Saturday, September 10, 2016

Tarot Deck Makers Course Q and A

The first of my Tarot Deck Makers courses starts this coming Monday; I've received much interest and have put together a post to distill the questions I've been asked. I still have a few spots left in the course; we have a beautiful group already forming. Please email me if you have any further questions. 

 Do I have to commit to making an entire Tarot Deck of my own?

You will have the opportunity to begin to create your very own Tarot Inspired Vision Deck—you work at your own pace. We focus on six Tarot cards in this first class: The Fool, The Magician, and the four Aces. The Fool card welcomes us to our deck making adventure. The Magician inspires us to pick up our tools, the Aces.  The Ace of Cups invites us to bring forth the chalice of self-love and compassion (heart), The Ace of Swords invites us to bring forth our vision with clarity and focus (mind), The Ace of Disks invites us to stand firmly on the earth and welcome the translation of our vison into a material deck (body), and The Ace of Wands invites us to bring our passion to the project as we consider how we would like to next direct our vision-aligned actions as depicted by the images we create for our decks (will). 

The course is meant to ground your deck making experience and give you the courage to keep creating cards, either in the rest of the series of classes I’ll be offering this year or on your own. Because it is a Tarot Inspired Vision Deck, you may choose to deviate from the Tarot’s structure, but I will be teaching sequentially through the deck this year to give us a grounding structure upon which to improvise.

Do I have to commit to a particular artform?

This course gives you a chance either to work in a medium you already feel comfortable working with or a chance to try something new—collage, watercolor, photography, you choose. You are also free to draft as many versions of your card as you wish; perhaps you’ll start out with a photograph and then decide to collage the photograph to add other elements or text.

Do I have to have a certain skill level with my artform or the Tarot?

This course is open to all level of student. We will read a variety of Tarot interpretations for each card, journal to connect our lived experiences to the card, and envision in writing and with art to create our own version of the card. The focus of the course is shared exploration as we create our decks.

For more details about the course:

Tarot Blessings and thank you for your interest!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

September Tarot Deck Making Class, Poetry Class, and Tarot for Two

Happy Fall! Hello September! It has been a busy couple of months, with a family trip to the UK and Ireland behind us that was beautiful--albeit rife with travel delays and unexpected weather delays--that has left my heart full and eager to return for more. 

Here are a couple of my favorite photos from the trip—despite many setbacks, we made it to Glastonbury Tor which is a heart-connected site for me and one I featured in the Guinevere section of November Butterfly. 

It was so very beautiful to walk the spiral path up to the Tower carrying the poems and Guinevere in my heart as the wind swept across our faces, sheep grazing in the glistering green fields below.

Another heart joy is that I’m finally offering a Deck Makers series of Tarot classes. Whether or not you have already been on Tarot pilgrimage with me through my prior Wheel of Archetypal Selves courses, or have been studying and playing with and working with the cards in other ways, I invite you to join me to make your own Tarot-inspired Vision Deck. 

Artwork and photo by Robyn Beattie
We start on September 12, 2016—you choose your medium or even mediums (watercolor, sketch, collage, photography, sculpture, you name it) and we write together, draft together, and meet through video call to inspire and encourage our decks into being. Please pass it on to anyone you think might be interested. For a full course description, visit my main site to sign up and read more about what we will have the opportunity to accomplish together: 

San Diego Writers, Ink: Theme, Set, Go Monthly Poetry Workshop

Artwork and Photo by Robyn Beattie
My first Tuesday of the month workshop in San Diego needs a few more participants—drop-ins welcome. Animals are our focus for September. We will read aloud from Mary Oliver’s “Wild Geese,” Jim Harrison’s “Barking,” Pablo Neruda’s “Horses,” Jayne Benjulian’s “Nutmeg” from her newly released Five Sextillion Atoms, Michelle Wing’s "Anthropomorphism" from Body on the Wall and "Bee Song" from Lisa Rizzo’s forthcoming Always a Blue House (Benjulian, Wing, and Rizzo are authors from my Saddle Road Press family; SRP published November Butterfly in 2014). Bring a friend and your favorite animal poem and come write your own poem with me this coming Tuesday, September 6, at 10 am. We meet at Liberty Station. October’s theme is Music.

Sign up here:

Tarot for Two: The Chariot and The Queen of Swords

So you’ve heard me talk about my friend and co-blogging companion at Tarot for Two, Mary Allen. What a blessing! Mary came to visit in August; so Mary and I threw cards together in person this month. Usually we read over the phone, hang up, and write to our cards of the month. Then call back and read to one another again over the phone. What a treat to read in person!

This month at Tarot for Two Mary wrote a bit about her travels in relation to the Queen of Swords:

It was the next to the last day of a seven-day trip so I was in transit.  Nothing in that moment was particularly stable, and my trip home couldn’t have been more unstable, driving in the middle of the night from San Diego to LAX on those much-bigger-than-I’m-used-to highways, getting lost midway there, being terrified of the trucks and traffic and being late when we got closer to LA. 

