Monday, April 25, 2016

April Tarot Writing Prompts and a June Themed Poetry Workshop for you....

Theme, Set, Go: Monthly Poetry Workshop at SDWI

I know you have some magic words...we all do. Would you like to shrine them in poems? This is an ongoing in person workshop that will meet the first Tuesday of every month starting in June at San Diego Writers, Ink at Liberty Station from 10 am to noon; the first six months of themes, offered as touchstones here, and open to a wide range of interpretations, include: 

June: Mothers and Fathers
July: Travel
August: Harvest
September: Animals
October: Music

While the poetry we write starts as a conversation with the Self, it inevitably becomes a conversation with Other Poets. If we are lucky, that conversation extends itself in front of an audience of Enthusiastic Readers. Come up out of your basement, down from your gable, or away from that crowded coffee shop you frequent. Bring paper, pencil, and your device. Let’s partake of all three conversations and write together!

While we will read and write poems based on a particular theme each month, I invite you to rebel and write the poems hunting you if the themes don’t suit you (though I believe out of the bedrock of resistance emerges some of our most feral, inspired poetry).

Expect to read poetry out loud, write and workshop poems, share ideas for potential submission targets, and grow as a poet. You will come away from each of our classes with enough assignments and started drafts to keep you busy during the month apart til our next meeting. I'll post a link once the course is Here's the link to the course description at SDWI where you can sign up; cost is $30 for members per month or $36 per month for nonmembers. Keep it in mind for keeping your summer writing practice robust; for more information about my relationship to writing poetry, check out this interview conducted by SDWI's Casey Cromwell.

Tarot Tuesday

Here are the latest in the series of Tarot writing prompts I am offering on Tuesdays on my main website. I am working my way through the deck, one card per week. We have moved into the Suit of Disks. I invite you to write to the prompt and share it with us on the Tarot Tuesday Facebook page or in comments on the site:

Tarot for Two

Writer Mary Allen and I continue to co-blog at Tarot for Two. We share our reflections on the card we lived with for the month prior, connecting our daily lives to the symbolism of the cards. This month we wrote to Hierophant and  Art/Temperance Cards:

Excerpt from The Hierophant (Tania’s card of the month):

Knowing there were multiple incarnations made this one seem optional, mundane. Traipsing around on our various field trips, I wondered: Why learn about fertilizer for seed crops or butchering methods at the slaughterhouse or chemical mixtures for sewage? Why would we, the chosen children, need to know these things, if we were once Lemurians or Atlanteans? Why did we fall from grace? How was it possible to skin a knee? To lose a cat to a car on a hot tar road in summer? And how am I to know which past incarnation’s work I need to complete in this incarnation?

Excerpt from The Art card, or Temperance (Mary’s card of the month):

This is a beautiful card with many strange and arresting images:  a circle in the woman’s chest holding a clutch of celestial blue balls, a large oval of pale yellow light behind the woman, with writing in it (what does that writing mean? I don’t even know what language it’s in), the woman’s green dress decorated with bees….When this card comes up I think it’s talking, not so much about art as we think about it but about the art of life, the alchemy of mixing things together—a little of this, a little of that, sorrow, happiness, darkness, light, and what you do with all of that—to create a life. 

We invite you to read the rest of both card of the month reflections at Tarot for Two; we'd love it if you dropped us a comment about the writing. I hope this post finds you thriving and taking time to reflect on the moments that brought your joy, or that you find your way back to joy through writing about the challenging moments. Tarot blessings, as I like to say these days.

Photo Credits: Artwork in the top photo is by my poetry movie collaborator Robyn Beattie; the remaining three photos are hers.

Friday, April 8, 2016

The Changing of the Chariots

Photo by Robyn Beattie
This week preparing to teach Wheel of Archetypal Selves: The Many Faces of Change, (for which we start off with the Chariot card) I came across an entry about the Chariot I’d written four years ago before Mary Allen and I started posting our monthly Tarot writings at Tarot for Two. I was so pleased to see that the Chariot card, back then, helped me consider the transition from “at-home mom” to “at home on-line teaching mom.” 

With gratitude, I find that four years later, my Chariot has changed; I’m no longer teaching my beloved Transformative Blogging classes but was transformed by teaching them and brought to a time and place in which I can fully devote my attention to my Wheel of Archetypal Tarot Writing classes I so love to teach. I offer this bit of Chariot process writing in hopes that it inspire you to consider your own Chariot and threshold you long to cross.

