Category Archives: Writing Prompts

Mystic Monkey – HALLOWEEN EDITION: The King of Swords

Hear ye, hear ye! His Majesty demandeth your attention using his trusty party blower!

Mummy Monkey is really using his head for this one…a.k.a., my little fluorite skull, Lula. Sorry the card itself appears so faded in the image, but what we see here is an owl-masked King of Swords blowing his party horn as a mist of swirling air envelopes his head. The Swords suit in tarot represents the air element and is all to do with our noggins–that is, our thoughts and intellect. In contrast to the touchy-feelier King of Cups, this monarch rules with reason more than emotion.

The King of Swords from the Rider-Waite-Smith tarot deck.

This can make him seem a bit more detached, aloof, as he approaches life rationally and objectively. He can cut through the crap to see a situation with clarity and troubleshoot it without personal baggage or compassion influencing his decisions. Not that he’s completely cold-hearted; he’s just able to distance himself with a mental acuity that enables him to make the tough choices, the ones that are probably in everyone’s best interest in the long run even if might hurt feelings or seem callous in the short run. I can’t help but think of a sociopath as an extreme example–not the serial-murdery kind, but the sort who remains utterly cool under pressure. The kind we actually need in society because someone’s gotta diffuse that bomb without freaking out! So, this card tends to pop up when you need to check your emotions at the door and think things through more intelligently and less impetuously. It could also mean seeking out an advisor who can offer sound logic and advice.

To supplement this card, I also drew one from The Halloween Oracle. I swear I do not make this stuff up…

I mean, seriously, the owl?! The owl! After I just said the King of Swords from the Trick or Tarot deck is wearing an owl mask and represents intellect and reason–or one could say, “Wise seeing, wise action,” as this oracle card indeed does. The accompanying guidebook goes on to say:

Should the hooting owl come looking for you this Halloween, it indicates the need for wise council or further information before you make a decision. Considered action is warranted. Think before you act emotionally and ensure you think strategically, not impulsively.

Well, gol’ darn. If that’s not a perfect counterpart to today’s tarot card, I don’t know what is.

*

Crystal pairing: clear quartz + purple fluorite for clear thinking and discernment.

Advertisements

Mystic Monkey – HALLOWEEN EDITION: The Hierophant

Oh, my goodness. I just love this Halloween-ified version of The Hierophant:

Once again, I’ve used Duck Soup Production’s Trick or Tarot deck for this seasonal edition of my one-card-draw tarot journal. Here we see a wizened witch guiding two trick-or-treaters with promises of tricks and treats indeed. She dangles a skeleton key before them like the proverbial carrot, motivating them toward what knowledge and opportunities such a key could unlock.

The traditional Rider-Waite-Smith Hierophant isn’t too different, with an ecclesiastical-looking man bestowing blessings upon the two followers at his feet (between which are also keys to higher/spiritual understanding). This card tends to trip up folks–I mean, WTF is a hierophant, amiright? Essentially, we have a high priest here who can interpret esoteric knowledge for us schmucks. A middleman between us and God, a teacher who can unlock truths that are otherwise beyond us, putting them in terms we can understand. This card can pop up when we need to seek someone else for their insights and expertise in a situation–a religious leader, sure, but also a mentor or therapist or the like. It can but doesn’t necessarily have to pertain to religion. The Hierophant can generally represent group membership and conventional wisdom. But depending on how this comes up in a tarot reading, it could be a call to conform to prescribed expectations or to rebel against such authority, bust out of the traditional structures that bind us (patriarchy, anyone?).

Okay, so this one’s for the Buffy buffs (looking at you, Josie): If you at all struggle with this card, I came across a brilliant way to conceptualize it in Mary Caelsto’s The Fool’s Journey through Sunnydale, in which the Hierophant is, in essence, the Watchers Council:

The Watchers Council is a somewhat secretive organization dedicated to training the Slayers and preserving the traditions of Watchers and their Slayers. They are the descendants of the Shadow Men who created the first Slayer. Many of them have magical training and are taught in demonology and other esoteric subjects. […]

It is said that the Hierophant helps us to unlock the door to truth and see the meaning in life. He helps us get closer to our divine purpose. The Watchers Council, no matter what you may think of their methods, strives to unlock the truth for the Slayer and show her that her purpose in life is to kill vampires. […]

However, the Hierophant reminds us that we do answer to a higher power, and here is where the Watchers Council fails. They turn to the reversed side of the card, because […] they believe that they are the higher power. Whatever individual spirituality may be embraced by each individual Watcher is of no consequence, because the organization as a whole believes it is above the law, both human and spiritual.

