Completely rewritten October 2007.
A Danny Phantom FanFiction by Cordria
Far in the depths of the Ghost Zone, way beyond Skulker's lair and even beyond the forgotten realms of UnderGrowth, there exists a door. This isn't just any door: it is a special door that no ghost has ever entered willingly. This door lies at the very edge of the infinite realms of the Ghost Zone… and behind this one small, insignificant doorway lies the ghostly lair of a very ancient and powerful spirit.
At a night-black table in the center of the lair sits a young woman; looking no more than twelve or thirteen, she is almost a girl still. Her large, ragged, jacket is covered in dozens of pockets and her hair hangs down her back in long, dirty gray dreadlocks. She is shuffling a large deck of cards, her gray eyes focused intently on what she is doing. After cutting the deck once, she begins to lay the cards on the table.
The first card she lays down is one she had been drawing a lot lately. On the card is a detailed painting of a young man dressed as a court jester, standing with a rose in one hand and a sword slung over his shoulder. The painting of the young man seems to glow as ectoplasm races through the card as she touches it with her fingertips. "The Fool," she whispers. Beginning. Spontaneity. Innocence. Unlimited potential. A small smile graces her grey face. This is a good card.
Next to it, she lays another card. On it, a deceitful man is stealing glowing swords from behind the backs of some relaxing soldiers. "The Five of Swords." She has been drawing this card for years. Self-interest. Discord. Dishonor. Staring into the eyes of the painted man, she smiles. She has been drawing the Five of Swords and The Fool together quiet often; two souls whose existences are intertwined.
Under those two, she places a third card. A young woman seated on a bench, blindfolded, two glowing swords raised and crossed before her. "The Two of Swords." Blocking. Barriers. Avoidance. Stalemate. The gray ghost smiles to herself. "The Fool and the Five of Swords are finally on even footing. This will be interesting."
Moving on, she grabs the fourth card and places it above the first three for form a diamond shape. This card is of a compass-like wheel, angels flying around the edges. "The Wheel of Fortune," she hisses, surprised to be drawing another major arcana card. Movement. Change. Turning points. Destiny.
She hesitates, staring at the four cards lying in a diamond before her. They do not bode well. Finally, she picks up her fifth and final card. A glowing priestess standing between a black pillar and a white pillar. A smile crosses the gray ghost's face as she places the last card into the center of the diamond she has made. "The High Priestess." Potential. Mystery. Intuition. Trust. "My card. And in the center of the others as well."
The gray ghost sits back, contemplating the five card spread. There is no need to do a more complicated reading. The answer is obvious. She looks up and sighs. "It is time."
To be continued…
Tarot consists of 78 cards that are broken into two types of arcana (meaning secrets). While Tarot is definitely a fun game to play, there are those that believe that using a Tarot deck lets the user tap into the "great beyond" and see more in a person than what is normally given to our eyes. There are even those that believe that Tarot cards give the average person the ability to read the future…
Tarot card meanings are tied to their pictures. Each tarot card has a specific set of things that it means in relation to our lives. And yes – all the pictures I am describing are real Tarot card pictures out of the über-common Waite-Rider Tarot deck.
Arcana are the two different parts of the deck. There is the major arcana: 22 cards that all represent something big (The Fool, The High Priestess, Death, things like that), and there is the minor arcana are the 56 'normal' cards and they come with numbers. The suits are Swords, Wands, Cups, and Pentacles and they are all numbered just like a normal deck and even include face cards. So the Five of Swords would be kind of like the Five of Hearts or the Five of Clubs in normal decks today. They just have some kind of meaning.
Tarot cards are arranged in 'spreads'. The placement of the cards IN the spread tells you things like past and future events, inner and outer turmoil, things like that. The cards' meanings change depending on where in the spread you place them, what spread you use, and even what cards are laying next to each other. Some complicated spreads involve dozens of cards that all interact with each other to create some kind of meaning.
Oh, and it's pronounced 'tare-oh', not 'tare-ot'.
Blanket Disclaimer: I own nothing in this story but the 'grey ghost' and the plot.
Thanks for reading!
What follows is a rundown of all the Tarot cards that will appear in this story, if you're interested. You might not be now, but if you ever want to come back at some point to check on a card I forget to describe, they're all here.
They show up in no particular order, other than that's they way they show up in my desk, and include a brief description and a list of common meanings.
The Fool. It is a picture of a medieval court jester with a sword slung over one shoulder and rose in the other. The 'first' card of a tarot deck, it signifies things such as beginnings, spontaneity, faith, and apparent folly
The High Priestess: A picture of a woman seated between a black pillar and a white pillar. This card signifies 'womanly' things such as nonaction, unconscious awareness, potential, and mystery.
The Wheel of Fortune: A picture of a wheel and spinners, surrounded by angels (or fates) and demons. This card signifies destiny, turning points, movement, and having a personal vision.
Death: A skeletal knight, dressed in black armor, astride a white stallion. He signifies things such as endings, transitions, eliminations, and inexorable forces.
The Tower: A picture of a flaming tower, struck by lightning, with people jumping from it to fall to their deaths on the rocks below. This card signifies sudden changes, release, downfalls, and revelations.
The Star: A picture of a naked woman, kneeling under the stars, pouring water into a spring. She signifies hope, inspiration, generosity, and serenity.
Five of Wands: Five young men battle with large sticks. This signifies disagreement, competition, and hassles.
Seven of Wands: One young man fighting off six large sticks with his one. He signifies aggression, defiance, and conviction.
Eight of Wands: The picture is of eight wands, flying through the sky over a flat landscape. It signifies quick action, conclusion, or news.
Ten of Wands: One man, struggling to carry ten heavy poles. He signifies overextending, burdens, or struggles.
Four of Cups: A young man sitting under a tree, receiving a cup of water from the 'gods' with three more arranged at his feet. He stands for self-absorption, apathy, and going within.
Five of Cups: A darkly cloaked figure, staring down in dismay at three spilled cups, unable to see the two not-spilled ones hidden behind his back. This card signifies loss, bereavement, or regret.
Ten of Cups: A young couple and their children, playing under a rainbow of ten cups. This card stands for joy, peace, and family.
Two of Swords: The picture is of a young woman, blindfolded, holding two swords. She signifies blocked emotions, avoidance, and stalemate.
Five of Swords: A man, stealing the swords of the five resting guards. He stands for self-interest, discord, and open dishonor.
Ten of Swords: A dead man on a battlefield with ten swords stuck in his back. This card signifies bottoming out, victim mentality, and martyrdom.
Knight of Swords: A knight on a stallion, sword raised to the sky, rushing into battle. He signifies being direct and incisive, unfeeling and opinionated, and being authoritative.