Recently I’ve been reading a lot of Medium articles and, as a writer, I naturally find myself brushing through the writing blogs.
There are loads of listicles covering the best books on writing, which I find both useful and slightly strange. Writing blogs on writing books on writing.
I’m inclined to believe some of the lists that include “On Writing,” because I practically worship that book and torture my boyfriend with frequent and unsolicited statements beginning with “Hey, did you know Stephen King…”
On one of these lists was a book called “The Creative Tarot.” Ooh, fun, I thought as I read the description. Endless story ideas using the random drawing of cards as a guide. I wanted it and I wanted it real bad.
So I bought the book and its recommended Tarot deck — complete with commemorative tin, of course.
I read the first part of the book, up until it describes each of the 78 cards in detail. The cards were created for random selection, I reasoned, it wouldn’t do to read about them one by one in chronological order.
As I cut the deck, I accidentally caught a glimpse of the card on the bottom: the Knight of Cups.
I shuffled the deck a handful of times and pulled from the top.
It was the Knight of Cups. The coincidence gave me chills, but I didn’t think too much into it.
I read about the card and noticed parallels in my life over the next week. Part of me wondered if I noticed the parallels because my mind was on the card’s symbolism, and it was then easier for me to subconsciously focus on related elements in my life.
Last night, I had a few minutes to kill before dinner, so I went upstairs, grabbed the deck and book, and plopped on my bed.
As I cut the deck to shuffle, I accidentally glimpsed the card on the bottom again. It was a grim-looking one with a bunch of swords. Nine swords, I was pretty sure.
I shuffled the deck once and as the cards touched together, I heard my Miniature Pinscher dart up the stairs. Brisket stood in the doorway of my room staring at me intensely with her little eyes bugged out.
I shuffled the deck again. She took a running jump on my bed and walked over the cards in my hand, knocking them over.
I laughed and asked her (because I totally talk to my dog — no shame), “Do you not want me to do this?”
She nosed at my hand, pushing it away from the cards, staring at me the whole time. I laughed again. What a cute coincidence, I thought.
I went to pick up the deck and she stood in between me and the cards and picked up her front foot, wrapped it around my arm and pulled it close to her and away from the cards again.
This time I didn’t laugh.
It had seemed like a coincidence at first, but now I was kind of freaked out. “Okay, I won’t do it,” I said.
As I put the cards back in the tin, Brisket nosed my hand holding the lid, as if to say, close this thing up already. Even after I shut the tin, she stayed close.
When we left for dinner, she was clingy and panicked. Whining, clawing her way up my legs, panting, shaking, the whole nine yards.
I told Ryan about it at dinner. My boyfriend is a level-headed, logical man, not prone to fancies and hyperbole.
He stared at me.
“Throw that shit out,” he said in all seriousness. “We don’t need that bad juju in our house.”
“You really think I should?” I asked.
“Hell yes, that’s freaky.”
I thought more about the way Brisket’s beady eyes had drilled into my head, and the purposeful movements she’d made.
I agreed and threw the deck out in the outside trash when we got home. When I came in, Brisket pranced around the house with her toys before snuggling up and relaxing, flashing her belly for rubs. So I put “The Creative Tarot” on my basement bookshelf and picked “On Writing” back up. Let me tell you, it’s even better the second time.
Oh, and I looked up that card. I couldn’t help myself.
It’s the Nine of Swords, also known as the Lord of Cruelty.