The Rowdy Goddess

An Ecstatic Vision of the Goddess, dancing in harmony with the Universe.

Archive for the tag “poetry”

Truth, Tarot, Fear, and Wisdom

Three panel picture from left to right:  woman in a beautiful floor-length gold gown, arms outstretched; a poem referenced in the blog text; another filler image with a small figure bowing.
Poem and poster found in the New York City subway. Photo found in article.

The Lovers

by Timothy Liu

I was always afraid

of the next card

the psychic would turn over

for us —

                          Forgive Me

for not knowing

how we are

every card in the deck 


A friend posted a picture of this on social media a couple of days ago and I was captivated by the image and the poem. A few lines crystallized how I feel, sometimes, when receiving a reading of Tarot. It wouldn’t matter whether the reading was done by me or by someone else. This poem reminded me of a time I did a reading for a friend who had gone through and was continuing to face some challenging situations. The last card in the reading was for the future. Both of us were so fearful… thinking and hoping for no more crap, please! As the reader, I was also afraid that she would forever associate me with some more bad news. Experience had taught us that bad news could be really bad. I turned over the card, and to our joy and relief, it was one of the most beautiful cards in the deck. It was a stunning, tear-filled moment with lots of hugs.

Even those of us who know and love Tarot can be struck with fear about what the cards can tell us about who we are. Even though I’m an optimist and like to be as hopeful and constructive as possible, the cards can deliver some stern messages. Even the beautiful cards can invoke trepidation if we cannot see the relevance or we think we don’t deserve the messages. We humans are complicated and messy beings.

I thought the phrase, “we are every card in the deck,” very intriguing. That’s one of the beauties of Tarot is that after decades of use, study, and reading, I can find a new and intriguing idea to explore, delve into, and to be challenged by. I designed some questions and a meditation/ritual for finding myself in every card in the deck. Just a note, you might find different experiences with different decks! I recommend journaling this. Leave lots of space for each card so you can record other reflections as you do more explorations. Don’t rush this. You might only do a card or two.

Preparing Yourself : Be as simple or as fancy as you like, but do please give yourself an oasis of peace. Let go of distractions including technology and all your to do lists. Breathe and center and connect with your sense of connection and grounding. Because I’m a shamanic practitioner, I drum or rattle to attune myself to the heartbeat of the Universe.

Prepare your space: Light candles and incense and bring out your cards. Use a reading cloth or other item you love, if you want. Again, rattle and drum if that’s your preference.

Connect with the deck: Shuffle the deck using your preferred method. Feel the cards in your hands and feel the rhythm of the movement of the cards, how they slide together, and any random Tarot (not your grocery list!) thoughts that may come through. As you shuffle, ask yourself, “what am I feeling right now?”

And now your card(s). Take a good, long look. Reflect on the card. What strikes you and speaks to you? Can you see yourself in the card? Where? How? After spending time so that you know the card and how it speaks to you, close your eyes and allow yourself to embody the card. Be the card.

Embodying the card: Breathe deeply (drum or rattle this part, if you are so inclined) and feel the card merge with you and become you just as you become the card. Breathe and say, “I am the name of the card.” Allow that to come as it will and take as long or as short as you feel. Continue until it is finished. Breathe again. And then close up your session in the way most meaningful to you!

Afterwards: Journal your thoughts and reflections. One of the other things you might want to do, is to create an expression of your new wisdom. A dance, a poem, a story, plant something, a quilt, a piece of art or a really good meal. However you best express yourself!

May your explorations find you wisdom and joy!

A final note on the article on the image and poem. The article in Hyperallegenic tells you the story of the picture in the subway. I found it when Tarot Goddess, Mary Greer, posted the article on social media. She said the poet, TImothy Liu had been a frequent student at the well-know Omega workshops taught by Greer and Rachel Pollack, another Tarot Goddess. It gave me a thrill of six degrees of separation (probably more like a dozen degrees) since I’ve been at several conferences and gatherings with Greer and Pollack.

Fire of the Hearth, Fire of the Forge, Fire in the Head

This is the time of Brigid, the Celtic Goddess of many aspects.  She is the guardian of the hearth, smiths, warriors, and poets.  Brigit was born at sunrise, just before dawn, and a tower of fire burst from her crown and leapt to the heavens, making the house look like it was on fire.   She is the daughter of the Dagda and one of the Tuatha De’ Danaan.  Variations of her worship was found throughout the ancient Celtic lands and she had many names.  She was deeply revered.  When the Romans invaded the Celtic world, they called her Minerva and when Catholicism spread, they made her into St. Brigit.  Thus is the extent of her power and influence.

