New Spread: Vexing Vexillography

Flags are powerful symbols. Visible and recognized from afar; rallying points for citizens and followers; and not to mention their rich heritage of heraldic traditions.

Primarily a flag is carried as a symbol of something. Something to which you belong or not. Someplace you are a citizen of or not. And usually something displayed as an act of patriotism.

For this deal, we will dabble in Vexillology or Vexillography as suits your fancy. The former, of course, if the deal inspires a story placed in the history of the flag itself. The latter, should the deal inspire the story of the creation and design of a new flag.

We’ll begin by shuffling the whole deck, and picking a field of color as a background. Then we will deal four cards, placing them in a grid laying out as a flag flies in a stiff breeze.

Imagine a pole at either the left or right edge, perhaps even topped with some finial ornament suitable to the occasion.

From there, your story will find its place, doff its cap, and salute its flag.


The flag: fowl, Wisdom, Racket, and balm
On a field of lavender (#bebada)
Bordered in white (#eeeeee)

Chicken Little needed a new way to rally her friends, as the old way clearly wasn’t working. She spent all night thinking, then all day planning and all the next night sewing.

Surely the farmer wouldn’t miss those old bed sheets, although his wife might. Well, she decided to worry about that another day. For today, the new flag was everything.

The wind was up, so it snapped and crackled merrily in the breeze, presenting the images of the coop and egg for home along with a sturdy tree for safety.

Finally, something she could stand behind!


New Spread: Eclipsed

In synchronicity with the Total Solar Eclipse of 20171, let’s let an eclipse upset our deals.



In addition to the full deck, you’ll need something round roughly the same scale as a card. I’m using a coaster2 with a diameter fairly close to the diagonal of a card. Extra style points go for using a coaster showing the face of the full moon, naturally.

Deal a fan of several cards, and drop the coaster on them so that it covers some or all of the card faces. Style points should also be awarded for relating the amount of card covered to the conditions of the eclipse. Where my keyboard is really located it will only see a maximum eclipse of about 80% of the area. So I won’t allow my coaster to cover more that 80% of any card.


The eclipse is often seen as an omen. In story, it’s occurrence can be used by a hero to sway the ignorant. In person, a total eclipse is an experience of a lifetime. Interpretation of the cards can grow out of the many myths and beliefs about eclipses and their significance to individuals and even whole societies.

The three cards show something openly, something hidden, and something obscured. The moon hides more or less of any of these depending on how it falls.

The thing most hidden by the moon is the key to unlocking a tale to tell.


The sample spread above shows a fan of apple, Past Experience, and fish eclipsed. The moon covers most of the fish.

This is an omen for a curious fish, reminding him of the past, and the dangers of accepting apples from strangers. He escaped the hook once. But once may be the only chance he will get. He must hope that one chance is all he needs.

  1. Visible along a seventy mile wide line extending roughly from Portland Oregon to Charleston South Carolina on August 21, 2017. Try NASA and here for lots of details and advice. 
  2. Yes, I’m actually using a circle drawn by the same software that is drawing the card faces. But I modeled that circle after the coaster sitting on my desk next to my keyboard. 

After 96 Spreads, What Next?

As of Saturday the 22nd, I will have published 96 daily tales based on 96 deals of the cards. I’m writing this on day 92 and am more than a little surprised that what started as a crazy exercise has continued this long.

I started with a two cards at a time, then switch to three cards at a time, and most recently to four cards at a time. I gave each style of deal and spread room to breathe with 32 tales of its own.

Now it is time to change things up again, and pick a new kind of spread and see what it produces. I’ve played around with five card and larger spreads, and haven’t felt like the extra information was helpful. So I am going to do another block of three card spreads, but with a twist from the last time.

So starting with Deal 97 on Sunday, the three cards will relate to the Hero, the Villain, and the Obstacle. I’ll write a full post about this idea later, but until then just watch this space to see what happens.

And if the cards move you, please post your own tales on the preview post that inspired you.