Methods & Muses Vol. 25
Queen of Pentacles, Ten of Spades
Before I begin this month’s volume, I want to extend a big ol’ hug of thanks to you!
Thank you for purchasing my chapbook. It is a surreal, humble and beautiful feeling to know that you enjoyed Nicci’s thoughtful and artistic presentation of my little book, that you unwrapped it, shared pics of it with me and on Instagram, and that you have my book in your homes and hands. Thank you for wanting to join me in my brain, for skating beside me in one of my most cherished Florida parks and for being part of my healing process.
Most of all, thank you for supporting Porkbelly Press and the fabulous woman who runs it, Nicci Mechler. If you have a moment, I invite you to read how Nicci writes a synopsis. I thought I had summed up my book pretty well, but then I read what she wrote, and I realized, again, the true collaborative spirit within Nicci, her ability to share in genuine poetic conversation. Poets, I highly recommend submitting work. Readers, if you want more gorgeous poetry for your shelves, or a unique gift for a loved one, consider perusing Porkbelly’s catalogue and support this magic press.
And speaking of magic…
When you share a moment with a witch,
and you’re in a café, after not being in a café for a too-long time, and the music and the clatter sound so good, the bread, the baked goods smell so good, and she’s sharing her process, how she found herself, and by her Self, she means her writing, her Poetry on an island, alone in the woods, under the Arora Borealis, among the scent of pine, sound of rain, and she’s the happiest, most relaxed you’ve seen her in a long time,
this meeting of imaginations, of poetic talk and listening, is a holy, holy moment.
She gives you a book of poetry with a Tarot card tucked inside. The card is from the author, another poet-witch, who has used her intuition, channeled to decide that the card you need is the Queen of Pentacles. You smile. You always need that Queen, because she guards money. You have a strange relationship with money that you think began as early as First Grade, but when witches give you the Pentacle Queen, you don’t think about that origin, that math dis-connect, you smile, and you and your poet go shopping.
A couple of hours later, after thrift delights and hugs goodbye, you begin to walk home in the rain.
Along the way, you pass more shops, and then homes where wafts of lunch or smoke ribbon through windows, and you feel lucky, to have friends, and love, and at least a temporary home in a neighborhood with cafes and shops. Then, you look down, and in the mud next to a house that needs some love, some repair, there, on the ground is the Ten of Spades.
You’ve encountered cards in the dirt before, and this is not metaphor.
In various states, as in states of this country and one district (Florida, Illinois, D.C) and states of your brain (caffeinated, hungover, sleep-deprived), you’ve seen the following cards on the ground:
Two of Clubs
Jack of Hearts
Being a woman of symbols, you’ve looked up the meanings of each:
social challenges, importance of clear communication
a young person, lover, best friend
a letter or message of improvement, a gift, maybe money
and you’ve applied the random messages to whatever was happening in your life:
Within your artist-circle, speak with kindness and clarity.
Trust the young bass player. It’s ok fall in love with him.
It’s ok to marry the bass player, to stop teaching and write.
So when you see the Ten of Spades, you’re not surprised, but you think it may mean something negative – maybe, it’s just a feeling. You look it up, and sure enough, it can mean: worry, grief over health, fear, bad news, ruin. Oy. You’re a bit freaked out, but deep down, you reach for optimism, you hear your artist Self, open to interpretation. She says, Remember, Where the Voice Breaks.
You sigh. This was the name you and your classmates chose for your graduate thesis art show, years ago, when all of you dug deep, to heal the things that hurt, to try to understand the past and travel somewhere new.
So you talk to the Spades. You say, Ok, Ruin, what needs to break? What has to come down? Why now? What was I thinking about when you, strange card, caught my attention?
The café, you and your witch-pal chatting, how much you missed it, because…it’s 2022.
It’s been years since you sat in a café like that. The pandemic, the worry, grief over health problems, fear and bad news, shut things down, and something closed, sealed, shut up in you. Any scrap of social butterfly that fluttered in your introverted brain spun into a tight cocoon, quiet, upside down, weighted and waited.
Huh. Maybe the card in the dirt was inviting you to open. Break and fly.
Maybe that poem you’re writing about waltzes, your Grandpa and Maple trees, that long, winding, narrative poem, needs to break, needs a shift in form. You turn to form when you need to get out of your own way. The constraints help. The structure holds and invites you to write in a slightly new voice.
In the magic of the scribble-til-you-get-there process, Sister Eileen, your First Grade Teacher, the nun that tried to teach you math and money – she shows up in that poem, possibly as part of the first damn stanza. Your imaginative-leap-of-a-brain thinks, Maybe Sister Eileen was my first Queen of Pentacles?
And you laugh.
In the suits of a deck:
Hearts = Water
Clubs = Fire
Diamonds = Earth
Spades = Air = Laughter = Cackle = Witch
It is Autumn, my pretties. Our mystic, silver season has begun. Cool air welcomes deep dreams and clears the way for our ghosts to sing. The holy month of Hallows, October, is near. Gather your hats, cats and bats, your wandering wands, hold hands with the elements and try not to be afraid.
Love this, and you, dear witchy! <3