adventures in dysthymia

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


The Fool, in quest, must journey perilous, far lands,
Ere he return to hold The World in his hands.

Illusion masks the world The Magician seeks,
But on the day of Judgement, truth then clearly speaks.

Though as a virgin veiled, The Priestess must be won,
When given freely, is clothed solely in The Sun.

The Empress, all the fruitful day, plays mother's role;
The Moon remains the mirror of her untamed soul.

The Emperor may rule the world in his might;
The Star will ever hold sway in the skies of night.

In seeking God, The Hierophant builds high his walls,
To be enlightened only when The Tower falls.

In Eden, might The Lovers have been without sin;
The fruit of knowledge woke The Devil that's within.

All in its path must fall before The Chariot,
Till Temperance can balance fierce desire with thought.

Mature in wisdom and in Strength, man at his peak,
Knows Death and change must come to strong as to the weak.

On solitary crags, The Hermit guards his light,
For soon The Hanged Man must face an eternal night.

Upon The Wheel of Fortune, riches may be won;
Yet when it turns no longer, Justice must be done.

Stephen Brooke ©2008

This set of eleven rhymed couplets, in hexameter, is something I started on a few years ago...around four I reckon...and never got around to finishing. Indeed, I had only completed two of them. So I sat down today and did the other nine, rather quickly. That may show and I don't necessarily consider these finished nor polished.

For those who don't recognize the symbols here, they come from the 22 cards of the Tarot Major Arcana. The first line in each couplet references the first eleven cards; the second line does the same for next eleven, except in reverse order, i.e the first couplet is cards 0 and XXI. Since the cards may be seen as a journey there-and-back-again, that order made a certain sense. Maybe only to me! Anyway, I recognize the cards as useful metaphors, rich symbols, that can be interpreted in a variety of ways (sort of like dreams!). Naturally, any attempt to describe the entire Major Arcana in 22 lines is going to fall waaaaaay short.

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