Today Autumn starts officially. John Keats wrote a poem about the fall, called “Ode to Autumn”. Because it is the beginning of Autumn, I ask a tarot-question inspired by it. Keats describes in his poem how the sun and the Autumn are bosom-friends, working together to produce its riches: the vines, the swelled gourd and sweet hazelnuts, the cottage-trees bend with apples. In the second part of the poem Keats tells that one can see Autumn, for instance sitting on a granary floor, or vast asleep on a half-reaped furrow. Is not this mysterious, that one actually can meet Autumn? It makes me wonder where I meet Autumn in my life. But, before I ask that question, first the poem.
Ode to Autumn
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the mossed cottage-trees,
And fill all the fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o’er-brimmed their clammy cells-
Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reaped furrow sound asleep,
Drowses with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers.
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cider-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.
The question I ask myself is: “Where do I meet Autumn in my life?”
I received The Wounded King (The Hanged Man) from the Arthurian Tarot as an answer to that question. On that card King Arthur is depicted as the wounded king who cannot heal himself, and is suffering from his injuries.
To me this means that I meet the autumn in that part of myself that is wounded somehow: in pains that cannot be healed, but must endured; in situations I cannot cope with, but cannot be ended. In seeing the falling leaves, in feeling the dark, warm sun and loving that, realizing the winter will start in a while, I come into contact with this vulnerable, painful and tensed part of me.