Tarot In Nine Words: The Devil

Card Fifteen is one of the BigBadBohemeth ™ cards of the Tarot. The Devil carries such ingrained meanings for any one who was raised in a typical Christian home–myself included. But I will never forget what Father Trimble (Episcopal) said once.

Rider Waite Smith Devil
Rider Waite Smith

I began this project in 2008. One of my hundred things to do is finish this project.

Back in 1993 I started a thread called the 9Word Poetry Challenge. We put up nine words and were to create poems from them. I still do that challenge every now and again. I then applied it to the Tarot.

I look at the card to get nine words. Then those nine words have to be used in a poem about the card. 😀 Sounds easy, right? Well, sometimes…it’s not!

Card Fifteen is one of the BigBadBohemeth ™ cards of the Tarot. The Devil carries such ingrained meanings for any one who was raised in a typical Christian home–myself included. But I will never forget what Father Trimble (Episcopal) said once.

“Hell is being removed from God.”

He never preached brimstone and fire, but the idea of being absented from God’s presence scared the beejeezus out of me. When I first started reading the Tarot, the Devil was a difficult concept for me.

Then I learned that this card was about overindulging in self-pleasures and not caring how it affected others.

Here are my nine words: Wings Chains Flames Fruit Naked Torch Frown Horns Satyr

Here is my poem:

The Devil You Know

Tie me down but let me go
Chains I’ve made myself
Your horns curve towards me
My own reach to your wings
Vestigial tail lit with flames
A reminder of passions unwatched
Some fruits remain forbidden
Still I would be naked to you
Your frown a terrible thing
Release me, you fearsome satyr
I cry then realize this sad thing
Your torch is lit by my own flame
I control the locks and keys.

Stephanie Arwen Lynch
1/14/2014

I encourage you to try your hand at this!

You can see my other poems here.

How Prepared Are You?

lightningToday’s card is a reminder that bad things happen. It is how we react/act that makes us or breaks us. Watching the coverage of the tornadoes that killed so many people in Oklahoma was hard for me. I wept for the dead, the living, and the lost. So many young lives wiped out.

In card 16 of the Gaian Tarot, we see an unusual rendition of the Tower. Typically you see a tall building with the roof being blown off and people leaping out. It is a disturbing image on a good day but was really brought to horrific life for me when I watched the 9/11 news coverage. Now it comes to life again when Mother Nature does such damage.

I am not sure how I would react if I were in Moore, OK. I guess I can’t know because I wasn’t there. I heard of such bravery with neighbors calling neighbors to join them in their shelters. It made me happy to hear that.

Then I watched an interview with a woman who was weeping for her lost pets. There’s a chance they made it but that chance is so slim. She wasn’t home to save them. I had to change channels to love on my babies a bit.

The Tower is not a card you can really plan for but it’s always good to have some sort of disaster plan together. My honey has a bag packed with necessary items for himself and his pets. His fraidy hole, as he likes to call it, is stocked for himself and his pets. He’s no fool when it comes to tornadoes.

The key thing about the Tower card is this. Once it has happened, you have two choices.

Clear the rubble and build again

OR

Leave for another place

I think I would have to clear and build again. There isn’t any place in this world that I know of that doesn’t have some type of severe weather. So wherever I might go, I would still have to have some preparations to put in place for the inevitable.

My heart goes out to all those affected by yesterday’s storms. Rebuilding will occur but the sorrow will be so deep. May your own spiritual beliefs sustain you in this time.

Lightning, Gaian Tarot (limited edition), Joanna Powell Colbert

This deck is going out of print. It’s one of my top reading decks so I own several copies. I urge you to grab your own [aff link].

Or get your own copy of the limited edition here.

Shake-ups, Releases & Changes

When I stopped lying to myself about things, my life got better. Not instantly. No, there was a lot of cleanup that had to be done…personal and professional. I had to own up to many ugly truths about my life and my choices.

Today’s card is a reminder that we can all change someone’s life. I know it may seem a bit odd to use that statement with this particular card, but stick with me. And no, I’m not picking the Death card even though that’s certainly about change. This is about that life-shaking, soul-shattering moment where you suddenly understand that nothing is ever going to be the same.

The Tower is one of those cards I call the Big,Bad,Behometh cards because people tend to get whacked out when they appear. But really, the best description of the Tower that I ever heard (and I so wish I could remember WHERE I hear this) is that the tower is built of lies we tell ourselves. So when those lies get blown apart, the resulting crash is damned painful. But it’s also something else.

It’s damned cleansing.

When I stopped lying to myself about things, my life got better. Not instantly. No, there was a lot of cleanup that had to be done…personal and professional. I had to own up to many ugly truths about my life and my choices. Particularly in the arena of personal relationships–I shudder to think about some of those. But they (and I) are what they are/were.

