Labor Day labors…

I’d like to start today’s post by wishing everyone the basic foundational sentiments underlying our U.S. holiday of Labor Day: that is, whoever you are, wherever you are, I’d like to celebrate whatever work you’ve done this year, be it toward meeting your own needs, or toward meeting the needs of others and contributing to the greater good.  Work is hard in this world — it requires a lot of concerted energy and time, things we do not get in unlimited supply in these fleeting lives of ours, and work is often lacking in any real component of enjoyability, too, so its rewards are often practical, but not flashy or fun.  So here’s me expressing my admiration for any labors you may have undertaken this past year, and here’s me also wishing you well on any labors that lie ahead of you in the coming year.  We may not be Heracles, performing Labors-with-a-capital-“L” here, and our efforts may never be immortalized in timeless mythology, but in our own humble ways, we do each have monsters to slay and quests to perform and Augean Stables to clean (we especially seem to have those unutterably filthy areas to clean, actually…)…

Heracles squares off against the Hydra, a creature that would grow two heads to replace any one that might be cut off...and honestly, the Hydra has always seemed to me like a fabulous metaphor for my daily To Do" list, sprouting, as it does, two or more new tasks to perform, for every one that I manage to put to rest...
Heracles squares off against the Hydra, a creature that grows two heads to replace any one that might be cut off…and honestly, the Hydra has always seemed to me like a fabulous metaphor for my daily “To Do” list, sprouting, as it does, two or more new tasks to perform, for every one that I manage to put to rest…

In other Labor Day news, I’d like to talk for a moment about these apps that I keep on my phone.  I have several that tie in to actual Tarot and other Oracle decks out there in the world — these are like virtual versions of same.  I like to pull a single “card” from each of three different “decks” in the mornings.  Ostensibly, this is kind of divinatory, giving me some insight as to what the day ahead might hold for me, but really, I don’t feel anywhere near as connected to the virtual decks and their cards as I do when I use real life, physical counterparts that I can actually hold in my hands.  Still, the apps are fun and interesting, and they make for great reinforcement of learning.  I mostly use one deck that’s based on the principles of the I Ching, one that’s a self-contained and more general Oracle deck consisting of structure and symbolism put together solely by its creator without looking to other previously established systems for guidance, and one is a Tarot deck based on the Thoth deck created by Aleister Crowley and Lady Frieda Harris.  I like to pull one virtual card from each, and then see if anything links the three in terms of mood, symbolism, overall vibe — sometimes there are patters connecting the three draws, while other times they seem to each exist in their own vacuums, totally isolated from the others…

Today, I drew from my I Ching deck app a "card" based on this Hexagram, which means "Pervading" or "Peace."
Today, I drew from my I Ching deck app a “card” based on this Hexagram, which means “Pervading” or “Peace.”
...and this is how artist Ma Deva Padma interprets Hexagram 11 in her Tao Oracle deck, the one featured in the phone app that I use.  Interestingly, I once showed this image to a woman I met at a party, and she insisted that she had just been to the exact spot depicted in this card...
…and this is how artist Ma Deva Padma interprets Hexagram 11 in her Tao Oracle deck, the one featured in the phone app that I use. Interestingly, I once showed this image to a woman I met at a party, and she insisted that she had just been to the exact spot depicted in this card…

But that’s just a way to acquaint you with Oracle/Tarot card phone apps in general if you’re not familiar with them, and with the ones I use in particular.  The real reason I bring all this up today of all days is that this morning — the morning of Labor Day, a holiday dedicated in this country to notions surrounding the concept of “work” — I drew from my Rosetta Tarot app (again, that’s the one based on the Crowley/Harris Thoth deck), the Three of Disks…which is a card that just happens to have been entitled by its creator, M. M. Meleen…”Work!”

What are the odds??!“, you might ask…  Well, given that the deck in question contains 78 cards, the odds are probably 1 in 78, or  about a 1.28% chance.  Not the kind of probability that would have a pro gambler scurrying off to Vegas to lay bets, and yet…there it is!

The Three of Disks from M. M. Meleen's Rosetta Tarot -- I drew the "Work" card on Labor Day!
The Three of Disks from M. M. Meleen’s Rosetta Tarot — I drew the “Work” card on Labor Day!

So there you have it: from my own neck of the woods, signs point toward us all recognizing the importance of work in our lives today.  Work helps to hold chaos and entropy at bay, if even for just a short while, and it requires of us no small measure of dedication and nobility.  It’s something we often moan about, and rarely celebrate, or if we do raise a glass around the concept, it’s maybe aimed more at recognizing the work as having been a means to some desired end (progress, payment, reward, achievement, recognition), and less at cheering the work as its own end.  So from me to you, in a very Three of Disks kind of way: Happy Labor Day!

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