4. Fearn

Oracle, guidance, bridge, mentorship, connections

Tree: Alder (Alnus spp.)

Letter: V

Image from Oregon State University

Fearn represents the offer of a solution or an approach to living. When you are truly ready to learn a life lesson, there will come an opportunity to learn it. This opportunity does not have to be perfectly suited to your liking. When you find someone you can learn from, glean what you can from them as a teacher even if the only way they have to instruct you is by demonstrating a terrible example of how to live. Fearn indicates you are ready to learn. Learning from other people means taking into account they are fallible because they, like you, are not gods. To learn from human beings, you have to become a salvage expert of sorts, picking what you can from the flaming garbage dump of jumbled expertise and philosophy that hides in human minds. The person whose political views you find utterly repugnant may have a great deal to teach you about soapmaking — don’t let the fact she proudly votes a certain way prevent you from taking her soapmaking class.

All too often, prayers treat Jesus and other gods as if they were spiritual vending machines designed to dole out favors to the whiny. If you were suddenly a divine mentor, would you feel compelled to help the person who whined the loudest, or would you be more inclined to grant a favor to the polite person who addressed you with due respect? Perhaps those who can figure out how to approach gods respectfully and politely, without grandiose presumptions about the ways higher beinggs will reward or punish, are more likely to create relationships with more advanced beings than themselves.

Questions when you see Fearn:
-What lessons can the past offer to help me divine the future?
-What is the most brilliant thing ever said by a person I hate?
-What god/gods do I feel comfortable praying to?

Fearn ill-dignified excess: A sturdy bridge to nowhere good
Mentors or cures that fall short of expectations. Potential panaceas and charlatans, path of delusion, distraction from the work. Putting too much faith or energy into a savior, whether this is another human being, a religion, or a singular philosophy, is not a good approach to living. Using faith in a guru, religion, tradition, philosophy, or circumstance as a one-size-fits-all panacea instead of honestly looking at problems and and trying to realistically solve them is a way of running away from the issues at hand. For instance, modern allopathic medicine bills itself as the apex of healthcare, when in fact most of it is the blind leading the blind. Fueled by a pathological fear of the natural death process, modern medicine ensures that we are not “living longer, we are dying longer” (Dr. T. Colin Campbell) as the faithful seek increasingly expensive, techno-triumphalist organ transplants, plastic implants and valves, and poisonous/addictive pills in order to combat the inevitable effects of artificial, poisonous, and prosthetic lifestyles. Instead, allopathic doctors garner undeserved guru status for long careers where they get away with knowing almost nothing of healing the human body.

Fearn ill-dignified dearth: Burning bridges
Rejecting everything someone has ever said because you disagree with them about one point has a seductive appeal. Releasing pent-up hatred at someone because they go against you in a key way tempts us to cut them off completely and to dismiss them utterly because of it. Nevertheless, no person is an island and cutting everyone out in your life because you disagree with them (or dismissing every school of thought contrary to your own because of its disagreeable tenets) is a surefire way to isolate and ostracize yourself.

Watch for the position of Fearn when it is ill-dignified, because if it is in the Situation position, it could mean a bone-headed person or group you are forced to deal with instead of your own personal issues.

Remember that those who do not ask “What if?” are just as ignorant as the peasant who thinks everyone except himself and a small faction are going to Hell for their beliefs. Thinking that you are absolutely right about anything is a form of solipsism, whether or not you hand your righteousness to God or an empty void. Unquestioning belief is dogma.

Also, no man is an island. We are social primates, and though there is no call for everyone to be social all the time, it’s much smarter to put effort into getting along with people (even those you disagree with) than to think you can be wholly independent of any human influence and thrive.

“The most important trip you may take in life is meeting people halfway.” -Henry Boye

“You become what you behold.” -William Blake

“Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” -Matthew 3:12

“When a solipsist dies, everything goes with him.”
-David Foster Wallace