I woke this morning two hours before I really had to be up. And that was disappointing. Luna is away, so I’m at home this morning and tomorrow. It’s going to be a “hike outdoors and then come home to the art studio” sort of day.
But waking up early was not part of the plan. I mean, I always wake up early, but this is ridiculous: I was up at 3 am, which is two hours earlier than my usual rising time, and I lay in bed for the first hour before getting up to meditate. (Despite my minor quibble with Gordon’s recent post, I think he’s pretty much spot-on: meditation is the pillar that holds up the roof [he suggested dueling org charts at dawn... I'll get to that a little later than dawn, but you never know]).
Anyway, back to tai chi… I moved from meditation into the qi gong forms, as I’ve done for a while now, and after some creaking and pulling and stretching, I moved on to the tai chi form.
And about six postures, maybe four minutes, into the tai chi movements… a wave of happiness crested over me. Genuine joy. I’ve been feeling crappy and cruddy about my practice for a good long while now — it wasn’t slow enough, it wasn’t dedicated enough, it wasn’t careful or deliberate enough.
And in this moment, this morning, all that fell away from me. All of the baggage and internal criticism, all of the worries about weight and health and aging body and creaking joints, all of that was gone. And I was just happy to be alive, and breathing, and moving, and moving well enough to do this fairly complex series of movements with easiness and grace.
Bad parts? Sure. I flubbed the turn after the Golden Pheasants and the kicks, and that put unexpected twisting pressure on my ankle that hurt a bit, although no lasting damage seems to have occurred. The landing distracted me, and I moved into the wrong set of movements for a bit, although I was able to self-correct before going too far afield.
Right now, I’m perfectly content with the work I’m doing. I’m enjoying the things I get to do, and the ways in which I interact with the world, and I enjoy my practice. I take delight in these things, and I am glad that some people hang around for the ride.
Oh, and it’s after dawn. So. Org Chart:
I admit, I haven’t thought about these issues as carefully as Gordon, by any means. I tried to work from his set of initial assumptions, though, about organization — evidence for the existence of the practice from oldest to youngest arranged left to right, availability to practitioners from left to right; the y-azis top to bottom not necessarily privileging the upper over the lower, and so on.
I don’t KNOW that I’ve spent as much time in church, or in synagogue or other church-like events, as he has — but two years in seminary has kind of shaped my thinking on this in a lot of ways. And I’ve chosen to separate out formal ceremony as a separate column in my version of his chart, because it’s been my experience that people — even hard-headed people who don’t allow a lot of “woo” in their lives — can wind up caring a lot about ceremonies performed at the right time and the right way. Hence my wish to separate it into a separate column.
I also felt like it was worthwhile to break divination down into two separate categories: sortilege, which takes a relatively small number of symbols or signs like geomantic emblems, runes or tarot cards and jumbles them; and “nature-mancy” or using the natural world and its hidden order as a source of prophecy and predictive power. It’s not necessarily that one is better than the other, or higher than the other, merely that complications arise from leaving them together; as different complications arise from separating them.
I thought his power-raising through means outside of self as a separate category from “personal energy work” was spot on, and I’ve kept his distinction. But I broke down, and subdivided his system a bit, horizontally in one way between “virtues” of natural materials like roses or quartz points, and deliberate invocation of spirits; and I also sliced it around a bit vertically, between enchants like sigils, icons, images, poetry, and so on; and ancestors — which I continue to feel is this really complicated category, because it’s genetic lineage tied in with the cultural luggage of family and tribe, and you can’t do too much disentangling there without hitting oddities.
And I left an empty space.
Because there’s weirdness out there. There’s weirdness in here. And I don’t think it’s clear to me, anyway, just what that weirdness is — one thing, many things, emergent behavior of consciousness, what have you. To say we know why it all fits together, how it all fits together… it makes me suspect.
This morning, I have no idea why I’m happy. Not really.
I just know I am. Which is magic enough, for today.