Occasionally, and especially recently, I like to use stichomancy in conjunction with my card pulls.  Stichomancy, loosely defined, is “the use of books in divination.”  Aka, I flip open to a page in a book and read what is written there in order to deepen the message of my cards.  I find poetry is quite well suited for stichomancy, and I’ve recently started reading the poetry of Mary Oliver.  After seeing a poem posted by Meadow Queen Tarot, I purchased Mary Oliver’s Dream Work, which has so far been brilliant.


I made this reading for myself the other night as part of the #tlosoctober challenge hosted by The Lady of Serpents.  I flipped open my book, and read “Knife” – I felt it perfectly mirrored the above reading.

just now
moved through my heart
like the thinnest of blades
as that red-tail pumped
once with its great wings
and flew above the gray, cracked
rock wall.
It wasn’t
about the bird, it was
something about the way
stone stays
mute and put, whatever
goes flashing by.
when I sit like this, quiet,
all the dreams of my blood
and all outrageous divisions of time
seem ready to leave,
to slide out of me.
Then, I imagine, I would never move.
By now
the hawk has flown five miles
at least,
dazzling whoever else has happened
to look up.
I was dazzled. But that
wasn’t the knife.
It was the sheer, dense wall
of blind stone
without a pinch of hope
or a single unfulfilled desire
sponging up and reflecting,
so brilliantly,
as it has for centuries,
the sun’s fire.

Who is your favorite poet?  Have you ever used stichomancy?  Leave it in the comments!

exploringly yours,

Author: Alaina

writer + explorer

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