Note: I am so sorry–due to some techinical issues on my end involving pictures, I’m having to use pictures already uploaded onto my WordPress account. As a result, the cards are likely to be mismatched.
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.
For Today’s spread I chose the Magician for the Signifier. He represents the development of ideas and manifestation into the physical world, which I feel to be quite appropriate for writing.
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 Magician in the second pile, the pile of water, which has to do with relationships (any kind of close personal relationships) and the home life. This will be the theme or realm in which the Writing Prompt takes place.
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.
The 8 of Cups shows a figure walking away from 8 upright cups. The figure’s head generally isn’t seen, but they are walking towards mountains and water, under a crescent moon.
The Crescent moon is a representation of intuition, and that we can’t see the figure’s face shows the idea of the unknown. The 8 cups represent good things, for they are all full, thus implying a fulfillment of emotional and familial wants. However, the figure knows there’s something better out there, and won’t remain, despite contentment. They are walking away toward the unknown, but better ‘out there.’
The 10 of Swords shows a figure laying face down with 10 Swords in their back. In the distance are mountains, and while things look bad, we can just make out the light under the clouds and above the mountains.
The Swords are the element of Air, and the 10’s represent completion of a cycle, as we will soon see. Air rules communications and thoughts, and sometimes, to move on to a new cycle, to a new beginning, we have to get rid of our old ways of thinking, and stop communicating with certain people. This can be difficult, and thus, can feel like knives in the back. Furthermore, this can indicate a leaving behind of hazardous words, such as gossip or libel, which damage a reputation. This card indicates go through the pains of ridding the self of these things.
They will get better, as is indicated by the light in the distance. This is a necessary step before things get better.
There is the 8 from the 8 of Cups, and the 10/1 from the 10 of Swords.
The number eight has to do with infinity, with a loop, as indicated by its shape. In the tarot, it corresponds to progression and transformation. This number shows the movement from the past to the future, the application of lessons learned to the preparation to move on to the next step. There is a message of success within the meaning of the number in Tarot, and can also represent abundance.
The number 8 corresponds to Strength in the Major Arcana, which also features a figure eight-like shape above her head, which is actually the infinity symbol. She is depicted with a lion in most decks, which she calms not with force, but with compassion and empathy, bringing forth a different type of strength. It is the card which indicates inner motivation and peace that can bring fierceness to its knees. ‘Kill ‘em with kindness’ might be an applicable phrase here.
The tens are the level of completion, and can even be thought of as the graduation. They are the last stage that can be somewhat bittersweet. It’s the leaving behind of the old life having gained the lessons before it, and preparing to move on to the next set of lessons, in the never ending cycles we participate in. While this is a number of completion, it comes with the implication of something new. Be on the look out for that new while evaluating how you can apply what you’ve learned.
The Wheel of Fortune is a card of letting things go with the flow. The wheel always turns, the earth always orbits and rotates, and with it comes days and seasons. Things will go as they will go, and things can change just as easily. Sometimes we are at the top of the Wheel, sometimes we are at the bottom. However, both aspects remind us that as the Wheel turns, so does our luck. This card, when up-right can indicate good luck, while in reverse, can indicate a turn for the worse.
While the tens indicate the end of a cycle and a graduation, think of the ones as the first day of a new level. This number represents opportunity, new ideas, the start of something. As with the ten which has the implication of beginning, the ones have an implication of something ending. Thus, the phrase, ‘when one door closes, another opens,’ is quite applicable to the number one.
The Magician summarized into one word is ‘manifestation.’ This card represents the idea and the gathering of resources to bring that idea into the physical realm. He has before him the tools that the universe provides, and he has mastered them all. With these tools he can claim, ‘As above, so below,’ reflecting his knowledge of the way of the universe, and the infinite possibilities open as a result of this knowledge. This card indicates a time to put ideas into action, a time to start the project, bring forth the new, start writing the novel, start the business, just start.
While there are Tarot numbers for the first 10 Major Arcana, there aren’t any afterward. This is why usually a 2-digit number above ten is reduced to a single digit. However, I will supply the Major Arcana that the 2-digit number corresponds to.
The Moon corresponds to the number 18. It represents the shadows that we don’t see. When the moon is bright, we are able to see the shadows of the night more clearly, more definitively, and thus, these are the areas we need to address. The light is blocked from these areas, and thus they are hidden. However, during a New Moon, when there is no light, then we can’t see what is hidden from us. The Moon is a card of looking inward to work on the self. It can represent things that we can’t see but become apparent to us, which might be an external person being deceitful, or it might be something within us. It can also indicate dreams, and information which comes to light as a result of them.
The nines are a number that have to do with the last test before the completion of a lesson. It is the last hurtle to see how much you’ve learned during this cycle, and to see whether or not you are worthy to go on to the next round of lessons. In the Cups, the test is whether or not one can discern between material love/contentment or contentment on an emotional level; in the Swords, a person is battling their inner most thinking; the Wands test relinquishing power over a project to let it grow on its own; and the Pentacles tests the willingness to share the fruits of harvest. This number represents goals, and the step just before completion.
The Hermit is the 9th card of the Major Arcana, coming just before the Wheel of Fortune. While the Wheel depicts a time of going with the flow, a change in tides, or simply moving forward and going with whatever is presented, the Hermit is inner reflection in order to prepare for the Wheel. It is reflection on the path so far, in the Fool’s journey, and discovering inner strengths and weaknesses that can be used, developed or shed for the next leg.
Your MC comes home to find their teenage child packing to leave their perfectly happy, loving home.
Note: The Title of this post is totally from the Beetles song, ‘She’s leaving home.’
You can view more writing prompts on the Writing Prompt Page here.