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Entertaining, Sassy, Creative, Deep, Passionate. Artistic, Tender, Opinionated. Joyful, Stubborn, Grateful, Humble.

Friday, January 29, 2010

 From the Rime of the Ancient Mariner...

The Moving Moon
went up the sky.
And nowhere did
She abide;
Softly she was
going up,
And a star 
or two abide.

by Samuel Talyor Coleridge 1772-1834


Tonight's full moon will be the biggest and brightest full moon of the year. It offers anyone with clear skies an opportunity to identify easy-to-see features on the moon.
This being the first full moon of 2010, it is also known as the wolf moon, a moniker dating back to Native American culture and the notion that hungry wolves howled at the full moon on cold winter nights. Each month brings another full moon name.
But why will this moon be bigger than others? Here's how the moon works:
The moon is, on average, 238,855 miles (384,400 km) from Earth. The moon's orbit around Earth – which causes it to go through all its phases once every 29.5 days – is not a perfect circle, but rather an ellipse. One side of the orbit is 31,070 miles (50,000 km) closer than the other.
So in each orbit, the moon reaches this closest point to us, called perigee. Once or twice a year, perigee coincides with a full moon, as it will tonight, making the moon bigger and brighter than any other full moons during the year.
Tonight it will be about 14 percent wider and 30 percent brighter than lesser full Moons of the year, according to Spaceweather.com.
As a bonus, Mars will be just to the left of the moon tonight. Look for the reddish, star-like object.
Full moon craziness
Many people think full moons cause strange behavior among animals and even humans. In fact several studies over the years have tried to tie lunar phases to births, heart attacks, deaths, suicides, violence, psychiatric hospital admissions and epileptic seizures, and more. Connections have been inclusive or nonexistent.
The moon does have some odd effects on our planet, and there are oodles of other amazing moon facts and misconceptions:
  • A full moon at perigee also brings higher ocean tides. This tug of the moon on Earth also creates tides in the planet's crust, not just in the oceans.
  • Beaches are more polluted during full moon, owing to the higher tides.
  • In reality, there's no such thing as a full moon. The full moon occurs when the sun, Earth and the moon are all lined up, almost. If they're perfectly aligned, Earth casts a shadow on the moon and there's a total lunar eclipse. So during what we call a full moon, the moon's face is actually slightly less than 100 percent illuminated.
  • The moon is moving away as you read this, by about 1.6 inches (4 cm) a year.
The moon illusion
Finally, be sure to get out and see the full moon as it rises, right around sunset. Along the horizon, the moon tends to seem even bigger. This is just an illusion.
You can prove to yourself that this is an illusion. Taking a small object such as a pencil eraser, hold it at arm's length, and compare its size to that of the moon just as it rises. Then repeat the experiment later in the night and you'll see that the moon compares the same in both cases. Alternately, snap two photos of the moon, with a digital camera or your cell phone, when the moon is near the horizon and later when it's higher in the sky. Pull both photos up on your computer screen and make a side-by-side comparison.
Astronomers and psychologists agree the moon illusion is just that, but they don't agree on how to explain it.

The Golden Tarot of Klimt, Tarot of the Divine Legacy, Initiatory Tarot of the Golden Dawn, Universal Fantasy Tarot ( And FYI, I think I have them posted in reversed order or my writing about them. So, be creative here, and look at each card from the right side of the page, to the left. ) It is just one of those days...

This Beautiful Moon.

