tarot

#11 HARMONY

 

Earth above

Sky below

Reversals are good

Like sound from a bow

Above the violin’s bridge

Music rains upward

Spreads across the universe

Gently multiplying

Wrapping itself around the many

What say the Ancients

Designers of the I Ching

A time of peace may weaken resolve

At the Center of things

Change is necessary

The Tarot calls #11 Justice

Eyes closed

The Drom ek Romani calls #11 Chachimos

Eyes wide opened

All three warn against the belief

That good fortune lasts forever

But always remember

Baxt—luck

Will not completely abandon

Those whose inner abundance

Remains superior

To the workings of fate…

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Chachimos altered art from my Drom Ek Romani

Advertisements

LESSON NOT LEARNED (my thin-skinned reply to a negative reviewer)

Imparting lore, knowledge

To others with love

Plainly stating

This is NOT an herbal reference book

So many of those already available

All different cultures

No

This is 4-planes medicine

Physical, yes, a bit

But also

Emotional

Mental

Spiritual

Roma—Gypsies—did not travel

With huge herbariums

Have you ever lived in a trailer?

I lived in a Fifth Wheel for two years

I lived in a 15-foot travel trailer for more years

There is barely room for everyday necessities

So why would readers/reviewers think

We should copy the great herbals

For your viewing pleasure?

The Gypsy herbarium was in the surrounding forests

In the wild flower fields

In the rivers and streams

But all that changed

I’d never recommend wildcrafting

When plentiful poisons threaten the land

Only basics are tucked lovingly away

In the vurdon—wagon—that is home

No detailed grimoires exist

Most didn’t know how to read or write

The oral tradition served for everyday cures

If more serious, the Witch-in-the-hole

Was consulted

Or the Vrezitorka  (so say my Sinte family)

Or the Chovaxani (so say my Kalderash side)

If the town hid one

There was no pantheon of gods and goddesses

Although sprung from India

Speaking a bastardized version of Sanskrit

Now named “Romanes”

Gypsy Chib

But Mother Earth

Father Sky

And a few household helps

Like the Domovoi

Lived alongside the Gypsies

Whether they traveled or

Unfortunately became slaves

In Eastern Europe

No collection of pharmaceuticals

The lesson is

Portability

What can be carried on the back

Is most important

Even today

Many of us grow

To adulthood

Learning that lesson

Herbs?

Magic Words?

Future paths

To live life joyfully

Contained in the 22 numbers

Of the Drom Ek Romani

That some call the tarot

The day of birth

Reveals your lifetime study

15 is mine

Temptation down the wrong path

Add to get 6

Love thrown in the mix

Read the book

It’s all explained

This past week

It was useful for me to be ill

Helping me remember

The simple cures

Seeing that they still work

That’s the other lesson

Less is better, always…

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

Re: Drab Lil: A Gypsy’s Medicine Book © 2014

DINELO NAX (THE FOOL)

Zero or Twenty-two?

Tarot card meaning

Contended

All have opinions

Me?

Romani

Tradition of

The final number

Dinelo nax

Fools, crazy people

Touched by the gods

Because they know

The secret of life

Been through the journey

Freedom from Earth’s pull of money and gold

From Water’s emotional advance

And Air’s mind games and aloofness so cold

Finally, Fire’s negligence of life’s importance

Foolish

Mad

So glad

I’m almost there…

© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

(with lines from my book Madame Sosostris Explains, 2014)

IMAGE: The Fool (Smith, Waite & Rider tarot card)

TAROT LAYOUT OF THE PAST

 

Endless suns ago

When I bought my first black underwear

Just learning how good it felt

To have my bloodless white lipstick

Kissed off

Hardly aware of the

Dead stars signaling me

As the Old Hickory whiskey plant

Spewed its noxious fumes

Baptizing the Walt Whitman Bridge residents

Frantically driving between

Philly and Camden

To get a fresher whiff of the salt air

In Atlantic City

The last slice of innocence

Endless suns ago

 

Endless suns ago

We laughed as hail hit your

Red ’64 Chevy convertible

Tearing a hole in your prized Chariot

Me, the High Priestess of fantasy

About to be

The Empress of a blighted land

While you

Emperor of nowhere

With side dishes of willing women

Were genetically doomed to click off

Because deep down

You took your emperorship seriously

Much too seriously

“No” it all anger directed only toward me

And our innocent babes

While me

Now the Fool

Stepping into the chasm

That began

Endless suns ago…

 

©2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Homemade Tarot Card (Kham, The Sun)

#9 FOREVER

 

Palm-sized

Box of mystery

Found half under the bed

Swollen with humidity

Slid the lid with effort

Crystal number nine

Prismed from fake light

At first I smiled

Thinking of John Lennon

Intoning “Number Nine Dream”

But then hesitated

What can it mean?

 

The Tao Te Ching says:

“To retreat after a job well done

Is heaven’s way”

Did you leave?

Was I your well-done job?

The I Ching says:

“Small influences

In a receding tide”

How similar the two are

No doubt now

You are gone

One last chance

The Tarot says:

“Nine is the Hermit

Only alone can one seek

The answer”

No!  I know the question

Only with you could I find the answer

 

To hide the staring emptiness

I flick the light to dark

Left-handed waning crescent

Barely illuminating

Our once moon-struck bedroom

Safe starship buoyantly braving

The fourth dimension

But time’s clock stopped at nine

And now you are gone…

 

© Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

 

 

TO LIVE INSIDE A DECK OF CARDS

To live inside a deck of cards

Safer place to reside

Than the world of flesh

Wouldn’t really be two dimensional

Because the true thinking

Goes on there, not here

In the Third dimension

I shuffle my Drom Ek Romani

The Way of One Gypsy

Amateur drawings first conceived

When very young

Although my artistry never improved

Each card is imbued

With my soul signature

I enter seeking refuge

With my agenda-less friends

(After all, I am their agenda)

When alone and blue

And want to hear the truth

It will not hurt my feelings

Like lies do, as told by

Three-dimensional people

Smiling into my face yet

Secretly sneering

I find myself in a polar universe

The Physical plane

Ice-encrusted imposing castle

Against a blue-tinged sky

Kapuri card 9

Imprisonment

Solitary confinement

Self-imposed?