If you love writing, and the Tarot, consider joining us (last weekend to sign up—we start Monday April 11 and have a great class forming as we speak): Wheel of Archetypal Selves: The Many Faces of Change.

Photo by Robyn Beattie
The Chariot: “Out of Relationship and into Work” (from 2012)

Paul Fenton Smith writes regarding the Chariot: “You are learning that courage is a combination of commitment and doubt;” the MotherPeace guide book addresses the charioteer as: “one who can move out of relationship and into work.”

In the Rider-Waite-Smith image, I’m attracted to the feminine male with his orange gold lined long locks of hairs cascading over his shoulders, each shoulder bearing the blue upturned faces of two crescent moons—one smiling, one frowning. I’m attracted to his broad chest with its mesh undergarment covered in some kind of ribbed shield with its glowing square of light over the heart, center, which an earlier source told me connects him to the Empress, though its white brings to mind for me more the energy of the High Priestess. I’m attracted to his stance, his confident posture, a belt askew nonchalantly across his hips bearing the symbols of astrology, Pisces, the Moon, Uranus. I like his silvery blue sleeve cuffs for their dramatic flair, webbed, reminding me of the sea and his star shroud above him and the green wreathe of leaves, so natural, he wears on top of his star tipped crown. I feel he is capable, confident, prepared, temporarily resting before the chariot itself moves out into the streets.

Now compare this charioteer to the Thoth version. I love this charioteer too, but for opposite reasons. Not a single inch of this charioteer’s skin is bared—he is entirely sheathed in gold armor, not even his eyes or lips visible beneath his helmet. So with no human face to connect with, I am pulled in by the blue orbit of rings behind his chariot, the inescapable nested ring of red that doubles as a cape and his chamber, the pair of red wheels and that centrifugal red in his lap, his legs crossed. He is definitely a step less prepared for motion than his Rider-Waite-Smith twin, for his legs are folded in front of him in the seat of contemplation. Why the blue and red spinning disk in his lap? Like the alchemical cup, peered into, is this the chalice in his lap? Maybe he realizes the gift of incarnation, the birth room behind him, the lives he might touch represented in the blue and red in his own cup. I believe he will proceed with care, but he’ll need to take off his mask before he can see.

When the card fell for me, I felt assured that I was being given support to move forward in my transition from the home and hearth to the homes and hearths of others via the quiet venue of teaching women writers on-line. Multiple avenues and chariots and charioteers exist; time to stop stopping myself. My husband’s ideas of how I should earn, coupled with my own, may have hemmed me in to this bronze/gold suit of armor, to wait it out.

I’m living Fenton’s quote, “Courage is a combination of commitment and doubt,” for as I step out to teach, I find I am making the map as I go, that making a mask I asked my Transformative Blogging students to make cracks open hidden territory in my body, making room for more of my soul.

I doubt, I assign, I do the work beside my students and when the month is done, on my piano sits a silver and blue face with its silver star at the third eye, welcoming me to keep writing and teaching in the circumference of the orbit of home, for there are still children to raise, still a husband to project onto and tease apart what is mine and what is not.

If I can remember the two charioteers as I go, I can either don my webbed shirt of mail and let the sun fall on my face as I enter my day or I can in fact take days in-between to retreat into my golden armour and contemplate how I want to spend my blood, my hours, my time, my love, and ponder what exactly I convey to my children rushing to and from. As always there remains the need to balance their needs with mine, to stop to have tea with my daughter when I can, moving “out of relationship and into work”, but kindly, without abandoning.

Related link:

Mary Allen writes about her experience of the Chariot card at Tarot for Two:

New Tarot Tuesday prompts for you:

Podcast: Ren Powell asked me some lovely questions regarding poetry here; discussion includes my growing relationship to writing and Tarot as well:
This Choice, Tania Pryputniewicz

Other podcasts in this series:

This Choice, Molly Gaudry on poetry, "power nouns," "lists," "sonic play," roller derby

Photos by my poetry movie collaborator Robyn Beattie with exception of photo of the cards. Tarot cards pictured are from Thoth, Shadow of Oz, Daughters of Moon, Rider Waite Smith, and Basque Decks.