Friday, April 24, 2020

Tarot Inspired Coloring, Journaling, and Love Poems

Tarot Color Together 

Here’s a tarot-yoga improvisation based on a beautiful chakra meditation lead by one of Yoga with Shawna’s instructors, Isaac. My husband and I have been going to Isaac’s Sunday chakra meditations in IB for about a year (held over zoom now). Here’s my take on one of his meditation images he gave us of ascending over the Earth in a hot air balloon, releasing roses of every imaginable color to help heal the planet and all living things. I’m playing on Instagram (hearts compass tarot) as described on my main site: Tarot Improvisation: Creating Your Own Tarot Inspired Art. I hope you’ll color with me and use the hashtag #tarotimprovisation so I can see your artwork too.

Free Tarot & Poetry Classes

Tomorrow, Saturday April 25: Use the Tarot to Establish Your Journaling Practice: Power of the One-card Draw, a webinar at 10 am PST offered through Antioch University’s Inspiration to Publication program. This free introductory webinar covers an overview of the tarot’s structure and walks you through the tarot journaling process.

Tuesday, April 28: Images of Hope: Celebrating National Poetry Month, a free two-hour zoom workshop offered from 10 a.m. to noon PST through Coronado Public Library. I’ve gathered some poems about hope amid the pandemic (written by local San Diego poets) for our worksheet. Come write your own poem with me.

Donation-based Tarot Poetry Class 

Friday, May 1: Using Tarot Imagery to Write Love Poems is a two-hour zoom class (noon to 2 p.m. PST). We will explore the ways we can draw on tarot cards for inspiration as poets. I'll share a number of versions of the Lovers card and then we will draft our own poems. All proceeds from this class go to San Diego Writers, Ink. SDWI continues to be such a dynamic community hub for so many writers in San Diego; pay what you can. We miss everyone! Come connect over zoom.

Deepen Your Study of Tarot (fee-based courses)

Starts May 11: Join my six-week online course, Using Tarot to Mine Your Life for Writing Material: Tarot Journaling to Know Yourself, The Four Aces. This class offers a deep dive into the four Aces, represented by the four elements, a foundational structure of the tarot deck. You will learn how to tarot journal in order to connect your lived experiences to the cards, how to use a tarot timeline, and select work to revise with an eye towards publication. 

Ongoing: Join my weekly drop-in Tarot Journaling: A Heart's Compass Approach class offered through San Diego Writers, Ink.We are journaling our way through the entire tarot deck, one card per week. 

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Tarot, Teens, and Tarot Journaling Classes

We live across the street from the ocean; our mind-centering activity this past week as we hunkered down (all of California on shelter in place)  has been to walk in the late afternoon and clear the beach of trash washed ashore—with care of course—picking up the sun-worn and wind-bedraggled detritus in the dunes. It is one tiny act that gives us a little agency. How are you coping?

Oxnard High School Writers Festival 2020
Tarot and Teens

Just last month (worlds ago, I’ve been saying lately), I had a beautiful time working with teen writers at the 2020 Oxnard High School Festival of Writers. Organized by wildly talented fiction writer and visual artist Sandra Hunter, the festival gave students and the community the chance to work with a variety of forms from songwriting, to poetry, to performance arts and more, as well as a chance to share at open mic. See my post, Using Tarot to Ask and Answer What Kind of Writer or Artist am I for the specific layout and steps for the three-card draws we did based on exploring our identity as writers and creatives. The post includes an example of an art synchronicity (an "angel of grief" sculpture) that visited a reading I conducted for my son about his identity as a musician.

Heart's Compass by Tania Pryputniewicz
Heart’s Compass Tarot Workbook and Classes Update

I am proud to announce that the official publication date for my Heart’s Compass Tarot Workbook will be  December 21, 2020. Grig Hill Books, a new imprint of Saddle Road Press, will publish the workbook. We are finalizing the manuscript as we speak. I’ll be teaching tarot related writing courses through Antioch University’s Online program from Inspiration to Publication again in May. Here's a link to Using the Tarot to Mine Your Life for Writing Material. We hosted my first ever tarot webinar this morning and will shortly announce additional free webinars to be held in the month of April on a variety of topics.

Luna sitting on the Tarot Journal
My locally based San Diego Writers, Ink, class “Tarot Journaling: A Heart’s Compass Approach” has moved from in-person to meeting over Zoom on Mondays from Noon PST to 1 p.m.  We are journaling our way through the entire tarot deck one card per week. I send out tarot images for you to reference (or you can use your own deck). This is a weekly drop-in, show up, write, and share format. It is a beautiful way to stay heart-connected during these times of isolation. This coming Monday we are writing to the Four of Cups; come join us! Stay for the second hour if you are interested in also writing your way towards tarot card creation. Full course description and sign-up link for hour 1 and hour 2 of class is here: Tarot Journaling: A Heart’s Compass Approach.

And finally, my long-standing Second Saturday Poetry Read and Critique class has also moved to Zoom (due to the coronavirus).  We meet next on April 11. We are a warm-hearted and poetry passionate group. We'd love to have you join us. Here's the link where you can sign up: 2nd Saturdays: Poetry Read and Critique.

