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.
Today I chose the Magician for simplicity sake, but also because of the invocation of manifestation that the card represents.
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 third pile, the pile of Air, which has to do with community, the law, and higher education. 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 pile of Air.
- Card 1(Situation): 10 of Pentacles
- Card 2 (Problem): Page of Rods (traditionally Page of Wands, and will be referred to as such from here on)
Card 1 – Situation: 10 of Pentacles
The 10 of Pentacles is a card of legacy and generations. Those who have obtained the 10 of Pentacles have generated something that will last, that is worthy of being passed along, and that they will be remembered for. However, this card can also be a card of retirement, of passing on the torch.
Card 2 – Problem: Page of Wands
The Page of Wands can be a person or can be seen figuratively.
As a person, the Page of Wands is younger, no older than their mid-20’s, and is energetic. The pages are generally seen as messengers at times, though the Page of Wands is someone who acts on a whim. They are curious, and with a Wand in hand, must learn how to use it. The wand represents passions and creativity, and the Pages represent Air—thought and communication, and thus, the Page of Wands is learning what it means to manifest thoughts into the real world. The key word here is learning. They are of an apprentice age, and thus, are prone to silly mistakes.
Some readers have specific numbers that they associate with the Court Cards such as Paul Foster Case (I believe), such all the court cards being the number 4 (if memory serves me correctly). However, I personally assign numbers by continuing on the count after ten. Thus, Pages/Princesses are 11, Knights are 12, Queens are 13, and Kings are 14.
10 of Pentacles = 10
Page of Wands = 11
10/1: Wheel of Fortune/Magician
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.
11/2: Justice/High Priestess
Justice is a card of logical decisions. The figure in Justice holds a scale with one hand that weights the heart against a feather, while in the other hand holds an upright sword. The latter is the reminder that this is a card of pure intellect, and thus, logic. There is a decision to be made, there is a call to be called, and whatever the verdict, it will be just and fair. Justice doesn’t always dish out what’s nicest, but will always be sure that that which comes is along the path of righteousness.
The twos deal with duality, balance, and union. They are the reflection of the one that creates an understanding of space. If one is a dot, and it is reflected to create another dot, then a line can be drawn between the two, making a measurement of distance. Thus, space is understood. The two then is a number of knowing there is that which exists outside of us. In order for perception of ‘out’ to be experienced, then unity must be reached. Balance and harmony are inherent in this, as there is nothing else for the two points be disrupted by.
The High Priestess
In standard Rider-Waite-base decks, the High Priestess sits between two pillars, one black, one white, the black one with the letter B and the white one with the letter J. Behind her is tapestry of pomegranates, and her foot rests on a crescent moon. In her hand, and partly concealed is a scroll reading ‘Tora’.
The two pillars represent Strength and Establishment. The Empress is the go-between of these two, the connection between left and right, of creativity and analysis. She is the feminine counterpart to the Magician.
She is your unconscious speaking to you. Your intuition is trying to take hold, and now is the time to do it. You have ideas that need to be brought forward and made manifest, but first they need to be nurtured. Bring them forward in your mind, allow them to ripen.
Further Numbers: 21/3: The World/Empress
The World is a card of completion. This is the time that we celebrate the accomplishments and lessons we have learned and prepare to go on to the next step. Like the 10’s, it is a graduation. You have passed the test, you are ready to move forward. Take this moment to rest and enjoy the sense of your success, but likewise, gather yourself to begin the journey again with your newly acquired wisdom.
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.
It’s time to pass on the baton. He has built this university well, and now it’s time to let the next headmaster take it on. The university, the first of its kind will continue on with prosperity. Or so he thought. That is, until a young student whom he did not recognize, eyes and face covered with hat and scarf, approaches him…
- What is the University?
- Who is the student?
- What does the student change?