Her name has many meanings including “power,” “fiery arrow” and “she who exalts herself.”  She has responsibility and power over much of life.  She is the patroness of poetry and inspiration, patroness of hearth and home, patroness of the forge.  Through that triple responsibility, she rules  fertility, healing, creativity, the crafts, spinning and weaving, goldsmith and smithcraft, poetry, and bardic lore.  Her power was imbued in the countryside, so that the highlands,  hills, wells, streams and rivers were her body.  Her symbols speak of her power:  fire, wells, cauldrons, the forge. mistletoe, and the Rowan tree.  She is associated with animals emblematic of the bounty of the world, the ewe, boar, and cow.  Snakes are also sacred to her as a symbol of transformation and change.  She invented whistling so she could bring friends to her side in time of need; and she invented keening to express sorrow too great to be held inside.

Her magic is born of mystery.  She is a triple goddess, but not in the Maiden-Mother-Crone aspect revered by modern pagans.  Her triplicity is expressed in her most potent symbol, fire.  She is the Muse, the Fire of Inspiration, of poetry and lore.  She is the Fire of the Hearth, the patroness of childbirth, fertility, home-crafts, and of healing.  She is the Fire of the Forge, patroness of smithcraft and the art of war.  She is protection, creativity, procreation of all sorts, healing, transformation and renewal.  Her triplicity has been expressed as “Fire of the Hearth, Fire of the Forge, Fire in the Head,” with the fire in the head denoting the fiery power of poetry and eloquence.  And so we get fired up by her and her inspiration.

 The Charge of the Goddess Brigit

I call to you my children, my sisters and brothers to hear my charge

I, who am Brigit, Brid, Brigantia, Braga, Branganca, Fraid and many other names,

Do charge you to find the fires of life within your soul

And forge yourself to be strong, sharp and powerful.

Pull the elements of the earth into your being;

Breathe the inspiration of poetry, song, and art into your soul;

Be heated by the flames of the fire and ember;

Be tempered and soothed by the cool waters from my sacred well;

And be shaped and fused into magic at my hearth


Come to my wells for healing and wishes

Be nourished and soothed by the waters

Tie your wishes to the branches of my trees

And know that wishes spoken

Become the magic of the world

Become your wishes, the magic at my well.

Sing the inspiration of the mystery with your voice

Inspire yourself with joy and love

Delight in the blessings of creation

Become the Art you were meant to be.


A Wordle to the Wise

There is a cool tool on the internet called Wordle. It will make a word cloud of your text. It looked pretty cool so I tried it with one of my poems, “The Charge of the Goddess Athena,” and you can see one of the results above. I took out a lot of the meaningless and repetitive words to get this image of my poem. Pretty darn cool don’t you think? And here it is in linear language:

The Charge of the Goddess Athena

Hear now the charge of the Goddess Athena, She who is called Pallas, Warrior, Maiden, Wise One, Teacher, Weaver, and many other names. Listen to She who was born of her own passion and power; She who is creativity, power, beauty, knowledge, passion, and wisdom.

I charge you, my student, to open your mind to possibility, to magic, and to mystery.
I call you to learn and to know as you study the Craft.
Seek knowledge and learn wisdom.
See magic unfold before you, and hear the music of the Sacred and Divine.
Perfumes and scents fill you with the beauty of the Wild and the Sublime.
Feel the rhythm of the Universe in your blood and your bones.
Open your arms to embrace the known and the unknown
And dance in the ecstasy of delight and understanding.

Learn the patterns of creation, and learn the patterns of destruction
Weave your knowledge into tapestries of wonder.
Be in awe of your own magic, and be humble before the magic all around you
Marvel at your place in the Dance of love and life.
Learn every step, dance every dance, and sing every song.
You are the harmony of the Universe
Inspired with every breath, you are touched with the hand of knowledge,
And in turn you touch the Sacred with all your being.

Learn, Love, Live, and Laugh.

For this is my charge to you.
I am Athena, your teacher and your guide.
I hold the mirror before you that you might see yourself as you are
Growing, becoming, perfection in the journey,
You are the tapestry, you are the masterpiece
As you know the Craft
You are the Priestess,
You are the Priest,
You are the Magic
You are the Witch.
I work a lot with Athena, especially when I teach and I teach all the time. I think it’s my spiritual work. I’ve been teaching an introduction to the Craft for many years. What began as a series of handouts is now a self-published book. It it called The Initiation of Athena: Knowing the Craft. The book gives the foundational information and presents a set of experiences to understand what it means to practice Wicca and Witchcraft.

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