The Wheel: Stalls and Movement (and both Tarot and Brigid)

I’ve been a delinquent blogger. It’s been hard to write, lately. A friend of mine once said that you can’t make art when you’re living it. If so, I think we’re all locked in a paint-by-number at the moment….

Forgive my blogs if the sentences run on or if they’re missing words. When writing is tough, it’s more important just to get things on the page than to get the right things on the page.

This past weekend, I had a couple of firsts. 

It was my first time visiting both Minnesota and Michigan. I taught Tarot for One at The Boston Tea Room in Ferndale, and then presented at the North Star Tarot Conference in Minneapolis. I’ve spent very little time in the Midwest and if these folx were any indication of what the Midwest is about, the Midwest is a wonderful place, indeed.

Here are a few pictures of the beautiful Boston Tea Room! I regretted that I did not take photos at North Star. I was too busy running around!

The Boston Tea Room in Ferndale, MI. If you’re in the Detroit area, make this a must-see.

Me with Heatherleigh Navarre, owner of Boston Tea Room!

With V, of Red Light Readings! My Pancake-Sister-Forever-For-Life #psffl Thank you for coming to my class! 

The theme of the North Star Conference was The Wheel. The group exercises were focused on using the Wheel in Tarot and Jeannette Roth of The Tarot Garden gave a fascinating presentation on the imagery and history behind The Wheel card. I learned that in some of the older decks, inscriptions on the image of the Wheel read respectively: “I will rule”; “I rule”; “I have ruled”; “I have no rule.” (The Wheel is basically 24-hours inside my writer-mind, but that’s a different blog.)

Wheels caused me a few problems over the weekend. Wheels are instruments we can periodically control, but they are also systems that can be taken for granted and when a wheel is broken, your plans for the day are screwed. I was supposed to speak at North Star on both Friday night and Saturday, but I spent Friday evening on the Detroit tarmac. The plane had mechanical problems so instead of talking about Brigid and participating in an Imbolc ritual, I watched the hours tick away.

The Wheel–maybe the Wheel Reversed: Plans scrapped due to things that are out of your control. 

I then experienced the Wheel as a “Third Wheel” situation: The extra element that changes the circumstances.

Image found on www.catholic.org/saints

Minutes before giving my presentation on Brigid, I learned about the refugee and Muslim ban and the protests at the airports. I felt sick. I wanted to cry. The last thing I wanted to do was stand up in front of everyone and talk about Brigid, even though I’d spent hours putting together a new Powerpoint presentation. I wanted to use the opportunity to rant and rail about what’s happened to our country, but I also was not brought to Minneapolis to lecture on current events.

Does a third wheel ruin all things? A toddler on a tricycle would say no. 

I suddenly had a third wheel–my concern about the refugee crisis. But I had to move forward, even with this third wheel in tow. I could lug it around and let it drag me down, or I could make it part of my vehicle and accelerate through the work. I owed it to the people who had brought me to Minneapolis to do a great job. I also owed it to myself. Where would I fit this third wheel?

Brigid has always been a Patroness of refugees. If the stories of the British Druids bringing Brigid to Ireland when they fled Roman oppression are true, then Brigid certainly rode across the water with refugees. Whether that story is true or not, St. Brigid was certainly was connected to refugees–as the Irish emigrated through indentured servitude or to flee famine.

 

The Church of St. Brigid on the Lower East Side of New York was built by Irish famine refugees in the 1800’s. I wanted to jump up and down and scream, “If you care about this Goddess/Saint-Lady, you sure as shit need to care about refugees!!!” But a public tantrum was not an option.

But I did choose to linger. I spent a longer time talking about the beautiful church and its refugee story than I meant to.

And thus, my third wheel turned in harmony with the rest of the movement. I kept going because I had to, but not forgetting any of the current events along the way. For me, that was a message of the Tarot’s Wheel.

Thank you again to the Boston Tea Room, the Twin Cities Tarot Collective and North Star, and everyone who attended my classes and talks! If you’re in the Atlanta area, I’ll be teaching Tarot for One at Phoenix and the Dragon on 2/8. Please go to this link for more information. Also, listen to me run my fool mouth on Down at the Crossroads Podcast

2 Comments

  • Courtney,

    Thank you so much for sharing your blog and thoughts about the presentation at North Star.

    I really owe you a huge apology for speaking to you of this unlawful ban right before your presentation. I wasn’t thinking of the impact it might have on you.

    I have been so inspired by your activism that I knew that you would want to know….but Jesus the timing! I am sorry.

    And you shined. And the part about the church was the highlight for many of us because you walk the walk and talk the talk.

    Please accept my apology.

    nance

    • panpanbrid says:

      Nancy, you don’t owe me any apologies! If I’d not known about it, I couldn’t have used the opportunity to talk about the refugees and Brigid’s patronage over them. I’m glad you told me as if I’d not known about it, I would have been sad about missing that opportunity.

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