Sagas Among the Arcana: Sink

This week’s 3 card reading  (using the White Numen: Sacred Animal Tarot by AlbaBG):

8 of wands

2 of wands reversed

ace of wands reversed


You rush, so you step too far into the quicksand and 




But what you expect to be grainy dirt are actually reptiles that entwine and bind you. Your hands are coiled by cool scales. Entrancing and atrocious at the same time. They tighten and tighten

You’re trapped.

How could you be so foolish?

You should have looked around more, taken a step back, and observed

But you’ve never been one to observe, have you?

Perhaps, now, you should observe. Calm your mind and pay none of it to the 






Soon, it’s too hard to think. There are nooses around your neck and your energy drainssss

All you remember is:

Act too quick,




Sagas Among the Arcana: The Queen of Coins

This week’s one card reading: The Queen of Coins


The Queen is one to share her riches with all. She’s not a queen in the typical sense though, the people simply call her their queen because of the way she nurtures them all. 

Today, she arranges buckets, upon buckets of grape tomatoes; all of which she grew in her garden. She thought it would be nice to share them with everyone, for no other reason than that she wanted them all to have some pleasure on this bright day. 

She picks up one of the wooden barrels. It’s heavy — but still, it’s fine. The wood is rough on her arms; they’re tough enough, she says though. It’s a simple burden she’s willing to carry.


On the way to her first destination, The Queen sees the

 town’s princess. The town deemed her a princess because of her beauty, she’s always smiling, and always engaging. 

No one has ever complimented my appearance, The Queen thinks a bit wantingly. Wait, no  — she immediately does away at the green vines that tempt to entwine around and capture her mind. She’s a good person, that’s enough.

The Princess drops the basket she’s holding. The roses in it all spill out. People around all rush to pick them up for her. Someone dashes into The Queen; the tomatoes seem to roll and threaten to fall out into an avalanche. The Queen squeezes the heavy bucket firm against her chest; it hurts. The pressure is a bit too much.

People pick up the roses and prick themselves on thorns. The Princess flushes graciously. The attention she bestows is dazzling.

Someone help me, please. The Queen doesn’t say this aloud; her annoyance is passive and she shows no sign of weakness. The heels of her palms threaten to bleed under the jagged wood.

The Queen somehow also yearns for that dazzling attention from The Princess. She wonders what it would be like to be acknowledged by someone so charismatic.

But she’s not going to ask for it. 


The tomatoes are delivered and people are grateful.

Oh, you didn’t have to! They had all said. You’re too kind.

The Queen appreciates it. The words give her energy. Nex

t time, she’ll pass out the strawberries. 

As she walks back home with empty buckets, her hands still burn a bit. No one had noticed the red marks on them.

She sees a lonely red rose on the road. She picks it up, her blood smears on the petals, but no one would be able to tell.

Only she can.

Some Thoughts on Tarot Cards

One of my favorite parts about art is how it can be shared through so many mediums; art is in everything, and being able to see that makes life a lot more interesting. A great example of art being conveyed through a unique medium are Tarot cards: a deck of 78 unique cards, often used for fortune telling and games. It was relatively recently that I gained an interest in the obscure world of tarot cards, having been inspired by an old HBO show that my parents used to watch called Carnivale (a great show and I highly recommend it, but the end leaves a lot to be desired). The show uses tarot readings to further the plot and create dramatic tension, but more interesting is how the show uses subtle tarot symbolism that makes the story feel like a great epic is unfolding and the characters are all pawns of fate. This technique is similar to that employed in classical epics, such as The Iliad and The Aeneid: the use of portents and prophecies that connect the story together using a common thread, often calling back on themselves and revealing the role of divine fate in an extraordinary way.

Artist: Matt Bailey Instagram: @baileyillustration

I absolutely love the feeling when a prophecy is fulfilled, or when I can draw the subtle connections between events and and characters and be able to see how the prophecy influences the events of the story. This is one of my favorite things about tarot card art as well: the use of symbolism and subtle meaning conveyed through the illustrations is fascinating and endless. Each card has lore and tradition behind it, with multiple interpretations that all come together to form a single story. Personally, I don’t believe in actual fortune telling, but I appreciate how the cards are designed to create the effect of prophecy. Each card has identifying symbology that can be found in any version or reinterpretation, and have been tradition ever since they were first created, making each card immediately recognizable and therefore more iconic. This quality of the tarot can be found throughout popular culture as well, from literal uses such as Led Zeppelin and The Hermit figure, and more subtly in the archetypes of The Fool, The Magician, and The Lovers often found in storytelling today.

The other thing I love about tarot cards is the physical aspect of the art itself; there are so many versions and styles of illustrations, and I think the cards are such a great medium of artistic expression. An artist can follow the strict format of the cards and symbology while still illustrating them in their own way, giving them the perfect amount of creative freedom. There’s a lot to be said for the proportions of tarot cards themselves and the powerful effect of the format, which makes them the perfect template for creating something unique. It’s a great endeavor to undertake, illustrating all 78 cards, but it’s a great way to develop and refine your style and to put your creativity on display.

Artist: Micah Ulrich – Instagram: @micah_ulrich