. I resist.” Is your emotional cycle one that should be sustained? Or is it time to hang upside-down for a bit, see things from your own point-of-view, refining the cycle in your own way?

Air – Where can I focus my thoughts?
Ace of Cups

Reason with love.
There’s this historical dissonance when it comes to thoughts and emotion. There has always been this assumption that, because both forms of cognition originate from different parts of the brain, they must be in direct opposition to one another. Like feuding parents that we’re forced to watch compete for our attention. Only recently has neuroscience begun to make an impact on our understanding of how the brain works–as one cohesive organ with emotion and thought being integrated processes that inform one another before our consciousness is even aware they exist.
So what does that have to do with the Ace of Cups? Understanding that one affects the other, actively cultivating a mindset of love will inherently affect how we think about our decisions, our actions, and ourselves.

Fire – Where can I focus my energy?
8 of Cups (Reversed)

CHANGE! Or… Not?
Honestly, completely walking away from something is simultaneously terrifying and exhilarating. So many new opportunities! So many lost ones! One can be forgiven for being hesitant or avoidant of confronting that feeling that things may need to change. Maybe they do, and maybe they don’t. You’ll only know if you confront the failures and the victories head on.

Earth – How can I remain grounded?
Justice (Reversed)

Imbalance can be habitual.
Imbalance, unfairness surrounds us at all times. It’s not just external–although that is most certainly quite aggressive in its presentation–it can easily be an internal imbalance, as well. When trying to refine the cycle to better fit ourselves and our descendants, Justice reversed suggests we ask ourselves if the actions we’re taking are out of habit or authenticity, and whether we’re willing to accept the habitualness vs authenticity of the ones that are happening around us.

The Spirit – How do I care for me while I refine?
Aeon (Reversed)

While the cycle is neverending, our experiences of it are unique. They are ours and ours alone. We are reborn into this cycle as amalgamations of our ancestors, their experiences, and our own. The revolution in the cycle materialized with your existence. When you make a decision to refine the cycle, refine your experience, you’re simply accepting that the cycle began anew with you. Remind yourself that this cycle is yours, and any refinement you make is absolutely a part of your vocation.

Unsurprisingly, this reading is heavy in water-feeling. Refining our cycle is an emotional experience. While Justice brings air-thought to help us ground ourselves, the primary energy presented here is emotional. Ultimately, however, our spirit brings fire-energy to the forefront and reminds us that the action is our responsibility.

Deck: Haindl, trimmed

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