Since I talked about using tarot spreads to help along character creation or move a plot point along, I thought I would take my own advice and do a dragon tarot spread for one of the characters in my work in progress, Enraptured. I used my Gilded Tarot deck for this because it’s the first deck I ever bought and it’s more of a working deck than a display deck (like my Celtic dragon deck). I wanted to find pictures of the individual cards to show you just how gorgeous this deck is, but I couldn’t find any online and the ones I tried to take were abysmal, to say the least. I did find a beautiful image of a selection of cards, and one of them appeared in my spread, so you can get an idea of how they look. I won’t be able to post each individual card, but I took a picture of the finished spread, so stay tuned until the end.
Enraptured is a story of child sexual abuse. Buddy is a transient who abducts a little girl. I chose to do his reading because, although I have a good idea about who he is and what he wants, I thought this could give me additional insights into his motivation. The reading also gave me some possible ideas for the plot that I hadn’t considered before. This is a rather large spread, so let’s get started.
- THE HEART OF THE QUESTION: Two of Wands–There is a fork in the road. He has a choice which path to take. One leads into darkness, the other to the light. He wants to take the light path, but like the birds, he’s drawn to the darkness. Dominion achieved by forceful action and powerful will. He requires a partner to achieve his goals.
- WHAT CROSSES THE QUESTION: The Hermit–An older man carrying a lantern. He tries to bring light to the darkness. He’s on a narrow path. One step to either side and he falls into endless darkness. The Hermit presents an obstacle to getting what Buddy wants. He needs to be wary of him.
- THE FOUNDATION: Four of Wands–An adult couple with their child. The woman watches the man, but the man watches the child. There are a pair of rabbits in the lush greenery. The season of lust? The woman holds the child to her. Protection? The man is reaching for the woman’s arm. To remove it? This is a card for happiness–but for whom? Buddy with his parents?
- OUTSIDE INFLUENCES: Seven of Cups–Seven cups with water and sky. Each filled with something. Outside influences. Drinking? There is a rainbow in one cup, a dove in another. Someone actively working against Buddy’s darkness? The card represents choices. Which choice to make and not get caught.
- THE SHADOWTAIL CARD: Ten of Pentacles–Money. Money will influence the whole situation, but whose? How much? Is the money being offered to Buddy or to someone else?
- YOUR HOPES: Eight of Cups–His back is turned to the knocked over choices. One choice removed as one is made? Some are still standing. Is he turning from them because he’s already made his choice or because he can’t face them? Abandonment. Disappointment.
- YOUR FEARS: Knight of Wands–A protector, a champion. This person could ruin everything or could even harm Buddy. It’s Autumn–death is coming. The knight brings urgency. Buddy needs to leave. Now.
- THE WING OF LIGHT: Four of Cups–A man being fed from a cup by the hand of God. The best possible outcome: his actions are sanctioned by Heaven and he is normal. He’s not bored, as the meaning suggests. He’s enraptured.
- THE WING OF DARKNESS: Ten of Wands–A man carrying a large burden in the dead of night. The task is difficult, bulky. He’s exposed. He risks detection. This is a warning.
- THE PAST: Five of Swords–He has taken other men’s treasures and he boasts as they weep. He’s taken them all and he’s never satisfied. He still wants more. This man has made Evil live.
- THE PRESENT: Page of Pentacles–Right now, he feels safe and happy. His shield protects him from harm and his peacock is his captive beauty. He is content.
12 & 13. THE FUTURE: King of Wands and The World–A man and a woman in opposition. A king is one and the world is many. The king is darkness and the World is light. Only one of them can win.
Like I said, I’m not professional tarot card reader. Most of the above I got from looking at the cards with my particular book in mind. Some I’ll use, maybe some I’ll discard. I have new considerations now, so I consider this a successful exercise. As I do the reading, I write down each card name along with its position in the spread before I write down any interpretations. That way, if I ever want to recreate this spread for any reason, I can do so. This picture really doesn’t do this deck justice, but you have an idea of what it looks like when finished.