Drawing from 78 cards from Eastern and Western spiritual traditions, and the world of plant-spirit medicine, monthly readings are specially oriented towards navigating the spiritual awakening process. This month’s spread, Calling, is designed to reveal the many aspects and layers of our soul calling being expressed in the world.
Theme of the month: Nobility, redemption, alignment, magic
The Quote: “Magic happens by sleight of hand, harnessing the power of our imaginations, and putting our beliefs in service of that dream. It happens when we start to peek behind the veil and find the rudimentary mechanics of cause and effect are the slowest route to transformation.”
Summary: We are approaching the threshold of the holy grail, as if it finally represents our calling coming into form, only to discover the whole path has been sanctified. Our dualities about process and arrival, present and future, healed and unhealed, giving and receiving, are all breaking down. This is a magic space, the dreamtime, where quantum shifts are possible and time-space may get a bit wobbly.
The Spread: Calling
The paradox at the heart of this card is that there is perfection in imperfection. As we seek to give form to our dreams, inspired by a vision whose blueprint already exists in the ‘upper world’, what appears in this world may seem less than the magnificent ideal. Rather than see our efforts as in vain, or a pale imitation of that vision, Perfection suggests the process itself is the very purpose in action that we had been seeking.
Our calling, in that sense, is right here, right now. Our present circumstances and mindset are the alchemical melting pot. There is, of course, a play of opposites involved. The vision can be seductive, inviting us to attach to the way it should look and how we get there. Equally, we may reject the present in favour of the imagined outcome.
Perfection in this position asks us to take a holistic view; to keep the gestalt in sight while working through the layers. This means every aspect of the process of bringing our vision into form is both whole unto itself and a part of something larger. The opposites are reconciled by paying each aspect its due.
You’ve heard it said: We are the ones we have been waiting for. In a similar vein, Perfection says: This is the moment we have been waiting for. Not when the dream is in manifested form (since that is only a projection). There is no finishing line, no point of having arrived. We are already here, in all our messy humanity. And that’s precisely the point. We redeem the sorrows of the world through our graceful attendance to this moment, even if it’s ugly and painful.
As the mythical Chinese sage Lao Tzu said, “A good traveller has no fixed plans, and no intent on arriving.”
This is not an entreaty to endless patience. The magic of Perfection — and Alchemy — is that when we withdraw our energy from the opposites of attachment and aversion, we allow space for the interventions of grace. Our dream may have been limited, or a stepping stone to a larger vision of which we weren’t privy to until we released our grip of control.
And so our stumbling imperfections are ennobled. Perfection wasn’t our job, after all.
The Daring position refers both to what we dare to believe we can become (the dream), and the daring required to step into the breach that precedes the birth of new creations. Grail here suggests we are preparing to enter the Castle of Wonders for the second time…
In the Percival/Grail myth, our young antagonist fails to ask the right question to heal the Fisher King and the kingdom upon his first visit to the Castle. He returns as a wise knight prepared to serve. The gist is a change from expecting life to serve us, to a willingness to serve life — and to feel it as the deepest calling, hence the ‘holy’ Grail.
So here we are looking at daring to drop all ideas about who we thought we were. Grail also evokes the knightly chivalric code. In essence for our times, this means being a noble warrior for truth, a protector for those without one, and a flint-eyed determination not to recoil in the face of opposition (internal or otherwise).
So our courage is being put to the test, as much the courage of our convictions more than anything else, before crossing the threshold of the Castle. It suggests showing up in the world and daring to be seen, without recoiling. And daring to be seen right now, as we are, not waiting for an imagined state of perfection.
Though there is no direct equivalent in English, Ayni in Quechua refers to “right relationship.” It is a state and practice of interdependence and reciprocity. Here, giving and receiving are of the one thing. In the Andean world of kausay pacha — the world of living energy — to withhold from giving is a means of disengagement from community, from the physical and spiritual ecosystems, from life itself.
The Depth position allows us to look into the undercurrents of our calling. Ayni here asks us to look at where we may be experiencing imbalance between giving and receiving. Ayni has no value judgment either way: too much giving and not enough receiving is no ‘better’ than simply taking without reciprocating. It is asking us to break down that duality.
It further suggests that acknowledging the interdependence of life and striking that balance brings us into the fold of a new order in our personal journeys. Paying respect to all the kingdoms and realms — the spirit world of plants, animals, rocks, and elementals (including money) — brings us into relationship with them and they become allies; a source of abundance. The duality collapses into a state of grace, a marvel of co-creation.
