Poetry in Tarot

Poetry is a very subjective subject, isn't it? Some like rhyme. Some prefer metered verse. Still others would rather just not read or write poetry at all. In many of the certification programs, there is a step that asks the student to interact with the cards in a different way.

If you Google "tarot poetry", you will come up with a lot of hits. About 4,700,000 even with the search restricted to avoid "THOSE" sites. Let's examine some of what's out there. The majority that I found was on the Major Arcana.

Michael Sheehan has an impressive body of work on his page. Here is a piece of one.

DMdeath Death
by Michael Sheehan

Albert Einstein, I've been told,
Said energy can't be destroyed
And life is everywhere in space –
On the planets and in the void.

See the full poem here.

An interesting take is at http://www.heelstone.com/tarot/index.html where you shuffle the cards to get a poem and card. I shuffled and recieved the following. There is no title but I think it is clear that this card is the Chariot.

Arguably, with wheels and chariots,
the Sumerians must have invented traffic,
although the first documented act of road rage
does not occur until Ulysses flung a wheel through a wall,
winning respect and gaining right of way.

— Mike Timonin

See the full poem here.

Rachel Pollack has published a book of her Tarot poetry. She aimed for simple, direct lines for all seventy-eight cards.

Nine of Stones

In the hum of the Earth,
she hears the voice of the stars.
She grows stones, she grows bones,
she sings love to her hawk.

See this one here.



VSPMPapess There is also one of the oldest known Tarot poems by Teofilo Folengo. He wrote Chaos del Triperiuno in 1527. Stuart Kaplan's Encyclopedia of Tarot, Vol II, p. 8-9  offers a translation of this piece. A very short two line excerpt shows how he uses the Tarot in this longer piece. You can also search on line for other discussions including one by Mary K. Greer here.

“What a Fool I am,” said Love, “my Fire,
that can appear as an Angel or as a Devil

Visit Ann E Mullaney, Ph.D.'s page about Folengo.


Another Tarot consultant combining love of poetry with love of words is Arwen. She's going through the Major Arcana. Here is an excerpt from the Emperor.

Forbidding stare I tremble at the throne
Of correctness of values of stern mien
What does your direct gaze mean, sir
Wrapped in crimson armor hiding beneath
Ready to go to battle but rather not

See the full poem here.

You can also find poetry by Christiana Gaudet at her web site where she is exploring the Tarot through written words.

RWSHermit Here's an excerpt from her piece on the Hermit.

You may seek true wisdom, eternal knowledge, healing power
You may walk with destiny until your final hour
While seeking truth may take you to the top of lonely hill
There you learn the truth's not there, it lives within you still.

Read the full poem here.

These are just some of the many places you can explore the Tarot through poetry. Why not try your hand at it? Pull a card and see what comes to you. Maybe have a conversation with the card? If you want, you can share your poem in the comments.

2 thoughts on “Poetry in Tarot

  1. Keri

    Beautiful! I love the idea of combining tarot with poetry =) I have a great book that’s somewhat related, called Composing Magic. It’s for pagans and it’s walks you through how to write poems, rituals, etc. I’ll probably write a review on my blog soon.
    Thanks for the thought-inspiring post!

  2. Helen

    I’ve written lots of poems based on tarot cards, they can been seen at my blog Tarot Notes and some have appeared in The Magician the official news mag of the Tarot Guild of Australia. Tarot cards can be very inspirational towards writing.

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