All the books, say all different things about what this card means. As they should, they are written by many brilliant people, that see the Moon through their own perception. I go by the Art. Or how I feel when I see this card. Or what other cards show up with it. 
Today, I really feel this card. The Woman by Gustav Klimt, curling up, eyes closed tightly, in a fetal position. Naked....out there. Really out there. The Beautiful Lady in Ciro Marchetti's Moon card, she, basking it the glow of the full moon. Soaking it up.,A site filled with mystery, seduction, silence. The depiction from the Initiatory Tarot of the Golden Dawn. A place you don't want to be. Spooky, haunted wild animals roaming....the crayfish with sharp claws....waiting to slice your feet. The Moon's face...somber. Go away. We don't want you here. And the Universal Fantasy Tarot Moon. Finally more than one person shows up here. But who are they? You cannot see their faces...hidden by wild heathenish masks. The look hungry to me, and fierce. Warriors on a hunt. Someone you wouldn't want to meet in a dark alley.This is all an Illusion. Really. Don't believe what you see, as you can't really see the truth. You are wandering around in the dark. Stop. One way to go 'with' this card, and reap the benefits of drawing it, is to sit with the memories. To let the past float up. To cry. To feel it. And to wait for the Sun to come up, light to flood your path. Morning will come. It will. So, maybe go back to bed, curl up with hot cocoa and read. And pray. And just let whatever has been hidden, lurking in the corners of your soul...come up.

Monday, January 11, 2010

at my gate

the hoarse frogs

keep singing


A loyal, tired warrior, 
standing, waiting, listening, with his faithful friend. 
He, by the beautiful white stallion, 
looks past the remains of the broken gate.
The battle is won?
Or is it, 'one' is still standing.  Barely.

Hoarse, from calling...
are any of my wounded brothers, alive?
Glance over here,

and see tearful eyes, seeking yours.

There was just one.
Who quickly cast off
his heavy sad helmet.
And stands away from the fallen.
You both shall sing again...
on another day.

Issa Haiku

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Rumi Tarot

After posting this morning, I had reread what I had written. And I was shuffling the new 'Rumi Tarot' by Nigel Jackson. This card fell out. Talk about signs. Can you read what is written on the bottom of this Knight of Staves?   
'The Alif rejoices and fulfils your wishes.'

Ayliffe (Alif) is the lady that just passed, I had written about. I looked up what this could mean, and why it is on this card, from the book, 'Guide to the Rumi Tarot.' 

It says, and I quote, 'A majestic Knight dressed in an orange and green tunic and steel helmet is depicted seated on his horse. He bears the scepter-stave and also a bow and quiver of arrows. He rides through a hilly landscape against a blue sky with white clouds. 
The verse alludes to the Alif, which is the first letter of the Arabic alphabet; in Sufi esoteric symbolism, it stands for the supreme unity.
The Knight of Staves is a symbol of initiative, drive and FEARLESS QUESTING INTO THE UNKNOWN.'

Meaning: Departure from the familiar, Intuition, CHANGE OF RESIDENCE, Emigration, Stable financial sense. 

and fulfils my wishes?   

Thank you....so very much, they are, in just a moment, being posted on my bulletin board right here by my desk.

She definitely is fearlessly questing into the unknown, with her new change of residence. Those mischievous twins.  


winter withering--
amid the storm
a sacred lantern

-Issa, 1821

This has been quite a winter. The ice on the inside of my window, makes a lovely pattern of lace. It greets me each morning as I sit down with my fresh coffee, at my computer. And read the morning news. And pray.

These cards depict how I feel today.

Heard that a friend died yesterday morning. She would have been 97 on the 24th of January. Yes....what a long life. How blessed she was. Really. One of her daughters by her side, holding her frail hand as she passed from this life, to her next. I bet there was huge party as she parted, her husband had just passed last year, and many friends and loved ones, no doubt gathered around her, embracing her, catching her up on what they have been doing on the other side. And I don't believe sitting around strumming harps is on the agenda. They call it Heaven for a reason...and she is happy. Like dancing happy. I can feel it.
I remember staying at her house during a huge family reunion, in the summer of 1980. Having to go upstairs to find a quiet place to nurse my baby son, who happens to turn 30 today. His birthday. Sweet Joshua. It must have been the hottest summer on record....I really think it was. And young, prudish me, I could not nurse him in front of anyone. So, here we hide....in sweltering heat....stuck together. Poor child, I bet he would have loved some icy cold milk from one of those cows standing around that yard filled with family, in Iowa. But no, mothers milk is best. Whatever.
Ayliffe. She was my mother in law's, identical twin sister. Mother in law. What a term. Constance. She was my real mother. Finally, life had given me a mother...one that adopted me into her family, into her heart. She was my best friend. Sadly, she died when Josh was just one year old. But my 2 little daughters, who were 6 and 9, they remember her sweet ways.
Last year, my genealogist daughter, Johnna, sent me recent a picture of Ayliffe. I have not seen her in years. She looked exactly like my 'mother' would have looked, if she would have still been here. Ugh. I could not even keep the photo out. Had to put it away. Maybe I am still grieving for the one, dear lady that mothered me. So, as of yesterday, the twins are together. Reunited. Two little girls that shared the same place under their mothers heart for 9 months....now together.

