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 signifier I chose the Empress, who represents creation and creativity.
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 Empress in the fourth pile, the pile of Earth which has to do with money, wealth, the material world. 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 fourth pile.
- Card 1(Situation): King of Pentacles
- Card 2 (Problem): Wheel of Fortune
Card 1: King of Pentacles
The King of Pentacles can represent a person (which I do recommend in a writing prompt, as it gives you a character) or a figurative meaning. As a person, they are of an Earth sign, so Capricorn, Taurus, or Virgo, and are generally an older man, or someone who is high up the financial chain.
This is the card of Earth meeting Earth, and thus, it is a man who is grounded in their material world, making savvy and sound decisions regarding finances. They might be a Lord, a CEO, the owner of a successful business, or a master gardener or farmer. Generally, they are quite stubborn and can a bit like the bull in the china shop, brash with their actions, somewhat clumsy.
Figuratively, as mentioned before, this is a card of Earth meeting Earth, thus indicating grounding, sturdiness, solidity, stability. It is not necessarily an increase in prosperity, but a steady increase, if there is an increase, or if not, a steady leveling of it. It can represent growth as well.
Card 2: Wheel of Fortune
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.
This is entirely stylistic, but I assign numbers to my Court Cards. Some people don’t assign any number to them, making them numberless and perhaps on par with the Fool in that way. However, I continue the numerical system after ten for each of the Court Cards, thus numbering them
- Page/Princess = 11
- Knights = 12
- Queens = 13
- Kings =14
With this in mind, the numbers we are then working with are 14/5 and 10/1.
14/5 (1 + 4 = 5): Temperance and Hierophant
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.
Temperance is a card of balance. An angel pours water from one cup to another without spilling a drop. In some depictions, it is fire and water that she is pouring or mixing, showing the impossibility of her task. Temperance is the mixing of seemingly unlikely things. It is a card that represents finding the balance of opposites and making them work together. In a higher level of meaning, she represents the union and harmony of upper and lower, of the material world and the spiritual world.
The 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.
10/1: Wheel of Fortune and the Magician
Since the Wheel of Fortune is one of the cards drawn and I’ve already defined it, I’ll refrain from defining it again, but instead look at the number associated with it: ten.
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.
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.
Further Numbers: 6 (14 + 10 = 24; 2 + 4 = 6)
Sixes correspond to success. They are the number that follows fives, which are the discomfort that comes from transitioning from a passive form to an active form. The transition was successful, and now the higher levels of the lessons can be pursued in the cycle, those of the mind and heart. This number in the tarot can indicate peace, happiness and harmony.
The Lovers can be literally depicted as lovers, though is a much deeper card than that. The Lovers indicates a choice that must be made, either between higher and lower senses—base pleasures such as pleasures of the physical realm, or spiritual and emotional pleasures. The card is often depicted with three figures: a man, a woman, and an Angel. Either the man or the woman is looking at the other, while the other is looking up at the Angel, representing the higher pleasures and pursuits. This card represents an ethical fork in the road, where a decision must be made.
A man fitting the description of the King of Pentacles has a change of luck. This luck forces him to balance two opposing things which are essential to his success, all the while, he is facing a difficult decision between the two opposing, elements.
- What is the credit to his success?
- What are the two opposing things that are essential to the maintenance of his success?