I was going to share my awesome and delicious breakfast with you (peanut butter banana paleo pancakes with blueberry sauce)… but instead, I’m going to pass on a trick that I learned from my former high priest.
I had been interested in divination for quite some time, but hadn’t really had the discipline to begin understanding the 78 card set and what each card could mean. He suggested that I use the cards as a creative writing exercise. Flip a card, write a sentence. Flip a card, write a sentence.
My stories adhered pretty strongly to the cards, because my goal was to get through all 78 and get familiar with them. I also did a gigantic study on tarot and what each card meant — but that was a little bit later.
So, regardless of how pagan you are, try this method for writing a story!
I’ve pasted one of my old stories below. You should be able to figure out the abbreviations by each sentence —
Roman numerals are the major arcana.
The symbols with slashes (Kn/C) are the card name, and the suite. Kn/C is the Knight of Cups. Cups, Swords, Rods Pentacles are the four suites. Enjoy!
Kn/C There stood a man, staring off into the distance on the edge of a mist ridden cliff. His eyes were dry, but his face showed eons of pain. VII Slowly, the man rose his hands from his sides and lifted them, as if he was commanding the ocean below him to rise, to face him. K/S The wind seemed to answer his call, and a wintry gust of immense power blew into him, knocking him backwards.
7/C Accepting his defeat, the man sat back on the moist ground, the weight of the world still upon his shoulders. IV He shut his eyes and began to recall the majesty of his past – the wealth and prosperity under his rule.4/R The family he once shared his joys with; indeed, he had been blessed with love. XI He had been a fair king, not letting wealth or friendship misguide his rulings. XXI The world had seemed to be under his control, and the cycles of life moved smoothly beneath him.
9/R His daughter had grown, and just as is customary of all children, had left to find her rite of passage. VIII She chose the way of the woods, and he and his wife bid her a tearful farewell.5/P She soon came upon a poorer village of her kingdom, and she stayed with an old blacksmith and his wife.1/S In this poor village, she was able to come to understandings that she could not among her family. 3/S With the poor couple, she worked for her keep, patching their roof and teaching them stories of the royal family. 7/S A short time later, she decided it was time for her to find herself a new adventure.
K/C The man opened his eyes on that gloomy cliff and sighed; his daughter had been such a blessing to the world. 1/R The passion within her had always found something new to do. XIX The gloomy mist began to clear, and the man shook his head, smiling at the sky.
O “Ah, but you think me a fool, that she will be found.3/S Do not lie to me, sun, for I heard from my soldier that she had been slain.”
Q/P” Talking to yourself again?” The man turned to see his wife and queen standing over him.
P/R “Have you news?” He asked her, refusing to stand and greet her.
2/R” Of sorts. Get home and be my husband. We shall see what news I have.”
8/S” My home is here, among the fallen.”
6/S“I will walk with you, the journey is not far. 4/S You are still king and the balance must be kept.”
V“I am no more king of our people than you are a mother to our child.”
Q/R“I will always be a mother.” His queen told him calmly. P/S “Now it is time to stop this nonsense, and rule your kingdom.”
6/R“I cannot; not like before…it is hers, now.”
XII “Fool. Be practical – she cannot rule if she is gone – get your head out of the clouds.”
10/S“I love her.” He said, sighing and drooping like a wilted flower.
1/P “But you have a duty to be the rock of this kingdom. Kn/P And regardless of how you feel, you must act, you must rule your kingdom. XX The gods will see your shortcomings.”
P/C“I care not, for they have already.
XVI “Fool. You of little faith. You will die, and this kingdom, with you.XVIII Do not live in ignorance, for you are not dumb. X Come back, and let the gods do their will, let the cycles do their magic.”
XIV A moment of silence passed before the king stood, slowly but deliberately. K/R“I will rule again; with my heart and her soul.” I It was time for him to master himself once more.
VI “Let us rule together, with love, and not vengeance. II And maybe, we will bring more life to this place we call home.”
IX “We will honor our daughter’s memory by guiding our poor to better conditions.”3/C He decided, and as he began to smile, his stomach seemed to growl in answer to his decision.1/C Maybe it was time to start anew.
IIIA year later, the kingdom teemed with life.9/P The kingdom also teemed with wealth.7/R The king had begun to train peasants in both defense tactics and practicality. Q/C He taught them how to reap love and affection from everything. 3/P He spent his nights planning his budgets and trying to cut costs to donate to the port. 2/C He allowed peasant weddings to take place on royal grounds.8/P He allowed peasant craftsmen to decorate his halls.9/S But even with devoting himself to his kingdom, he was neglecting his wife.9/C They ate and spoke each night, but they were no longer close.6/C He spoke of peace, and she would speak of nothing.
K/P But the king refused to dwell on his wife’s troubles, instead turning to work as solace. XIII And with each passing day, his wife and queen began to drift like he had so long ago. 5/S Robbers began to loot the towns of his kingdom, killing every man, woman and child. 5/C The children fought their parents to go to the king, to seek safety and training.
10/R The king stood on his cliff, and at once began to see the truth of the matter – he could not do it alone.5/R Soon it would be rebellion, and he would not be able to fight. 8/R “Please, send me help!” He cried to the mist before him. 4/CWith no reply, he dejectedly headed to the castle. 7/R He would look to his queen and her earthly knowledge.
8/C He was met at the castle with chaos. 10/C The young woman standing at the gate carried a small boy in her arms, and she stood proudly. 10/P Her husband stood beside her, and the king was wondering who so boldly approached the gates.
6/P“I demand entrance!” The woman announced. “I am the princess.”
XVII Could it be? The king stood in the shadows, praying for her to turn and face him.
Kn/S “The princess is dead.” The guard answered her.
Q/S “Then call her mother and bring her forth.” The woman challenged him.
4/P “Her mother does not feel well. Leave, beggars.” The guard shouted at them, looking down from the wall.
“Halt.” The king stepped from the shadows. “Remove your hood, and let me see your face.”
Kn/R “Who is he?” The man behind her answered, pulling her close.
P/P “Father?” The woman cried, and revealed her long red hair to the king.XV “I am not dead. I was simply…distracted.”
2/P “But you are home, now.” The king answered her.
“And I am ready now. To rule.”