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The Adventures of Fen Fatale ~ Ecoheroine

The Marriage of Tarot and the Empath

On the heels of the beautifully aspected Taurus full moon, my dreams lately have had me thinking a lot about empathy. Recently, I taught a series of workshops for Windham-Raymond Adult Education on folklore, astrology, palmistry, tasseography, and my favorite–cartomancy, the art of reading everyday playing cards for divination. I first began working with the Tarot, astrology, and cartomancy in 1992, while I was a teen-ager. Prior to that, around 1991, before I entered high school, a friend of my mother’s gave me a set of Celtic Tree Oracle cards–a system of divination with a guidebook and cards created by Colin Murray and Liz Murray, illustrated by Vanessa Card (1988). I still have my original deck and guidebook–even though there’s a little bit of tree sap on some of the cards from using them outside 20+ years ago. (I experimented with aeromancy, allowing…

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Kites and Stars

Fixed signs, fiery aspects and angles,
Unusual configurations that ignite
What I’m made of, not sugar and spice,
Same goes for Madonna, Ghandi and King:
Grand trines, a grand cross, a double kite,
Forming an imperfect Star of David.

As a kid, I couldn’t see constellations,
Near-sighted, I imagined the sky, a blurry night.
Instead drew lines, some childish calculations,
Shapes in my beginner’s guide to astronomy;
But they designed me, too—feisty and bright.

The astrological kites in my chart, incidentally,
Carry the biblical phrase, “bear the cross,”
My father’s motto, I’ve heard repeatedly;
They point to Mars and Mercury, Venus
And Neptune tug at the outer spars.

Its tail streams with Saturn in Leo,
Which trines Venus (I never play false)
As a kid, I flew kites with my father,
With his Ascendant in earthy Taurus,
He believes form follows function,
And further, physics and natural laws.

He and I do not talk about astrology.
Even though he once created a full-sized
Ram costume, sheepskin, with a head
Piece, the curved felt & wire horns…
We went trick-or-treating one Halloween
As “Mary had a Big Ram;” he’s an Aries.

Students of astrology talk about Grand Trines,
How they bring “ease” and God-given talents;
Without a square or cross, the native lacks focus.
Kites symbolize ‘Christ on the cross,’ (John 3:14)
It’s a “grand trine” harnessed and directed;
In mine, Saturn in Leo, a weighted drogue,
Ties the knot, soars to heights, resurrected,
And keeps me from going entirely rogue.

I hold my own, windswept and bridled,
Stand and face my partner, then release
But keep a little tension in the line,
I won’t run (let the kite resist the wind)
A gale overtakes us, strong breezes
Levitate our kite and we extend

Our consciousness into azure sky.

~ Leah C. Stetson                                                 

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Poet’s note: I’m still recuperating from the migraine and what’s more fun, I’m hobbled over like a fallen garden gnome from some kind of sciatica (or pinched nerve?), which I’ve never had before. Nevertheless, I just got new sneakers so I can hit the gym and hopefully work out whatever’s bugging me. That said, the poem below is a work-in-progress and so far, not looking pretty.

My Neighbor, the Lawn Ornament Devotee

My neighbor stacks flamingo skeletons
In my dooryard, which is his backyard,
Behind his house, by a tool shed.
These bones are remains of two kinds;
Once fragrant hydrangea & heliotrope,
Hung to attract hummingbirds and butterflies—
Now long dead, their white, plastic hooks
Huddle, as if bowed head to head.

My neighbor’s wife used to peer
Out the back screen door
As Ed exchanged a plastic deer
For a garden gnome, or
A family of clay squirrels.
An iridescent “crystal” sphere
Rested on its pedestal;
Everything else rotated,
According to her cycle.

Mary & Joseph glowed for months
In florescent robes, bent over
A snow-covered baby Jesus,
Their faces not meant to be seen
Up close, like in impressionist paintings.
Removed from their hay manger
On the front lawn, they lay sideways,
Unplugged and dim against spring grass,
Abandoned by a busy re-arranger.

