Archive for July, 2009

One of the interesting things about San Bruno Mountain is its location…

Because it is situated right in the middle of the San Francisco peninsula, a hike up to the top of the mountain (elevation 1,314 feet) affords one some gorgeous views of both San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean.

aerial view of mountain

An aerial view of San Bruno Mountain

The mountain is in the center right, surrounded by the cities of South San Francisco (left), Daly City (center background), and Brisbane (right of the mountain). In the foreground is San Francisco Bay, and the Pacific Ocean can be seen in the distant background.

kumasawa - view

photo by Kumasawa

Standing on Radio Peak, the highest point of the mountain, one can look out over the landscape and see the water and the city of San Francisco itself, with its bridges.

SF from SB

As Ginny and I were driving up to Radio Peak, I couldn’t help but notice the difference in the views – on one side there was San Francisco Bay, filled with boats and ships and the hubbub of civilization…

bay from SB

And on the other side was the ocean, open and free – seemingly going on to eternity…

pacific ocean from SB

I couldn’t help but notice how these two views were very different from one another, and evoked different emotions in me.

The view of the Bay felt more… confining, for lack of a better word. It pulled me back to civilization, and reminded me of my responsibilities and obligations to such.  There are rules to follow, laws to obey, expectations to fulfill. At the same, it also represented my connection to the world around me; that I am not alone, there are others… and we are all interconnected. What happens to one happens to all of us. Just as I am responsible to them… they are responsible to me.

As I looked out over the ocean view, I felt wild and free. To heck with civilization! Screw the rules! Do your own thing! The ocean called out to me to cast off the trappings of civilization, and just be one with nature. There was a feeling of solitude gazing out over the wild blue yonder, which could be comforting… and yet at the same time lonely and isolating. Too much of a good thing can be unhealthy.

Observing these two different views made me think of myself and my Tarot Constellation. Each of us has our own constellation, which is based on a combination of numerology and tarot. I am a 22-4, which puts me in the constellation of The Emperor. The Emperor is my Soul Card, and The Fool is my Personality Card.

rider waite emperorrider waite fool

These two cards represent the challenge of living with the paradoxical nature of wisdom and foolishness. The Emperor is that part of me that likes the security to be found in rules of order and underlying structures; that seeks the power which comes from establishing, building, and doing; that is fact-oriented; that relies on reason and using my head. The Fool, on the other hand, represents my childlike and spontaneous nature. The Fool indicates the need and desire to develop greater trust, innocence, and lightheartedness. My purpose in life is to establish self-control and set the standards in my field, yet at the same time I must be prepared to admit ignorance, cast my fate to the winds, and make wild leaps of inspiration. Unfortunately, few 22-4’s have the wisdom to play the fool with grace and humility. When these two qualities do merge well, one can be creative and even innovative. I take risks, but I get results. But when this inner contrast is not well integrated, one wants to be The Emperor, but fears she is The Fool. I am then unable to let go of inhibitions and cannot truly look at myself or my own processes. I must learn to laugh at myself for taking my situation too seriously. The Fool represents my spirit before manifestation…then I jump off the cliff into life, into the manifested world of The Emperor.

Standing up at the top of San Bruno Mountain, I did indeed feel that desire to jump off the cliff. But which would I rather dive into – the manifested waters of the Bay, or the uninhibited, inspirational waves of the ocean?

(to be continued…)

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