This is the ground of our dreams, manifested and unmanifested. The relationship to the world of living energy becomes its own reward. Ayni asks us to live the dream now — our calling, our purpose — not pursue the dream and make a gilded cage of our desires.
Emerging: Divine Justice
The Emerging position speaks of what is coming into awareness and what had been dormant beginning to activate in our consciousness. Divine Justice echoes the Ayni card. It refers to interventions to bring us back into a state of balance, but not through the application of polarities. This means if we have swung too far in one direction — over-giving, for example — the resolution is not a simple decision to stop and receive.
The Divine Justice card refers to the as-above, so-below principle. The perfect state of balance (and our calling) already exists in ‘heaven’ and our job is to bring it to Earth. If Perfection acknowledges that we bring heaven closer to Earth with every imperfect attempt, then Divine Justice asks to align with the centre ground of divine will. We are neither giving or receiving here, but an open channel for the spirit of both to flow effortlessly through us.
In this space, giving feels like receiving, and receiving like giving. But really, such demarcations are illusory.
In the Emerging position, it suggests that the old dualities are indeed breaking down. Even co-creation implies there is self and other. When we are in alignment, we enter the dreamtime itself. We are both the dreamer and the dream; the object and the subject, and the space in between. The star-stuff of the universe — our lives — becomes clay in our hands. The world is no longer fixed, but shaped by our grail quest and deeply transformed by the will to love.
Flow: Star People
By definition, Star People is a galactic card and suggests all the old rules don’t apply.
In the Flow position, it implies change happens when we let go of change. Magic happens by sleight of hand, harnessing the power of our imaginations, and putting our beliefs in service of that dream. It happens when we start to peek behind the veil and find the rudimentary mechanics of cause and effect are the slowest route to transformation.
Flow is about allowing the process of our calling to move with ease and grace. The physics are simply different in this position. Star People adds that if we get out of our own way and give up our beliefs about scarcity and suffering being a requirement, quantum shifts are possible.
There is an alternative to the step-by-step, arduous clearing and purification process that, at the same time, is not a shortcut or abrogation of responsibility.
As usual, there is a paradox in play. Shortcuts appear in linear time and space. If we fold time on itself, however, two distant points (our ‘present’ and out ‘future’) can merge. Yet we must be empty enough to trip this light fantastic. That implies we have done a lot of inner work already. Are we ready to abandon the old certainties? As we approach the threshold of the holy grail, our grip on time-space may get a bit wobbly.
Enlightened action: Mantra
The seed sounds of the entire universe can be found embedded in the language of mantra. The Mantra card in this position speaks to activating dormant properties or optimising their expression. Here, as an enlightened action, it can mean acting as if. In other words, echoing Perfection, we don’t have to wait for the moment to arrive to express our calling.
Indeed, the blocks, oppositions, or hurdles to our soul’s expression are not best worked through as blocks, oppositions, or hurdles. It’s all about the power of language. By aligning with the state where they are fully resolved, we don’t get bogged down in an arduous process; we move from linear language to sacred language.
Rather than seeking to bring ourselves into alignment, Mantra proposes that alignment is a practice itself. Instead of identifying what needs to be healed before expressing our calling, healing becomes simply a by-product of our new orientation.
So the most enlightened action is to act as if we are already there; an old sleight-of-hand that alters the parameters of what is ‘here’ and ‘there’ anyway.
The Alchemy card here, as opposed to the Alchemy position on the spread, naturally seems to reiterate the opening card and its suggestion that whatever grander vision we may have or not have, our calling is the experience we are having right now. Here, it suggests our calling is alchemy itself, the transformative process.
At a broad level, if we are all walking our paths, honouring the unique expressions of our souls, collectively we are bringing heaven to Earth; we are laying down the transfiguration process in the collective field so it is more accessible by all who follow us. Transfiguration meaning being seen as we truly are, in our bodies of light, while anchored to the Earth. That is the Holy Grail; the greatest act of service to an emerging humanity — and even our galactic family.
The honour of this path redeems the present moment and our present travails. There is no point of arrival. We are already here.
For more self-study, The Urban Howl recommends Awakening Shakti: The Transformative Power of the Goddesses of Yoga.
Sip a little more:
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