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 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

I encourage you to try your hand at this!

You can see my other poems here.

Tarot In Nine Words: Temperance

RWS_TemperanceI was a bit surprised where this card took me. In my ongoing personal journey through the Major Arcana in various ways (the Fool’s Journey is another where I am telling the tale of the Fool as he meets the various Majors), this is the poetry version. Using the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, I look at the card. I write down nine words that come to me. Some are simple descriptions of the cards while others are impressions I get. I try to relinquish what I already know. That is difficult. It is hard to separate the many years of study and approach this with a beginner’s or Fool’s mind.

I invite you to join me. Look at the same card in your favorite deck. I am using the RWS for its familiarity for most of us. But you take your own Temperance. Write down nine words about that card. Then craft a poem for that card using those nine words somehow. I love this as a writing exercise.

See the other poems of the Major Arcana here.

The Nine Words: Stand Pour Scarlet Gold Path Lily Gaze Foot Wings


Stand like a terra cotta soldier
Posed for an emperor’s pleasure
Wings stretched in supplication
I pour
I pour
I pour

One foot firm upon the green earth
One foot casting for stability
with only a lily to support me
I pour
I pour
I pour

Scarlet heralds life’s blood
Scarlet sheds all death’s blood.
Gold shimmers balancing the red
I pour
I pour
I pour

Continue on your seeker’s path
Take my lesson of balanced wings
Know moderation to know peace
I pour
You pour
We pour

Stephanie Arwen Lynch (c) All Rights Reserved

POEM: Japanese Mermaids Don’t Sing

Mirror, Cover, Alone, More, Cold, Mermaid, Walk, Dive, Sea

Japanese Mermaids Don’t Sing

Sometimes I see glimpses of her
— Flashes of gold red black white —
Koi under lily pads floating cover.
Diving the depths again alone,
She’s a Japanese mermaid
Afraid to comb her hair any more.
Dropped her precious silver mirror
On his rocky stone cold heart.

Shall she attempt the pain again?
Divide her legs. Let her heart bleed
As she walks into love once more.
Mute because she gave it away
To the wrong handsome prince.
Or would it be better safer calmer
To dive again into that sea welcoming
Dark depths to hide her self that light
— Flashes gold red black white —
Lilies and koi hiding from the pain.

Stephanie Arwen Lynch

Poem: Restless Screams

Journey Strain Urge Tug Pull Guide Seek Distance Sea

Restless Screams

Sometimes urges–primal screams of myself if you will
Yank at me like restless children who tug my hand
Come with us. Play with us. Run with us. Live please.
Should I seek these winsome toddler thoughts–follow?
Should I stay planted in my known domesticated self
Would the journey to the wilding that is within
Strain my sanity. Snap me like a twig. Break me down?
Pull me closer to that edge with fantasies of hope
With no map in hand I must let that muse guide me
Will she pull me over the bone-shattering cliff?
Will she drown me in that soul-sucking sea?
There in the distance I can hear those cries
Wailing, laughing, crying, shouting, screaming
Those restless children. Those primal screams of me.

Stephanie Arwen Lynch

Voting Time

I am reading for 3 minutes (?) at a Butch-Femme event that has a definite sexual, very playful flavor to it. My poems are very short. Here are 26 possibilities. If it doesn’t bore you, would you read and tell me your top 5 favorites? I know I know! 20 is a HUGE list to read. I swear that they are very short!

1. A Cumquat Riddle Continue reading “Voting Time”