My thoughts so imprecise

How do I melt the ice

Moving onto a theater stage

Opened curtains for performing serpent

Plane of Emotion

Slobozil Pe Maya card 10

Strip away the illusions

When I cannot accept life

I fantasize

Fine

Just don’t insist on making them a reality

Decades of falling into the same trap

The serpent represents wisdom

He hisses, but kindly

And I move away

Not quite twilight, I reach

A dark cave sheltering huge eyes

Guga card 20

Face your fears

This, then, is the Mental plane

Blinking eyes

Use your eyes

They seem to say

Then process all in your mind

Don’t be blind

How to trust my judgment

Once again a serpent

Wrapped around a tree

Reminiscent of that biblical story

But quite different

The snake, a she, wants me

To stop hanging on her tree

Sap card 12

You will hang here with me

Until you learn

Sacrificing your life

When all along you only need

To let go

This is the Spiritual plane

Trust in the Universe

Listen to what it sings

Most importantly

Trust in yourself

I am now on a bridge

Between the Third and Second dimensions

So safe here with friends

So frightening there

The world like a ring

With facets of faces

Multiple emotions

Directed my way

Don’t make me cross that bridge…

But I do…

© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Four Drom Ek Romani cards

WORKING POVERTY

 

From medieval times

Romani women

Peering at palms

Some silken soft

Fewer worn and callused

Mapping wet tea leaves

Extracting colorful dyes from

Precious saffron

Strong spices

Local flora, used to

Embellish wood chips

Painted arcane symbols

Touched by the questor’s hands

Anxiously listening to

Forthcoming flutterings

Struggling to earn a few coins

That will stay sewn

Into the hem of the skirt

Lined with tiny mirrors

Reflecting jakhalo

Whether the Evil Eye

Deliberate or accidental

Part of the colorful clothes

An Eastern European version

Of the sari once worn

Before driven from the homeland

Into a freezing diaspora

Scattering all over the world

Some unluckily becoming slaves

Feeding the maw of

Greedy jaws

Until desrobireja

Emancipation

In the 19th century

Freedom once again

To travel the muddy roads

Never escape, though,

From need and someone else’s greed

Saving those few coins of comfort

In a romanticized job

With longer hours

Than nine to five

I, no better than my ancestors

The working poor

Trying to stay alive…

 

© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE:  A Chance Meeting with a Fortune-Teller, Adrien Moreau 1834-1906

 

 

 

MAGDALENE FEAST DAY JULY 22ND

 

Mary Magdalene’s Feast day

Will skip the contentious theories

Wedding in Cana

Hers and The Preacher’s?

She the original Holy Grail

The Cup

The womb

Carrying the seed

If so, where are they?

Mary Magdalene

Mourning the Fisher King

Groin injury

No reproduction

Of future Sons

Land lying dying

Mary, they made you a whore

But DaVinci changed that

Visible when his painting cleaned

There you are

Not the table’s waitress

But a part of apostolic authors’ club

Mary, did you flee to the Camargue?

Are you real?

Did my Gypsy ancestor

Sara La Kali

Save your floundering boat?

Mary, why so many world-wide

Black Madonnas

In honor of your dusky, Mid East skin?

Myth

Folklore

All based in truth

Why through time

Are all intelligent women

Beaten, burned, diminished?

Mary, I seek your secrets

In the tarot

In the architecture

In the hidden scrolls

Where truth waits

To be uncovered…

 

© 2016 Clarissa Simmens

IMAGE: Reni, Penitent Magdalene

SMITH COMMEMORATIVE

 

Why does Fate

Force some of us to wait

When we wish for Fame?

 

Talent unrewarded

Makes the mind disordered

Future promise dies from shame

 

Finally, dear Pamela Colman Smith

Your artistry depicting magic and myth

Has been lovingly recognized

 

A commemorative tarot tin

Your name first for the deck within

Has given what we prized

 

Rider-Waite never felt right

As I gazed at your art late into the night

When I was a very young girl

 

Like Edgar Allan Poe

So very long ago

You and others stayed hidden like a pearl

 

But genius and ability

Will demand visibility

Although you may never know

 

So like decades before

I read your images interpreting lore

Honoring the gift you did bestow…

 

© 2016 Clarissa Simmens, ViataMaja

IMAGE: My tin of Smith-Waite tarot cards

 

 

SIGN-SUITABLE TAROT

(for new questors during the penumbral lunar eclipse)

 

Coins mined from the EARTH

PENTACLES willing to teach you

The pleasures of safety in ownership

The joys of being rooted

To what we need and know

 

Holy Grail carrying WATER

In a pure CUP for you to learn

Things of the heart

The secret of balance amid

Raging passions drowning us in

Jealousy, hate, love

 

Slicing the AIR

Invisible, life-giving gases

Piercing SWORD

Mind training in the art of

Thought before action

But never over-intellectualize

The joy of life’s conundrums

And hidden indulgences

 

Burning with FIERY pneuma

WANDS touch your soul

So you may live in the

Spirit of Freedom

Experiencing euphoric moments of

Self-sufficiency while

Floating in the hot darkness of

Solar-centered space

 

Balancing body, emotions, mind and soul

Everyday lessons teach us self-control

 

 

© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Tarot Queens