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 Death as the signifier. Writing can be a transformative process, and thus, in order to help generate creative ideas and think outside of the box, to help us transform as writers, I called upon Death.
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 Death in the fourth pile, the pile of Earth, which has to do with the material realm such as wealth, health, property, and day jobs. 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 Earth.
- Card 1(Situation): the Devil
- Card 2 (Problem): Page of Swords
Card 1 – Situation: XV The Devil
The Devil generally gets a bad rap. The card is deemed and scary, and perhaps even a negative card. However, as we approach the Devil, we must remember that there are no negative cards, as each card has its own level of difficulty.
With this in mind, the Devil does like to dole it out. In traditional depictions of the Devil, he is a beast that has a man and a woman chained to his throne. However, he himself is not holding the chains. These two are chained by their own doing. It is their fears and temptations which bind them to spot. By acknowledging their addictions and weaknesses, they can be freed.
The Devil is a card of temptation. This reminds us that there is something tempting us off course, something that might influence our situation. We need to remember that this temptation can lead to bigger things when we see the Devil.
Card 2 – Problem: Page of Swords
The Page of Swords is generally depicted as a youth. They have take the idea of that the Ace of Swords brings, and now they are putting it to use. They are the embodiment of the Ace of Swords. They have the spark of an idea, which in turn sparks more ideas. But they have no idea how to put them into action.
The Page of Swords is Air on Air. That is, the intellect and communication fulling more intellect and communication. Thus, they can represent a message, a messenger, or just generally a lot of talking about ideas, but perhaps without much follow-through.
Some Tarot readers don’t assign the Court Cards numbers, however, I personally view them as carrying on from the 10’s. This would mean that the Pages/Princesses are 11, Knights are 12, the Queens are 13, and the Kings are 14.
The Devil – 15/6
Page of Swords – 11/2
15/6: The Devil, the Lovers
Since we’ve already discussed the Devil, I’ll refrain from repeating myself. However, isn’t it interesting how in the Lovers there are the same man and woman in the same positions as there are in the Devil? For your own personal interest, consider how they might be related.
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.
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: 8 (15 + 11 = 26; 2 +6 =8)
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.
When a ritual goes horribly wrong, the Devil finds himself possessed by a young currier who talks…a lot.
- What information does the currier have?
- Who performed the ritual?
- How does this resolve?