Friday, June 10, 2011

6/10/11—Going Primeval

Today's Draw: The Ace of Wands from the Rohrig Tarot. Who are you at your most primal? What instincts truly drive you? When was the last time you touched base with your primordial self?

The Ace of Wands is all about creativity and passion. It can signal new opportunities or an infusion of energy in those areas. It's a fire that overtakes you and possesses you. No use in fighting it. Just go along for the ride. 

The lwb (little white book) for this deck calls the Ace of Wands the primal origin. That place from which all was created. The first seed of existence. As I write this tonight, the stage is perfectly set. Flashes of lightning and the roll of thunder fill the air. With eyes closed, it could be any point in earth's origin. With the exception of the breathable air, it could predate life itself. 

Consider our own primal origins. Before civilization. Before agriculture. Before language. When basic survival and procreation drove every thought and action. When you strip away the crap of the ego—the material wants that somehow tell us who we are—those same two primal instincts still drive our lives. We are as we were 100,000 years ago. We are as all life is—driven to survive and generate the species. Consider this. And consider how much of your daily life is determined by these two needs. 

Trust me, the last thing I want to do is bring a life into this world. But the procreative instinct keeps me looking for a mate—one with whom I could theoretically produce an ideal, healthy offspring. It draws me to certain types of men, arousing me in ways that don't always make sense in the context to what I'm consciously attracted to. And the survival instinct motivates me to get up every day and participate in life. It drives my career in ways that can put food on the table and shelter over my head. It triggers competitive and protective instincts. Even the  material crap I amass is part of the survival instinct because, on some level, it's a sort of posturing for one's place in the pack.

As humans, we're prone to argue our superiority as a species. We have critical thought. Language skills. And the blessed opposable thumb. But at our core, at our most primal selves, we are as all living things. Whatever evolutionary advantages we have, we misuse as often as we use to our benefit. And when it comes to a "code" of primal instinct, we are the only species I can think of offhand that takes the survival instinct beyond the bounds of basic survival...and one of the few that takes the generative instinct beyond the bounds of mere procreation of the species.

I'm not really sure that I'm making a point with all of this. Perhaps more of an observation. We become so caught up in the trappings and privileges of being human that we rarely, if ever, strip away all the hoo ha to consider our animal natures, the instincts that drive us and what is truly at the core of our beings...our primal selves. If you're old enough to remember, remember pet rocks? You could give it a nice home, visit it twice a day, call it Fred, read it a story and tuck it in at night, but at its core it's still just a rock. The same is true for us, too. We are an organism, struggling for survival and the continuation of our species, like dandelions, tigers and bears. And I wonder how the world might be different—how differently we might treat each other, other animals and our earth—if we considered this more often.

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