Then flying into Iowa in the middle of a possible tornado, roiling clouds outside the window, turbulence like I’ve never experienced before.  The Queen of Swords sits high in the blue sky on top of a bank of blue-tinged clouds, and maybe the cards were talking about that trip home, making a sly little comment about it, when they gave me her as my card of the month.

And I wrote more about poetry manuscript process in relation to the Chariot:

How blessed I am to reflect on the Chariot card and realize that yes, that thirty-one day challenge was the perfect vehicle for hearing the next layer of the journey out of child’s view of the commune. Sure, the leader was one of the Fools in the Corn, as were perhaps my parents and other followers, initially duped, but what of my own adult self, who had to find her way out of “Fool-dom” and into reality, sorting the True from the Not True. I see now that structures of religion can give us a false sense of security—the answers laid out as if we can somehow magically forego the threshing and sorting of experiences that being human affords us by birthright. As if we won’t have to learn to use our internal compass, regardless of outer chariot.

Read the rest of our post at Tarot for Two: 

The Chariot and The Queen of Swords

Photos at the top of the post are by yours truly and Kallista James; the example collage card and the clay walrus are both by Robyn Beattie.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Tarot Prompts and Musings and a June Poetry Workshop

Photo by Robyn Beattie
First Tuesdays Monthly Poetry Workshop at San Diego Writers, Ink

There are still a few spots left in my in-person San Diego Writers, Ink Monthly Poetry Workshop that starts Tuesday, June 7 over at Liberty Station at 10 am (we meet one day a month, first Tuesdays). Our first meeting is devoted to fathers and mothers (considering the roles from multiple points of view). If you’ve worked with me in the past you know I delight in bringing out the best you have to give your poems in the way of vulnerable grit. I only ask that you go the distance in your process to arrive somewhere you haven’t been before. All level of writer welcome.

A few selections I’ll be reading before we begin writing together include First Lesson by Philip Booth, “Lie back, daughter, let your head /  be tipped back in the cup of my hand…” and Thom Gunn’s Baby Song, “From the private ease of Mother’s womb / I fall into the lighted room.” Also Dorothy Parker’s Prayer for a New Mother, “The things she knew, let her forget again— / The voices in the sky, the fear, the cold…” and by Linda Pastan, Marks, “My husband gives me an A / For last night’s supper.” Please bring your own favorite poem to read on the topic of mothers and fathers, roll up your sleeves, join me, and bring a friend. What a way to kick off summer!

Sign up here at San Diego Writers, Ink, and I’d love it if you could pass it on to help it fill. Please do emial me through my contact page if you have any questions.

Photo by Robyn Beattie
Tarot Writing Prompts for You to Use to Deepen Your Relationship to Tarot:

I continue to post a Tarot Writing prompt a week on my main website. We are in the Suit of Disks. Here are the most recent prompts; come join the conversation on Facebook at Wheel of Archetypal Selves or leave a comment on the site if you use the prompts or find inspiration using the exercises.

Photo by Robyn Beattie
Tarot for Two

One of life’s spectacular blessings is my monthly Tarot phone call with my friend Mary. As I shoo my kitty Luna off the cards, I love to picture Mary sitting in her house all the way in Iowa. I suppose we could use Skype or Zoom, but so far we’ve kept it old-fashioned. Which means it is her voice I drop in and enjoy.  We shuffle, cut, and then recreate the layouts we pull for one another so we are looking at the same cards. It is a gift to share the universal mirror with her and to puzzle out the larger sense of where we meet it with our particulars. At the end of the readings, we pull a card to live with for the month. We share our findings in relation to our card of the month on our blog, Tarot for Two. Here are excerpts from May:

Queen of Cups:       

In the tarot cards water is a symbol for the unconscious.  With the Thoth-deck Queen of Cups the water takes up half the card, it’s all that water below the line.  In the Rider-Waite deck the Queen of Cups is sitting on a throne with a pool of water at her feet; she’s wearing a kind of cape made of water too. Maybe it’s seeing her sitting on that throne that makes me think again of sitting in my own chair in the mornings trying to access the water of my own unconscious as I meditate.  How you get to that water, that unconscious place, and what you find there is what really interests me. 

Ten of Disks:

I don’t know if my children and husband see the magic all around us, but I feel it in the Sundays we rise and hop in the van to drive along Route 75 parallel to the sea.  A four-minute spin delivers us to Katie’s CafĂ© where its surfboard sign, hung by a pair of chains, greets us with image of a mermaid resting on her side. In we go past the paintings of surfers emerging from sunlit-backed barrels and tables adorned with glass goblet worlds holding cacti and succulents anchored in multicolored pebbles, miniature clay surfboards at the ready.