In that case, rather than serve as a conduit for higher consciousness that would encourage one’s pursuit of personal truth, the Hierophant might dictate a dogma that restricts individual freedom.

Which is why I kinda love the witch in this Trick or Tarot deck. She embodies ancient wisdom and ritual, but in a less mainstream and more matriarchal way. There’s a mysticism to her that infuses this card with the essence of the High Priestess (#2 in the tarot’s Major Arcana), pulling in the more positive aspect of attuning with our higher selves with the aid of a guide. She’s the ghoulish guru who’ll help us unlock our own magical powers. Her mischievous smirk and sidelong gaze also imply she’s a bit of a trickster, who may use her secret knowledge in unorthodox ways. So, we might want to inspect the wrappers before swallowing her treats whole–or even go it alone rather join her coven. Then again, she might show us cunningly cool ways to challenge the status quo ourselves. Put that in your cauldron and boil it!

*

Crystal pairing: lapis lazuli for higher wisdom and learning.


Mystic Monkey – HALLOWEEN EDITION: The 10 of Pentacles

Hiya, how are ya? I neglected to give a heads-up in my last post that I’d be going M.I.A. (Monkey in America), so off the radar for a few days. My posts may be sporadic going forward as well, at least for a few weeks while I am visiting my folks in the good ol’ U.S. of A.

In any case, I am traveling without my usual monkeys and traditional Rider-Waite-Smith tarot deck, but I do have Halloween-themed tarot and oracle cards with me because, y’know, ’tis the season! So, I’ve procured a mini-Mummy Monkey to pose with this month’s special-edition cards.

Okay, then. Now that those very important administrative details have been addressed, let’s begin today’s one-card draw from the Trick or Tarot deck by Duck Soup Productions! The Ten of Pentacles

In tarot, 10s typically mean completion of a cycle but also excess. By this point, we’ve accomplished what we’ve wanted and accumulated more than enough for ourselves, so we can share our bounty with others. This is a card of legacy, of family, inheritance. Pentacles represent our status in the physical world, our financial wealth, our homes, our families and sense of stability. And as we see in the Trick or Tarot card here, there is a house looming behind a woman, her two creepy costumed kiddos, and their fierce family “pet”–or maybe that’s just Dad in werewolf form. Gravestones in the foreground give a nod to ancestors and reinforce that idea of family legacy.

This Gothic glimpse at the Ten of Pentacles really isn’t all too different from the traditional RWS card. The Rider-Waite-Smith version roots us in the physical through imposing architecture (the archway an example of solid support), grapevines, three generations of people (who have pets — or shape-shifting dads — as well), and a plethora of coins (well, ten, to be exact). It’s got that abundance of wealth and security to pass on to the next generation, a feeling of satisfaction and achievement that enables us to now rest and enjoy sharing with our loved ones. There is a lush sense of all is well and there’s more than enough to go around. A lovely card to draw on my first full day in my hometown, seated here in my childhood home and catching up with my parents and getting excited to also see siblings and nieces and nephews. Nothing makes me feel more grounded and content and secure than being here, I tell ya. It’s a tremendous sense of fulfillment, and I’m so grateful to my parents for the generous and loving legacy they’ve passed down to grandchildren who adore them as much as their kids do. My cup runneth over being with them and seeing everyone do so well.

That’s all I really have to say about this particular card, Halloween version or otherwise. Except maybe…

…someone give those kids candy before they kill anyone. And put Dad on a leash.

*

Crystal pairing: citrine + pyrite for prosperity and manifestation


Mystic Monkey: The Page of Cups

Eek, I’m getting this one in just under the wire in UK time. But today’s tarot card at least puts the “sweet” in short-n-sweet…

(In lieu of having a fish handy around the flat, I at least somehow managed a turtle for the photo.)

