Thursday, October 28, 2010

Sylvia Plath: "Here Lies One Whose Name Was Writ In Water"

Sylvia Plath, the celebrated American poetess was born on October 27th, 1932 and committed suicide, by sticking her young head into a gas oven in her London flat while her two small children slept in the next room, on February 2nd, 1963. She was 30 years old. 

SP's life and work struck a chord with the public and continues to haunt the imagination. Plath particulary holds a spell over women. Perhaps it is because her struggle with depression and her attempts to balance a career with being a mother mirror most women's lives and dilemmas. And if that were not already enough dramatic fodder to sink one's teeth into, her husband, the esteemed English poet Ted Hughes, cheated on her which many people think was the crowning blow that sent SP over the final abyss.

In doing an abbreviated tarot reading for SP, all the hallmarks of her troubled life showed up. The Three of Swords, which depicts a heart impaled by 3 swords, signifying heartbreak and betrayal clearly symbolizes her husband's adultery.  The Ten of Swords which depicts a man, face down on  the ground and impaled by 10 swords, seems to signify SP's debilitating  depression. The card conveys just how oppressive depression is e.g., you literally are "stuck" and "pinned down" to the ground. I also drew the Six of Cups which features two very young children, which would seem to refer to SP's own two children, who were 2 years old and under 1 year old at the time of her death.

What's so very interesting and amazing is that Sylvia Plath, Ted Hughes, and Assia Wevill, the woman with whom TH had an affair and child, all have the number 5 as their  Expressive Number.   5s, being the most intensely physical and energized of all the numbers, have the potential to be and run the risk of being very explosive, particularly  in matters of sex and romance. 

And the name 'Assia Wevill' contains all but one letter, the 'y', in the name 'Sylvia' ,which signifies a deep psychic connection.between these two women.  In fact, Assia also committed suicide, while still living with Ted Hughes just 6 years after Sylvia's. Eerily, she mimicked Plath's death  and stuck her head into a gas oven, as well. Tragically and heartbreakingly, Assia murdered her 6 year old daughter before taking her own life.  And, if that weren't enough to boggle the mind and crack the heart, Plath's son, Nicolas,  hanged himself at age 47.

The epitaph I quoted for Sylvia Plath is, in fact, the epitaph that John Keats wrote for himself and which appears on his gravestone. John Keats died from tuberculosis at age 24.  In that both poets died at so  young an age, the inscription seemed appropriate.

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