One summer in my childhood I was forced to attend a Buddhist camp at a monastery where we woke up at the crack of dawn to do shaolin and meditate, ate vegetarian, prayed our gratitude to everyone we knew and ever met before we could eat said vegetarian food, and had to sit in uncomfortable cross-legged positions while listening to lectures.
There was one lecture I remember when a monk told us the parable of four blind men who came upon an elephant, felt it, and were describing the elephant based on what they were perceiving. I’m totally paraphrasing the details here, based on memory, but the point remains the same. One blind man came upon the elephant’s trunk, another the belly, another the leg, and another the tail, and each one concluded matter-of-factly about the whole character of the elephant based on that one part they were feeling. The elephant is long and cylindrical… No, are you crazy? The elephant is flat and wide… No, no, the elephant is like a column or pillar…
Albert Einstein attributes his most ground-breaking insights not to logic or mathematics, but to intuition and inspiration or, as artists and writers often express it, to the muses. However, the one trait believed about the muses, about how intuition and inspiration hits us, is that it comes only when it comes, almost divinely, and the artist or writer cannot call upon it at will.
Yet through tarot, learn how to harness intuitive-creativity at will. Tarot facilitates the transcendent experience needed for the muses to speak to us. Learn how to use tarot to trigger your intuitive-creativity and apply the tarot fundamentals taught in Wen’s new book, HOLISTIC TAROT to remove creative blockages.
In this 45-minute webinar that will be invaluable to any artist or writer, I’ll be lecturing about how to use tarot cards as an intuitive and inspirational tool for creative and artistic passion projects. The lecture will cover attunement, how to exercise the intuition muscle, and specific techniques for using tarot spreads to read about your creative projects.
When I say “intuitive-creativity,” I’m talking about the muses, about divine inspiration, about that “a-ha” moment. Learn how to use tarot to identify your creative focus, mind-map your project trajectory, perform character analysis if you’re writing a novel, explore the themes of your project in greater depth, and generally trigger your own inspiration with tarot card imagery.
So the actual webinar on Saturday (2/21) had a video camera of me yapping away at the corner of what would have been your computer screen as the PowerPoint presentation played, which I would assume would make the webinar more engaging. (Maybe.) However, in the upload, the video camera of me is no longer there. (Also, now I will never get to see how I looked during the webinar. If there were boogers hanging out of one nostril throughout the thing, now I will never know.)
Yikes, now watching this replay (without the webcam of me, which I really don’t know whether it added or took away from the webinar), this looks kind of boring. So sorry. Thank you even more to those who stuck it out with me to the end!
The Poet Tarot published by Two Sylvias Press has just made its debut at the 2014 AWP Conference in Seattle. It was created by Kelli Russell Agodon, who is herself a writer, editor, and poet, and Annette Spaulding-Convy, also a poet. I received an advance review copy and am loving it! This will be one of those amazing decks I use when reading for poets, writers, and artists.
There may be some debate as to whether the Poet Tarot is a tarot deck or whether it is an oracle deck, but more on that later. I tend to see it more as an oracle deck for reasons I’ll explain.
The deck comes in a yellow organza drawstring pouch along with a guidebook, and you will definitely need the guidebook. The dimensions of the cards are about 2.75″ x 4.75″, which for me is the perfect size to shuffle with. They’re very snug in the hands. The guidebook is 5″ x 8″ and while that would not bother me ordinarily, I can’t imagine using the Poet Tarot deck without the guidebook, and so for that, if both were the same size, I could put both in the same pretty cedar box and keep them together on my writing desk, no problem. I have to imagine that as writers come, I’m not alone in that sentiment. Due to the specific nature and purpose of this deck, it would just make more sense to have the guidebook be the same size as the cards, with the intention that the two will always accompany one another.
The art of the deck is in a digital collage form that blends Victorian art and imagery with poet busts in a wholly contemporary style. It’s really breathtaking to look through and has a natural appeal to most 21st century writer sensibilities. They’re borderless like many contemporary decks today, and the borderless design suits the deck well.
Once you hold this deck, you’ll know that every aspect of it was designed for the writer in mind. I just want this deck (and its guidebook) in an ornate wood box in the corner of my writing desk next to Strunk & White. You know what I mean?
The cards are subdivided into the Poets (Major Arcana) and the Suits. The Suits are Quills, Muses, Mentors, and Letterpresses, corresponding with Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles respectively. The four suits represent the four stages of the creative writing process: Quills for creation, Muses for inspiration, Mentors for revision, and Letterpresses for completion. I really love the thoughtful way Agodon and Spaulding-Convy have designed the Poet Tarot deck.