Sagas Among the Arcana: Rumors

The Emperor and the Seven of Swords are pulled

 

Initially, he was hailed as reliable, respected, and righteous — this new emperor. He saved this barren kingdom from its destructive self, restoring order, under his expert rule.

All the more why none expected his sudden betrayal.

However, no one truly knows what the betrayal was, all they know is that one day, the date of his execution was posted on the local message walls.

Naturally, all of this has become the talk of the town. And naturally, many wild rumors float about as free as the wind.

 

Rumor 1

He sold the lucky chickens — the lucky chickens that helped him rebuild the city. They laid so many eggs, immediately eradicating the widespread hunger and malnutrition. Also, legend has it that every time those chickens leave a community, they lay an egg of destruction. So if the emperor truly sold those chickens, then he’s truly dommed them all 

 

Rumor 2

He buried the seven swords of the seven children of the previous emperor. While the last ruler was worth as much as dirt, his children were as noble as their sacred dogs. They fought in the war that had initially made the kingdom the desolate hell it was before the current emperor came. Their seven swords were said to be made of magic that once infused with their owners’ blood after death, created a barrier around the kingdom that protected the citizens from further harm. And true enough, once all seven children died in battle, the war had ended. 

However, it’s not suspected that the current emperor buried those swords, and no one knows what will happen to the barrier now. Apparently, the emperor claims that he had to hide them from the rabid lucky chickens.

Perhaps, that’s why he sold them . . . 

 

Rumor 3

He stabbed the sacred dogs with the seven swords. The sacred dogs have — as the people say — been in the kingdom since the dawn of time. They are said to be always watching the residents of the land coming only to guide the citizens to their underground dwelling if destruction is guaranteed. But now that the emperor has massacred the sacred dogs, the people no longer have any place to go if a time comes that is worse than the last war.

Perhaps, that’s why he sold the swords. 

 

Regardless of all the rumors, everyone is convinced that the emperor will be executed for his betrayal within the next few days. Funnily some even say that he’ll be executed by the seven swords. So perhaps the buried swords were found?

Nonetheless, at least now, everyone knows how betrayal will be tolerated. . . 

At least that’s what the emperor was hoping for when he put up that false poster on the message walls and spread all those ridiculous rumors. 

So much for being reliable, respected, and righteous — this new emperor.

end

Sagas Among the Arcana: Impulse

The Devil is drawn — addiction, strange experiences

 

“Have you heard of the snake upon the hill?”

Everyone is aware of that snake. One knows its existence as well as they know that the sky is blue. However, today the sky is red, so maybe some do not know of its existence as well. But I do — which is why I am at the hill — which is what I also told the woman. 

“Then why go up it?”

Why? Does one know why the sky is blue? No, it just is — just how Impulse is. Impulse that now leads me up the hill. It doesn’t speak to me, it only grasps my hand firmly. It won’t seem like it will leave me anytime soon. 

Impulse tells me things, not through words, but through actions. It’s telling me now that I have to meet the Devil Snake — I did not know it was called the Devil Snake, but Impulse decides that it is. 

Then, when I reach the cave Impulse also commands that I take it as a sword and slay the serpent, and who am I to refuse Impulse’s command? So it slithers down my arm to my palm where it allows me to hold it by its legs. I go into the cave with Impulse’s strong hold on me. Its strong hold tugs me through the dark cool archway, which immediately consumes us within its darkness. 

I can only see the Devil Snake because it is on fire, making it glow an unearthly amber. It hisses, a pink tongue sticks out. Impulse resolves that I must cut it. I flinch, for once doubting Impulse. What if it eats me? But Impulse never answers. Reason is not in its nature. So blindly I follow Impulse — it is all that I have to drive me. 

I charge and jump up, but the snake is far too long, and Impulse doesn’t give me the strength to reach it.

After all, it is not in Impulse’s nature to give. Impulse serves itself. After me, it will find someone else to follow it.

The serpent swallows me. Today the sky is black.

The Devil from Tarot of the Divine

 

end

Sagas Among the Arcana: Four Haikus

 

Judgment

she opens the mind

weighing scales for those once blind—

those that surrender

 

The Hermit

it— a lonesome beast

now striking the match itself

to light its own lamp

 

Two of Cups

snakes are arduous,

both in their love and their hate

they’re bound together

 

Queen of swords

student of judgment

sword polished for punishment—

she falls without detachment 

 

Sagas Among the Arcana: Four of Swords Flash Fiction

The four of swords is drawn — recuperation 

 

Every night passes and there is still the man on the bench. His jeans are worn not yet torn. His face is always covered by a fedora hat. No one knows from where he came, just that one night he appeared there on the bench, and when comes daylight, he is gone. 

