So I’ve taken to a daily draw. But unlike many other sites, I am not going to rattle off a number of meanings. There are plenty of good sites for such things, and I doubt I could add any new material to the conversation. Instead, I will attempt to link the card to my own practice: how it fits into Ma’at, what lessons it could hold, whether I found it to be at all relevant to the day or whether its randomness proved useless.
The other day, I drew the Universe. Upon exploring those themes, integration was one that came up.
The following day, I drew the 2 of wands. As the title of the post betrays, I found integration here as well. However, in doing a little research for this card, integration and balance are often taken as a separate meaning alongside others for this card. Two popular meanings include a time of productive waiting when planning may be done, and/or a time where you want to act but must wait (possibly restlessly). Other sources also cite balance and, according to Kleigman (1997), the integrating of the inner life/desires with the external life/desires. But the “balance/integration” themes are often juxtaposed to the “waiting/planning/restless” themes. But I can see where the planning is the integration, and you are waiting for the integration to occur.
In some interpretations, the 2 of Wands asks you to integrate the desires you may have for your outer world with those you have with your inner world…making sure your goals stay true to your values, for example. It asks you to make sure everything you strive for is congruent with all you have done and all the other things you hope to achieve.
In my Kemeticism, there is a theme of wholeness. Udja or wedja (the second term in the phrase, Ankh, Udja, Seneb), is often taken to mean “prosperity” in the farewell phrase. However, it also means “to be whole, intact”. Wholeness is also associated with strength and health. Heru’s eye, symbolized as the moon, becomes whole over time, before slowly losing itself once more. Dismemberment is a common danger in the Duat. Osiris was scattered across the Nile, and his two sisters had to make him whole once more.
I personally think of the “ka” as the gene pool and the “soul pool”…its the collection of DNA as well as the spiritual fount from which we all come. Our spiritual fount includes the experiences of our ancestors. For example, if patience and hard work was a value to our grandparents, that value can affect our parents and, eventually, us.
If a grandmother had many miscarriages, it might breed a fear of pregnancy or an emphasis on child-rearing that can influence the generations to come. I’ve never really come to a conclusion on whether there is a spirit within our physical selves. I often oscillate between the two opinions, and then oscillate between whether its existence is objective reality or purely metaphorical. But if there is such a spirit, be it real or metaphorical, then that spirit or energy also comes from the familial ka. Our “ka” is plucked out of the Duat from our family tree and is created using the gametes which survived the generations to form us. All of our families’ past experiences came together to create the person we are, their love or cruelty, their victories or losses. With our own actions and unique stories, we add to the familial collective as well as the genetic pool, particularly if we decide to have children (but not only if we have children). If we have souls, they come from the familial source in the Duat. Our ka’s are no more than the continuation of all our ancestors, a newer version of the old, brought to life once more. And when we die, we return to that source, dissipating back into the universe and rejoining with our familial ka, so that some other part of that force might be given to a future generation. When we die, we thus return to that familial ka and make it a little more whole. Please note that this isn’t what all Kemetics believe…just my own thoughts.
In my own life, I find I have a number of “masks” or “selves”. The self I am at work. The self I am around my friends. The self I am around my family. This isn’t to say these selves are completely different…across all contexts, I espouse the same values, I try my best to be kind and responsible. But there are small differences, how talkative I am, how likely I am to share my thoughts, how likely I am to share different parts of myself. I also separate my focus. Until recently, it wasn’t common I would think of spiritual things at work, much less bring them into my work space. I never thought about how my interest in things like environmentalism and social justice could be directly involved in my career. When I was younger, I hid a lot about my self, particularly from my family, but from others as well. It made for a further sense of separation.
I’ve come to question, recently, the need for this “separation”. I’ve been finding way to bring social justice and, in some ways, environmentalism, into my career as a focal point. While I do not feel the need to tell everyone exactly what my religion is, I do have the privilege of living in an open-minded environment. The people around me wouldn’t likely gawk at the things I do (though they may need some explanations and time to truly understand it). So I’ve toyed with the idea of being less obtuse about it when asked. I haven’t, and probably won’t, come out. But I’ve taken to putting little inspiring quotes on my wall (they are pretty secular, and no one notices them anyway as they are often lost in a sea of reminders and schedules, but that’s a big step for me). When the topic comes up during socializing, I will admit that I meditate. Again, its excluding a great deal of the other things I think or do, but I’ve found its made me feel less like I’m hiding something…which feels good, for whatever reason.
Its this desire to pull myself together, to make sure my logic isn’t circular, to ensure that my behaviors and values are congruent, to ensure that all of the above is consistent across experiences, that I see in the card. Sometimes, the planning for a goal isn’t always in the gathering of material resources. Sometimes, for the next big step, there must be a gathering and sorting of mental resources, a gathering of strengths and self-reflection, that are needed not just to achieve our material goals, but self-actualization as well.
This integration…it feeds my ka. It makes me feel as if I am being truer to my roots. I feel like there is a good deal of hiding in my families…hiding feelings, hiding thoughts, hiding secrets. I’ve hid things about myself, certainly. But when everyone feels they must hide something, trust is lost. And trust leads to a lot of things, like security, feeling loved, feeling supported. That’s not the leaf I want to place on my family’s tree. I want to create an atmosphere of love and comfort. I want the people around me, not just my family, to feel like they will be respected and accepted for whoever they are. That’s what I would want. I feel like this integration is my way of being the change I want to see in the world.
And I’ve noticed that, while sometimes being honest or more open or more integrated can cause a temporary discomfort… the end results are delightfully surprising.
Before I move one, I have to be a little more “whole”, a little more integrated. I have to wait until that’s done before I can really move forward. Sure, I can reach my goals. But my perception of those outcomes, the ability to truly enjoy those outcomes, they will be enhanced if I could become more comfortable with integrating the needs of my inner life with the supplies of my outer life.