Stay connected (through alternate means), stay safe, healthy, and hopeful. Please write to me through my contact form on this site if I can be of service to you in any way.

Related Links:

Visit Circle Circle dot dot to listen to a Facebook Live "Two of Cups" reading by Thelma Virata de Castro along with others also chosen; I'm blessed to have her in Tarot Journaling class where she wrote a Two of Cups entry that was chosen to be featured Sunday, March 22, 2020 at 2 p.m. 

Check out Dr. Plastic Picker; she is responsible for inspiring our family to be more aware of trash on our beaches (we joined her Imperial Beach Clean up in February). I'm looking forward to working with her in the future to bring awareness to environmental cleanliness, including offering writing workshops related to the topic. She has not only been our family pediatrician for years, but a beautiful, bright, visionary helper.

Brendan Constantine blew us all away with a beautiful reading of his poem, The Opposites Game at the Oxnard High School Writers Festival. Read it here, or watch the beautifully crafted You Tube version of The Opposites Game.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Using Tarot to Mine Your Life for Writing Material


Tarot gives us a beautiful way to explore our lives as we are living them and as we have lived them. In Using the Tarot to Mine Your Life for Writing Material: Tarot Journaling to Know Yourself we will journal to gentle questions about the four building blocks of the tarot deck: the four Aces based on the four elements. All of us are born onto the planet with a body and a pair of hands to use (earth), a heart with which to love (water), a drive and passion to direct our choices (fire), and a mind with which to dream, to think, and to write (air). How we use these four Aces, or how we are challenged or blocked from using them ends up shaping the very story of our lives. 


In this online class, you'll journal to gentle questions and learn tools to connect your experiences to the imagery in the tarot deck. You'll come away with a deeper understanding of yourself, the tarot, and your writing process. This class is offered through Antioch University's online program, Inspiration to Publication.

*New start date: We start March 30, 2020. We will start in May due to the coronavirus crisis. Please don't hesitate to contact me with questions.  Here is the full course description:


Visit Tarot for Two, where I co-blog with Mary Allen for examples of the ways we connect lived experiences to the tarot cards.

IPerson Poetry Class

If you are local, you can always drop in to my Second Saturday Poetry Read and Critique class; we meet from 10-12….you guessed it…every second Saturday of the month. We are an earnest, heart-based group of writers…don’t let our compassion or kindness fool you—we have your best writer self in mind and will encourage the fullest expression of your poet self.


Upcoming Events

I'm blessed to be taking part in Oxnard High School's Writing Festival where I'll be giving readings for literary questions. March 6, 2020 from 8:45-2:15. Details here.

The San Diego Writing Festival will be held this year at the Coronado Public Library. I'll be teaching a class about how to use the Tarot to Write Poetry. This free festival brings fabulous classes, panels, speakers, readings to our community to celebrate the power of storytelling and writing. More details soon. Put in on your calendar: April 4th. 

Upcoming Poetry Publication News:

“Couch Burning,” in Climbing Lightly Through Trees, an anthology honoring Ursula K. Le Guin (Aqueduct Press, 2020)

“Cookies,” in an anthology of poems and artwork based on tarot cards, 78

Friday, October 4, 2019

My Daughter's Potato and The Owl

My poem “My Daughter’s Potato” is up at SWWIM (Supporting Women Writers in Miami) thanks to editors Jen Karetnick and Catherine Esposito Prescott. Much gratitude to them for housing a poem that holds one of the many views of motherhood, in which marriage, a guitar, a potato, a son, and a daughter converge.

Last night the potatoes remained safe in the refrigerator; we rummaged for grandpa’s recipe for play dough, taped as it was still to the TOC for the Joy of Cooking (loose of spine). As my three children jostled and joked in the kitchen, kneading drops of food coloring into portions of clay my son would later form into sections for a 3D model of the brain, the older kids tried their latest joke on me, “Someone in the room is possessed by an owl…”

As a poet mom, I rarely get it right. I like the line, so I repeat it back to them, “Someone in the room is possessed by an owl…

…until the youngest breaks down and says it for me… “Who? Who?” and into the night we descend laughing.


Image at the top of this post is an Owl Tower (unfired) by Robyn Beattie.

Monday, July 1, 2019

July Classes: Poetry as Permission and Tarot Journaling to Know Yourself

July Poetry Opportunities

Imagine: Two hours in a room with other writers. Each loves words as much as you do! Where else can you spend time reading and writing poems? The answer: Monday Mantarays Poetry Read and Critique, upstairs at San Diego Writers, Ink. We meet weekly on Mondays from 10-12 noon.

In our very first class (today) we considered definitions of poetry. Is poetry “being, not doing” as E. E. Cummings says? Or is it “a place to tell secrets—a lamplight for difficult experiences” after Burroughs? Or after Kunitz, is poetry “the telling of the stories of the soul?” 

