A person stands on a cliff overlooking the sea. What do they see coming over the horizon but a ship, their ship. Their ticket out into the world and the edges of their current knowledge. This has been all they know and now the time is here to take the next steps.
Preparing for the Journey
This card appears and suddenly we have to be on our toes. Where are we going? Are we ready? What I love about this card is that it sails in and declares itself, much like the Empress (III) and her seasons of growth, this card is about getting the experience because that is simply how life flourishes. This is not a card to stagnate on. What do you want to do and where do you want to go? This card urges you to follow through on that. Dreams are just like gardens, they cannot flourish if action is not taken. Put one foot in front of the other and get on the boat.
Passion & Fear Embrace
Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love says in her book Big Magic—a book I highly recommend—that creativity and her often spend time together, but creativity often invites their little sister along, fear. She isn't allowed to sit in the front seat, and she isn't allowed to nag about the radio or the destination. You want to come with, fear? Then you sit back there and you keep it down to a dull roar, yeah?
We cannot exist as a creative force without fear. We as humans know fear very well. And in a time when anxiety disorders are on the rise, it's no wonder. We have so few outlets left to channel that fear so instead we face the future head on, and end up quaking because of it.
But that doesn't mean we give in.
Let's Make a Deal
In Big Magic, Gilbert talks about Tom Waits, and his process for creating music. How he will at times talk to the song rattling around his head and quite frankly tell it to either come out or fuck off to someone else. I feel like that's true for a lot of people. We want our futures to come now or fuck off and bother someone else. But these futures, when they do come, come with contracts and hidden fine print. We have to put time into them, you see. Nothing is handed out for free and this card is all about honoring that contract. Gilbert would say the contract is between you and your muse, as you both need to put in work to create. I agree but want to take that idea a step further and say that this contract is between you and your life.
As in real magical working, you have to meet the forces you employ halfway. This is not Harry Potter and the Case of the Perfect Life. Rather, we will be required to put in blood, sweat, and tears before our lives are ever perfect, or as perfect as perfect gets. I want to say that I have all the answers here but I don't. All I know is that when this card shows up, you put one shaking boot down in front of the other and you keep going. No matter what.
You. Keep. Going.
Your future is waiting.