People often lead busy lives, multitasking their way through the day, struggling to keep all balls in the air. They move like speeding trains through a blurry landscape, painfully restricted to the tracks. Most moves prescribed by societal habits, education, social position or gender. Desire limited to the promise of direct gratification. Most of us prefer our pleasures to be prepackaged and safe. But every once in a while a glitch enters into the system. A small disruption that reminds us things also could be different.
Affect announces the beginning of the journey of Hope. The card shows us the multitude of crossings that can lead us into our journey, but all directions are still open. Affect is the moment the linearity of our lives gets broken up, just for a moment, and reality gets momentarily derailed. This often announces itself simply in a small physical change: your heartbeat picks up speed, goosebumps appear without any particular reason, you get a feeling that all of a sudden you become very big, or very small, things get out of proportion. At that point you can choose to take this small indication seriously, or to ignore it. Whether it happens to you walking in nature or driving your car through a traffic jammed city, hearing the voice of a lost loved one on a recording or just waking up and realizing you don’t see a good reason to get out of bed. This is the moment you can either look the other way or follow your lead wherever it may take you. Maybe you will transform in the process. Maybe it was just a joke, a little trick of your neural system. But if you don’t set out on the journey you will never know.
In the card the city is dark and the highway system offers a dizzying look into the complexity of the ways our lives are organized. Both on a personal level in the way our bodies process information through complicated neural pathways, as on a societal level where religion crosses politics, ethics get derailed by corporate reasoning and the personal gets increasingly public. But above all that crazy activity, there are some light points in the skyline. These are the affects: the small openings in the dense fabric of productivity that surrounds us all. These moments slow down the speeding train for just a second, to let the head of the snake appear.
The snake in this card is the unexpected, a disruption that could turn out good or bad, there are no guarantees. The snake carries the power to transform you, to transport you to another world. Or at least another understanding of it. When the snake appears things become intensified, they gain color, and the body is quick to react. It signals that something ‘might happen’, that it is possible for something to happen. But only if you allow for it.
After the Hope card, Affect offers the possibility to reconnect to what is around you. To leave your alienation behind and once again step into the intensity of life itself. This card is an invitation to accept to be affected. To trust your body and pick up on its indications. If you do so, affect might change into intuition, and lead the way.