Tarot Writing Prompt: Drill Gone Wrong

This is just the basic 2-Card Writing Prompt today, using a starting situation for Card 1 and a problem, which is Card 2.

If you’re here for the first time, I usually do what is called the First Operation to determine the context or theme of the story prompt. There are 4 realms that it can fall under, each corresponding with one of the elements/suits in tarot. I do a bit of explanation of what the cards mean, but if you’d like to just skip to the writing prompt, it’s down at the bottom.

Because of the New Moon in Aries on Friday, while being in the sun sign of Aries (also, Chiron is in Aries), I thought that I would pick the most Aries-feeling card there is, the Emperor, as the signifier. This card is a masculine influence, which is an active influence. The Emperor can be a father figure, but also can be a pillar of structure and stability. He is ruled by Aries, as can be seen in many depictions of him on a thrown decorated with ram heads.

He might be an added element you can incorporate into your story, though generally, I personally don’t use the signifier in my Writing Prompts unless the signifier represents a character or situation.

First Operation

When I do the First Operation, I shuffle the and divide them into four piles. I then look through each pile to determine where my signifier is. In this case, I found the Emperor in the fourth pile, the pile of Earth, which has to do with material things, money, wealth and growth. This will be the theme or realm in which the Writing Prompt takes place.

Writing Prompt

The Cards

After finding the signifier, I put all the cards back together, shuffle them, then divide into four piles again, taking two cards from the fourth pile.

  • Card 1(Situation): 4 of Cups
  • Card 2 (Problem): 5 of Wands

Writing PromptCard 1: 4 of Cups

The 4 of Cups is an individual who is looking at the same old thing, and bored of the same old thing. However, what they don’t see is that someone is offering them something different, they just need to see what it is. It might be the same, but it also might not.

The Cups are a suit of intuition and emotion, representing the element of Water. Thus, what they hold are psychic insights, the matters of the heart, and our personal relationships. The number 4 is that like that of the Emperor, a number of stability and building. Yet in the 4 of Cups, one cup is separate of the others, taking away the stability. It instead offers something new.

Card 2: 5 of Wands

The 5 of Wands is a preparation for a fight, but not the fight itself. Classically depicted Rider-Waite-based decks, it has 5 boys or young men, fighting with sticks. But they aren’t necessarily against each other. Instead, they are play-fighting in a manner, working with one another to train.

The Wands are the element of Fire, which corresponds to active energy and passion. It can be a suit of entrepreneurs, those who make their passion and creativity the source of their income. The number 5 corresponds to an uncomfortable time. Change is inevitable, and 5 in the tarot is the discomfort before the change can be made, but knowing that it’s coming.


Numbers 4 and 5

4: The Emperor

4 - The EmperorFours:

The 4’s are like building blocks. They are sturdy, and like bricks going into a building, represent the steady incline of growth. There is a patience that is associated with the number 4.

As mentioned before, the number 4 corresponds to the Emperor, who represents father figures, strength and stability. The Emperor can also represent authority. The card is a fiery nature, fueled by passion and activity.

5: Hierophant


5 - The HierophantThe Fives are the half-way point in the numbers of the tarot, and thus, represent a transition from higher to lower. Transitions are uncomfortable, and can leave us irritable, tumultuous, or lost. This is a time when we begin to question ourselves, those around us, our environment, and as such, we may react negatively. This is why the 5’s in the Tarot have  bad rap, the effect of the transition takes a toll on us, though it is only temporary.

The Hierophant is how we cope with his awkward and uncomfortable change. Traditionally, in the Tarot de Marseille style, the Hierophant was the Pope, as the card represented turning to the church. Thus, while it can represent finding solutions in prayer and spiritual work, it can also represent routine, conformity to societal norms to help steady the path.

Further Numbers: 9 (4 + 5)


9’s are the number just before completion. 10’s represent the end of a cycle, and thus, 9 is the last hurtle before completion. It is the trial that we must go through before we can know definitively that we have finished our lesson.

9 also corresponds to the Hermit, who is traditionally depicted carrying a lantern with a 6-pointed star as a flame. The Hermit shows us how to go deep into ourselves and look for the answers, guided by faith.

The Writing Prompt

Consider for an added challenge, the essence of the Emperor should be included in your story. However, bored in a work meeting, your character is altered by an emergency drill that goes wrong.

Writing Prompt

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