Once someone tried to give him money, but he simply tilted up his fedora and propped up a knee. “No thank you, sir. I’m just resting here you see.” After that, no one tried to approach him again. They simply mill about their evenings, occasionally glancing at that notorious lump on the bench.

During daytime, when he’s not there. They get anxious. They wonder where he is, where has gone that fedora of his? They spend sunlight hours lost in their curiosities about him, then when he reappears by nightfall, so too do their worries fall. They spend the late nights in peace, happy that the man on the bench still comes there for his nights to spend. 

Finally, again, someone decides to address him. “Why are you on this bench?” asks the girl. Once again, the man tilts his fedora hat. “Why simply whiling away my time at ease and at rest.” Then he points to another bench just further down. “Hey, why don’t you try?” And so she does. 

By the next night, there are two benches occupied. At first, the second resident is nervous. Everyone is looking at me! She thinks as people pretend not to stare. But soon the humming of car engines passing by and taps of heels on the sidewalk nearby all join together to lull her body to relax. Oh . . . this bench isn’t quite so bad . . . 

By dawn, she awakes. Never once through the night did she think of her household up the lake and how they aggravated her with much debate. She observed the fedora man rising as well, so she thanks him with a yell.

He tips his hat and wanders back . . . to wherever he comes from.

She wonders if he too has a home with noisy conundrums. 

end

Sagas Among the Arcana: A Reading for 2023

January

The five of cups advises to let go of disappointments from the previous year. They are still felt tickling the bottoms of feet like dirt one can’t wait to wash off. The year won’t be truly new unless those regrets are washed off.

 

February

The nine of pentacles suggests that by now there is comfort in the new year. One may feel accomplished for pushing through and they find a reason to reward themselves. Perhaps some dining dollar funds have reset and there is a need to indulge. Just be weary not to overindulge.

 

March

The six of cups. 2 months passed since many may have been at home. Luckily spring break approaches to appease nostalgia. Soon love may be re-shared with close ones.

 

April

The day almost ends above the queen of swords’ head, much like the end of the semester approaches. Ready to toil for finals, or maybe prepare for a new life ahead. 

 

May

The five of swords. Were there defeats in the past semester? Did plans fall apart? One may be trapped in a pre-summer prison wondering where everything went wrong.

 

June

For those with new jobs, the king of swords suggests that they fortitude themselves with a clearer conscience. Now is the time to find clarity and wield newly earned intellect.

 

July

The four of wands. Either one has grown accustomed to their new life or has taken comfort within their old one. Either way, they are content with the progression of the year.

 

August

Five of wands. Do tensions rise in the August heat? Those still in school must return to it, and they may find themselves in a new sphere. But what good will this new community bring?

 

September

The hanged man suggests uncertainty. At any time the rope may snap and one may plummet. Or there may be someone nice enough to pull them up. Treat September like a fun gamble.

 

October

The nine of wands demonstrate persistence. The days are getting darker, but they should not be upset. One must use the tools around them to their benefit.

 

November

The Hermit advises wisdom while approaching the end. Do not be rash so as not to close on a bad note.

 

December

Strength is needed in the chaos of the conclusion. Do not get lost in a storm. Now is the time to put an end to any demons. This time, walk into the new year with clean feet, scarce of dirt.

 

Obviously, these cards have no sway over the future, but it is still nice to imagine and guess the lessons we can take from them into each month.

Happy new year!

Sagas Among the Arcana: Comparing the Nine of Swords

The Nine of Swords is Drawn

Last year I took a class on Tarot Cards with David Burkam (you should definitely check the class out, it was super fun!), and for an assignment, I actually made a tarot card of my own . . .

It was for the Nine of Swords!

So since I’m not feeling super creative today I thought I would compare my version of the Nine of Swords to the ones in my decks.

 

 

This card is from White Numen: A Sacred Animal Tarot, by AlbaBG. I had this deck at the time of my assignment, so naturally, my version of the card is most similar to this. I didn’t include any swords — which are typically present in the card — in my version since my assignment forced me to focus on a single image. I chose to focus on the sleeping woman.

 

 

 

The Tarot of the Divine version, by Yoshi Yoshitani, deviates from usual depictions, with how the “sleeping woman” character is actually not laying in a bed. However, this particular deck coincides cards with myths and legends from around the world, so the interpretation fits by making the Nine of Swords the Oracle of Delphi. The Nine of Cards signifies nightmares and visions, playing well with the Oracle’s role as a seer.

 

 

 

The Murder of Crows Taro card, by Corrado Roi, portrays the person as awake instead of asleep. Yet the image is definitely nightmarish. I also like how the swords are imprinted on the bed sheet.

 

 

 

 

Admittedly, looking at all these cards now makes me realize that I missed the mark on representing anything nightmare-invoking, I made it too dreamy-looking for that. But if I ever try to make my own card again, I’ll know what to watch out for!

Bonus picture of the mess I made looking for the cards.