Spiral nebulae, body,
Our DNA bared
This week, contemplating last week’s Nine of Cups tarot writing prompt, I visited the Griffith Observatory high above Los Angeles, venturing inside the museum with its photos of spiral nebulae, surface of the sun, and model planets. As a poet, I fell in love with the abundance of metaphors: we train our telescopes into deep dark regions of space using mirrors and light to understand what happened to the stars and galaxies as they shifted and changed, constantly hoping to cast further and further back, searching for patterns of unfolding motion and mapping our universe as it continues to expand in order to understand how to thrive as we move forward.
I read about the laser beams we use as guide stars and the mirrors we position to compensate for the distorted view in the light patterns we detect.
How beautiful, that we seek out such “spectral fingerprints”…that we use adaptive optics to compensate for atmospheric blurring or distortion.
How similar to our development of consciousness, or “spiritual awakening,” when we look at our pasts in order to heal in the now. We need mirrors, guide stars, and loving presence to see how far we’ve come and to correct for distorted habitual ways we may see ourselves.
And ultimately, how calming, to watch the pendulum swing out over the floor’s central rotunda under the wall murals by Hugo Ballin, evidence of our orbit around the sun. Leaving, we cross the lower West Observation Terrace, stepping over the stone and bronze Sunset and Moonset Radial Lines. A little bit of heaven, traced on Earth for us, at our feet.
Tarot Tuesday’s Prompt: The Ten of Cups
In the Rider Waite Smith Ten of Cups, we see the Happy Couple, children frolicking, and ten full cups arranged in an arc above in the sky against a swath of rainbow light.
Often at weddings, the witnessing community is asked to partake in blessing the newlyweds and asked to nurture a vision of the couple’s love, in a sense to carry the young lovers forward through good and challenging times buoyed by that group faith. It brings a third presence, a group divinity, to strengthening a marriage.
I see that energy in this card: joy radiating at the nexus of earthbound effort and effortless spiritual receiving (if we remember that the Ace of cups or Grail sits at the base of this suit, as Rachel Pollack points out in 78 Degrees of Wisdom). Pollack also refers to the rainbow’s “positive promise” reminding us that we can seek to enjoy ourselves, that “life brings happiness and not just absence of pain.”
Write about your earliest memories of color, or the first time you remember seeing a rainbow. Who were you with? Have you ever slept out under the stars? Ever gone swimming under a full moon? In which physical locations does your family experience harmony and joy?
Where in your life are you aware of deep contentment? When was the last time you remember feeling connected to a larger sense of peace and well-being, your body housing an inner state met by an awareness of spiritual blessing?
Feel free to respond in comments here or to join the conversation at Tarot Tuesday’s Facebook page to share your word or image response.
Photo at the top of the post is by my poetry movie collaborator Robyn Beattie; the rest are by yours truly; the figure ringed in fire is a detail from the Ballin Wall Murals in the ceiling over the central rotunda–and closing photo is a larger detail from the same.
Next Tarot Writing Class begins April 11, 2016: Wheel of Archetypal Selves: The Many Faces of Change.
Here’s a post over at Tarot for Two about a wedding, with a Tarot perspective, through the eyes of the Princess of Cups:
Both women behind these websites (Ginny Lee Taylor, and Suzi Banks Baum, respectively) exercise rich and fertile methods to “see” and change the world inside of themselves and outside of themselves for others:
Women of Wonder: Stone Soup, Aunt Alice’s Dilemma, and You
Rising Forth: To Be of Use: Rachel Siegel and Anna Pew-Harrison