Tarot Prompts

Day 29: Cosmic Horror

Hello Writers!

Today’s post got a bit complicated (heh, heh.) I had an idea to combine the Necronomicon Tarot with the Quantum Tarot for a Cosmic Horror prompt. (Initially I was thinking Sci-Fi Horror, but it turns out the Quantum Tarot has more of a cosmic/mystical feel.)

So I pulled three cards from each deck. Below is a brief description of each card, and at the end I’ll give you the story I came up with! Of course, this is here to inspire you, so use this post like a playground. Jump around, pick out what grabs you, or read the whole thing. It’s up to you!

The Necronomicon Tarot was conceived by Donald Tyson and illustrated by Anne Stokes. Along with two accompanying books, this tarot derives themes, characters, and events from various H.P. Lovecraft stories. Take a moment to soak in the pictures.

Necronomicon 3 card

9 of Disks: The Necromancer, with the aid of a ghost and a ghoul, digs up some hidden treasure.

3 of Cups: Three people seem to be having the time of their lives, but the lady in black looks very mischevious. What schemes hide behind those dark-rimmed eyes?

Yig (The World): A giant serpent clutches the Universe, twisting it around counter-clockwise: against the Sun, awakening a dark vortex that spreads chaos ACROSS THE GALAXY.

The Quantum Tarot, authored by Kay Stopforth and illustrated by Chris Butler, blends scientific theories, cosmic constellations, and classic tarot symbolism. Check out these gorgeous images, and click the names below for larger pictures!

Quantum 3 card

Queen of Cups: Andromeda is the name of a constellation and a galaxy–the spiral galaxy closest to our own, in fact. In the myth, Andromeda is chained to a rock as a sacrifice to Cetus, a sea monster. She is saved by Perseus.

8 of Cups: Ok, so, this is one of the more dense concepts. If you’re not familiar with the science, see what you get from these words: Nuclear Decay. Alpha Particle. Nuclear=energy. Decay=death. Alpha=beginning, Particle=small part of something. Basically we’re talking about when atoms break apart and cause nuclear poisoning or even cancer. Kay brings this around to someone or something (Neutrons and Protons) wanting to break away or escape (they escape from the nucleus of the atom where they belong! And they fly off by themselves and cause all kinds of problems!)

The Tower: Quantum Foam! That’s just a fun term. Imagine: underneath the seeming order and stability of all you see around you, even smaller than the smallest known molecules, is a bubbly, chaotic substance where matter blips in and out of existence; where teeny tiny black holes are created and then dissolve! THIS IS WHAT EXISTS UNDERNEATH ALL YOU CAN SEE. Ok sorry, got carried away.

My take on it all. First, I want to point out that we have one major card from each deck: Yig, and the Tower. And they kind of match. The images both feature stormy lightning, and the cards themselves represent chaos. Then we have the goddess chained to a rock, the deviant party people, and the sneaky necromancer digging up treasure.

Here is what I came up with. The world of sense, reason, and order is a thin mask on bubbling, frantic chaos. Underneath our civilized society are seething hoards of primitive desires just waiting to take over. Now, a dark cult has locked away the goddess of reason and compassion. They’ve buried her treasures in the forgotten wasteland. With her out of the picture, a giant chaos monster wraps its coils around the sun, causing an endless night, both in the physical world and in the hearts of the living.

The cult quickly start to spread their influence on anyone they can lay hands on. But each action has an equal and opposite reaction. When the realm of reason fell, it sent a huge burst of energy into the universe, which compressed into a giant lightning bolt and struck an unsuspecting man. He finds himself jettisoned out of the weird acid trip everyone else seems to be living in, wondering what kind of hellhole he woke up in. He once had an interest in dark magic, but now he must use it, along with the aid of unlikely friends, to find the treasures of the goddess so that she can break free of her chains and restore good sense to the universe.

Hope you like it. Happy writing!