Ed totes the garden gnome
Under a muscled arm; he mows the lawn
In summer, weeds the flower beds
And has done it all by dawn,
Or by the time I have motivated
On a Sunday morning.

But now the feeders are all empties,
Which I don’t mind noticing
Because she put sugar water
Out for hummingbirds,
Who expire from diabetes
By the time they’ve flown to Costa Rica.

My fat cat catapults off a two-by-four
Into my neighbor’s garden
And hunts for frogs. A decapitated replica
Of a Greek Adonis in miniature
Stands barely erect by the gate.

I had not seen my neighbor’s wife,
Who I knew was ill for a long time.
Ed seemed fully devoted,
Probably faithful his whole life,
A Pisces like me so I can relate
To feeling compelled to do
Whatever one can do to please one’s mate
Even if all she asked each day:
For him to “move that over there,”
Hold up an ornament,
Then vacillate.

Last night I read my Pisces February 2012 horoscope by Susan Miller  – my new favorite astrologer – and I was thrilled to read that as of February 3rd, Neptune has moved into the sign of Pisces (my sun sign) for the first time in 165 years. The last time was during the Victorian age, when the Romantics were popular in art, literature, poetry and culture. I blogged about the Romantics in my Strange Wetlands post about Romantic Ecology, with which I have always identified. I grew up reading the Romantics and Victorian gothic literature–often reading 1st or 2nd editions I found in the  libraries of my family’s great homes in Wiscasset, Maine. Some of them were on the “museum” circuit, and historical sites of interest, so we had tourists coming through, sometimes sneaking into my bedroom when I was a teen-ager. I often lounged on a chaise in my bedroom and swept off into a dreamland of Shelley, Bramstoker, Blake or Wordsworth. That is, until I discovered Millay, Carson and the Confessional Poets.

According to Susan Miller’s astrological interpretations, now that Neptune is “at home” in Pisces, I will feel more comfortable with things in life, too, since  “all things Piscean” will influence art, lit, poetry, fashion and culture for the next 14 years. What bliss! Thank you, Susan Miller, for illustrating this bright spot in my horoscope. It’s refreshing to think about–that the next 14 years will be “delicious” as she calls it. I could really use even ONE year let alone 14 years of anything delicious, as the last handful of years has been rather dim and disappointing, with the exception of 2009, when I bought my adorable house and adopted my dog (two very good decisions). I love the idea that we’re entering into a reinvention of a Romantic or Victorian age –with a 21st century spin on it. I wonder what it will look like.

Lately I’ve read in magazines that the things that I’ve tried to change about myself–my curly hair or my curvy figure–and the things that I’ve always loved about myself–my mermaid spirit and my imagination–are the very things that are now “in style.” At the hair salon, while getting a trim, I picked up a magazine that had captions like, “perfectly smooth straight hair is OUT! Messy curls and wild texture is IN!” (Ace in the hole there.)  Mermaid-inspired fashion, hair styles and make-up are also making their way onto the runways and into magazines…no doubt thanks to this move of Neptune into Pisces (and out of airy cool & detached do-gooder Aquarius). Pisces is a rebel, a poet and psychic. People who are cool with things being a bit nebulous and dreamy will feel like finally, the world is making sense, whereas the steadfast hardcore just-the-facts-ma’am types and in-your-face-firey-my-way-or-the-highway types will probably see things not going their way for this 14 year Romantic period. As a poet, psychic and rebel, and a dreamy Pisces, true to form, I am more than OKAY with this change, this reinvention of Romantics and/or Victorian age.  After visiting the Victoria Mansion in Portland, Maine with my aunt just before the new year, I realized I was more at home in that Victorian museum than I am in most buildings. I love my 1990s home but it feels extremely modern, at least externally (vinyl siding) so I fill it with vintage furniture to feel more “at home.” Here’s to a new Romantic age, however it takes shape in the coming decade and beyond.

Leah

Poet. Artist. Ecoheroine. Human ecologist. Spiritual mermaid and Mystic. I write about literary ecology, wetlands, water, Romantic ecology, and quirky adventures with my dog.

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