Here’s how it went down. Stacey H., an editor over at Best American Poetry asked if I’d like to guest-write for a week. Insecure about having nothing of note to write about, I brainstormed weeks in advance, and only got up to 4 pieces. A week is 5. Argh. I posed the question to myself: As a writer/poet who might be convinced to be interested in tarot if given a compelling enough reason, what topic at the intersection of writing and tarot might interest me? Well, duh. How do I use tarot to help along my writing? I figured I’d try to write about that. Finally. 5 pieces.
Tons have been written about using tarot cards as writing prompts, but that doesn’t interest me too much as a writer/poet. Now… reading tarot for my writing specifically… that concept is intriguing.
Then I had to put the hat of the tarot practitioner back on. Can I do it? Is reading tarot for what amounts to a manuscript (more often than not an incomplete unfinished manuscript no less) being the querent-client something that can even be done? I read for people, don’t I, and in every instance, people who are more or less incomplete, unfinished manuscripts. So why not a book? Oh, for sure, after this endeavor I can no longer laugh at practitioners who read tarot for cats and dogs…
I spent some time thinking about how it could be done, my approach, crafting the techniques to be employed, and how I’d even go about selecting a signifier card for a manuscript, and then reached out to my arm’s length network. Stacey H., the editor, was the first to reply and asked if she could help spread the word by re-posting my call. Go for it! I still kept one eye on my own circle. Then she said she found someone. Oh dear. A complete stranger.
Heck, why not. That is how I “met” Amy G. From our initial terse e-mail exchanges, I couldn’t get a sense of who she was and truly, as she says in her response piece, which I will link later, I didn’t read her manuscript and knew very little about her poetry. In fact, prior to reading tarot for her, I swear I have never read any of her poetry, or writings of any kind for that matter, other than the e-mail exchanges. This exercise was as much for me as it was for her, to see if it could be done, and so I didn’t want anything to cause any sort of bias at all. I wanted to know as little about her and her work as possible.
First, the signifier. Intuitively without even looking at the cards, just going through the archive of memories of the cards in my mind, I gravitated toward the Knight of Cups, but then the Rational Side of me said, “No, that’s not an appropriate signifier. She’s female. The knight is a boy.” However, it just felt right and the more I pressured myself to seek out another signifier, the more wrong every other card felt. So, I surrendered. Knight of Cups it is. Whatever. If she ends up thinking it is ridiculous, so be it.
Once I set my mind and heart to it, though, without direct interaction with her, when the cards were set down, I have to say, I really felt like I was getting to know her. It’s a funny thing to say, especially to the skeptic, but it’s my best way of articulating what happened. I felt her poetry, if that makes any sense, and it was really, really freakin’ beautiful poetry. I made a mental note to myself to look up her work after the tarot reading, because it just felt it would be aligned with what I love to read.
Here’s the tarot reading for her book (plus a how-to on using tarot to read about writing): http://blog.bestamericanpoetry.com/the_best_american_poetry/2014/02/reading-tarot-for-writing.html
It was well after the tarot reading that I got to know Amy’s writing and my feelings were right on. I really do love her poetry and even her casual blog posts at Best American Poetry, posts that are always filled with fire, spirit, humor, truth.
She wrote a response to give feedback on my tarot reading, here: http://blog.bestamericanpoetry.com/the_best_american_poetry/2014/02/the-tarot-master-read-my-book-now-i-just-need-to-write-it-by-amy-glynn.html
The universe has a lovely, balanced way of always making sure we’re “compensated.” Now that I’ve been reading some of Amy’s poetry, I get why there was this meeting of the spirits. Her poetry helps to express and validate some of what I’ve been going through in my personal life, and does so in ways I couldn’t have done for myself. Had this whole situation, any part of it really, never taken place, I’m honestly not sure I would have ever had the pleasure of coming across Amy’s work. That was the bargained-for exchange that I didn’t even know I bargained for.