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New Spread: The Lottery

As they always say, “You can’t win if you don’t play…”

The Lottery

Deal

For this batch we’ll try something a little different. In addition to the Oracle cards, you will need some dice. Just one die of any size and shape will do, but it will be easier if you have two or more. I will use two six-sided dice for the blog, known in tabletop gaming as 2d6.

Roll the dice, and record the numbers on each dia from left to right across the table in front of you, along with their total. This is the daily draw and a bonus value.

Separate the deck into the abstract and concrete packets.

Deal three pairs, each an abstract paired with a concrete noun.

Interpretation

The first pair along with the dice roll represent the grim reality, in answer to yesterday’s hopes and dreams.

The second pair says something about the situation today.

The third pair identifies the hopes and dreams for tomorrow.

The story today likely picks up from where yesterday left off. Of course, changes of point of view are encouraged. This is an opportunity to try writing something where you don’t know until you deal tomorrow’s cards where the tale will lead you. Of course, you are welcome to plan a longer story arc, and then face the adage that no plan ever survives contact with the enemy.

Whatever you do, remember that the goal is to expand your thinking about a tale and above all, to have fun.

Example

  • Dice roll: 1, 1, total 2
  • Grim Reality: Abhor, Disguise
  • Present Day: Fate, Beer
  • Hopes and Dreams: War, and window

The grim reality is a roll of snake eyes and a hated disguise or costume. The setting is an ominous pub, with hopes and dreams of a window of war.

The story could be of a disaffected mercenary, losing at craps while waiting for his rapidly narrowing chance to make a difference in the war.

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New Spread: Spirals on my Mind

Once again, the time for a new spread is upon us.

Since we’ve tried rows, trees, clouds, and circles, let’s try spirals for while.

Spirals on my Mind

Shuffle the entire deck, reversing cards freely.

Beginning at the center of the mat, lay a number of cards out in a spiral pattern, starting at the center and working outwards. These posts will use a single turn of a spiral that grows just fast enough that the cards are mostly visible. You could use other kinds of spirals, or just push the cards around to suit you.

Start at the center and work out, or at the outside and work inwards.

Working outwards carries a sense of an open ended tale, as if the tale need not end when you run out of cards.

Working inwards carries a sense of a looming barrier as the space for each card or idea is increasingly hemmed in by the cards that came before.

Either way, the cards are but stepping stones along the path of the tale. The hero, his goal, and all else is at your whim.

Example

Dealt Strength, Infinite, carrot, lantern, Purity, gentleman, Reconciliation, birdcage, and Hope.

Beginning from a position of great strength, with powerful vision, our hero could be Sir Galahad the Pure on a quest. A quest that begins with a reconciliation with an old enemy, and ends in hope.

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New spread: A Wink and a Smile

It is time for a new spread. Since April Fool’s Day has safely passed, let’s consider a nod to the fools among all of us. A nod, a wink, and a smile, that is.

Wink and a Smile

Deal

Deal five cards total from both decks shuffled together. The first two cards are the eyes, the last three are the mouth. You can draw a circle for the head around them all, and add a nose if you desire.

Place each eye oriented horizontally or vertically as randomly as you feel like doing. The eyes, of course, need not match.

Place the three cards of the mouth generally horizontally, but with each end turned up, left straight, or turned down at random.

Interpretation

The funny face sets the mood. Let it mock you. Let it inspire you. At least, let it speak to you.

The eyes represent perception, one observing the past, and the other the future. A closed eye is looking inwards. An open eye could be seeing anything.

The mouth is the thread of the tale. Beware the twisted tongue of the slick salesman and find your meaning figuratively in the mouth.

Example

The top image shows:

Eyes: butter knife, Free Will
Mouth: stick, sunk, Grace

The face is smiling, and both eyes are open. A mistake in the past involving a knife has led to a fall from grace. From here, the only way forward is up.

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New Spread: Veiled Secrets

Veiled Secrets

The story is not always plain and clear in the cards. Sometimes you are looking through as if through veil, imagining what secrets lie beneath. For this spread, we’ll toss some cards on a table and drop a random lacy veil across them. Some cards will be harder to make out than the others. Some might be hidden almost entirely.

Which cards are the secret? Well that is up to you.

The Actor is probably described by the first card or two. The secret lies somewhere after that. The other cards are distractions, which may be used as little or as much as needed to keep the secret.

Spread

  • Shuffle the cards
  • Toss some on the table, one at a time
  • Toss some fishnet, tule, or fine lace on top
  • Notice which cards were dealt first to signify the Actor

Example

On a puddle of blue (#80b1d3) are thrown
Protection, darkness, War, tuxedo, Poison, Carrot, and Rat

Here, the Actor is signified by protection in darkness. The secret could be any of the rest, but perhaps poison is too obvious a choice. A poisoned carrot, however, might be interesting.

This could lead us to a story about Eve, a spy who works most effectively under cover of darkness when most sensible people are looking anywhere else if they are even awake at all. Her mission tonight is to access and copy the contents of the carrot, a slender orange container holding the upcoming week’s encryption keys, without either Bob or Alice noticing. The keys are only of full value to Eve if neither Bob nor Alice know she has been near the carrot. If they have the least suspicion, they will feed the carrot to the rabbit rather than take the risk that Eve is listening.

