on pursuit & passion
reflections for may 2022
hello, friends, and welcome to may.
for me, april was incredibly busy: launching my first class, wrapping copyedits on my first book, caring for my partner post-surgery, and setting some major goals for my own future. and as we step into this new month, i’ve been thinking a lot about meaning, about significance, about what we invest our time and energy and resources and imagination into.
it’s one thing to know what we love - it’s a completely different thing to figure out why we love it. but the why is important, because it leads to new methods of self-discovery, new forms of self-belief, new opportunities for self-love. the why helps us plan our next steps, make adjustments to our efforts, more clearly envision our future.
take a deep breath in and out, stretch out your arms, give your jaw a quick little massage. do a few quick wrist and ankle circles, release any tension in your shoulders, and give yourself a few moments to meditate, to center yourself. grab some water.
let’s get into it.
to listen to me read this offering aloud, click here.
on pursuit & passion
when i think about the word pursuit, i often think about drive, purpose, focus, determination. words that are associated with intense movement, chasing and striving, having a goal locked in our sights and moving toward it no matter which obstacles or challenges may get in our way.
pursuit is a word of occupation and devotion, one that captures our aims, our objectives, our ambitions.
but for me, and perhaps for you, i can’t put everything into a pursuit unless i’m sure that it’s worth my energy, my time, my focus. it takes me considerable effort to figure out what i’m willing to fully commit to - not because i hate commitment, but rather the opposite. i know that for me, my word is bond, my concentration unshakable, my devotion steadfast. i’m an intense person, and if i decide to dedicate myself to something, it becomes the center of my world, the mission that i orbit around.
of course, i can only put that much attention, that much energy, into a few things at a time. in spite of my desire to be juggling a million projects, in spite of my creativity tending to flow best when i can jump between ideas and mediums, when i’m in pursuit of a goal it becomes singular, almost obsessive. if i decide that i want to get something done, i throw myself into it headfirst, gathering resources and brainstorming possible pathways, collaborating and studying and practicing, building a plan for success that requires my complete and absolute focus. i can work fast when i want to, can fly through tasks when i need to, can feel like the sky is the limit when i’m in the right head space.
but what does it take to get there? how to figure out what is worth our devotion, and what is simply a distraction?
the story of the lovers to the chariot, from the 6 to the 7, explores that idea.
last month i wrote about making choices and breaking free, about expansion and connection and nourishment. there’s magic in letting ourselves wander and explore, in following the whims of our hearts even as we also put down roots of stability, familiarity, comfort. the number 6 and the lovers invite us to consider when we feel safe, to identify all of the things that give us pleasure, to make choices that empower and excite rather than restrict or conform.
but after finding our people, our homes, our freedoms and our joys, we start to feel that little twinge again: curiosity, restlessness, a need for more.
the sequences of numerology mirror the cycles of the tarot and the modalities of astrology: inspiration, analysis, and brainstorming change, that leads to daily effort, determined focus, and necessary stability, which empowers us to create, express, share, build, and dream anew. we are always moving toward something, always changing, always learning more about who we are and what we need. periods of stability, safety, and comfort eventually lead to a need for growth, to a desire for more.
when the lovers and the nurturing joy of the 6 start to feel stifling, when the fool’s desire and cravings reveal themselves anew, we’re ready to move into a different archetype. we’re ready to embrace imagination, to dream bigger, to look beyond what we know and consider what we want to pursue. we’re ready to achieve the next milestone, and in doing so, break down some barriers.
we’re ready for the chariot, and the curious, hungry, questing energy of the 7.
we tend to talk about the chariot in the same way that i describe pursuit: focused energy, determination, victory and power, achievement. this archetype, the last in the first line of the major arcana, represents a big accomplishment, a sense of fulfillment, stepping into our own. but the correspondences for the chariot, the cardinal water of the zodiac sign of cancer and the aching desire for understanding of the number 7, add so much depth to this archetype.
what does it mean to protect ourselves, even as we move forward? what do we gain from pursuit, when we’re looking for knowledge and meaning wrapped up in a big goal? what happens when we cross a finish line, knowing that there is still more to do, more to see, more to discover?
7 questions, wonders, examines, explores. this is a number of spiritual secrets, of uncovering hidden motives, of evolving through knowledge. with 7 we seek the big picture, the bigger answers, the biggest mysteries. 7 wants to assess and understand, believes that nothing is random, that all of our choices represent some particular longing or fear or desire or uncertainty.
and after expanding and connecting with the 6, the 7 is ready for more.
sometimes it’s enough to just be able to name what we want. sometimes that acknowledgement feels incredibly elusive, and identifying what it is that we want to put our hearts and souls into is satisfying in its own right. breaking free of old restrictions, old habits, old limits, is an intoxicating, empowering, joyful thing, and this isn’t an energy that overlooks that.
but 7 wants to recognize the drive beneath the desire, the purpose beneath the passion. why does this particular brand of creativity feel so joyful, so fulfilling? what does this particular relationship or community provide that feels so delightful, so supportive? why does pursuing this particular goal feel so right, so satisfying?
and in digging beneath the surface, in finding the meaning that is compelling us to move, what do we learn about who we really are?
in this season of taurus, of pleasure and sensory delights and dogged, determined focus, what makes you feel the most you? what gets you out of bed, lights up your desire, pushes you to keep reaching? what makes you feel like you can break through any barrier, like you’re powerful enough to conquer anything you set your mind to?
and in acknowledging the spirituality and deeper meaning in even the most fleeting pleasures, how do we find significance in all that we do, say, and pursue?
have a bountiful, exploratory, magical may, friends.
images from this post feature cards from the next world tarot. all photographs by meg jones wall.