The (Lost) Empress | Part 1
Excerpt from my second book of essays "Things I Have Loved" | The Muse Letter No. 111
The following is an excerpt
from my second book of essays
“Things I Have Loved”
which I am currently crowdfunding
to print over on Kickstarter.
Make a pledge to get the book here.
At first I lost temperance. It was during a very hot summer in Paris, a sudden gust of wind and there she was lying in the rain gutters on one of these silvery blue metal rooftops that Paris is so famous for.
It seemed quite fitting that she was down there now. Looking up at me with two golden cups in her hand pouring one into the other, her flaming red wings spread wide. Out of reach, yet I could still read the lettering.
It seemed like a sign, like life was trying to tell me something. That things were out of balance, out of line. That my feet needed to touch the ground again.
I had just graduated finishing a four year course in playwriting at the University of Arts in Berlin. Ahead of me a long train journey through the south of France and Italy, to arrive three weeks later in Sicily to attend a wedding.
It was a summer of abundance, extravagant dinners and wine, a summer to make grand decisions and radical life changes. My Saturn return. It was then when I decided, walking on a dusty street towards a tiny chapel somewhere in the hills of Petralia, to finally leave Berlin behind me.
If life could look like this, what was I doing?
Losing temperance made sense, for a while. After all it was urging me to seek it. To focus on it. As the mind loves to think of the things it has lost. Drawn to them like a black hole. It made me reconfigure. What was important to me. What needed to be put back into balance. What was too much for me to take.
It’s funny how not all things are lost immediately but over time. Not everything is rushed off with the wind. How long it sometimes takes to notice that something’s missing.
Eventually to continue using the tarot deck I replaced temperance with a blank card. Always reminding me when it came up of that moment in Paris on the balcony, that summer. I would wonder if she’s still up there; if a pigeon or the rain wore her down. Slowly disintegrating.
As the mind loves to think of the things it has lost.
I’ve always used tarot cards as a means to understand myself better, a sort of prettier Rorschach test, letting my mind dive into the imagery attaching to certain aspects, words, bouncing off feelings, reflections of the state of mind I was in.
The ritual of drawing a card when I’m uncertain, holding a prophecy in my hand, an oracle. And just like all oracles only in hindsight seeing a clearer picture, a narrative. The major arcana telling a story a journey that starts or ends with the fool. Of all things it is the fool dancing at the edge of a cliff, looking up at the sun, bravely and blissfully walking through life. A symbol of mortality reminding us that we’re constantly dancing on the edge, as no one knows their death date. No one knows how much time they have. But still dancing. Still brave. What a marvelous concept to make meaning of the chaos that is everyday life.
It’s funny how not all things are lost immediately but over time. How long it sometimes takes to notice that something’s actually missing.
It made sense to me when I decided to stay in Edinburgh to choose the empress as my guiding star. Representing divine femininity, intuition, strength, creativity. Qualities I was longing for. I remember how I placed her on the window sill in my new home. How I draped sunflowers and peonies I had found on the street around her, it felt fitting to eternalise this moment in a photo. Looking back now:
– It was the last time I saw her.
This is an excerpt from “Things I Have Loved – A collection (sort of)” my second book of essays I am currently crowdfunding over on Kickstarter. Make a pledge to get the book here.
I will share the second part of “The (lost) Empress) from my new book “Things I Have Loved – A collection (sort of)” .
In the GUEST MUSE LETTER SERIES Foteine König reflected upon Hélène Cixou’s Medusa essay, Deborah Levy’s Hot Milk, her own relationship to Greece and her father. It is a beautiful meditation on inspiration and creativity and questions the need to feel special or unique in ones interest.
Shop – Good idea to get those Christmas gifts soon!
Enter The Muse Salon (the extra treat for supporters)
– Intuitive New Year Tarot Oracle Offering –
I’ve been reading tarot cards intuitively for years, for myself and friends, and I really do believe that there’s always something to gain from it. Not necessarily a future prophecy but whatever imprints on you, as I choose my words to describe what I see, could help you see a larger narrative, a sudden truth or just a different perspective on a current situation, you’re dealing with.
See how it works below and I’ll send you your personal New Year Tarot Oracle before this year ends.