Poetry, process, progress.

3-card writing prompt

I bought the Poet Tarot from Two Sylvias Press and am integrating it into the things I do to get started writing. The deck, which has well-selected poets for the major arcana cards and muses, quills, mentors, and letterpresses for the suits, comes with a guidebook full information and suggestions for how to use the deck to inspire. I decided to use the three-card layout to set goals for the fall semester. I went with the first suggestion for the layout, which seemed to lend itself to planning. Card one gives “a creative opportunity or idea,” card two gives “a potential challenge to this potential opportunity or idea,” and card three gives “a possible solution or change of direction” (75). I meditated on the question for a moment, gave a good shuffle since they were still in order, and this is what I drew:


The opportunity or idea is represented by VI, which is Frank O’Hara in this deck. I am being asked to question and experiment in order to find the best expression for my work (12). This sounds like I need to return to writing poems again and be fearless in trying out things. The next card is a possible challenge to meeting that goal, and the card is VII of Letterpresses reversed. I interpret reversed cards as weakened cards, so that in itself is good. It is a caveat card, one that reminds that “slow and steady wins the race” (65-66). I am having problems with being impatient at this point (see previous post for a sample of the whining involved), and I need to make sure all the obsessing about work that is submitted doesn’t keep me at a standstill creatively. Finally, card three gives the solution with the VI of Letterpresses reversed, and I believe that it is reversed because I am currently doing my best to do this. It exhorts the poet to “support other writers/artists in your immediate circle,” giving specifics like readings, critical feedback, and other support (65).

All of this is good advice, and if you believe in the accuracy of the subconscious when it comes to directing your creative life (as the Jungians do), it is not surprising that it is also accurate. Another suggestion for use for this deck is to draw a daily card to give the day’s work focus. I may try that. If I do, I will report back after a month to see how it aggregates.