Friday, June 16, 2006

Laura's Defense in the Cards

Today after a long and trying week, Laura took four steps down the six-step path to a draft. She turned in three chapters and her introduction to her dissertation advisor and will (Dios mediante) turn in the remaining chapter and the conclusion on Monday. Her committee members are all on board for a defense on Friday, July 14 at 2:00 p.m. in ACE 2.404B. We need the tech classroom for this because one of Laura's committee members is in San Diego where she has accepted a new job. She will be present at the defense via squawkbox.

Laura still has a lot of work to do this weekend, but the light at the end of the grad school tunnel is looking bigger, and we aren't sad to see it. Today, Laura did a 5-card "horseshoe" reading to see how her defense would go. The results are shown above. For this kind of reading, the cards are arranged in first through fifth position, left to right. The first position the one in which you find yourself in the present. The second represents your expectations at the moment. The third represents a surprise, something you do not expect that is coming. The fourth represents your immediate future, and the fifth your long-term future. As you can see, the cards were a little cryptic this time.


The Wheel of Fortune (inverted). This card, according to our reference guide, refers to "the one constant in life, which paradoxically is change." Although her true self, represented by the center of the wheel, remains constant, the rest of Laura's life is spinning around like a bottle at a slumber party. Note, however, that the wheel is inverted. Some people think this means nothing. Laura prefers to see it as meaningful. But what is the opposite? Could it be that she'll stay the same on the outside but the core of her being will shift?


The King of Cups (inverted) is associated with helping and healing professions and is connected to the cardinal water sign of Cancer. It can mean that "a person is about to enter your life who is full of good intentions and kindness but who is also rather wary emotionally," or it may indicate inhibition and a fear of intimacy on your part. And it's inverted, so if we take inversion seriously, it would mean the opposite of all this. Could it refer to Laura's fears that her committee will trash this document she's sweated over so long?


The King of Wands (right-side up). This is a firey card, forming an interesting contrast to the water card representing Laura's expectations. The King represents an increase in creative energy, or the appearance of a warm, generous, firey friend. Could it be that one committee member is going to be overflowing with ardent praise of Laura's work, strong-arming the others past their doubts?


The Page of Cups (inverted). Back to water here. This card represents "a gentle, loving person who offers friendship, or who brings news of a birth, a child, or an idea...the fragile beginning of a relationship." That sounds nice for the purposes of a dissertation defense, but does this mean Laura's getting the opposite?


The Devil. OK. Don't panic. Our book says this image represents a "powerful archetypal energy" but that those familiar with it are not afraid. The Devil, in the language of Jungian claptrap, is the Shadow, that aspect of our deepest desires and basic urges that we would like to bury deep within us, the site of our fear and self-loathing. It's Laura's internal Trementina. However, "if the Devil can be brought to consciousness in a measured manner, the darkness can become light." This sounds more Freudian to me. Where It was, there I shall be ... In Alchemy, the Devil is associated with dissolving and coagulating, and here we are brought back to the Wheel of Fortune, for the Devil can represent the liquidation of what is fixed and the crystalization of what has been volatile. Thoughts on the meaning of this last one?


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