Sunday, April 25, 2010

Faeries into Poetry

Looking forward to next Sunday, May 2nd. In honor of Beltane, a time when the energies of the Faery World are amplified, I will demonstrate different types of readings with Faery Oracle cards. Because the Frouds have just released a new deck, the “Heart of Faery” Oracle, these cards will be included among the others passed out as Faery Friends talismans to take home. However, as this deck is so new, I’m still in the process of familiarizing myself with it.

To help get to know this deck, I’ve been using it in bibliomantic experiments. For example, last night I went to hear the poet Diane Wakoski read from her new work, “The Diamond Dog,” at the Triple Goddess. To help get attuned, I was going through some of her other poetry books, and because she is known for her deep imagery, where the juxtaposition of striking images provokes striking insights and sensations, I got the notion to insert Faery cards into the books, and then consider how the Faery imagery and card meanings might provoke additional insights.

So, to demonstrate the technique for this blogpost, I have just shuffled and inserted random cards into random pages of “The Diamond Dog.” Among these, I find card 38 between pages 42 and 43 of The Diamond Dog. The card features a boyish sprite with silvery opalescent wings and a silvery opalescent glow; he flies by an ancient tree whose twisted form shines silver-gray in the moonlight. A little golden door at the base of the tree features Dagaz, the Day-rune, which some notable runelorists say can serve as a portal into other dimensions. Meanwhile, goblin faces take shape in the folds of the tree. This card is titled, “The Pan,” with reference to the immortal boy. Glancing at the two poems on these pages, I notice that in “The Secret of the Ring” on page 43, the poetess speaks of glancing at her “old hands,” which, “seem ringless except in owl-light, when Silver Boy points to the stone set in an invisible band on my marriage finger.” Aside from the obvious image of the silver boy, one can see a correspondence with the old hands and the gnarled tree, which then suggests a correspondence between the envisioned diamond on the ring finger and the jewel-like door in the tree.

Incidentally, in last night’s conversation with Diane, I mentioned that I enjoy her works because of her material imagery, including sensual images of things like fruits and gemstones, because for me as an Asperger’s person, it’s easy to relate to things, but difficult to get into concepts, except that material things provide me the entryway into deeper concepts. Diane replied that things serve as the entryway for her, too.

Continuing to consider the resonance between the card and the poem, I see that in the Wendy Froud write-up for the manual, she mentions how the Pan sees life and death as “an awfully big adventure.” This is a reference to the book “Peter Pan,” where, at a certain point, Peter thinks he’s going to die, and tells himself, “Death will be such an awfully big adventure!” Applied to this poem, this isn’t necessarily a portent of death--though of course, we’re all headed in that direction, and the older you get, the more you’re reminded of that fact. Rather, I think it says something about an artist’s mindfulness of death, as in the Heinrich Böll quote cited in a recent post, that, “The artist carries Death within him, like a good priest his breviary.”

Well, I could go on and on about the other poem-card image associations I have in front of me, but the silver boy image is especially serendipitous. This technique of making associations between cards and texts could actually work with any pack of cards, (even ordinary playing cards), and any book, (even the dictionary or phone book).

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