Along with the Chariot, the second Tarot card I associate with the month of April is the King of Swords. This King is in complete control of his mind – he harnesses his intellect, plans effectively, and communicates his thoughts and ideas clearly and effectively. He is the perfect counterpart to the somewhat volatile energy of the Chariot.
The almost frantic energy of late March and early April is wonderful as a kick-start to the month – it can get you moving, gets us excited, get us pumped up and ready for action. But if you don’t harness that extra energy, shape it and direct it, it can get too wild and overwhelming.
I find that if I don’t give myself the time and space to adopt the calm, focused energy of the King of Swords, I can become subject to wild mood swings and a feeling of discontentment. The new-found energy we have as the light increases needs to be directed into something, and the emotional changes that inevitably come about as we circle the wheel of the year can turn to neurosis if we don’t acknowledge them and work with them.
At the beginning of the month, I urged you to get started: make a goal, simplify it, and take action. Now that the first steps have been taken, and the momentum is underway, you can start to hone and detail those goals. After you’ve taken consistent action – either towards a career goal, or creating a creative habit, or whatever else – once that action has formed a habit you can then start getting fancy with it. This is the time to buy the fancy brushes or paints. This is the time to start getting really specific about where you want to your blog or career or novel or hobby to go in the coming months.
First of all, start assessing what your initial burst of action has made you feel. This might give you new insights into the emotional motivation behind making this goal or resolution in the first place. Are you achieving your emotional goal? If not, have you projected or transferred a desired feeling onto the wrong project or path? Your desire to paint, for example, may be 100% authentic and important to you. But beware sublimating desires for greater freedom, imagination, or career satisfaction onto what is only ever going to be a hobby for you. Be honest with yourself, above all.
Breaking a goal down into actionable items is a much-touted strategy in the business world, but it works in many contexts. If an unfocused or simplified action plan does not work for you, or hasn’t stirred you into action – if just do it causes too much performance anxiety or perfectionist panic – try giving yourself a list of very small, simple tasks to get yourself there instead.
You could start with a pencil drawing, for example: or just decide to set up an easel and paper without actually painting. You could brainstorm and write blog posts in a word document first before you even think about what blogging platform you want to use. You could commit to writing 100 words of fiction a day, rather than writing a novel in a month.
Whatever it is that is stirred within you this month, make sure it’s nurtured. How this nurturing will best take place is completely up to you. But finding a balance between planning and spontaneity can make all the difference in your productivity and satisfaction.