So here we are, with the Page of Cups! I have a tendency to see this guy and automatically think, aw crap, I’m being too fanciful and immature again…which is of course what this card can mean, but it doesn’t always have to be that negative. It can also give props to our imaginative selves full of whimsy and creativity. Our child at heart who would not only delight in finding a fish in her cup but also carry on a conversation with it as well–y’know, in a cute and clever and not alarmingly crazy way. Within the tarot court cards, Pages can represent a young person in our life or our own youthful aspect (or early stage in a new endeavor). And when it comes to the tarot suit of Cups, we’re working within the realm of emotions, intuition, creativity, and spirituality. The soft, soothing blues of this card and the gently undulating waves in its background give an easy-breezy impression of just going with the flow, wherever your whims may take you. A blessing for new beginnings.

There’s of course still that caution that I opened with, though, as Pages in their innocence can also be naive and in need of more experience and doses of reality. As with all tarot cards, however you take this one can depend on its context and perhaps if it’s reversed or not (if reading reversed cards is your thang–it’s mine but not everyone’s). But overall, it can’t help but be a delightful little messenger, with a freedom and lightness that gets a bit lost by the time this Page ages into the King of Cups.

*

Crystal pairing: yellow fluorite + larimar for creativity, flow, and connecting with your inner child


Mystic Monkey: The Empress

Pardon the gap in posts. Sometimes life just gets away with ya, but here to compensate with a powerful energy is the third tarot card I’ve drawn so far from the Major Arcana: The Empress.

This lady is one big loving Earth mama, generous in her curves as the fertile being she is. Her nurturing isn’t only maternal in the literal sense; she’s also about sowing one’s talents and reaping the rewards, enjoying the sumptuous, sensuous pleasures of life, her celestial crown showing the power and inspiration she channels from the divine in addition to worldly abundance. She is regal, yet she is chill, comfy in her loose draping gown as she reclines on her velvety-looking cushions (their crimson color evoking the root and sacral chakras, respectively grounding and sensual energies). Embodying compassion, creativity, nature, and sensuality, she’s an absolute goddess. She encourages us to birth new life or ideas out into the world, to revel in the bounty of our natural environment–and to provide others with a loving, peaceful, and supportive environment cultivated through feminine wisdom and care. This is just a lush, beautiful card, and I always feel blessed by a visit from the Empress. (I think Miss Monkey fancies her flowy gown for today’s photo shoot, too.)

*

Crystal pairing: chrysocolla + chrysoprase for feminine energy and fertility


Mystic Monkey: The 8 and 9 of Cups

Happy Weekend!

Since I slacked the last couple of days, I’m making today a tarot twofer. As it is, two cards did indeed fall into my lap while I shuffled, so I decided to take them as a pair. Usually, I set escapees like that aside for clarity on the cards I ultimately do pull. But for a one-card draw, I figure if one goes a-flyin’ to get my attention, why not let it be the card of the day? Or cards, in this case:

The Eight of Cups and Nine of Cups. Cool to get two in consecutive order to tell the story of the Cups toward its thrilling conclusion. To start, the Eight card clearly looks more mournful than the Nine, but Eights hold hope, so we must undergo this melancholy in order to achieve the satisfying outcome of the Nine. In this first card, we see all eight cups being left behind, cups that–as we’ve seen so far–have held pleasure and togetherness in the Three of Cups, solitary reflection in the Four of Cups, and all sorts of fancies in the Seven of Cups. But even things that once made us feel good don’t serve us later on. Perhaps they were shallow sources of happiness, relationships turned toxic, overindulgences–anything, really, that we might’ve thought we wanted but isn’t ultimately fulfilling. So, while it might be with some sadness and difficulty (like in the Six of Swords), we have to shed what no longer serves us and move on to something more meaningful. Cut loose the excess weighing us down so we can travel more lightly to higher ground. The person’s staff makes me think of the tarot’s Wands suit, which signifies taking action, and indeed the Eight of Cups is our cue to act on our gut intuition (symbolized by the moon) that’s been telling us things aren’t right and it’s time to go.

