The Twist: Custom Divinatory Decks

Posted: Monday, June 8, 2009 by N. F. Robinson in Labels: , ,
2

(Another correspondence post with the literally enchanting Miss Twist.You might read her stuff here
, if you had any sense: it's like internet gold!)

The pack resembles, very loosely, the conventional Tarot pack; the cards are the same size, the card stock is just as sturdy, the images just as esoteric. The backs of the cars are blank black. This is the strange beast known as the NATHANIEL FRANCIS ROBINSON WONDER PACK, designed to bring out the bizarre diviner within.

There are three sets of arcana in the deck: the Sorcerer's Arcana, which consists of ten cards, the Rigid Arcana, which consists of twenty-three, and the Flowing Arcana, which consists of thirty-four. Together there are sixty-four cards. The deck is tied to the sixty-four hexagrams of the I-Ching, but not in a way that you'd expect.

Draw the cards yourselves, using your own wacked symbolism, or work with a partner. Creation is the greatest form of divination.

THE SORCERER'S ARCANA

The first ten cards - the Sorcerer's Arcana - depict ten archetypal magicians of the Universe keyed in with famed sorcerers and the ten mystical sephiroth of the Qabalistic Tree of Life. These ten cards might be seen to represent a magician's career, or individual aspects of a person's life, or anything at all. Two Sorcerer's Arcana mean a crossroads; three mean that the deck wasn't shuffled properly.

1. The first card is YOU ARE THAT YOU ARE, and represents the all-powerful Ipsissimus within every pathetic try-hard goth. It is tied with the sphere of Kether, and is the ultimate potential within every individual. It is a timeless - aeonless - creature, the culmination of every great magical theory and every brilliant mathematical formula. There will be a chance at finding one's true potential, or a glimpse of it; the very glimpse is enough for most people to truly become happy in their lives.

2. The second card is MERLINUS AMBROSIUS, and represents the power of stories as the fuel that drives mankind. It is the energy on which the motor of humanity runs, and is tied with Binah. It is forever mutable - forever changing - and the magician of whom it is named after is more fiction than truth himself - or is it the other way around? It is the duality of good and evil; two concepts which shape mankind eternally. This card represents a powerful motivation, an irrepressible current, that drives the individual towards their destiny.

3. The third card is THE WICKEDEST MAN IN THE WORLD, and represents the power of action. It is the motor of humanity. It is Chokmah, and represents things as they are objectively - ultimately unknowable. Good and evil are the same face of the same coin, and humanity will never know the other face. It is about cleverness; the essence of magic, being good at everything you try, sucking in new experiences. It is named after the most debated magician in history, the greatest black sorcerer and purest white witch, who was ultimately neither and both. It represents decisiveness and conscious working towards change for the better.

4. The fourth card is THE KING WITH A CROWN OF THORNS, and represents kindness and action without a cause; the Tao. It represents Chesed, and in a lesser capacity actions with cause - revolutions, the fury of thorns, being among them. It is named after a magician considered by most to be a messiah, or a liar; it might be proposed that he is both. He is the first, regardless. This card represents sacrifice, completely random coincidences - that are actually just that, coincidences, and nothing more - and charity.

5. The fifth card is THE ADVERSARY IN LIGHT, and represents judgment, punishment, concealment and the sacred. The sacred is most traditionally hidden; our greatest adversaries are ourselves. Is it a coincidence that the greatest enemy of Christianity is an angel? Or that it's greatest saviour was crowned with a ring of thorns? This card is Gevurah. Our friends punish us and our enemies reward us. It is the nature of the world. This card represents the duality in all things, and should be seen more as a brother to the fourth card than an opposite.

6. The sixth card is THE LAUGHING PHOENIX, and represents synchronicity, spirituality, kindness, rebirth, and the center of all things. Some might claim it represents Jesus Christ, or Ra, or the Buddha, while others may align it to many other deities; it is the deity within the deity, the Russian doll of apotheostic dreams. Simply being the greatest isn't great, however; one must understand why they are great, and that is the truest failing of THE LAUGHING PHOENIX who cackles when it dies and sobs quietly when it is reborn. This card is Tiphereth the weak and mighty.

7. The seventh card is THE PREACHER OF WEALTH, and represents personal loyalty, leadership, the conclusion of goals, and powerful causes. The Preacher is a powerful figure who shares wisdom only when his flock is ready for it; he is the dispenser of spiritual wealth. This card is Netzach, and understands that all groups cannot succeed without the power of a good leader - nevertheless, most groups die due to the failings of the one chosen for the role. The Preacher, unlike his brother Shaman, does not need to create and destroy to find wisdom; he only needs to accept the gifts that come naturally to him.

8. The eighth card is THE BLASTED SHAMAN, and represents loyalty, group passions, seeing through on your goals, and hard work. The Tower might not like it, but the Shaman is not the Tower and the Shaman seeks to be burnt so that he might learn from it. The Blasted Shaman learns so that he can help his community, and his community are rarely thankful for it. It is tied with Hod; the Shaman thinks, and understands, and learns. A good deed is his own reward - knowledge is just another benefit. While the Shaman may lose his life to his cause, he is also the only one who truly understands how the universe is broken down.

9. The ninth card is THE CAT WHO WAS NOT KILLED BY CURIOSITY, and is the pillar on which the entire Sorcerer's Arcana stands. It stands for options, for adventure, for a fresh chance at learning; it is the card that best represents the fallacy that is, "Curiousity killed the cat." It represents strange thoughts and valid pseudosciences, and psychology; it is Yesod, and the initiation that all magicians must undertake before becoming either the Shaman or the Preacher - here they decide whether they are talented or merely skilled, and here the walls of reality crumble.

10. The tenth card is ME WHO AM I AS, and represents you as you are: nothing. You are a collection of adjectives, a molecule in the structure of the universe - an unthinking being who has tricked himself into thinking that you are more than you are. This card is Malkuth, and represents the truth, both the most powerful and deadliest tool mankind's sorcerers have. It is the beginning of a new, foolish journey.

THE RIGID ARCANA

There are twenty-three Rigid Arcana, representing the twenty-three mystic principles you will never understand. No description is given here; they should be interpreted by the diviner. Think about what they mean. These cards do not move within a person's life; they might be considered core aspects of their existence, or simply obstacles that will not go away.

11. THE NUMBER ELEVEN
12. LANGUAGE
13. TRAFFIC LIGHTS
14. BOOKS
15. INCENSE
16. LOGIC
17. EARS
18. MIRROR
19. ROPE
20. SWASTIKA
21. FEET
22. PHILOSOPHY
23. BIRD
24. NOSE
25. AUTOMOBILE
26. SALT
27. COMPUTER
28. FIRE
29. BOTTLE
30. EYES
31. MATHEMATICS
32. HANDS
33. TONGUE

The Flowing Arcana

The Flowing Arcana represents events that are happening, but will move on. It is like water, and it is not unusual for one reading to have many Flowing Arcana. The Arcana should be named after events; not events that will actually happen, but events that represent events that represent changes in consciousness that are represented by a deck of cards. Feel free to add or subtract Flowing Arcana as you please; it is best if you design your own.

34. YOU WILL BE BEATEN SAVAGELY TO DEATH
35. THE TRUTH IS NOT OUT THERE
36. YOU WILL WRITE A NOVEL
37. YOU HAVE NO LOGICAL REASON TO BELIEVE IN A DEITY
38. LSD WILL TRY YOU
39. YOUR CHILD IS ABDUCTED BY A STRANGE BEARDED MAN
40. GO SEE A MOVIE
41. YOU WILL SUCCEED
42. YOU WILL TAKE UP THE LEFT-HAND SCARF
43. YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF TO BE UNATTRACTIVE
44. YUO RAE DYLSEXIC
45. SOMEONE LOVES YOU
46. YOU ARE FATED TO NEVER WIN A GAME OF MONOPOLY
47. YOU WILL BE SUCKED INTO A BIZARRE CONSPIRACY
48. YOU WILL TAKE UP THE RIGHT-HAND LAUGH
49. YOU WILL WIN THE LOTTERY BUT LOSE THE TICKET
50. YOU ARE A WALKING PARADOX
51. YOU THINK YOU ARE SO CLEVER
52. HAVE YOU DONE SOMETHING NEW TO YOUR HAIR
53. NO ONE WILL EVER LOVE YOU
54. YOU'RE ACTUALLY VERY FUNNY
55. YOU WILL LEAVE YOUR LOVER
56. YOU SHOULD LEARN GRAMMAR
57. YOU READ A GOOD PIECE OF FICTION
58. NO ONE LIKES YOUR FIANCEE
59. YOU HAVE WASTED YOUR LIFE
60. YOU WILL DISCOVER HORRORS BENEATH THE FATHOMLESS SEA
61. YOU WILL NEVER LEARN HOW TO TRAVEL THROUGH TIME
62. YOU WILL CONSIDER DABBLING IN WITCHCRAFT
63. YOU WILL EAT SUSHI FOR DINNER
64. YOU WILL NEVER BE AS GREAT AS YOUR FATHER WAS

Conclusion

So there you have it: the NATHANIEL FRANCIS ROBINSON WONDER PACK for you to make at home. Good luck and stay jolly.

- Frater Victatio / Nathaniel Robinson

2 comments:

  1. nick says:

    Where do I purchase one of these?

  1. Well, typically you'd make one yourself using my system. However, I might just have a crack at drawing up a set of these cards.