On Deck: Tarot readings for writers May ‘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. May’s prompt is about developing a person vs. technology conflict.


In April, we looked at person vs. nature conflicts; before that, it was person vs. self conflicts and person vs. person conflicts. For May, we’ll work on creating a person vs. technology conflict.


Person vs. technology conflict development

Much like Skynet, the human nature to build systems to make our lives better often spirals out of our control and ends up threatening our very existence. AI is in the forefront of everyone’s mind, both for how it can make our lives easier and what damage it can do to our future. Philip K. Dick’s Minority Report uses technology and humans to attempt a crime-free society, but what happens when the technology gets it wrong? Let’s dig into it.

The type of technology you will feature in your story depends wholly on when the story takes place. In the future, you can make up whatever technology you want, but a piece set in the past might feature businesspeople adapting to computers and email, or strange messages being sent over a telegraph. If you’re working in the present, there is AI, social media, and more to mine.

For our focus this month, I will pull cards on what type of technology is being used and for what purpose, why the protagonist is resisting this technology, and how they overcome this resistance (by use or destruction).


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:





Type of Technology

Page of Swords and Strength

The Page of Swords indicates that whatever this technology is, it is still in its infancy, but it has the potential to subdue a great force—the Strength card (military? Government? Evil corporation?)—without bloodshed.


Why the protagonist resists this technology

The Tower and Justice Reversed

They see this technology as something that will topple a great institution or system (is this a bad thing?). There is an inversion of power with Justice reversed, which could indicate either that the Tower represents injustice or that destroying the Tower upends a just system. 


How the protagonist overcomes their resistance to this technology

The Moon and The Hierophant

The Moon represents a journey through one’s deepest (and often psychological) fears. The Moon only offers enough light to see the next step, and the dangers around are sometimes imagined. The culmination is in the Hierophant, which is the return to a type of order and hierarchy. Does the protagonist let their fears of the unknown keep them from mastering this new technology?


A writing exercise

Google the biggest tech failures of all time and pick your favorite failure. Imagine that this tech hadn’t failed, and it has actually completely changed society. Using the cards above as intuitive inspiration, write a story about the protagonist interacting with this technology. 


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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