The true contentment we seek, then, is in the Nine of Cups, where we see this rather smug-looking man with a shit-eating grin. 😏 This is a “wish” card that promises emotional, spiritual, and even material fulfillment. After his journey, this guy has dropped his staff and taken a seat, able to kick his feet up and just enjoy when life is good. Discontent will inevitably return as this cycle continues to spin, but for now, all’s five-by-five.

Prior to selecting today’s tarot cards, Pixie’s Astounding Lenormand deck arrived at my door, so I decided to draw one of those as well. How darling are these sweet petite thangs (just over 2×3″)?? Rendered from Pamela Colman Smith’s artwork (the artist of the original Rider-Waite deck), these cards contain all the classic symbols of the Lenormand system, which I’ve yet to properly study (along with runes and geomancy and, and… Gah! I’ve got to get tarot down first.). In any case, the card that came up was #2, “The Clover,” which generally means:

[P]ure luck and fortune. It brings good tidings and reasons to celebrate. […] Be warned that this is not a lasting trend but a quick stroke of luck perhaps one of those ‘million-to-one’ chances [that] encourages you to pay attention, grab hold and pluck it while you can.

Well, la-tee-da. Nine of Cups plus the Clover?? Guess who’s wearing the shit-eating grin now! 😄

*

Crystal pairing: smoky quartz + citrine for moving on and joy


Mystic Monkey: The Star

It’s here! It’s here! 🌟 💫 ⭐️

And now I must play this!

I cannot get this song out of my head when I see this card. Not that its lyrics are relevant, but just the happy sound of it is how The Star in tarot makes me feel, too. Just like, ahhh, I’ve been through hell but now raise my arms and face to the heavens and let the stars sprinkle down and cleanse me. Like I can just splash some cool water on my face and lie back to stare at the night sky. Relax into the serene beauty of it as I take a breather and heal my wounds, tend to some self-care and believe in myself again as I refill my cup and quench my spiritual thirst. Dream again, hope again.

Before this card appears in the tarot’s Major Arcana, the events reflected in the Death, Devil, and Tower cards can royally grind our arses into the ground. All might seem lost afterward as we find ourselves on new terrain, but the Star softly illuminates our way, so we can wish upon it for guidance to something better and more meaningful. We might only bask in dim, distant light at this point, but the future is brighter already. Trust that all is well. We’re reborn into a new land that we can make fertile with renewed optimism and faith; we nourish it in nourishing ourselves and others. So, chin up, li’l buckeroo. Shoot for the stars.

I also drew an oracle card again today, this time from the Lunar Nomad Oracle, and got “The Fish.” I’ve only just started dipping my toe into Lenormand waters, but according to the Lunar Nomad guidebook:

The Fish encourage you to live in flowing water. Water holds psychic vibrations and life-sustaining nutrients. Water nourishes us from the inside out. […] Like groundwater, your vibration moves under the surface of your life, invisible to the naked eye yet essential. […] Love, positivity, generosity, and gratitude raise your vibration. Honor these feelings, seek them out in your experience, and you will attract even more of the same. When you exude these vibrations, blessings cannot help but find you!

Now I see these fish swimming in the waters of the Star card as I revitalize from within to eventually (hopefully!) manifest without. 🐠🌟 🐟

*

My chosen crystal pairing: a big ol’ hunk of rose quartz, as the quintessential “bubble bath for the emotions.” (Might I recommend popping this crystal into an actual bath for some good vibrations? Try it. You’ll see. 😊)


Mystic Monkey: The Ace of Wands

Hmm, today’s tarot one-card draw does not surprise me in the least…

The Ace of Wands signals new projects and opportunities, a creative spark that bodes well for diving into a new challenge. Why doesn’t its appearance today surprise me? Well…

Recent readings that included the Six of Swords and Eight of Cups basically told me to cut my losses and move on to something better, just when I was questioning yet again why my current manuscript has been such a struggle. Intuitively, I know: it’s not the right story or I’m not writing it the right way. So, I’ve made the decision to scrap what I’ve written and start over! It’s the first time I’ve done that with a manuscript, something I’ve always feared would happen, but now that it is, I feel liberated. Second chance! Fresh start! And I’m okay with that!

