First Tarot Reading

I received the Oceanic Tarot by Jayne Wallace as a Christmas present from one of my sons. It’s a beautiful deck that appeals to my love of water and swimming, and it provides simple, positive explanations for each of the cards. This morning I did my first reading with it.

In fact, it was the first reading I’ve ever done. Even though the tarot has always fascinated me, I’ve only used individual cards as writing prompts, and I’ve never taken the time to learn the symbolism or history behind them.

My interpretation of this three-card reading, which pertains to past, present, and future, is the following:

I need to let go of the guilt I feel about taking a semester off from teaching English. Devoting time to healing from depression, regaining my energy, spending time with family and friends, and completing my current poetry project are more than worthy endeavors–following this path is lifesaving, at least for now.

Time for reflecting on my relationship with my father and also with all the people I met on the Camino will help me finish the poems I’ve been writing for the last three and a half years.

Time for practicing yoga, reading about Ayurveda, balancing my doshas.

Time for writing in community with fellow poets online–

Thank you to Dave Bonta and Kelli Agodon for continuous motivation and opportunities for building online friendships.

What I Need Is More Yoga

Tree in tree pose

Tree in tree pose

When I woke up yesterday morning the light in the room was still dim. The closed door, stained dark walnut, looked like an open portal, a deep black tunnel.

At the end of yoga class yesterday afternoon, when our teacher said to allow the mind to go into the deeper states of consciousness, this ink black portal, a door made of shadows, opened before me once again.

Corpse pose is a preparation for death, not a moment to fear, but rather a letting go. I slide into the velvety, warm blackness, this state of consciousness where poetry is born.

Dream recall made simple

After chatting with a friend about dreams, I thought it might be a good time to revisit a post from my old blog, maria cristina. I wrote this in July, 2007.

The main way to remember your dreams is to use the power of suggestion. If you say to yourself before you go to sleep, ” I’m very serious about remembering my dreams,” or something like that, eventually you’ll remember. At first you might only remember a fragment, but that’s fine. Write down the fragment. Think about the image. Ask yourself what associations you have with it.

Eventually you’ll remember more, until you find yourself recalling four of five dreams a night, maybe even more than you can handle. All you have to do is repeat your intention to yourself and keep a notebook and pen next to your bed.

I go through periods when I try to connect with my creative mind, usually in an effort to understand myself better. Before I go to sleep I say to myself, ‘ I would really like to remember my dreams tonight’. When I wake up in the middle of the night, I scratch a few words down in a spiral notebook, hoping to retrieve the whole dream in the morning. I’ve been working on my dreams off and on for many years. Has it paid off? Do I have a deeper understanding of my life? It’s hard to say, because the dreams keep changing, and so do I. I can say that for a moment, a remembered dream brings me a sense of fulfillment.

My dreams open a window into a mysterious world. When I’m able to draw that world into my daytime life, the wonder of it amazes me. I record the varied scenes and plots that gather over time: a dog comes loping out of a lake, I sail with a hundred ships on the open sea, a wild woman dances the cumbia, and emerald green insects crawl over my washing machine.

Sometimes I wake up in the morning, and the door is closed. The dreamscape is hidden. If I’m patient, the images will surface during the day. While taking a long walk a memory will pop into my mind, until I remember the entire dream by the time I’m home. It’s like taking a tapestry out of a dark closet and hanging it on the wall.

Freud wrote that all dreams are wishes or fears. Carl Jung spoke about archetypes and the collective unconscious. Their theories interest me and help me, but I rely on my own interpretations. The metaphors and symbols are personal. Usually, if I record the dream and let it simmer inside, my own meaning bubbles up. It’s a way of keeping my ear to the ground of my unconscious.

The images that come to me in the night might lead me down a path of enlightenment. Maybe I’ll bring what I find back from my sleep, and show it to others. Will I create a poem? Will I write a story? Or will I dream the dream of divine love?