The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters

“The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters (El sueño de la razon produce monstruos)” by Francisco de Goya y Lucientes (1797)

My Year Card: The Chariot

Welcome to another installment of the Tarot Jam Blog Hop! You may navigate to other bloggers’ posts using the handy dandy links below.


V0024875 Astronomy: Saturn with his scythe, riding in his chariot. En
“Astronomy: Saturn with his scythe, riding in his chariot.” Engraving by C. Lasinio, 1695, after Raphael, 1516. [Credit: Wikimedia Commons via Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images.]

I think am experiencing what you astrology buffs would call my Saturn return. But my Saturn return is not the life-shattering existential crisis in the face of adulthood that most people describe. I’ve had plenty of those throughout my 20s. I am a poet, after all. Continue reading

The Genie & The 9 of Cups

Today I wanted to share some thoughts about spirits, glass bottles, and being careful what you wish for.

The Original Folk & Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm is my favorite book to read before I slip into the dreamworld.  Jack Zipe’s 2014 translation recaptures the weird and disjointed nature of the tales that have been polished (perhaps a little too much) over time.

One odd duck in the bunch is “The Genie in the Glass.” You can find a non-Zipes translation here, but it goes something like this: Continue reading

Get to Know Me as a Tarot Blogger

Welcome!  This post is part of the Tarot Jam blog hop.  You probably got here by way of Benebell Wen’s post.  When you’re ready to move on, you can hop over to Ashley Oppen’s post.  If you’d like to see a master list of allllll the participants, click here.

My Tarot Story

My first tarot deck was a Rider-Waite-Smith from Spencer’s Gifts.  I was in middle school and Spencer’s was cool.   Plus, it was the only place I knew that carried the off-beat ephemera I wanted — like the oujia board my mom bought me during my light-as-a-feather-thick-as-a-board phase.  I lived in middle-of-nowhere South Jersey and I didn’t know metaphysical shops were a thing.  Online shopping wasn’t a thing then, either.

What drew me to tarot?  To be honest, I think I read about it in a book.  One of the YA fantasy novels I picked up probably used it as a foreshadowing device.  Even back then, I was a poet at heart.  The symbolism called to me.  I also had a book on different forms of divination, and its reproductions of cards from the Visconti-Sforza and Marseilles decks intrigued me — the figures seemed to be frozen in time, in the middle of actions I didn’t quite understand. Continue reading

Briar Rose & The Wheel of Fortune

Anne Sexton's Transformations accompanied by The Wheel of Fortune from Rome Choi's Dreaming Way Tarot
Anne Sexton’s Transformations & Rome Choi’s Dreaming Way Tarot

You know the story.

The king was planning to hold a christening for his daughter Briar Rose.  He invited many important people, including 12 fairies whose magical powers were well known throughout the kingdom. However, he neglected to send the 13th fairy an invitation because he did not have enough gold plates.  (A poor excuse if you ask me.  I suspect foul play.  But then again, to have 13 of anything is an invitation for trouble.)  Feeling slighted, the 13th fairy crashed the party and placed a curse on Briar Rose: On her 15th birthday, the princess would prick her finger on a spinning wheel and fall down dead.  Trouble, indeed.

You may not know Anne Sexton’s version of the story.

In Sexton’s poem, the 13th fairy doesn’t curse Briar Rose.  She comes to the party with “an evil gift” — a “prophecy” of death — just at the moment that all the other fairies are gift-giving.  It’s not called a curse until 12 lines later when “the twelfth fairy / … mitigated the curse / changing that death / into a hundred-year sleep.”

Can we entertain the notion that perhaps the 13th fairy has good intentions?   Continue reading

Loba & the High Priestess

The RWS High Priestess, bored out of her mind.

Who else thinks that depictions of the tarot High Priestess are just too damn tame?

Sure, all those pomegranates look like vaginas, and that must have made people blush in 1910 when the Rider-Waite-Smith was released, but it’s 2015 and we’ve been through several waves of feminism.  In decks of the RWS persuasion, the High Priestess is typically just sitting there.  To her credit, the crown and scroll she carries — indicative of her immense esoteric knowledge — are probably really heavy.  But the two pillars are symbolic of her ability carry that weight, and her positioning between the pillars hints at her ability to cross the threshold and travel between worlds.  In other words, this woman is strong and fucking witchy as hell.  I’d much rather see her IN ACTION. Continue reading