So then, also unsurprisingly, I drew this card today from Alana Fairchild’s Sacred Rebels Oracle deck: “Shock of the New.” New, new, new! I’m detecting a pattern here. This card encourages me to embrace the strangeness that challenges my conventional attitudes yet will help me birth something new and wonderful. Yeah, okay! I’m up for that! As it is, I’ve been so distracted lately by all sorts of metaphysical interests, which is way New Age-ier than I’ve historically been. But the fervor with which I’ve been gobbling it up has got to mean something, so I’ve been trying to just surrender to it and see where it all goes. As the oracle card says (per Alana’s guidebook):

There are rumblings and stirrings of the creative life force happening now — deep in the undercurrents of your being. […] So be on the lookout for the big shift of new birth, the shock of the new, the unconventional, the strangely beautiful and the disturbing liberation of that which is foreign stepping into your life. […] You are being invited, dragged, nurtured and coerced into the new. You can handle it!

This captures the spirit of the Ace of Wands very well, that stick that pokes at us to act on our creative potential in some new undertaking, going with our gut rather than thinking about it too hard. Just do it, as Nike would say. And what better day than today, when I was already planning to set up a crystal grid for creative inspiration and action for the full moon. So, waving my wand, I say, All right, Monkey, let’s manifest some shit! 🧙‍♀️

*

My chosen crystal pairing: prehnite + tourmaline for inspired action and new challenges.


Mystic Monkey: The 5 of Wands

Happy Monday, all! What better way to start the week than with a little group conflict… 😀

Those darn 5s. They, along with 7s, like to herald conflict and struggle in tarot, but what can ya do. That’s life. Here in the Five of Wands card, we see a group of lads duking it out with their staffs (hello, sausage fest!). This isn’t generally a positive card to me, but it’s not as bad as it initially appears either. This doesn’t look like combat so much as friendly competition. We’ve got five people dressed quite differently from each other, signifying their differences in perspective as well. This could be a clash of viewpoints on an issue or how to accomplish a team goal, or individuals vying for an achievement. There’s also confusion here, a lack of clarity that obscures the way forward and keeps anyone from making progress. I look at the chap on the left, though, who seems to have freed his wand from the fray and thus holds it up victoriously–he’s gotten himself out of this tangle and can now make more productive use of his time, be on his way ahead of the rest. There’s this healthy aspect of competition that encourages you to do your best and set yourself apart, but it’s also good to work with others, to brainstorm and hear diverse opinions–as long as everyone is listening and valuing that input; otherwise, you really will get nowhere.

*

My chosen crystal pairing: aqua aura quartz + fire agate for clear and calm communication, focused action, and blocking negativity.

 


Mystic Monkey: The King of Cups

Well, howdy-do?! I ditched my tarot card of the day yesterday for a cemetery tour in the rain (as one does), but today I’m back to rock ’em sock(monkey) ’em.

So, kings… I generally don’t love when they appear. They automatically make me dread an authoritarian a-hole in my life or that that’s the stern attitude I must possess.

But kings aren’t necessarily dicks, and embodying their masculine energy can be quite a good thing. Tarot kings are masters of their suits, after all, and the King of Cups in particular is a nice, loving king. More in tune with his emotions than the rest. But, again, a master of them, meaning he can keep them in check. Keep his head above water and ride the waves with ease. Which is, again, a good thing–I really need it!–but this lends an aloofness as well. I feel like this king is more intuitive and fanciful than he lets himself show. Like he’s lived his Page and Knight days of daydreaming and romance and has by now stuffed a cork in it. The crazy fish he once held in his cup is now dumped back into the water. Yet it stays with him, swimming alongside.

So, I do give this king credit for possessing creativity and compassion, simply filtering it through his emotional maturity. He can remain calm under pressure and apply his strong instincts and interpersonal skills to his work and relationships. He’s deep, not shallow. Steady but not stodgy. A confident yet caring person who does ultimately give a crap. He’s just not going to spaz out over it. He’ll mediate and productively work toward solutions instead.

As for how this might apply to me? I’ve been a little self-pitying the last couple of days, which is decidedly not a color I love on me, so today I feel ready to rein it in.

*

My chosen crystal pairing: serpentine + mahogany obsidian for emotional balance and strength.


%d bloggers like this: