Friday, October 28, 2011

Sorting it All Out

New Sorting Moon

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Oh you may not think me pretty,
But don't judge on what you see,
I'll eat myself if you can find
A smarter hat than me.
You can keep your bowlers black,
Your top hats sleek and tall,
For I'm the Hogwarts Sorting Hat
And I can cap them all.

There's nothing hidden in your head
The Sorting Hat can't see,
So try me on and I will tell you
Where you ought to be.

You might belong in Gryffindor,
Where dwell the brave at heart,
Their daring, nerve, and chivalry

Set Gryffindors apart;
You might belong in H
Where they are just and loyal,
Those patient Hufflepuffs are true
And unafraid of toil;
Or yet in wise old Ravenclaw,
if you've a ready mind,
Where those of wit and learning,
Will always find their kind;
Or perhaps in Slytherin
You'll make your real friends,
Those cunning folks use any means
To achieve their ends.

So put me on! Don't be afraid!
And don't get in a flap!
You're in safe hands (though I have none)

For I'm a Thinking Cap!

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It is the new Sorting Moon, the time just before the end of the cycle when we reflect, analyze and decide what to do with what we have learned. One of the amazing things about the cycles Annette Hinshaw has tapped into with this calendar is that they happen at different scales, from micro moment to moment decisions all the way to macro life and civilization scale systems, all at the same time. I feel like I am currently dealing with issues at many different levels of experience these days ranging from family and friends, church community and larger community all the way up to my global community. It feels overwhelming and thrilling and difficult and useful. How can I even begin to evaluate my experiences?

I love astrology, tarot, oracle decks, personality indexes, temperament systems and all other forms of archetypal sorting systems. I love thinking about how a person or an event has "Scorpio" elements or "is so 4 of cups, right now." I find these short hand notations for a whole slew of images, thoughts and stories to be immensely helpful in sorting through my experiences. This is very much one of the reasons I was drawn to Annette Hinshaw's calendar. After following it for as many years as I have, I can totally say "this issue is totally a Sorting moon issue, isn't it?"

I finally saw the last
Harry Potter movie the other week and it reminded me of how I view the Hogwarts house system in this same way. Like some other archetypal sorting methods, it is a rather crude system of polar elements that does not reflect the spectrum of humanity that actually exists, but it can be helpful in categorizing experiences. As the Sorting Hat song quoted above notes, students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry belong to one of four houses. They live in dormitories with their housemates, have classes with other members of their house, play sports together and generally form close social and friendship bonds. Each of the four houses have their own traits, colors, insignia and stereotypes. The song here is from Harry's first year at Hogwarts and gives a basic introduction to the four houses.

Interestingly, as you read the stories you see very clearly that the four houses align with the four ancient elements of Fire, Air, Earth and Water and thus with all kinds of other archetype systems (four humors, four temperaments, tarot suits, astrology elements, etc). There are online quizzes to find out which house you belong in, but for many people it is so self evident that the Sorting Hat would hardly have to touch your head before shouting out your new home. Wanna guess which house I belong it? It's not really hard, is it? We hufflepuffs, loyal and true, patient and kind are very good finders ;)

Hufflepuff, the Hogwarts house associated with the earth element (like my sun sign, Virgo, and my favorite tarot suit, pentacles) and is symbolized by a badger rampart on a black and yellow field. This badger has actually been a real help for me in sorting through some of the issues I have been facing lately. Badgers, and other burrowing mammals, look cuddly and lumbering but they really can be quite stubborn and tenacious when
they need to. I think of Badger from The Wind in the Willows as an excellent example of this. During the winter he was quite sedate, napping and giving young hedgehogs all the warm food they needed, but when spring came, woe be unto the weasel that got between Badger and justice for his friend, Mr. Toad.

The other day I had a tiff with someone close to me and realized that my reactions in the situation were a classic badger move. I saw the straight line to my just cause and I barreled right towards it. When my friend blocked my way with her own needs and preferences I snarled and swatted and continued barreling right through. It was not a terribly effective way of getting what I wanted, which included not damaging my relationship with my friend. Both of us were able to talk about our situation and work out both our actual needs and our relationship needs. And people think Hufflepuffs are pushovers. Hah!

How is your autumn going? What are you sorting out these days and what systems really help you with that task? Have you made any pumpkin desserts yet or gone to the pumpkin patch? What Hogwarts house would you be sorted into?

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New Sorting Moon 2009: New Sorting Moon

New Sorting Moon 2010: Useful, Beautiful or Loved

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