SEMPITERNAM: ANCESTRAL WISDOM November 2012
|XX The Regeneration Machine|
Throughout the world, November is the month when many remember the Ancestors. From the Irish Samhain festival that opens the dark or winter half of the year to the Mexican Day of the Dead. In the Imperium, we also remember our teachers and forebears, all the guildsmen and women who created the vehicles of a bygone day, all the technomancers and engineers whose skill and ingenuity envisioned this day. In all the guild houses, the eternal flame burns for them, but not only during this month. We regard them as a power forever.
The title of these writings is Sempiternam or ‘Forever.’ This word typifies the Imperium's sense of the Ancestors as an eternal source of wisdom. The first thing that any Apprentice is expected to do on entering the guildhouse as a beginner is to ask questions and to attend to the answers. The more skilful the question asked, the more he or she learns. Accordingly, this month I have decided to ask some questions for all of us so that the Imperium’s idea of ancestors may teach us, by allowing the cards to speak wisely in response we have a path for our feet.
1. Who are the Ancestors? Lady of Leviathans scans the smallest atoms of life in her scientific explorations. She tells us that the Ancestors are everything and everybeing from the remotest galaxies down to the tiniest life-bearing rock of our own world. This is not a notion that many subscribe to, yet the preservation of memory within every cell of matter is a scientifically verified fact. We are all deeply part of the universe as relatives of each other.
2. What do the Ancestors have to bequeath to us? 6 Leviathans shows some ladies and gentlemen sharing a delightful tea beside their wonderful leviathan. Their joy in each other’s company is apparant. The gladdening of any community is based upon our sharing generously with each other. Acts of kindness, the apportioning of resources in a wise way, the service and support that we lend to each other is the maker of community.
3. How can we honour them? I Technomancer invites us to become part of the machine, as he has done, suggesting that we see ourselves as a link in the chain of power that fuels life itself. By including those who bore us and taught us, we maintain our links with a line of wisdom that creatively brainstorms solutions to present problems. By making Ancestors central to our lives, we too share in the innovative engagement of ideas that will support those who follow us.
4. What happens when we ignore the Ancestors? Ace of Leviathans shows the protection of a great leviathan over a village community. When it is reversed, as here, it means that we become consumers who mismanage the resources we inherit. This short-termism kills community and steals its assets. It devours the material and intellectual wealth that ancestral ingenuity has acquired without acknowledgement, leaving nothing left for those who follow.
5. What happens when we invite them back to our hearth? Navigator of Airships sits in front of his directional instruments in the cockput of his dirigible. He suggests that this invitation and inclusion of Ancestors helps us acquire a sense of direction once again. We see proportionately and contextually, we have clear ideas of what is possible. Further, he shows us that we can ask for help for he has, clearly displayed on his cockpit window, an AA or Automobile Association logo which helps drivers repair vehicles during their journey. The ancestral championship of our cause underscores our journey indeed!
6. How can we strengthen the circle of life? IV Emperor sits in his personal airbourne vessel as he goes about the Imperium overseeing its workings. He suggests that we protect our world humanely and responsibily. Leadership and organization can bring order, but it is by authentic love that we bring strength to the circle of life. By checking our connections with life, where its limits and boundaries protect us as well as where authority empowers us, we become clearer about our place in that circle.
7. What do the descendants want us to change? 5 of Submersibles looks through his bathysphere window with relief to see survivors of an underwater accident. This card clearly speaks of us needing to understand cause and effect, to ensure that we gain wisdom from our mistakes before committing any more. The descendants (and we all have descendants, even if we have no children of our body) deserve to have a good inheritance from us, but our disappointments and regrets often cloud the way. We have power to change when we consider the next steps and their effect upon the future. For each of us, there are things we would have done differently, but rather than being stuck in past regrets, let us each discover what would ameliorate our descendant’s condition.
8. What do we bequeath to the descendants? 7 of Submersibles shows the discovery of an underwater city with all its wonders. We do not wish to bequeath a fabled civilization that is no more, so it’s time to awaken from the day-dream of our personal self-deceivings. What do you feel you would like to leave for those who follow you? How can you cultivate your imagination’s deepest gifts rather than stew in illusion? What collective vision do you have for the world to come?
9. How can we become good ancestors? XX Regeneration Machine shows a man and woman awakening from the machine where they have been healed or made new. This deeply powerful card reveals the way in which we become good ancestors ourselves. The recaptiulation of all that is worthwhile is the major gift of an ancestor whose vision is not just for the dead, nor only for the living but is able to change society completely, setting up a chain reaction that gladdens everyone. This regenerative effect is the core effect of this card: if what you envision regenerates and reinvigorates life then this will make you a good ancestor when your turn comes.
Here is the Awakening Spread from this God of the Machine for you to try for yourself:
What needs to awaken in you?
What gift does this reawaken?
What do you choose to lay down?
What becomes available as a result?