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New Spread: Superpowers

What is a superhero or supervillain?

A superhero is someone who would likely be ordinary without their superpower, who also chooses to act. It isn’t enough to just be different. You have to also take action. The power need not be “magical” (whether of the sufficiently advanced technology sort or the other sort) but can simply be the ability to see a need and approach it.

The rise of a superhero is often matched by a supervillain.

So find the cards, deal five, and find your superpower.

That’s Super!

Every superhero has an origin story. Many have a secret identity. Most have some special means to transform from one to the other. With this spread, find a hero (or villain) in the cards, and tell something about their story.

The Deal

Shuffle the entire deck, reversing halves so that the cards are randomly oriented. Deal five cards:

  • Two cards: Side A. Lay out overlapping with the point up.
  • One card: The Difference. Lay this card horizontally, connecting A to B.
  • Two cards: Side B. Lay out overlapping with the point down.

Interpretation

The first pair is the A side. This pair describes our actor before his transformation, before his discovery of his powers, or while passing as normal.

The last pair is the B side. This pair describes our actor after his transformation, after his discovery of his powers, or while super.

In between we have The Difference, which connects A to B. This card represents some key element of the transformation, and as such, both words on the card are important.

Example

Side A: Loyalty, sock
The Difference: Stagnation—Transformation
Side B: Lawsuit, Untruths

Clarence, a laundromat attendant by day, transforms from his dull and humdrum life into the flamboyant bus bench lawyer by night. Witness the boredom of the laundromat, where nothing more exciting than the occasional missing sock or lost quarter ever happens. Contrast that with the high stakes and flamboyantly dressed underworld of the sleazy lawyer cutting deals with gangsters and arranging ransom for kidnappers. Sometimes the law just needs to clean up!

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New Spread: Old to New

With a new year upon us in the real world, it is time perhaps to consider a little mental housecleaning. It is time to put out the old, and welcome the new. Exchange new lamps for old, as the classic tale has it.

Old to New Spread

The Deal

  • Deal a concrete card to the center as the pivot.
  • Deal two concrete cards to the left as the old.
  • Deal two abstract cards to the right as the new.

Interpretation

The pair to the left stand for things to throw out with the changing of the year. Cherish them or hate them, their time is past. Let them go.

The pair to the right stand for things anticipated to come. Await them eagerly or fear them, their time is upon you.

The card at the eye of the storm is the pivot on which the whole turns. This might be a main character, a place, a prop, or a theme. It might not need to be mentioned by name, as events will turn about it regardless.

Example

Pivot: Music
The Old: Mirror, fowl
The New: Prudence, Loyalty

As the dancers moved around her, the Princess finally relaxed into the moment and just let herself enjoy it.

All that business with the mirror, the old hag, the poisoned chickens, and the five extremely tall men was over and done. She had survived, and even perhaps learned a few lessons. The hag was no longer a threat. The chicken flock was once again healthy. And the mirror knew better than to offer any opinions. For now, at least.

Tomorrow was another day, which she would deal with then. She imagined that more care was needed before accepting help from just anyone. And she expected that her new council members (all unusually tall and thin) would be loyal to her before all else.

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New Spread: The Tree

Evergreen in the darkest months, a tree is a powerful symbol of life sustained through the dead of winter. It is no wonder that trees figure in many ceremonies, rites, and rituals seen around the end of the year. It is that time of year, so let’s have a tree of our own.

The Tree

Deal

Our tree will be made up of seven cards.

  • Shuffle the abstract and concrete cards together.
  • Deal one card for the trunk.
  • Deal a row of three above it for the canopy.
  • Deal a row of two on the three continuing the canopy.
  • Deal a single card at the top as the eagle’s aerie.

Optionally, also do one or more of the following, depending on how festive you feel:

  • Place a face down card beside the tree as a wrapped gift.
  • Sprinkle glitter to symbolize ornaments.
  • Add LED fairy lights to the tree.

Interpretation

The Trunk of the tree is represented by the obvious first card, along with the card directly above it, the center of the row of three cards. These identify the core issue, the primary thread, or the key subject.

The Canopy is collectively all six cards in the triangle, with the bottom center card sharing roles with the trunk. The canopy sheds the weather, it is the color seen at a distance, and often conceals wildlife from view.

The Aerie is the top card. It is where you might find an eagle or crow nesting. The best views are had from here, but the tree will bend under almost any weight. We’ll deal the aerie card tipped slightly off kilter to remind us of that.

The three cards at the center are the pivot and support for the entire story. The aerie at the top is the high point, but not somewhere you want to linger. The cards of the canopy are distraction, camouflage, and the challenges.

Example

The lantern at the top can be seen for miles. Of course, lighting and maintaining that lantern is no easy task as it needs to be refilled and maintained most nights. Only the pure of heart need volunteer, as any other will never remain fearless after more than a few climbings. But the light is important. It is a beacon of the learning to be found beneath our tree, drawing in seekers of truth from miles away.

It also shows the way to those members of our eclectic community that arrive by air. From the air, it is said to be visible for many miles, as one of the few bright spots in a dark and dense forest canopy. The ample village green near the river proves a safe landing for our aerial visitors.

Our tree is otherwise one of seemingly infinitely many like it that make up our forest. Beneath their wide-spread boughs we live our daily lives, study, and meditate.

Won’t you consider joining us?