WRITTEN BY: SCORPIO/LUCY VOSS
It happens to all of us – the dreaded writers block. Scorpio sets life into the tarot as they vie for the authors attention!
The Author sat at the desk staring at a blank screen. She had no ideas whatsoever but she had to submit an article by the beginning of July. Her list of ideas, while not completely exhausted, were too similar to other recent contributions. She needed something different.
The King of Wands appeared in the spare chair by the desk. “Why do you always say I am clumsy?” he asked. “I’m very good at motivating people and having ideas, but all you focus on is how I can’t assemble a trestle table or use the washing machine. Couldn’t I be the hero sometimes?”
“I think you’ve got a down on us Wands,” chipped in the Knight, joining his father. “You have mentioned me in a couple of tales, but not in a really positive way: selfish, untidy, impulsive. I’m better than that, aren’t I?”
The Author said nothing.
“I’m not always humourless, you know,” came a voice from the other side of the room. “I do have a lighter side, you just don’t seem able to find it.”
“Hmm,” said the Author. “Yours is an intellectual lighter side, that’s sometimes difficult.”
“Not really, we communicate, our humour is mental, verbal sparring, or clever puns. You haven’t thought of that.”
“And why are we always “difficult” or “hasty”?” came two other voices. “I’m good at working things out, you should give me credit for that,” said the Knight of Swords.
“But I have done,” said the Author. “I don’t think you’ve read the tales properly. In too much of a hurry.”
“Too much of a hurry,” parodied the Knight and the Page crossly.
A smooth young man shimmied into the room and sat in the chair vacated by the King of Wands. “You’re always very nice about the King and Queen and the little Page,” said the young man, “but you always describe me as peevish or obssessed with my appearance, or complaining, unflattering things.” The Author watched him look for a mirror to check his appearance, but said nothing. “I’m affectionate, you know, and I don’t forget birthdays. Lots of girls like me.”
“I suppose they do,” thought the Author “but the dates never progress into anything further.” She held her tongue.
“Why can’t I be the hero?” continued the Knight of Cups. “I don’t dash about or call people names and I do try to consider their feelings.”
“I’ll see,” was the only response.
The Author was beginning to tire of all these apparitions with their complaints and requests. To use an expression she had never cared for, “they were doing her head in” and they weren’t inspiring her with a new theme, either. She made herself a cup of redbush tea and went into the garden. She seated herself at the little bistro table and eyed the plants. “And I suppose,” she thought irritably, “the Pentacles get tired of being “helpful” and doing gardening and cooking, and the other relatives think they should feature more often… I’m a story-teller, I can only accommodate whoever fits into the story… not all of them do… and I don’t think they realise they are like that… and it all depends on the plot… when I can think of one…”
A woman in a dark red dress slipped into the other chair. “Ohhh,” sighed the Author, then after a pause, “Would you like tea?”
“No, thank you,” replied the woman in the red dress. Her steady gaze held the eyes of the Author. “I’m not being unfair to them,” said the Author.
“No, of course not,” said the woman in the red dress.
“They all seemed a bit sad that I only see one side of them,” added the Author, “though the Knights were more outspoken.”
“Well, they would be,” said the woman in the red dress, “it’s the nature of those particular Knights, on the whole.”
“They all want to be heroes,” continued the Author. “I think they want me to apologise for not making them the main part of the story.”
“Do you think you should?”
“No,” replied the Author. “Now I come to think about it I have to be true to myself as the creator of the stories. I don’t need to apologise.”
“Exactly,” said the woman in the red dress, and then she, too, faded from sight.
The Author went back to her computer and pushed the keyboard to one side. Perhaps a mini reading would help her clear her writer’s block. She took out her RWS deck and shuffled the cards. For some reason they all squirted out of her hands and dropped to the floor, some face down. She picked up those that were face up and spread them on the desk. “This won’t do,” she thought. “There are too many cards here and they all seem to be contradicting each other.” She glared at the cards. “Two Swords, yes I know I don’t know what to do; Knight of Wands, well, he’s been complaining; The World, well that comes at the end and we have to get there first; Wheel of Fortune, I know my brain is going round and round and not getting anywhere… The Devil, I don’t need that to tell me I’m stuck…”
The Author put the RWS deck back in its box. Should she try another deck? No, not just now. The idea of a reading had been a forlorn hope, really… but she still had to produce an article for July. Perhaps a walk would clear her head, but she would have lunch first.
The Author found a bench in a park a half-hour walk from home. She took her notebook from her bag and began to make a few notes of what she saw: children playing; a couple having an argument – inaudible, but their gestures told the story; a man sitting by himself with a newspaper; two boys on bicycles… She became aware that some mothers with children were standing round her bench. “What do you think you’re doing?” asked one of the mothers, pointing her finger with a jabbing gesture. “Why are you staring at the children and writing things down?” she continued. “There’s something wrong with you.”
“I thought it was men did that kind of thing,” said another of the mothers.
“What do you mean, ‘that kind of thing?’” asked the Author. “I am making notes.”
“Funny kind of notes,” said another mother, leaning over. “That’s not proper writing, that’s something funny.” The others crowded round to look. The children, sensing the adults’ ill humour, began to fidget and grizzle.
“It’s shorthand,” said the Author, a touch defensively. A grandmother with glasses looked over.
“It’s only Pitman’s” she said. “I used it at work once upon a time. And,” she said, “I can still read it and it is quite harmless. I told you there was nothing to fuss about.”
The Author took a deep breath. “I’m writing a tarot tale,” she said and added mischievously, “ and I’m looking for archetypes to put in the tale.”
“Tarot, like in cards?” asked the mothers. “Weird,” they said. “Barmy,” said others. “Archi whatsits?” they asked. “Dangerous,” they added. “Evil” added another, pursing her lips. The women moved off, muttering, all except the grandmother. She sat beside the Author, gently rocking the little boy in the buggy. “Do you read cards as well as write about them?” she asked.
“Yes,” said the Author.
“I used to like to read the cards,” said the grandmother, “but I got out of the way of it, being a parent, and work and so on. My daughter didn’t like it at all when she found out – she’d been rooting around and she found my old deck.”
“I hope she didn’t damage it,” said the Author.
“Nearly,” replied the grandmother, “but I rescued it.” After a pause, the grandmother said, “Would you do a reading for me?”
“Not here, but you could come to my house, bring your grandson, he can stay in his buggy.” The Author looked in her bag. “Here’s my card.”
“Scorpio?” asked the grandmother. “TABI?”
“It’s an organisation I belong to. They have approved me as an ethical reader. And the tarot tale I am trying to write is for their blog.”
“Did you get any inspiration this afternoon?” asked the grandmother. “Not really,” said the Author, “but I have had an interesting encounter and it is very nice to have met you.”
“It is for me, too,” said the grandmother, rising.
And as she walked away the Author thought she saw the grandmother and, in the distance, the mothers turning into a tarot tale.