by Jessica Lynne Furtado
Draw three cards and lay them in front of you face down in the shape of a small pyramid, with card 1 on the lower left, card 2 on the lower right, and card three in the center above cards 1 & 2.
Turn over card 1 only. Card 1 represents
the first line of your poem. You can choose to interpret the card by its
traditional meaning in tarot readings, or you can bring your own interpretation
to the card by unpacking the images present. Perhaps the person or persons
depicted on your card are the voice of your poem, or the subject of your
opening. Perhaps the symbols, colors, or landscape depicted provide the
springboard for your first line. Write your first line down before moving on to
interpret your second card.
Turn over card 2. Card 2 represents the
last line of your poem. As with card 1, you can interpret the card using your
intuition to decide what speaks to you in the images depicted, or you can
consult a tarot resource to learn what the card generally means in a reading.
Using the inspiration from card 2 only, write your poem’s final line before
moving on to the third card. Try not to allow your first card to influence the
writing of your last line. Keep in mind that your lines (just like a tarot reading)
are not set in stone and can undergo revision after working through the
Turn over your final card. Card 3, the
top of your small pyramid, is the intersection of cards 1 & 2. This card
will help you to fill in the blanks between cards 1 & 2, and to give you a
better understanding of how to marry the two possibly disparate lines that you
have already conjured. As with the first two cards, use symbolism and knowledge
of the tarot to help you devise which elements of the card you would like to
bring into your poem. You can now begin to consider how all of the cards in
your pyramid work together, and how you can create a middle ground for your
first and last lines to communicate.
It may seem counterintuitive to know
your beginning and end without first knowing how they will intersect, but
that’s how life’s path is laid out. We all begin in birth and end in death, but
the area between is where we fill in the blanks. This exercise is meant to take
you outside of your comfort zone by mirroring life’s organic pattern and
allowing your work to go to unexpected places by confronting the unknown.