Once I realized the natural pun, I just had to do something with the idea of Esoterotica-themed tarot cards. However, I’ve zero ability with visual art. So I wrote little vignettes that could be read in accompaniment with a normal tarot deck instead of the traditional interpretations for the major arcana. Part 2 can be found here.
0. The Fool
“Dear Reddit,” you begin to type, “I’d read The Game and completed all the practice tests at the back, and thought I was at a level where I could just neg some girls into submission with my conversational prowess, but they all called me a dweeb and then ignored me. Are there some better tricks I should be using?”
You awake the following morning to find your thread has made it to the front page.
Interpretations: False leads, mistakes, underestimating your audience.
Reversed: You carry yourself with an easy confidence.
1. The Magician
You roll off the top of your partner, spent and exhausted.
“That was amazing,” you say.
“Yeah, I know,” he replies.
You get up and sashay to the restroom to clean yourself up a little.
“Think you’re up for a round two?” you call back to the bedroom.
You wait a moment, but there’s no response. You peer around the doorjamb to see that your bed is empty… and the bedroom door is still locked from the inside!
Interpretations: Deception, betrayal.
Reversed: Redeem this card at Dynamo Toys for 20% off the purchase of a Rabbit vibrator.
2. The High Priestess
“We could head on up to my bedroom if you want,” you say.
She chuckles, exhaling smoke. “Do you ever wonder if, like, if we’re all seeing the same colors? It’s like… HOW would we REALLY know?”
“Well, I have some pretty colorful posters on my walls if-“
“Oh, dude, Aqua Teen Hunger Force is on, I can totally go for that right now. Pass the Funions.”
Interpretations: Lost causes, low standards, corn chips.
Reversed: Think of all the free time you’ll have instead of vegging out watching Adult Swim!
3. The Empress
Shadow Angelina looks down at you from atop her throne.
“Let me get this straight,” she says, “you think I’m supposed to sleep with you just because you pulled some card out of a deck?”
You nod enthusiastically, holding up the card. She looks you up and down. “No. I’m sorry, but… I’m not sorry. Go. Rid of you.”
Interpretations: Impassable obstacles, overestimating one’s own abilities.
Reversed: Even then you’re still catching some side-eye.
4. The Emperor
Panzachual looks down at you from atop his throne.
“Let me get this straight,” he says, “you think I’m supposed to sleep with you just because you pulled some card out of a deck?”
You nod enthusiastically, holding up the card. He looks you up and down, looks at his watch, then begins unbuckling his belt. “I’m supposed to meet somebody at 9:30, but sure, I’ve got a little time.”
Interpretations: Carefree success, taking things as they come.
Reversed: Closed-mindedness leads to closed-pantsedness.
5. The Hierophant
The Hierophant throws you down onto the bed. “Now,” he growls, “are you ready to get a little… complex?”
“Oh fuck yes,” you moan, lost in the heat of the moment.
The Hierophant reaches below his mattress and pulls out… a large, glossy-paged book of elaborate sex positions that he begins flipping through.
“Okay, I was thinking we could start with the Reclining Jaguar Pose, and maybe from there if you have good core muscles shift into the Resplendent Blue Nightshade or maybe the Penitent Jackrabbit.”
“Uh, can’t I just get on top? Or doggy style?”
“‘Doggy style?’ That’s pretty nonspecific! Do you mean the Hound Who Greets The Mourning, or the Jealous Wolf Position?”
You immediately assume the Rolling Eyes position and start putting your shoes back on.
Interpretations: Pedantry, emotional distance, losing oneself in small details.
Reversed: Do you need a name for doing it on your friend’s scratchy couch while you’re housesitting for them?
6. The Lovers
As you pick the card off of the deck, it suddenly unfolds accordion-style. Each panel has a picture of one of your former sexual partners. It has eight or nine panels — and they’re double-sided.
Your partner, seated next to you at the table, gives you a bemused look. “You told me I was your sixth.”
“The cards never lie,” I say as I push my chair back, hopefully more than an arm’s length away from you.
Interpretations: Sudden revelation, uncovered secrets.
Reversed: Stayin’ on the DL.
7. The Chariot
“HEY! HEY GIRL! WHAT I GOTTA DO TO GET IN THAT?”
Next red light.
“HEY MOMMA I COULD BOUNCE A QUARTER OFF THAT ASS!”
Next red light.
“GIRL YOU KNOW WE GOT A PROBLEM WITH STREET HARASSMENT IN THIS SOCIETY SO YOU BEST LET ME ESCORT THEM BANGIN’ TITTIES SOMEWHERE SAFE!”
Interpretations: Stubbornness, refusal to change, stagnation.
Reversed: Road head!
You read and immediately disregard the warnings on the side of the bottle of powdered rhinoceros horn capsules, swallow five of them, and head off to meet your date.
Ninety minutes later, despite the truly prodigious size of the erection you can’t control, she decides not to ride along in the ambulance to the hospital with you.
Interpretations: Foolhardiness, disregarding consequences.
Reversed: The meek, Earth, you know the drill.
9. The Hermit
“To the brunette librarian at the State Street branch,” your anonymous Craigslist ad begins, “I see you a couple times a week you always talk to me when I’m checking out books and sometimes you smile. You are very cute with your glasses and dresses. Tell me what metal band t-shirt I was wearing last week in your reply so I know it’s you.”
Interpretations: Isolation, lack of skill or tact, desperate measures.
Reversed: Gettin’ tail like an ESFP.
10. The Wheel of Fortune
After a disappointing blind date, you’re washing your hands in the restaurant bathroom when the spigot pulls loose from the sink and an enormous torrent of water begins spraying forth, trapping you at the far end of the room. You climb up onto a toilet tank in order to stop your shoes from soaking. Fortunately the bus boy, who happens to be played by Cillian Murphy, runs in.
“Dammit, not again,” he sighs. “Look, I can fix this, but for vague reasons I’m going to have to strip down in order to do so. Are you alright with that?”
Yes. Yes you are.
Interpretations: Sudden reversals of fate.
Reversed: Compulsory twenty-fifth anniversary sex.