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By Teresa Williams




What if rebirth
is like stepping into a room,
something ordinary, then
              Surprise!
Giant crimson tree, temple of hexagons,
a magic cup of moon-tea.

                          Rebirth.
Incited by luminescence, light chaser, Isis.
Through layers of ancient skin you came
from black to red to breathing center.
Now here, you are the shimmering one
the one who ripples and shines
glittering the air, gold and bright. You
shooting star of a songbird light.

Once again,
feel your freshly found face
flooding the room with new freedom,
star nectar, white queen, gleaming.

And again,
savor this renewal this taste of dawn
as you swallow death's end,
from bitter and night, bitter
then sweet
             holy crescent,

oracle of brilliance

you

stepping into

       a new room.




Nacer de nuevo (To Be Reborn) by Remedios Varo,
oil on Masonite, 1960, 31 7/8 x 18 1/2 in. From
The Magic of Remedios Varo by Luis-Martin Lozano.
Translated by Elizabeth Goldson Nicholson and
Liliana Valenzuela.


_________________________




About Teresa: Teresa Williams is a psychotherapist, poet and translator in Seattle, Washington. She has been writing and trying to live poetry for as long as she can remember. Her love for travel and the Spanish language has called her into translation work. She is also an active member of Grupo Cervantes, a bilingual writer’s group and literary community in Seattle.

Teresa’s poetry has been featured at births, weddings, funerals and several talent shows held by the closest of friends. Her first piece on red Ravine, Sound Falling From One World Into Another, was published in August 2010 and featured the poems: Swans, Two Coyotes at Dawn, and Tarot. It was followed by The Devil’s Bridge, a poem that speaks to the legends and mythology surrounding bridges throughout the British Isles, Scandinavia, and continental Europe. Her last piece for red Ravine featured the poem Tortoise Highway.

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IX Of Wands, Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 2010, photo © 2010 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.






point your chariot
in another direction
weary IX of Wands






-posted on red Ravine, Sunday, June 13th, 2010

-related to posts: PRACTICE — Don’t Take Anything Personally — 15min, haiku 2 (one-a-day), WRITING TOPIC — THE FOUR AGREEMENTS

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I pulled the IX of Wands this morning. Holding a single stave in front of me, eight more forming the wall behind, the line drawn in the sand. Mr. Stripeypants jumped from the window to the couch, setting a perimeter around Kiev so he would not have to confront her, threaten her. It’s instinctual for them to know when to retreat. The IX of Wands is about finding an easier way, taking a new direction. Perseverance. I needed more information. So I pulled a Solution Spread. Three cards. One focus: background, problem, solution. Tower reversed, VI of Wands, Knight of Cups.

Ah, things are much more clear now. Whatever is falling from The Tower, let it crumble, let the light in. For the Wands, show humility, point your horse in another direction. And the solution, the Knight of Cups? Be of service to others. Offer forgiveness, make amends. Follow your heart. I started pulling the Tarot again yesterday. An Oracle, a ritual from the past that makes me feel calmer, more stable. There was a period of time in my life, sometime in my early forties, when I consulted Oracles on a daily basis. I learned about the Tarot, the I Ching, the Medicine Cards, the Runes. I studied their structure and found peace in knowing that Divine Providence had been flowing through these symbols for thousands of years.

Don’t take anything personally. The Oracles teach me how to keep the focus on myself. So do meetings, writing practice, community support, friends. The empath in me, the lack of boundaries, can lead me to lose track of where I am going. I can’t be of service to others if I don’t take care of myself. Rain hangs in the heavy Minnesota air. I like rainy days for what they are — a chance to breathe. To read, to sit and listen to frogs and crickets chant in the distance. Water is grounding to a Cancer. I’ve been weary the last few weeks. I need to regroup. Back to center. I started to take things personally, to think I could fix everything that was wrong in the world. It’s arrogant and fraught with problems to believe or feel or think that way. I’m a tiny blip in a giant solar system. The ticking of time will leave me in the dust.

Still, I have so much love for the people in my life. It’s a lasting connection, a giant thread of hope and golden light, wrapped around my heart. The day to day rituals are important, the annual pilgrimages, the care for those immediately present. I stroke Kiev’s shedding Summer fur. Throw the yellow ball for Mr. Stripeypants to go and fetch. I brush my teeth, take a shower, get ready for the day. I might go hear a writer speak at an independent bookstore in the evening, or catch a movie at the local cinema. I still love to go to movies. Sometimes, in order not to take things personally, I need to distract myself from the endless loops of thought that tell me I have no solutions.

