On Deck: Tarot reading for writers April ‘24

on deck with Ten intuitive imagery prompts for writers_text over a deck of colorful cards fanned out
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Teneice Durrant, creator of Tarot with Ten, will use various tarot and oracle decks to provide monthly readings for writers, with exercises on using imagery and intuition as prompts. April’s prompt is about developing a person vs. nature conflict.



We explored person vs. self conflicts last month, so for April, since we've just witnessed the full solar eclipse, I thought it would be appropriate to go with the person vs. nature conflict. We are also seeing flash flooding and crazy storms that seem to be increasing in frequency and strength every year, so this could be an interesting avenue to explore through tarot cards.

There's actually only one card in the entire tarot deck that depicts an eclipse, and this is the Eight of Cups. You can see in the sky there is an outline of the sun and the moon is partially obscuring it. The Eight of Cups deals with leaving things that do not fulfill you. There are eight cups in the foreground and they're all full. You know there's not any reason to be unsatisfied, but you know there's more out there. These cups, however beautiful and full, don’t fulfill you emotionally, and it takes some kind of outward event to make you realize that the path that you're on isn't where you want to be. You're ready to completely change your life.



Person vs. nature conflict development

The conflict of person vs. nature occurs when the main protagonist, or a group of protagonists, must face off against a natural event, not another person. Noah had his flood, Chief Martin Brody had his shark, The Rock had his earthquake that toppled Los Angeles. At the very center of person vs. nature is the ability of our protagonist to adapt to or survive a catastrophic event that wipes out others. The need to survive reveals strengths that the main character never knew they had and often makes them a hero.

Today we will draw three cards to give us insight into the main character, the potential impact of the natural disaster, and what strength the character develops.


Tarot reading for writers

As always, these images are from the Rider Waite tarot deck, via Pixabay (Creative Commons license), and you can flip through all cards from this reading here:



Protagonist in Person vs. Nature

Seven of Cups

The Seven of Cups speaks to an indecisive disposition. This person might have too many options or they might just be easily influenced by outside voices trying to control their choices. For example, perhaps there is a brilliant college student looking for a summer internship. She has many options, and her family wants her to choose the glitzy or prestigious one, but her inability to decide means the other options get snatched up while she ends up in the remote countryside that will be the scene of our natural disaster.


Potential (or real) impact of Natural Phenomenon

Three of Swords

Here, we aren’t deciding the actual natural event, but the potential or real impact on the communities it devastates. The Three of Swords is a card of betrayal, of cheating or lying for the purpose of taking what is wanted. It is also an internal card of self-inflicted wounds. One must remove the swords from their own heart before they can heal. I’m imagining a scenario in which the people did not realize they were using up the water in an aquifer and the ground starts collapsing beneath the town.  The college scientist must work with the townspeople to fix this situation before it starts a chain reaction of devastation.


New Strength

Knight of Pentacles

The Knight of Pentacles is the most stable, perhaps boring, knight in the tarot. He makes plans, develops spreadsheets, and makes logical decisions firmly and without a second thought. He is steadfast in knowing himself and what he wants. He is the epitome of “grounded.” During the cataclysmic events of our natural disaster, our young scientist learns to trust her knowledge and examine all the facts in front of her, instead of leaping to half-formed conclusions. She returns to college in the fall feeling capable and strong. She is ready to make her own choices in regard to her future.


A Writing Exercise

Check out this link of Earth’s Coolest Natural Phenomena. Pick one that interests you and do a little more research. Then, write a scene where your main character realizes that the natural event is actually life-threatening. What is their initial reaction to the phenomena and how does it turn deadly?


Until next month, here’s how to find me outside of the Center:

Podcast anchor.fm/tarotwithten

IG @TarotwithTen 

YouTube Tarot with Ten 

What did you think of this tarot reading and the cards as visual prompts for story development? Share with us in the comments, and contact us if you’re interested in working one-on-one with Teneice in part 3 of Writing Toward Balance and Wholeness: Tarot and the Narrative Arc (taking parts 1 and 2 first is not required).

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