Killing Procrastination

Third Mansion: Take 2
 Originally uploaded by anselm23

So… it was the end of the first half of the school year on Friday, and that means only one thing to most private school teachers: end of term comments. We write a progress report on each student each term or quarter, with some students receiving written evaluation more frequently (students with academic challenges, students about to graduate and so on). It also means the beginning of procrastination season for me, usually. I always take all the allowed time to do comments, and I used to take even more than I was actually allowed. The only thing that let me get away with it for so long was writing good comments that required little editing or proof-reading. I’m good at those aspects of writing.

But, this time I wanted to be different. For one thing, I had a lot of other things on my plate for this week. For another, it’s been getting me down. I mean, I’m a capable human being. Why couldn’t I just get this done?

In ancient times, we’re told by some texts, the angel Tzaphqiel or Cassiel, the ruler of Saturn, is also set over the questions of boundaries and limits. It makes sense, in their worldview: Saturn passes around the Sun and comes back to its starting point relative to the fixed stars only once every 29.something years. Most people experience some major life challenges around the time that Saturn comes back to the place it was on the day they were born for the first time; fewer people see their second Saturn-return, and fewer still see their third. As a result, questions of boundaries and limits rest with angel who rules over the biggest limiter of all — Time.

Accordingly, I went to bed early on Friday, and woke early enough on Saturday to call upon Cassiel at the hour that Renaissance texts suggest was opportune for calling on him. This may sound ridiculous to some of my readers, I know… but there’s an indefinable sense in the air, which I must admit is totally subjective, that suggests you’re in the presence of a being other than yourself, even in an otherwise empty room. This is subjective, I admit.

In any case, I told Mr. Cassiel that I had some trouble with procrastination, and I would like his help in fixing it, particularly this weekend, particularly around comments. I told him I wanted to write each class in a bloc, and then take a break, and then do the next block, and then take a break, and so on. I hoped this would be acceptable, and I hoped he would make it easy on me to call up the words that I needed to write about each student. And that it would be fast.

It was. It was both fast and easy. I got them written in one day, several days before the due date, and a colleague told me earlier today that they were great reads and seemed right on track as far as the identity of each student’s profile. I took easy breaks between each bloc of students, but basically wrote each class in one sitting. Thank you, Cassiel.

One of the things that I’ve thus had time to do — and felt little guilt about doing, as a result — has been to spend a little time learning to use Brushes and layers more effectively, in conjunction with this drawing training that I think underlies the concept of the Mansions of the Moon. The attached image is the Third Mansion, Al Thurayya who brings good fortune. I definitely feel blessed by good fortune today.

Anixiel is the angel who rules over the third Mansion of the Moon. It’s this image of a woman with her right hand raised high, and it’s associated with the fortunate aspects of the Pleiades and Alcyone. Viewing the image is supposed to support happy fortune and “every good thing”, and she is the special friend of teachers, alchemists, sailors and hunters. May you, my readers, have the good fortune to meet Cassiel and give up procrastination, and meet Anixiel to encounter happy fortune, in 2012, this venerable Year of the Dragon.

Via Flickr:
As I noted on one of the earlier entries in this series, there are several layers going on in this image:
The hillside and sky;
the red stand the woman sits upon;
the woman herself;
the yellow frame;
and the writing on the frame.

The purpose of this is that I’m finding it much easier to edit the images by working in multiple layers toward the overall goal, which is producing an elegant, serious, intentional image. Along the way, I’m definitely learning things about structuring shapes and color in Brushes so they look more 3-dimensional.

The image of the Third Mansion is a woman with her right hand raised to the sky. Al-Thurayya is associated with the Pleiades, so the image of those stars appears directly above her right hand.

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