We also made a list of forms we’d like to try. After writing to the notion of “first permission” (taken from the poem “Often I am Permitted to Return to a Meadow,” by Robert Duncan) and Audre Lorde’s timeless assertion that “Poetry is Not a Luxury,” we considered directions in which to point the arrow of our inquiry over the course of our classes so that we each end up with our own particular series of poems based on a theme or question. 

I hope you’ll join us. We dive deep in the pursuit of all the Big Questions in Life and study the skillset of poets across time to hone our own poetry skills. We will be using Mary Oliver’s A Poetry Handbook among others. Next class meets Monday, July 8, 2019. Sign up here: Monday Mantarays Poetry Read and Critique

If meeting during the week is not an option, join me for Second Saturdays Poetry Read and Critique; this class convenes once a month and our next session meets Saturday, July 13, 2019. 

Tarot Journaling to Know Yourself: A Tour Through the Majors

Knowing that I’m an unapologetic tarot lover, a number of my friends suggested that I watch Wine Country, a movie out on Netflix about a group of women on retreat in Napa Valley. They land in a house staffed with a cook and suffer through an ominous session with a tarot reader, Lady Sunshine, camera foregrounding the black silk. One by one, the usual tarot card heavyweights fall: Death! Wheel of Fortune! Chariot! to name a few, which of course, with Sunshine’s unsunny take on what the energies portend, entirely unsettles each recipient.

The truth is that tarot energies can be explored through the lens of lived life in a gentle, manageable manner to consider our goals and potential with an eye towards joy. Certainly the cards represent major and minor transitional experiences. Indeed, some cards do stand for facing loss or change of situation, habit, job, or friendship as we all inevitably do over and over again throughout the course of our lives (Death). We also face changes in the way we view or experience our soul-wealth, heart-wealth or pocket-book-wealth (Fortune) or periods of time when we are trying to grow a new self or choose a new part of ourselves to bring forward into the world (Chariot). How we respond to these situations (as failures for example or as opportunities) can make all the difference in how we move on from our obstacles.
 

The cards give us images and symbols that we can use as focal points to ask: Which part can we change? Where is our perspective unmoving? What stands to be re-ordered, digested, understood, forgiven? And most importantly, where is the love we've been looking for? How do we know when we've arrived? Tarot journaling gives us a chance to make a truce with the past, freeing up our energy to create or map a path forward to new opportunities.


This course is based on worksheets from the forthcoming Heart’s Compass Tarot Workbook (Saddle Road Press). For the full course description, visit: Tarot Journaling to Know Yourself. We meet over live video call. For more information, or to sign up, use the email form on this site or IM me at the Heart’s Compass Tarot Facebook page

Monday, June 3, 2019

A Tarot Angel, Residency News, and a Free Poetry Workshop for You

A Tarot Angel for Kalli

Happy June! Life is swirling past at an epic rate, or at least it feels that way with my firstborn on the cusp of graduating from high school. Here’s my latest composite tarot card sketch. If I’ve done anything for my girl, I hope it’s to teach her to love the second sun of her heart, right there in the middle of her body, and to steer forward with joy, heart-connected. May the angels watch over all of our children as they move on and blossom. Congratulations to all the mothers and fathers traipsing through this emotional landscape…what a blessing.

Rockvale Writers’ Colony Award

I am so pleased to announce that “Two Gardens” (from Berkeley Postcard, a manuscript of poems about my mother) has won the first Rockvale Writers’ Colony poetry contest on the theme of Time. “Two Gardens” will appear in Rockvale Review Issue Five (November 2019). The prize also includes a week-long residency at Rockvale Writers’ Colony. I am so looking forward to the time to focus on my writing projects.

Founder and Director Sandy Coomer writes generously here about choosing the poem and the synchronicity of the timing in relation to the residency, its location, and healing a lost opportunity. Both the poem, “Two Gardens,” and Coomer’s comments can be accessed here:  Two Gardens

June Poetry Opportunities

Not Your Usual Father’s Day Poetry Workshop: Letters, Rhyme, and the Senses. Join me in Carlsbad on Sunday, June 9, 2019 from 1:30 to 4:30 at the Georgina Cole Library (Community Room), 1250 Carlsbad Village Drive, Carlsbad, CA. This poetry workshop is free (and graciously sponsored by the Friends of Carlsbad Library). Come with paper and pencil and we will explore the epistle form, drafting our own conversational letter poems as well as working with rhyme and the senses. Poets on our worksheet include Gary Snyder, Thom Gunn, Eavan Boland, Megan Arlett, Penina Ava Taesali, Lan Lan, and others.

Second Saturdays Poetry Read and Critique


Second Saturdays Poetry Read and Critique meets this coming Saturday, June 8 at Liberty Station from 10-12. We’ll be looking at Instagram Poets and our worksheet title is Reversals and Secrets. Come join us…we are a passionate and lively group of poets. Walk-ins welcome. Cost for this group is $30 for SDWI members, $36 for non-members.

Related Links: 

Rockvale review previously published two of my poems, “City Boys” and “The Marriage Counselor Channels King Solomon” (paired with photography in Issue Two, May 2018, Rockvale Review).