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Mind medicine: Motivation

Welcome to Mind Medicine, Millsies! What a year it has been! As this semester wraps up and we look toward the future, we stand to witness Mills history and make our own. In light of this historical moment, I want to discuss motivation. Here at Mills, we have an ethos of community, inclusion and safety. It is important that we remember the commitment each of us has made to honor this ethos every day as we proudly carry the name “Millsie.” Our commitment to each other, our institution and our futures is inspiring and comforting on even the hardest of days. In the coming days, with so much changing, we can find hope in our dedication to continue to carry out the Millsie way of life. With changes from graduating to a merger ahead, let us look deeper at what it is that will continue to inspire us to move forward. I want to discuss the all-important question: How can we stay motivated?

This week’s spread consists of The Six of Wands, The Knight of Swords and The Seven of Wands. The Knight of Swords, which sits prominently in the center, prompts us to remember the three times this card has greeted us since Mind Medicine’s beginning. Coincidence? Let us find out.

Photo by Jessica Moreno

The Six of Wands is the first card drawn in our spread. This card shows the hero Jason, holding up the prize of the golden fleece after a battle. He is victorious after his huge faceoff with a mighty dragon who guarded the golden fleece. The dragon, a symbol of external opposition, fought mightily against Jason as he fought to reclaim the prize of the fleece, which he uses as proof to reclaim his rightful throne. In this card, Jason stands victorious, holding his prize up in the air while his supporters exclaim in celebration. On a fundamental level, this card represents success. With Jason’s supporters in the background, it also symbolizes validation of success. The accomplishment of a goal surrounded by family, the completion of an academic project, or even the survival of a semester your loved ones commend you for; all these resemble accomplishments like Jason’s. In all ways, this card is a representation of a long-worked-for goal finally reached with strong support from your community. This card is a reminder that victory is indeed possible, and that no matter the loneliness of a journey, there will be those who celebrate these victories with you.

The Knight of Wands is another card we have greeted previously in Mind Medicine. Today marks its third appearance. This card shows the Dioscuri twins, Castor and Pollux (sometimes known as Polydeuces). The twins have the same mother but different fathers; Castor, son of a mortal king, is mortal himself, while Pollux/Polydeuces is the immortal son of the god Zeus. The twins are inseparable in everything from battle to revelry. When Castor dies, Polydeuces begs to share half his immortality with his brother. Granting his son’s wish, Zeus transformed the twins into the constellation Gemini so they could travel between Olympus, Earth and Hades. These twins have set forth a strong reputation and together are known as being mighty warriors.

Together, they signify sudden inspiration, or in other words, a whim. Though they are often victorious in their frequent battles, they also involve themselves in unnecessary brawls. Part of their reputation is that they may take up battle only to prove a point. When the human mind is inspired, chaos and change may disrupt routine, or in some instances, the mundane. Though the twins are known for their great feats, they are also known for quarreling. This card is a reminder to heavily consider what the effects of our actions will be. Though not always rooted in bad intent, lack of thought can disrupt our own or others’ hard-won peace. However, this card is also a reminder that no matter how hard we try, we are ultimately human. The need to follow our whims or inspirations may be ingrained in us, but our dreams themselves are immortal and deserve forethought. Though change can be disruptive, it is also part of life to evolve.

The last card in our spread is the Seven of Wands. Once again, this card shows our brave warrior Jason. However, this time, we see him in a new battle. Since Jason has reclaimed the golden fleece from the dragon, he must now bring the fleece back home to reclaim his rightful throne. The current king, Aeetes, also wants the fleece and is backed by his own supporters. What makes the battle of this card so important is the clear message of equal adversaries. Equally confident and determined, both parties are prepared to fight for the golden fleece. Jason, who had previously won the fleece from the dragon, must now try even harder to retain his victory.

Though Jason succeeded against the dragon, this did not guarantee him the throne. He must now complete the next task of his quest, which is to finally arrive with the fleece and reclaim his kingdom. But like Jason, Aeetes believes that the throne is his by right, and will fight to defend it. This card represents the all-too-present reality of competitiveness. Competition is a natural obstacle we will all face on our journeys to follow our dreams. The fear of competition can sometimes defeat us before we even embark. This card is a reminder that though competition exists, the only way out is through. We must stand by our dreams and never give up the fight to make them a reality. As we face competition, may we learn to navigate these battles with hope, grace and success.


In the spirit of motivation, I have linked this website to offer a sacred, special reminder of motivation and hope you can create in your own home. Whether as small as a simple shelf or as grand as a larger section of a room, the idea of a sacred altar is simple and affordable. Your altar can include a list of goals, a candle for intention, pictures of loved ones or even flowers you find on a walk. The goal of the altar is to create a space that is comforting, motivating and full of love. This is the place you want to return to when you need to remember why your journey is important.