Monday, October 31, 2016

Tarot Dreaming: Learning from the Deck Makers

Tarot Deck Makers Interview Series

Ever in pursuit of finding the next leaping off edge from which to enrich Tarot play, I am ecstatic to have launched my Tarot Deck Makers Interview Series this month. My goal is to glean insights from deck makers around the globe about their creative process and about the ways in which they personally were changed by engaging with the Tarot at that level of intensity. To commit to making an entire deck is to commit to symbol walking through the Tarot lineage that came before and to be willing to riff and play and enter one's own symbol-scape in search of symbols and patterns of benefit for those of us living here, now. Here are images from two different Tarot Decks and excerpts from my first two interviews.

Rachel Pollack, much revered Tarot scholar, author of 37 fiction and non-fiction books, and author of what is often referred to as the Tarot Bible, 78 Degrees of Wisdom, spoke about some of the results of creating the Shining Tribe deck:

There was a much greater intimacy with the cards, not just my own deck, but others.  I discovered that the Tarot can have a great sense of humor, and play with you through the cards it gives you.  The Shining Tribe deck also led to a major practice of mine I call Wisdom Readings, in which we ask the cards questions beyond personal issues.  The first Wisdom reading was "What is the soul?" I pulled just one card, the Ace of Birds, an owl in darkness staring intently at the reader.  Other people have adopted the practice of Wisdom readings, so creating my own deck has led to a contribution to the history of reading cards.  

Regarding the Poet Tarot Deck, makers Kelli Russell Agodon and Annette Spaulding-Convy of Two Sylvias Press shared:

Our deck follows the traditional Tarot deck with a few variations. As we stated above, the major arcana is made up of poets—Edgar Allan Poe represents the Devil (XV) while Emily Dickinson is the Hermit (IX). E. E. Cummings is a great fit for the Fool (O) and William Butler Yeats, a good symbol of transformational Endings (XIII). The suit cards represent the stages of the creative process: Muses/Inspiration (Cups), Quills/Creation (Wands), Mentors/Revision (Swords), and Letterpresses/Completion (Coins). The guidebook accompanying the deck is 80 pages and includes card explanations, layouts, and ideas for using the cards for specific projects.

While I have a dream list of Tarot deck makers to interview, please don’t hesitate to contact me with suggestions for future interviews.

Tarot Dreamers: Make Your Tarot Deck Course 2, The High Priestess and Her Gifts

I’m pleased to continue to offer Tarot Deck Making classes this fall. The process has been richer than imagined as we explored how to translate the larger ideas behind each card into personal vision cards reflecting our unique histories and future aspirations.

Here’s an example from our first class: my newly drafted Ace of Windmills (Ace for the Suit of Air). It corresponds to the idea that one can stand rooted in all forms of weather, transforming the powerful winds of adversity into alternate forms of energy such as inspiration to create art. Ever since I was a child I have loved standing out in the pre-storm rain and wind and have loved the way wind wakes up the edges of my body.

Want to step in and join us? Our process repeats in seven-week installments; we explore our relationship to the past, present, and future. We do this in a supportive brainstorming community in which we go through a series of writing exercises to help us begin drafting cards in our art form of choice. The assignment of cards--our focus of Major and corresponding minor cards--is what changes. The next seven-week online course starts on November 7 and ends on December 23. By completion of this course, we will have drafted a Major Arcanum vision card for the High Priestess and for her corresponding Minor Mentor cards:

  •      Two of Cups (navigating exchanges of the heart between equals)
  •      Two of Wands  (balancing our will before action)
  •      Two of Disks (juggling projects and commitments to finance while staying spiritually aligned)
  •      Two of Swords (working to maintain a peaceful and loving set of thoughts in relation to ourselves so we can thrive internally as well as externally).

Course Cost is $350(*after student feedback from our first course, I've added an additional week to the course to allow for card completion and closing activities). Course communication will take place over a combination of email, Zoom, and private online discussion forum. Prompts, feedback, forum, and Zoom provided; participants are responsible for materials for the art form they choose to practice for the duration of the course. To sign up, visit Wheel of Archetypal Selves Facebook Page page to message me there or email me through my contact page from this blog.

*I’m sure I will offer the full series more than once, so please don’t worry if you miss a particular seven-week course.

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

Join me for my first Tuesday of the month workshop in San Diego—drop-ins welcome. The Human Body is the focus for September. We will read aloud from body poems by a variety of poets including Alleyne, Forche, Komachi, Limon, Mandelshtam, Neruda, and more. Bring a friend and your favorite human body poem, tomorrow, Tuesday, December 1st, at 10 am. We meet at Liberty Station. December’s theme is Nature.

Sign up here:

Wheel of Archetypal Selves Newsletter:

Another way to stay in touch with me is through my newsletter which provides poetry and Tarot related news and tips:

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