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.
I chose the Empress in celebration of Easter. While Easter is a Christian holiday, it’s roots come from pagan origin with Ostara, which is a fertility holiday. This is why rabbits and eggs are representatives of Easter. The Empress, while representing creativity, also represents creativity, and thus fertility.
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 third pile, the pile of Air which has to do with communication, the law, thought, logic, and community. 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 third pile.
- Card 1(Situation): 7 of Pentacles
- Card 2 (Problem): The Hanged Man
Card 1: 7 of Pentacles
The 7 of Pentacles shows a figure sitting in their garden, leaning on their hoe, looking at the work they have done. This is an indicator of obsessing over the work that can be done to ensure a better outcome rather than letting things grow as they will. The gardener has done what he can, and thus needs to wait and see, and stop obsessing over how things grow now.
Card 2: Hanged Man
The Hanged man is a figure who has tied himself up by one foot, while the other dangles behind, forming an upside-down 4. His hands are tied behind his back. He has done so in the hopes that he can gain a different perspective and thus learn something. This is a card of looking at things differently in order to solve a problem or to better understand. The man hanging sacrificed his mobility in order to do this, and thus, this is also a card of self-sacrifice in order to gain something greater.
The numbers in this spread are 7 from the 7 of Pentacles and 12/3 from the Hanged Man.
7: The Chariot
Sevens correspond to hard work and putting the nose to the grind, and the rewards that come of it. However, when too much work is applied, then problems can arise, as is seen in the 7 of Pentacles, with the individual too obsessed with their work that they lose sight of the goal, or the 7 of Cups when too much emotion is applied and they lose track of reality. It is a number that reminds us to always seek the truth in situations, to meditate, to reflect on spiritual matters, to philosophize, in order to stay on track. It is a number of deep consideration to stay the course.
The Chariot is sometimes described as the Knights of Templar after having found the Holy Grail. They come forward with divine knowledge and understanding and set forth to spread it across the land. As with the number seven, there is knowledge that comes from personal mediation and understanding, and with this knowledge you take action into the world. The Chariot can indicate action, movement, forward momentum.
12/3: The Hanged Man and Empress
Since the Hanged Man is one of the cards drawn and I’ve already defined it, I’ll refrain from defining it again. Usually I would take the number that corresponds to the Major Arcana card and define it by it’s Tarot numerological number, however, these numbers only go up to ten, and thus I will only focus on the Empress.
The Threes represent the first shape of stability. When we consider the 1 as the point of origin, the 2 as a connection or harmony between two points, when a third point comes along, there is the first shape. And thus, 3 is equivalent to creation, fertility, and any of the surrounding meanings.
The Empress is the first card of creation in the Major Arcana. She is the emblem of fertility and creation, and what’s more, she is the nurturing aspect that helps things to grow. She is associated with mothers, and thus, mothering qualities. She is feminine energy applied to creation.
Further Numbers: 10/1 (7 + 12 = 19; 1 + 9 =10; 1 +0 = 1)
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.
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.
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.
Only a small population remains, some fifteen survivors working together to recreate a town. This has been going for some years, and Alex, who has been put in charge of the group is noticing that nothing is growing—not the community or collective spirit, not the population, and even the crops are struggling. Alex knows what to do, which involves a huge sacrifice.
- What is the sacrifice?
- Why aren’t things growing?
- What happened to the population?