| text © Jonathan Zap
1812-1816 Oil on linen
The Frick Collection, New York City
Card URL: http://www.zaporacle.com/card/striking-while-the-iron-is-hot/
To strike while the iron is hot means to form something, a time to get to work because your influence, your will can create useful change.
When iron is hot it is malleable. There is a temporary window of opportunity where it is relatively plastic, and through effort it can be given a form that will become semi-permanent.
Aleister Crowley's definition of magic is:
"The science and art of creating change in conformity with will."
What are the areas of life where the application of your will can create the most effective and life-affirming change?
Using myself as example, at age 50 the iron is no longer hot if I want to break athletic records. But at this age, the iron feels very hot for writing, working on the oracle and other creative tasks. At this age my cognitive/creative skills have matured, but I am not so old that dementia or lack of vitality are holding me back. The iron feels very hot creatively, and I am able, at this phase, to create a lot of new things out of the unformed mass of zeros and ones in the digital forge of cyberspace. If I take good care of my psyche and physical health, it is likely that this type of iron may remain hot for many more years. On the other hand, I can't presume on that, I could have a fatal accident at anytime or suffer neurological damage, etc. Therefore I dare not waste the hot iron that is available to be shaped today.
In some areas of life the iron may be hot during only a narrow window of time. Perhaps there is an opportunity to be a positive influence on someone who is quickly passing through your life. Perhaps an inspiration has just welled up. If you act on it now you can give it a decisive and satisfying form. But if you wait, that particular piece of iron may have cooled and rigidified and will be much harder to work on. And although it may be less fulfilling, most days there are time sensitive chores that need to get done, and if not worked on now they will only become more laborious and wasteful of resources later on.
Where is the hot iron in your life that you need to get to work on?