Read rest of our post here at Tarot for Two: The Queen of Cups and the Ten of Disks.

Photos are by my poetry movie collaborator Robyn Beattie.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Flamingos Converge in Gualala: A Conversation with Nine Women Writers

Every year I have been so blessed to sneak away on writing retreat with eight other actively publishing women writers on the northern California coast. Finally, this year, we are breaking our monastic routine to join the community, to give back in a sense, by appearing for a Meet and Greet as a form of thank you for the beauty of our surroundings, to show our support for the local bookstore, Four-Eyed Frog Books, and to meet other writers in the area. 

I hope you'll come out to join us; we have planned an informal conversational afternoon, during which we will take turns addressing how we met initially on a retreat hosted by A Room of Her Own Foundation, what makes a writers group a success,  and to hear from you regarding what might we offer in terms of writing workshops in the future if there's interest.

Meet and Greet will be held at Four-Eyed Frog Books
39138 Ocean Drive, Gualala 95445
Saturday June 18 at 4 p.m.

The Flamingos:

Jayne Benjulian began writing as a young girl, leaving letters under the mattress to read years later and see who she had been. She has been an Ossabaw Island Project Fellow; a teaching fellow at Emory University; and a Fulbright Teaching Fellow in Lyon, France. She holds an MFA from the Warren Wilson Program for Writers. Her first collection, Five Sextillion Atoms will be published in June 2016. Find out more about Jayne and her work at

Sandra Hunter’s short fiction collection, Small Change, won the 2016 Gold Line Press Chapbook Prize and was published in June. Her debut novel, Losing Touch, was released in July 2014. She’s currently finishing a novel-in-progress, The Geography of Kitchen Tables. Favorite dessert: rose-flavored macarons.

Marcia Meier’s poems have appeared in Sage Trail Poetry Magazine, Prime Number, and the anthology Knocking at the Door, Poems about Approaching the Other. She is the author of two published works of nonfiction and a memoir, and holds degrees in journalism and creative writing. She is a book consultant at

Tania Pryputniewicz: A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Tania Pryputniewicz is a co-founding blogger for Tarot for Two and Mother Writer Mentor. Saddle Road Press published her debut poetry collection, November Butterfly, in 2014. Recent poems appeared or are forthcoming at Extract(s), NonBinary Review, One, Patria Letteratura, and TAB. She lives in San Diego, California with her husband, three children, a blue-eyed Husky and one portly house cat named Luna. She can be found online at

Lisa Rizzo is the author of In the Poem an Ocean, a chapbook (Big Table Publishing, 2011). Her new poetry collection Spelunking is forthcoming from Saddle Road Press. Her work also has appeared in such journals as 13th Moon, Calyx Journal, RiverLit and Naugatuck River Review. Two of her poems received 1st and 2nd prizes in the 2011 Maggi H. Meyer Poetry Prize competition. She blogs at Poet Teacher Seeks World and can also be reached at

Barbara Rockman teaches poetry and memoir at Santa Fe Community College, Esperanza Shelter for Battered Families and in private workshops in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Her poems appear in numerous journals and anthologies including Askew, Calyx, Bellingham Review, Cimarron Review, Nimrod, bosue and Taos International Review. Twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize, her poems have received the New Mexico Discovery Award, Baskerville Publishers Prize and The MacGuffin Poet Hunt Prize. She is editor of the anthology, “Women Becoming Poems,” and author of “Sting and Nest,” which received the New Mexico-Arizona Book Award and the National Press Women Poetry Book Prize. Barbara holds an MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Additional link: Mom Egg’s review of Barbara’s “Sting and Nest”.

Ruth Thompson is the author of three books of poetry: Crazing, Woman With Crows, and Here Along Cazenovia Creek. Woman With Crows was a finalist for AROHO’s To The Lighthouse Prize, and includes poems that won the New Millennium Writings, Harpur Palate, and other prizes. Ruth has performed her poems with dancers Shizuno Nasu and Jennifer Eng. She owns and operates Saddle Road Press. See more at, on YouTube,  and at The California Journal of Women Writers

Michelle Wing is a poet and writer of creative nonfiction. She is the author of Body on the Wall (poems) and editor of Cry of the Nightbird: Writers Against Domestic Violence. Michelle lives in New Mexico with her wife and a houseful of animals, and is aided in all her creative endeavors by her service dog, Ripley.

Barbara Yoder: Barbara Ann Yoder has worked as a writer and editor for more than thirty years. Former director of the New Hampshire Writers’ Project, she teaches online as an adjunct professor for the New England College School of Professional Writing. She authored The Recovery Resource Book and is currently developing a collection of linked stories. She keeps a blog about writing and the writing life at and lives in northern California.www.barbaraannyoder.comImage © Larissa Kulik, 2013, licensed from