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