At the Gate of a Labyrinth

After a five-day ordeal called New Student Orientation, I am officially matriculating.  There  My first class, appropriately, was Ancient Greek.  But I’ll talk about all that later.  Right now, I have a decision to make.  I want to work in the art-metals department to help pay for school … which is leaving me with a dilemma.

There aren’t any work-study openings left.  The head of the department didn’t come right out at say it, but it was made clear to me that they all go to his seniors.  There are, however, openings in his advanced metalworking class.  Two problems: that costs money, and I’m already taking a full course load.  He’s willing to work with me, though, so I have three options: to take the course (and with it the full additional cost and workload), to work as a TA under him (and work out the cost on an ad-hoc basis), or to leave my course load alone.

Being a magician, I of course consulted the Tarot – my Crowley-Harris Thoth deck, to be specific; I’ve been using it for my daily readings and carrying it around with me rather like a child with a favorite blanket.  I did a modified version of the Decision Game (Banzhaf and Theler, pp 44-45) spread for three options instead of two.

My results are as follows:

The significator is the Queen of Swords – I’m struggling to impose rational order on what might be a fundamentally emotional decision.

The first path – to take the course – procedes from [XV the Devil] to [10 Wwands “Oppression”] to [VII the Chariot].  In some ways, the Devil aspect of this is easy to see: the temptation of the fire, metal, and hammers calls strongly to me; the temptation to do something I already know I’m good at, to keep my hand in; to make every penny of my tuition count.  The generative aspects seem more metaphorical, but one can never be quite sure.  Looking at the 10W, I was initially confused.  After closer examination, however, I feel that it is simply stating the obvious: that I will be overworked, pushing the limits of my time and energy.  That it will end in the Chariot is most interesting: that the class will give me the opportunity to move forward in some meaningful and powerful way.

The second path – to take the TA position – is more clear.  [XI Lust] leads to [XII the Hanged Man] and ends in [9 Swords “Cruelty”].  This is probably not the way to go.  But then, half-measures rarely are.

The final path – to skip it and leave my course load as is – begins with [2 Wands “Dominion”] and leads through [the Knight of Wands] to [the Queen of Wands].  The 2W gives me pause, as Banzhaf talks a lot about risk-taking in relationship to this card; this seems strange to me as this is the path of not taking the risk.  The Knight of Wands is more clear: this is the direct path, the road of staying focused and on target.  The Queen of Wands seems to promise leadership opportunities at the end, and perhaps other opportunities as well that I can’t foresee.  It is also interesting to me that here, on the “stick to the books” path, is where I find the most fire cards.

One rarely expects clear answers from the Tarot, but rarely have I gotten answers quite so ambiguous.

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