Writing Prompt: The Haunted

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 8 of Pentacles because writing is a practice, and it is through writing prompts, like this one, that we hone and practice our craft.

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 the8 of Pentacles in the second pile, the pile of Water, which has to do with emotions and personal relationships such as close friends and family. This will be the theme or realm in which the Writing Prompt takes place.

The Spread

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

  • Card 1(Situation): Death XIII
  • Card 2 (Problem): 9 of Swords
Aquarian Tarot - Death

Situation: Death

It bares repeating that Death is rarely, if ever, about death itself, but rather, about the letting go of old ways and transforming into something new. It is the card that reminds us that change is alright, though it can be painful.

Problem: 9 of Pentacles

The 9 of Pentacles traditionally shows a person sitting up in bed with their hands covering their face. There are 9 Swords hung on the wall. On their bed under them, there are images of a battle happening, indicating this is what the figure woke from and is upset about.

Thus, this card denotes processing the past and difficult situations. This card represents when we are haunted by our memories, and is a reminder that it’s all a process to letting go. We will be haunted, but if we spend the time delving into them, we can move past them and heal and grow from our experiences, no matter how painful they might be.


Death = 13/4

9 of Swords = 9

13/4: Death and the Emperor

Since I’ve already covered the definition of Death, I’ll leave that one, and move on to the Emperor.


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.


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.

9: The Hermit


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

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.

Further Numbers: 22 (13 + 9)

Usually, I would reduce the double-digit numbers to a single digit. However, 22 reduces to 4 (2 + 2 = 4), which is the Emperor again. However, since the number is 22, I thought I would assign it the Fool.

The Fool:

The Fool is usually depicted as card 0, though in some decks (though they are few and far between), the Fool is card 22.

The Fool represents openheartedness and trust. The Fool is ready to step off the cliff, into the unknown, and trusts that the journey will set him right, no matter how he lands.

This card can also represent the beginning of a cycle, something new that is being set forth. It’s more of a beginning than the Magician, for it is the spark of inspiration and the determination to move forward on that spark, but without knowledge of what the spark actually indicates. Thus, with an open heart as to what to come, the Fool goes against the warnings of his little dog barking at his feet, and starts the journey.

Writing Prompt

Despite the passing of her husband, Jennifer has to move on, move out of the house, and get on that plane. But she can’t. She’s too haunted by him, too bogged down by what he was. She doesn’t see any one, and wakes up from nightmares.

  • What was the nature of her relationship with her husband?
  • What are her nightmares about?
  • What is stopping her?
  • How can she move into the position of the Fool?

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