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Strange Magicks & Stories That Frightened Me

Once upon a time (stay with me here, because it was A Dark And Stormy Night, as well, let me tell you)... I sat down and wrote the beginnings to half a dozen stories, all set in the same world. A few of them had a single recurring character. One of them was set over two thousand years into the future from the others. 'Then' Me became concerned by the horror aspect of this latter story. I distinctly recall writing the scene where one of the characters calmly turns to the MC and says, "Run." And the MC doesn't immediately register what's going on. And then they look up and freak out and have an understandably visceral prey response to what they see, reek of fear from every pore, and bolt . Apparently between that scene and the schizophrenic high-functioning sociopathic serial killer human spliced with unknown alien genetics who's another of the POV characters, this story was just too much for the feeble psyche of 'Then' Me to tackle finishing. 'T
Recent posts

Tarot Conversations: August Acclimation

The Writer's Tool: The Eclipse Tarot This month was a fortuitous one for me to get to know my Eclipse Tarot. I created the deck with the intent of using it as a writing tool, exclusively. Yet I still needed to spend some time getting to know it, to grasp the nuances of its voice, the currents of its energies, in order to successfully and efficiently employ it for its purpose. After all, any craftsman must invest the time in familiarizing himself with a new tool before setting its edge to precious raw material. Tarot Rebels' August Challenge employed a series of questions, one each day for the duration of the month. Silly questions like, what restaurant would you prefer, what kind of pet would you have, what's your musical taste, that on the surface seem flippant and out of place. Yet through the course of the month I found my way to hearing this deck's voice, to understanding its insecurities and immaturity. It doesn't mind clutter, for instance, understand

Tarot Conversations: The Three Bears

For July, the Tarot Rebels Blog Hop focuses on the task of reading with a deck you've not previously used before. I had a few sitting around, actually, and I felt inspired to try each in turn. The exercise became quite revealing, both of the decks and of me as a reader and toward what sorts of decks I intuitively gravitate. For each deck, I employed a different spread, in each case one I'd not used previously. In hindsight, it's entirely plausible this created too many variables and adversely influenced my perceptions of the decks. Spiritual Task, Sevenfold Mystery My first attempt employed Place's Sevenfold Mystery. I'd acquired it for reasons wholly unrelated to actually using it, much like my Hermetic and Azathoth decks. Despite that, I've had others tell me it's a solid performer for them, so I decided to give it a chance. The spread is called Spiritual Tasks, but to be perfectly blunt here, I struggled to take the interpretation seriously be

Tarot Conversations: Strength

I'm thrilled to be taking part in the very first International Tarot Day Blog Hop. For Strength, I've chosen to share an excerpt from my in-progress sequel to Fragile Bond, a military scifi featuring a sapient alien species of bipedal humanoid felines, and a population of humans traveling the stars. XI, Strength. Wildwood (L) and Mary-el (R) tarot decks. "I'm concerned, Zachary. Maybe this isn't such a great idea after all." Cirrus slowed to a halt, his words echoing in my head as his voice rumbled at so low a register it resonated through my breastbone. His whisper didn't bounce off the walls though, unlike the soft thump of our footsteps in perfect cadence. I turned back to grab his arm and drag him in my wake, second thoughts be damned. My fingers slid along the fine white and black stripes of hair on his forearms, and I tightened my grip, finally catching hold of his wrist. "I refuse to let you back out of this at the last possib

Tarot Conversations: All the Pleasure, None of the Guilt

For the month of June, the Tarot Rebels Blog Hop subject is "Guilty Pleasures," but it occurred to me that regardless of how I try to twist the perspective, guilt is one thing that --for me at least -- doesn't enter into the equation anywhere. So let's go with indulgences, maybe? Frivolities which serve no real logical or rational purpose. One could argue that there aren't many of these either, that the trappings in which we indulge are part of the atmosphere, the ambiance, the process that deepens our connection with the tools, tapping into our subconscious. Mary-el tarot, blue silk scarf wrap. In the course of the past six months or so, I starting focusing on how I house my decks. The reading cloths in which I fold my cards contribute to the sensory experience and immersion, creating a tactile trigger for the subconscious engagement. I doubt I'll ever grope velvet or silk with quite the same emotive response in the future; all of my decks have hom

Tarot Conversations: #ibelieveintarot

Trionfi Della Luna, daily spread. Belief systems are usually instilled foundationally from a very young age. Mine certainly were. It took me a great deal of time and willpower to buck them, to find something I wanted to believe in, to figure out just what I believed as opposed to what I'd been told to, programmed to, and brainwashed to believe. These days, I like to think I have a solid foundational structure to what I believe, but there's a great deal overlaying that, and it's really subject to change with little to no notice whatsoever. I like to renovate. I like to try out new ideas and concepts before I disregard them entirely. Sometimes they're too similar to the constructs I razed in my twenties for me to even be remotely interested in them. When it comes to tarot, for me it's about exploring my precognitive tendencies, my divinatory abilities, and opening up the creative outlets and process. I keep anything akin to religious derivative out of my inte

Tarot Conversations: Love-Hate-Loathe Entirely

The Dark Arcana tarot playing cards. Aprils' Tarot Rebels Blog Hop is about the Make Or Break cards in a deck. The volatile relationships we have with archetypes are what shapes our intuitive responses to the imagery we experience in the tarot deck. For me, there have always been a few cards that have the power to make me totally fall in love with a deck -- or completely kill any chance of me being able to work with it. They're also the archetypes I struggle with most in my personal life and spiritual journey. The Emperor is the first. It's a card of Fire, of harsh rulership, of intellect and logical detachment. While those are theoretically aspects to which I relate well internally, it's the external that I have difficulty relating. And so the attitude, body language, and presentation of this dominant persona is crucial. It's like putting my finger against the thrumming pulse of the deck as it tightens its fist. This is its hard side, and if presented t