Monday, August 26, 2013

The Vizsla v. Animism, 9-11 imagery, and the principles Feng Shui

It all started with an idea I had a year or so ago to draw a set of Firefighter Tarot Cards.

As anyone who knows me will have guessed, I drew the first one, got distracted by other projects, and have yet to get back to working on them.*

 Key 16: The Tower
unforeseen catastrophic destruction leading to a change in consciousness or life

Now, to respond to the 2 things that you're thinking at this point in the discussion-

1- Yes, the lettering is WAY too big and needs to be redone in a smaller and more tasteful way

2- Yes, this was the idea that caused me to start working on the project in the first place.  The imagery dovetailed far too nicely with the theme and implications of the card to not have run with it.

*And if anyone feels compelled to express an interest in pre-ordering the entire deck that might be the kick in the butt I need to get back to working on them.  Just throwing that out there...

In any case - this is what got me started thinking about animism this week.

To oversimplify things to the point that Proper Theologians will be throwing rocks at my home this evening; Animism is the general belief that all things possess a 'spirit', or 'animus' (hence the name 'Animism'.)  Short version - Dogs have souls.  As do Trees, Rocks, and just about everything except Rick Santorum.

What this means on a practical level is that everything out there has not just its physical form that we can see, feel and touch, but also an intangible essence that - if we can just figure out how to interact with it - we can somehow influence to our benefit.

Practical terms- this is the thing in our head that drives us to paint images of deer on the walls of our cave in the belief that the picture will make actual deer come within hunting range.  Or that makes us believe that if we wear the same jersey without washing it through football season it will help the home team get to the Superbowl.

In short, it's really about finding a way to feel less dis-empowered by events that are totally out of your control - much like that button to push at crosswalks, it gives you something to do while you wait, but it really doesn't do a damn thing in and of itself.

On the other hand, there have been a few reputable studies that indicate that your attitude about events outside of your control can actually influence those outcomes.  It's that whole 'power of positive thinking' thing, and while I concede that it sounds like a bunch of happy-horsecrap, the data does indicate that if you firmly believe that something will happen it makes that thing happening slightly more probable.  So, what the Hell. What do I know.

What I've really been wondering is this - Does having such a profoundly negative image laying around the house make me slightly more inclined to have terrible things happen to me?*

*See, now this is the slippery slope that we end up on.   Does possessing the image invite the subject, or does that line of thinking just lead to creepy/unhealthy cultural 'forbidden zones' - like the way that teaching abstinence only Sex-ed totally prevents kids from having unprotected sex and getting pregnant.  Totally prevents it.  Thank you for saving us Ms. Palin.  And say hi to your Grandson for me.

Ahem.  Sorry.  Soapbox over.

In any case, I was about to talk about Feng-Shui.

A few years ago I briefly flirted with the idea of Feng-Shui -  Which is (briefly stated) the belief that the Universe somehow cares which direction your bed faces.*

*ALSO a grotesque oversimplification, but no more so than the one about Animism earlier, and this way I feel like I'm offending people equally.

No, to be fair - A lot of the more useful and practical aspects of Feng-Shui simply make the case that the stuff you choose to surround yourself with probably affects your general mood and outlook on life.  Which is fair enough.

If you fill your house with (for example) a bunch of stuff that was given to you by your Mother in an effort to make you feel guilty about one thing or another, then there's a reasonable chance that you're going to spend a lot of your time feeling guilty and resentful without really being aware of why.

So to address this point, the book I was reading suggested you take some time actually looking at all of the things in your home and taking a second to see how they make you feel.  If you have something in your home that makes you feel crappy about yourself, then maybe you shouldn't have that thing in your home.

All of which seems blindingly obvious once you lay it out like that, but honestly - give it a shot and just see how many things you have that make you feel bad about yourself in some way.  It's amazing.  Also - a nice excuse to redecorate.

So - taking this back to The Tower - What do you think?  Evil Energy, or just a reminder that perhaps I should try to focus on one project at a time?

Comments welcome below

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