Tag Archives: intelligence

How to find new friends

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I keep arriving at the conclusion that I would be happy to have a few more (close) friends in my life. I lost some former friends in relation to moving to a different city a few years ago, and at first was too busy there to get out much outside of my work. Now that has changed, my life has calmed down somewhat, and I feel ready to make new friends. I have already explored some options in the past, but without much lasting success. So I thought I’d ask the cards for input on this matter.

For the spread, I’m using this one by Caridwen from over at AT. I created this layout for it:

——-3–5—
1–2———7
——-4–6—

1. Current situationFree Spirit / Wandering Minstrel (Fool)

I would like to jump forward into new friendships, optimistically and with trust, bringing with me ways to express myself and to entertain others and collaborate with them. I’m also something of an oddity, so I don’t fit in very well in most circles but stick out like a sore thumb. Then again, that oddness is one of my main characteristics, so I need to find a way to take it with me into my new friendships.

2. What is blocking me from changing this situationTears / Five of Water

I’m focusing too much on what didn’t work in the past, what hurt me, and what made me feel alone. I (or my standards) may seem overwhelming to others, as if I’m never satisfied with what I have. Maybe I first have to deal with old emotions related to previous experiences (e.g. disappointment, sadness, anger) before I can move on into new friendships. Ivy is a plant often used as a cover, so I need to examine if my covering up of my oddness stands in my way instead of helping me move forward – or if I need to cover up more of it for the first steps of friendship to succeed.

3. What attracts people to meAwakening Spirit / Transformation (Judgement)

I’m familiar with the topic of change and transformation, and usually focus on its positive aspects (this could literally be about my familiarity with all sorts of transformations of gender, sexuality, and other identity labels). I can inspire people and be creative with them. I often seem to serve as a catalyst for changes in others. (I’m pretty sure the boots with the rainbow laces also have to say something but I can’t quite access that message right now.)

4. What puts people offSpiral Dance / Six of Fire

They may perceive me as unfocused, a Jack-of-all-trades, and may have difficulty following my flights of fancy and wild associations (I tend to be interested in many things and have ideas for many projects, usually many more than I can ever realize. I’m actually unhappy if I’m forced to limit my attention to just one project for more than a week or two. Other people often seem to translate that into a lack of commitment.). I’ve also noticed that some people have a hard time dealing with my ability to effortlessly learn the basics of many skills and topics in a very short time when they themselves had to work hard for that (I can’t help being like that, but I can see how it could be frustrating to others). Maybe they feel I’m not as grounded and reliable as they’d like (I know I have a hard time keeping in touch with anyone regularly). I’m wondering if the beech leaves and burrs point to Beech as a Bach flower, where it would be related to an overly critical stance (I could see how people might perceive me as overly focused on the negative because I often zoom in onto errors and disadvantages first, especially if everyone else doesn’t seem to see them. To me, that’s a normal part of evaluating an idea/project, but I can imagine I’d come across as harsher as I mean to at times).*

5. What are the right circumstances for me to find friendsGlow / Ten of Fire

I need to get up close and personal with them in a caring and gentle manner. This speaks to my preference for one-on-one conversations (or small groups) versus larger gatherings. Perhaps I need to look amongst older people instead of younger ones. I also may benefit from focusing on giving instead of getting. The image also reminds me of my volunteer work with a hospice service (the main part of our training will start in November, so that could also be a place to meet potential new friends).

6. What are the wrong circumstancesThe Peace Keeper / King of Air

The wrong circumstances are anywhere where “keeping the peace” and diplomacy have the highest priority over expressing one’s opinions (and hearing others), learning through arguments, and being able to be powerful. The bird of prey (falcon?) in the background reminds me of something I once said: “A hawk can’t be a chicken, no matter how hard she tries.” This speaks to my need to be able to exercise my powers/abilities and not having that perceived as negative but merely as a part of my “nature.”

7. Overall GuidanceThe Council / Five of Air

I’m pretty sure I’m not meant to read even more instead of meeting people… ;-)
The book makes me think of learning, and of writing. I may need to learn more about how “regular” people work. I still often assume that everyone is more or less “like me” and will therefore “get” me (until proven otherwise), but experience shows that that’s not a helpful strategy when it comes to living as a queer, intellectually highly gifted, spiritually interested individual. The vast majority of people simply are not like me, and it doesn’t help to pretend that our differences don’t exist. Instead, I need to find a way to be true to myself without stepping on too many toes in the process (in the past I’ve erred in both of those directions, so the right balance isn’t so easy to find). The writing part could mean that journaling (blogging?) about these issues could be helpful. I’m also thinking of taking a page from someone else’s book, but I’m not quite sure whose book would work best for me here… Finally, I take this to mean that I shouldn’t judge myself or others too harshly. Not every piece of communication can be a huge success, and it may take some time until I’ve made any close new friends.

