Friday, August 04, 2006


The Universe (World) Card in The Thoth Tarot

Although the Thoth Tarot deck was actually the third deck I worked with, it was the first deck I studied intensely and thoroughly.

My first deck was Cooke's "The New Tarot" and in true Tarot tradition it was a gift. I really enjoyed it's unusual images but did not work with it intensely until several years after I was given it. The second deck I studied (but did not own until later) was the Rider/ Waite/ Smith deck. My roommate at the time had been given Tarot lessons as a birthday gift and she'd share what she had learned when she got home from class. But I soon felt a need for a different deck, a real hunger for some other images. Both a saleswoman and the owner of an occult book shop I went to recommended The Thoth deck. I saw The Universe card and was hooked.

The Thoth deck remained my main deck for many years, shelved only long enough to familiarize myself with any new deck I'd obtained. I always used The Thoth deck when reading for clients unless they requested a different deck, an option I always offered them. (My collection at one time was 120 decks; it's now about 70. And I no longer read for others.) It was about 12 years ago that I began to work less with The Thoth deck. However, I feel some deep layer of my psyche will always be tuned to its images, even if I rarely read with it anymore.

The poem below is not intended as an interpretation of The Universe card. (I will address the Universe [World] card here in my usual fashion in a future post.) Nor am I attempting to express any particular spiritual or philosophical view in it. The poem is simply where the card's images took me at the time, well over 20 years ago. It is admittedly a bit of a hodge-podge of elements I'd come across in my various studies -- both Tarot and non-Tarot -- at the time.

Before universes whirl,
stars sing, or souls stir,
before even before, She is.

Before distinctions in which
was, is, and will be
are not yet, yet are,
She dances.

Before sowing Her wise blood
beyond Her abyss
She plays with a pattern.
A pattern to stir
Her infinite depths.

A serpentine pattern
to precipitate conception
in the humming cauldron
of Her virgin* womb.

Naked and awash
in Her oceanic Self,
She spins the webs of heaven,
as She and Her serpent consort tumble:

like a soul
embracing its embryo.

* * * *

*Used in the old sense of "complete unto one's self."

Given how much I have worked with The Tarot for over 30 years, it is still surprising to me I do not feel compelled to write more poems about the cards. But it is the case that I have written very few Tarot card poems. I've also had very few Tarot card dreams. I did have one last night though, about the Ace of Cups and The Queen of Wands, that also referenced the Eight of Wands in an attempt to explain the symbolism of wands to someone in the dream. The person to whom I had explained wands said "So this is a rooted wand." The Ace of Cups was a tulip, by the way. I look forward to working more with these Tarot dream images, that were at the very end of a much longer non-Tarot dream. I'm sure some dream haiku will come out of it all.

P.S. OF AUGUST 5, 2006 -- Click here to go to my dreams and poetry blog to read the haiku series (post titled DREAM HAIKU SERIES II and dated August 5, 2006) resulting from the above mentioned dream, with Tarot images.

Resource: SuperTarot, has a lot of information about The Thoth Tarot.

Please see the top of the sidebar for my background with the Tarot and a recommendation to beginners.

‘til next time, keep enjoying The Tarot,


[aka: Patricia Kelly]

****If you wish to copy or use any of my writing, please email me for permission (under “View my complete profile”)**** SEE ALSO: Roswila’s Dream & Poetry Realm for some articles about Tarot.****



Blogger Ginny said...

Loved the poem! And yes, there's a bit of interpretation there, isn't there? Accomplishment, self-mastery, delight in oneself, etc. Thank you for sharing it. :)

11:55 AM  
Blogger Roswila said...

Thanks for visiting again, Sophia. And I can't say how delightful it is to have this poem responded to positively. It rarely has been. Even by Tarot folk. I'm glad I "dusted it off" and posted it. :-)

And, yes, I can see there is some interpretation of the card in the poem. But, as I said, it was not intended. LOL! The triple hazard of being a poet, dreamworker, and a card reader. I.e., going with whatever images surface.

8:18 PM  

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