winter withering.....the season of winter. harsh, sad, cold. so many out of work, homeless. hopeless. their souls withering. passing to a new way of life, one way or the other. winter. followed by spring. that seems a long reach, today. can't even go there.

amid the storm....fox news. storms, and more storms. storms in the atmosphere, storms in the homes, storms in the news. find someone worse off than you, not hard to do. help them. another friend of mine came home to a burnt house with all her furniture strewn around the yard, charred. broken windows, broken spirit, this is the second time her house has caught fire in 3 years. and they say lightening doesn't strike twice in the same place. wrong. find someone to hold, tight. maybe a good book, or a long nap. and wait it out. and pray.

a sacred lantern.... on this hermit's card, his sacred lantern sits. someone once said to me, the lantern holds the light of the star, from the 'star' card in the tarot. I like that. he found the star. hope. harnessed it. uses it to guide him in his dark night of the soul. lonely, solitary time. and that turtle, ugh, time passing so slowly. yet this card gives me hope. maybe just a glance of it, but hope, nonetheless. he is ok. maybe older, way wiser, and understanding of life's cycles. this too shall pass. find a safe spot, wait it out. and I noticed he is studying a skull, pondering maybe, who this was, what their story was. matches the first card, death. death is the story is over, or the story is just beginning. a new story. that's why the star gives us hope. there is always a new beginning. count the stars, if you can see them tonight. that many new beginnings, still there for me, for you. ponder that.


Saturday, January 09, 2010


I love writing. I love poetry. And I love Haiku. I found a site online, you can click on it below, all about Issa. I also love things written long ago. And his life, his wisdom, is very much needed today. For the next few weeks, if you read my blog...you will get an entertaining lesson on Issa. I am taking his story, about his life, and selections of his writings in Haiku, and giving them to you using the beloved Tarot Cards. The deck I have chosen is 'The Tarot of Durer.' The art is by Giacinto Gaudenzi. Every day I am on a emailing list, and get a Haiku from Issa. And I shall post it, with the cards that depict it. Or, my version of it! Each card, shall give you a vision of each line of his poetry. What do you think? As you read his story...in time, you will see he was very wise, and experienced much loss in his life. Yet, he wrote. All the time. Maybe it was his therapy. We all need that. And I so enjoy seeing the world, through his eyes....or his words. They live on.

my home village
in an ugly mood...
the winter rain

-Issa, 1821


Issa in Haiku Tradition

Chronologically, Kobayashi Issa appears third in the order of the four most prominent haiku poets of Japanese tradition.

About Issa

One of the four foremost poets of Japanese haiku tradition, Issa is in good company (Bashô, Buson, Issa, Shiki).

He was born in the little village of Kashiwabara in the mountains of Japan's Shinano Province on the fifth day of Fifth Month, 1763: June 15 on the Western calendar. He died in the same village on the 19th of Eleventh Month in the old Japanese calendar year that corresponds to 1827: the equivalent of January 5, 1828 on the Western calendar. In the long time between these dates he learned the art of haiku (then called haikai) and wandered the length and breadth of Japan, writing everywhere he went. Though his real name was Kobayashi Yatarô, he chose Issa (Cup-of-Tea) as his haiku name. He called himself "Shinano Province's Chief Beggar" and "Priest Cup-of-Tea of Haiku Temple." A devout follower of the Jôdoshinshû sect, he imbued his work with Buddhist themes: sin, grace, trusting in Amida Buddha, reincarnation, transience, compassion, and the joyful celebration of the ordinary.