Like the pilgrim that stands in front of the IX of Wands, I’m leery of what’s around the corner. But willing to take another direction, to turn my horse down a different path. I will listen to what’s in the Ethers. As above, so below; the Law of Attraction; Synchronicity. All part of the Law of Correspondence, holding the idea that life is interconnected. These are the first three metaphysical laws that make up the foundation, the structure of the Tarot.

In 1909, Pamela Colman Smith encoded these concepts into her illustrations for Arthur Edward Waite. Alfred Stieglitz showed her work in Gallery 291. In the Earthly world, she was an artist who died penniless and virtually unknown. But I have to believe her Spirit is somewhere up there, smiling down. Her work is helping me to separate my angst from the angst of others, to not take things so personally.




-Related to post WRITING TOPIC — THE FOUR AGREEMENTS. Also see ybonesy’s PRACTICE: Don’t Take Anything Personally — 15minPRACTICE: Don’t Make Assumptions — 15mins, and QuoinMonkey’s PRACTICE — Don’t Make Assumptions – 15mins.

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RUNES, BlackBerry Shots, Minneapolis, Minnesota, December 2009, all photos © 2009 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.


Yesterday we went to a book signing at Common Good Books. Jeff Hertzberg and Zöe Francois recently released their second book Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day. The bread was delicious, the authors serious about their work, down-to-earth, engaging and fun. In casual conversation, it came out that Zöe knows Latin. I remembered that I had taken two years of Latin in junior high, a curriculum requirement in the 1960’s. That got me to thinking about language and alphabets.

After the signing, Liz and I did a little Christmas shopping and later went to the studio. I was looking at this set of Runes I made from clay a number of years ago. For a period of time in my life, I consulted with different oracles on a daily basis: the I Ching, the Runes, Tarot, Medicine Cards. I have a passion for learning about symbols in different systems of mysticism.

Symbols are used to create structure within a system, to help us understand complicated ideas with a simple visual. Over time, color has been organized into systems like Goethe’s Triangle and subsequent Colour Wheel, while chakras are symbolized by certain colors. Logos and brands (like red Ravine or ybonesy’s new logo) take their lead from symbols of yore. Graphic designers are always trying to create  innovative new fonts with which to drape old symbols in more imaginative cloaks. (Yet people still like an old standby because Helvetica remains one of the most widely used fonts around.)

I couldn’t find my Runes book last night or I would have drawn the Runes. But I did find an odd book I’d snapped up at a sale, an old Readers Digest Book of Facts. According to the Languages section of the book, all the alphabets around the world can be traced to a North Semitic alphabet that emerged around 1700 B.C. at the eastern end of the Mediterranean. From the Semitic alphabet developed Hebrew, Arabic, and Phoenician. Then Phoenician alphabet was adopted and adapted by the Greeks who in 1000 B.C. introduced a modified form into Europe.

The Greeks standardized the reading of written lines from left to right, added symbols for vowels, and gave rise to the Roman alphabet (used for modern Western languages) and the Cyrillic alphabet (named after Saint Cyril and used in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union). The North Semitic alphabet spawned the Aramaic alphabet which eventually developed into Asian alphabets, such as Hindi.

The earliest forms of writing are picture writings found on clay tablets in parts of the Middle East and southeastern Europe. Some of the oldest found in Iraq and Iran recorded land sales and business deals.

Where do the Runes fit into all this? They are a mystery. The Runic alphabet is one of the oldest in northern Europe with early examples dating to the 3rd century A.D. They have been found in 4000 inscriptions in Britain, Scandinavia, and Iceland but nobody knows for sure where they originated.

For some reason, the Runes remind me of the ancient celebration of Winter Solstice. Some scholars believe the Runes were derived from the Etruscan alphabet of southern Europe and brought north by the Goths after their invasion of the Roman Empire. To me, they are an oracle of mystery. And that’s what draws me to them.


Post Script: The bread baked by Jeff Hertzberg and Zöe Francois was delicious. Their new book Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day looks like a winner with many whole wheat and gluten-free recipes. There’s a recipe for their whole wheat Christmas Stollen Bread in the post of their video interview at KARE 11. Or you can visit their website Artisan Bread In Five with fabulous photographs of mouthwatering baked goods. You will come away hungry for more!


-posted on red Ravine, Sunday, December 13th, 2009

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