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The most difficult card for me to read was the one in position 3 (Awakening Spirit). This could be because I don’t find the card image very evocative, or it could be because I’m not quite sure (anymore) what people like about me… At any rate, this has been another interesting reading.

I’m finding the deck slanted towards the positive (especially on the LWB sheets for the minors), but apparently I can read the images themselves positively or negatively as needed. I’m wondering if certain plants or animals mean something special if they’re not the main focus of the card (e.g. the choice of plants in Awakening Spirit or Glow – all summer plants? -, or the choice of a falcon over a hawk or eagle in The Peace Keeper) or if they just serve to symbolize a general connection to nature and maybe a certain season. I’ve actually just looked up ivy and beech and have then gone back to the reading to add additional insights about their (potential) meaning in this spread. This could be an interesting aspect of Waking the Wild Spirit and an inspiration for learning more about the plants and animals depicted!

ETA: * While the description in this text about the Bach flower Beech seem rather extreme, I still find worthwhile points for consideration in it. It might be useful to remember that one doesn’t have to be a “Beech personality” to be able to relate to certain points of the description.

Nocturnomath or Airhead?

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Today I drew the Six of Swords again in an exchange reading. Remember? It’s the one with the balloon growing from the person’s head, enabling them to float away in their little aircraft.

As in my previous reading, I had to think of the character of Professor Abdullah Nightingale (in German: Abdullah Nachtigaller) from the novel “The 13.5 Lives of Captain Bluebear” by Walter Moers. He is a seven-brained Nocturnomath (Eydeet) and thus the most intelligent life form of the entire fictional world of Zamonia (Zamonien). He looks like this:

Nocturnomaths are so intelligent they have grown extra brains on the outsides of their skulls. Their thought processes make a clicking sound, and many of them have telepathic and telekinetic abilities (Nightingale, for example, can open a can of sardines just by thinking about it).

In short: We’re talking about extreme intelligence and its consequences. (And about a book you should check out if you like wildly imaginative, humorous fantasy and are ready to read stuff not written by Terry Pratchett.) But let’s get back to the card.

As I was contemplating the card image, playing with words and images in my mind, I also arrived at another concept: that of the airhead, as in “no brain, just air.” Which brings us to the other end of the spectrum, that of a glaring lack of intelligence.

And this is where I leave the playful associations and arrive in a more serious mood. I’m thinking about situations where very high intelligence suddenly (or gradually) turns into something very “stupid”…

There comes a point where a very high IQ actually keeps you from being particularly functional in an average, everyday world. Where communication breaks down or doesn’t even take off in the first place. Where you can’t help feeling like a total freak and alien amongst all these perfectly nice and perfectly normal people.

I mean, think about it.

  • The average IQ is 100.
  • 95% of the population have IQs between 70 and 130.
  • A person with an IQ of below 70 is usually considered intellectually disabled (mentally retarded), whereas someone with an IQ above 130 is considered intellectually gifted (you need an IQ above 132 to be admitted into the high-IQ society Mensa).
  • 2.2% of the population have an IQ above 130 or below 70.
  • Of those, only 0.13% have an IQ above 145 or below 55 (depending on the IQ scale you use – see illustration).

Now imagine living in a world where the vast majority of the people you interact with on a daily basis are intellectually as “far away” from you as someone with an IQ of 100 is from someone with an IQ of 50-60.Then you have an idea how my life often feels to me. (Yes, I’m one of the 0.13%. But please don’t tell my boss. And maybe not even some of my friends.)

Sure, this comparison is hugely oversimplified, and the whole IQ issue is hotly debated anyway. I’m aware of that, and I actually agree with much of the criticism of IQ testing and of the narrowing down of “intelligence” to its intellectual subset. But let’s leave that debate aside for once, okay?

Because every now and again I find it oddly comforting to look at this bell curve, find “my” spot and realize once again that there really is a world of difference between me and, say, my coworkers or my boss. That I’m not just imagining that. That at least some of my problems aren’t due to a flawed character or lacking social skills but due to simply being part of a rather small minority. And that makes it easier to go back to work the next day and deal with the fact that I spend most of my time with that mental “Ferrari” stuck in a traffic jam…

What a chain of associations, huh? But hey, I can totally tie the “mental Ferrari” back to the card image of the Deviant Moon’s Six of Swords! Well, consider this my card meditation for the day…