My sister is the one who told me “you can only control what’s in your hula hoop.” Talk about life-changing. Then when I added that to the philosophy I adopted in 2000 of seeking joy?

BOOM.
POW.
ZAP.

It was like lightning striking, y’all. Among other things, the spread I wrote here where I first mentioned something I’d said on Twitter has been published as part of the Joie de Vivre Tarot.

What I asked was,

What if your life’s purpose was simply “Seek Joy”? Would you have the courage? How hard is it to release the negativity? Seek joy, y’all!

So for nearly four years, that’s what I’ve been doing. May 2013 will be the beginning of my fifth year of steadily following that life’s purpose. So much has changed for me in that time. My personal tower came down hard but the recovery has been awesome.

Now I’m negotiating my life’s path using a new tool. I’ve even got a Facebook group doing it with me. If you have your copy of the 2013 Create Your Incredible Year, I hope you will let me know. Friend me and message me so I can add you to the group. One of the big things that has happened as been a radical change in how I view my work with Tarot. I know it surprised me.

And it came after doing the celebrating and releasing of 2012. It came during my thinking about the one hundred things I wanted to do in 2013.

Wait.

Stop.

Not the one hundred things that I was going to do in 2013. The one hundred things I wanted to do. No guilt. No pressure. No set up for failure. I can want a pony but it’s no failure if I don’t get one.

But I’ll tell you about that radical change tomorrow. It’s going to change many things in my life.

Want to join me on this planner journey I’m on? I have a Facebook group (it’s seeeekrit). Let me know you’ve got the workbook. I’ll give you the Sekrit code and, if you join by midnight two days ago, you’ll get the Sekrit Decoder Ring and the Super Sekrit Ranger Necktie too. (grin).

Here’s Leonie herself to tell you about this planner.

Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on!

Lightning, Gaian Tarot, Joanna Powell Colbert Limited Edition/Llewellyn Publishing

Dragging, Dreams & Letting Go

And it hit me. I need to stop trying to make dreams come true. I need to let go of the idea that I have a dream.

Sounds harsh, right?

Not really.

In my six week workshop, one exercise is about creating question for each card. Today someone posted the following question for the Death card.

What do I need to let go of in order to make progress?

I was really struck by this question because I think that many of us are struggling to make headway in so many areas of our life. But what if Continue reading “Dragging, Dreams & Letting Go”

Musings On The Fool’s Journey: The Fool Meets the Devil

When we last left our foolish Fool, he’d just met the enigmatic Temperance. The angel warned him that he had to pass the tests of two frightening individuals.

After he forded the stream, the Fool looked back once to see the angel once again focused on the items in hand. He shrugged his shoulders. Nothing could be as bad as Death had been. So he set a brisk pace with his trusty little dog by his side.

The scenery of the open road changed. The trees grew sparse. Dirt beneath his feet gave way to cobblestones.

“I think we must be coming to a town, dog.” The dog gave a short, sharp yip in response.

Then he saw it. Continue reading “Musings On The Fool’s Journey: The Fool Meets the Devil”

Musings on Death (Gaian Tarot)

Can Death be comforting? Beautiful? Do a wrecked boat and a dead bird bring peace in a meaningful way?

I feel like a part of me is dying.

So that was the song I hear when I was getting out of my car this morning. I am battling a stomach issue today that is a direct result of my eating a Whataburger with jalapenos last night. Late. Very very late. Ugh. I so know better, right? But I was hungry and nothing else was available. I didn’t want to take the time to cook a bowl of rice (which is what I should have done.) So instead, Continue reading “Musings on Death (Gaian Tarot)”

The Sky Is Falling! The Sky Is Falling! And It’s All My Fault!

World Spirit Tarot Tower
Let’s talk about another one of the tarot’s BigBadBehometh cards. OH NO! THE TOWER IS FALLING!

Today’s card is the Tower. In Frank Fradella’s Adventure Tarot, you see a tall tower that reaches far up into the sky. It has been struck by lightning and the top portion is crumbling beneath that electrical attack. The lightning is coming in from the top right hand corner. The tower itself is a gold and glass skyscraper that juts up far above the rest of the city beneath it.

If you focus on this card, Continue reading “The Sky Is Falling! The Sky Is Falling! And It’s All My Fault!”

When Death Comes Calling, How Do You Answer?

Woody Allen said, “I am not afraid of death, I just don’t want to be there when it happens.” While it is very funny, it is also very true for most of us. It’s one of those subjects that we’d rather not think about. And if we do have to talk about it, we use a euphemism.

“Mama bought the farm.”
“Daddy kicked the bucket.”
“Uncle Joe checked out.”
“Aunt Sweet crossed over.”
“Brother John went toes up.”
“Sister Jane punched the clock.”

It is easy to say Continue reading “When Death Comes Calling, How Do You Answer?”