One of the greatest experiences I’ve had in the past several years is the opportunity to offer leadership training and mentoring to a group of committed students at Diana’s Grove Mystery School during my time as a staff member. I never really expected to be particularly good at this, but I’ve found rather to my surprise that it not only fed me, but that I brought something to that work that seemed to be really positive for others. Now that I’ve moved on from that affiliation, I know that I want to find a way to offer something similar – not to replicate that experience, but to create something new that meets that need in a different way.
I’ve spent a lot of time over the past couple of months thinking about what form that might take. While I haven’t reached clarity on the form, I have developed at least a partial list of what it might include (Warning: Some sort of rambling on this topic will likely be coming here fairly soon.) Since this has been on my mind so much lately, I decided that it would make for a fine question for my next tarot draw.
Question: What do the cards have to tell me about my intention to start a leadership and mentoring group?
Card: Knight of Wands
First impressions: Wow. That’s a big damn horse, isn’t it? And a very well-armored knight, to boot. Interesting that his visor is up, though. If I really knew something about the tarot, I’d probably have some great insight into that.
About the card: The image here is pretty straightforward, at least on the surface. In the foreground are the aforementioned Big Damn Horse and knight. The horse is rearing back and appears to be kicking out with its front hooves. The knight is wearing full plate mail and is holding a long wooden staff in his right hand while he uses his left to guide the horse. He has a yellow and black tunic over his armor, and fiery plumes on his helmet and at the back of his arm (not really shocking, what with wands being about fire). In the background we can see that the knight is in a desert, and there are either pyramids or large sand dunes in the far background.
The story without words: It’s interesting…if I imagined what a knight looks like, it would pretty much be this picture. Warhorse rearing back, the knight wearing his standard front and center, eyes forward toward whatever might be coming over the horizon…this sounds weird even in my own head (which is saying something) but the description that comes to mind is that this looks like a…hm. A recruiting poster, of all things, or a piece of propaganda. I almost expect there to be a caption about supporting our troops, or the war at home, or something.
Anyway. Let’s put that aside for a moment, because it’s bizarre, and explore two other aspects of the image that strike me as interesting:
- Here’s the thing about the knight’s armor – it’s freaking heavy. Contrary to what my misspent youth (and adulthood) playing tabletop RPGs taught me, one does not wear full plate armor to walk around in. Heck, one does not put the armor on in the first place without a lot of assistance.
- It still seems odd that the knight would be in full plate armor while presumably in the midst of battle or entering battle and not have his visor down. When I look at the card, I can’t help but imagine my mother lamenting that he might put an eye out. Never mind the fact that my mother has never, to my knowledge, suggested that any activity might put out an eye. It just seems like the sort of thing that ought to be said. My mother’s fictional concerns aside, the point here is that it seems weird.
But what does it mean?: Well, these last two points are interesting to me. I’ve been pretty well fixated on the idea of collaboration lately – of engaging in projects and work that involve excellent people who share their talents and knowledge freely with one another. I truly believe that amazing things come from that sort of arrangement. I’d like to believe that collaboration is ultimately the key to sustainability. I’m aware that the idea of the knight being helped into his armor doesn’t really speak to collaboration, as such – that’s more properly service, and not service among equals. But it’s my draw, and my question, so I’m going to interpret it however I want, thank you very much. 😉
About that visor, now. Looking at that aspect of the card through the lens of my question, I’m given to believe that the knight needs to have a clear view of what he’s approaching more than he needs to be protected. I’m hoping to help create something pretty unique in my experience, and a key component in doing that is to have my eyes wide open from the beginning. But even so, I note that the knight isn’t really free to look everywhere. He can’t look back, or really even to the sides. His field of vision is limited to what lies ahead of him. I’m not a proponent of tunnel vision, mind you, but there’s something to be said for focus. Usually, that something includes me saying, “I really need to figure out how to be more focused.” I like the idea of entering into a new project with my attention focused like the Knight’s here. Not tunnel vision, but with my eyes forward.
Side note: I find it at least vaguely interesting that I’m thinking about the idea of focus while writing my first post using FocusWriter, a minimalist word processor that helps remove distractions by the rather simple expedient of taking up the entire screen with a background and text window. I’m actually a little embarrassed to see how much difference that makes for me – just the fact that I can’t see my open browser tabs and other applications in the taskbar puts them out of mind really effectively. Obviously I’ve just started using it, but so far I really like it.