Six of Sticks — Tarot of the Absurd

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

six of wands tarotThe Six of Wands is the card of victory and public recognition. These two people balance proud. They wear V for victory on their varsity sweaters. The winner’s laurel crowns their heads.


Victory is a success or a winning that leaves one happy or satisfied. It is, in effect, the sense of accomplishment. Thus, victory is an emotion, for our emotions are our feeling-senses. Q: “How do you feel?” A: “Victorious!”


A success or a winning that does not give a sense of accomplishment is not a victory. The public can recognize our acts and cry “victory,” but if we fail to acknowledge our own successes and let ourselves be happy with them, then in essence we never truly allow ourselves to be victorious no matter what the public may cry.


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In my twenties I filled copious journals writing under the premise, “I write, therefore I exist.” My goal was to write myself into history. Pre-history is defined by the period of time before the written record, and history is written by the victors. I wrote to avoid becoming a prehistoric looser.


Of course, these days it takes quite a bit of effort to be prehistoric. We are recorded from our birth certificates to our death certificates. We are recorded through utility bills, traffic tickets and insurance payments. We are recorded on attendance sheets, police records, and tax payments. Tho public records, none of this will give us public recognition. Public recognition takes personality.


I did not want mere the existence granted by public records. I wanted to stand out: I wanted to be outstanding. No. I wanted to be outstanding, but I did NOT want to stand out. Okay, I wanted to stand out, but I did not want to STICK out. The problem was, I stuck out. I was used to sticking out. In grade school, I stuck out when the goal of every child is to fit in. I stuck out with all sorts of rough edges that fit no where. I stuck out in how I spoke and what I said and how I thought and what I wrote. I stuck out in how I moved and what I wore. I did not fit in: I stuck out. Exceptionally. And no matter how well I did at what I did— and I did do well at what I did— nothing felt like victory.


Victory began in the midst of an epic tour-de-USA bicycle ride when I sat atop the highest pass in the Sierra Nevada mountains: the east entrance to Yosemite. “I will always be discontent,” I decided. It seemed to be where I was headed. I made it my purpose. Elated with my decision, I descended into the valley at 35mph, no handed, arms out like eagle wings pulling a trailer on my bicycle. It was fun.


Soon, every time I found my self discontent, I was able to think, “This is what I want.” I became content with my discontent. The knowledge that I was where I needed to be made me happy. Eventually, happiness allowed me to recognize my own accomplishments. Eventually, acknowledgement of personal successes let me feel victorious.


Now my successes are all much smaller than they used to be. I allow myself a great sense of victory for each one (Yes! The kitchen is clean! The baby is sleeping! VICTORY!) and it all evens out. Secure in my existence, I hardly write anything anymore.

Five of Cups & Six of Wands — Tarot Piatnik Wien

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

Rudolph PointnerArtist: Rudolph Pointner


I said, “Tell me something about song,” shuffled this deck thoroughly and drew the Five of Cups— previously pulled from this exact deck on December 7th.   The five of cups is disappointment or loss. I will interpret it this way: I am shy of my voice. I love to sing, but am afraid to do so in the presence of others. I wish I could remember all the words and melodies that move me, but this is rarely the case. The five of cups is a sad song, still beautiful, perhaps even more so for its loss.


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Rudolph PointnerFor something new, I shuffled again and said, “Tell me something about sacred song.” I pulled the Six of Wands, upside-down.


About wands in general, this little booklet says:

“…[the significance of an object depends] on the way it is viewed. Who is wise sees an object in its entirety, for his is the capacity to recognize the oneness in the multiplicity.”


And about this card in particular:

positive meaning— encouraging news; negative meaning— depressing information.


The act of god singing the world into being is the most sacred song conceivable.


Swami Tripurari writes:

Those that vibrate the names of God in order to achieve liberation, thinking that any name of the divine is equal to any other, may encounter transcendence as a vague experience… // This understanding of transcendence is considered to be elementary by those who maintain that the divine name is a “supramental” sound representation of Godhead. // For those engaged in pure devotion, vibrating the supramental name is both the means and the end of their culture of divinity.


In other words:

Some say the personality of the divine is contained within the Name. Through the medium of sound, the world comes into being; through divine sound it can be properly understood. Those who chant the names of God knowing the sound of the Name itself is divinity beyond conception— devotion beyond knowledge— those thus purely engaged in sacred song become a spiritual self-manifestation of the universe— become the spirit of the the universe itself.


In conclusion, the Six of Wands, interpreted as pulled upside-down:

Song has the most powerful significance for a person depending on the way it is viewed. Who is wise hears the sacred Name in its entirety, for theirs is the capacity to recognize the oneness in the multiplicity

—depressing information for those of us afraid of the power of our own voice.