The Oracular Incantation

We begin in a hall like a cathedral full of echoes, enclosed by high stone walls. There is a cup, a breath disturbs the waters of this upraised cup, prayers are intoned. Within all is holy. Beyond, a sword stabs the earth, sinking deep and disturbing the soil, echoing the words, “the earth gives and the earth takes away.”

Next, the breathe speaks with utterances of love and desire, and a tipped cup spills into another, coaxing a third to birth. While the hand that gripped the handle pulls the sunken sword, standing in a clearing with a sigh of relief as the frenzied moment passes. “Now let’s make our way through this forest.”

Seeing eye to eye is a matter of negotiation, discerning through exchange, a temporal dance. A construction, a reconstruction, a formulation and an articulation of definitions and significations. A play of words and body, re-created and re-arranged. The art of form expressing itself through temporal movement entwined with the voice. Walls and fortifications built around need and mediation, the tension.

Suddenly a hush descends, the silence of recognition for the word symmetrically expressed. The word and the image dance. The sound of equilibrium. The flesh moves within this frame, inhales, exhales.

Then the great doors groan open, outward flows the nave, an axis mundi in motion. With this opened course, the heart and the body moves, the mind following. Where places unknown, a labyrinth yet to be voiced, lie unseen.

Diamonds, cups, grail, scepters, swords, sticks, coins, daggers, branches, leaves and hearts. Things, all things we use, tools for the hand and the flesh to encounter. Except the heart, the heart which we always carry inside, yet on occasions, we find it spilling outward in bursts or trickles. When the axis mundi tilts, these Things slip from our fingers to fall in a clatter at the threshold, a cacophonous array at our feet, complex-ifying the exit, entangling the flow. With this a brigade of thoughts invade the mind, what to take and what to leave behind. Locating desire the fulcrum of the quest. Enough!

The stairs appear, that were always there, winding endlessly up and down, down and up, above, below. Ways, roads, paths and courses, winding outward beyond the reach of our sight.

Between the tower and the star, the fool stumbles onward, a pack full of fallen tools gathered along the way, resting on his shoulders. From a little to a lot, and often gathering in between stops, the inhale and the exhale continues. From one, the many stumbles out in brazen nakedness, a coagulating web of movements, forms, and omens. Signs of things that are, are not, will be, or evanesce into the mass of all else. The expressive self, emplaced, mirrors the sign, mirrors the body, mirrors the sign, in circles we go. To end and begin anew. The snake swallows its tail.

Jean Noblet Tarot de Marseille, reproduced by Jean-Claude Flornoy, editions, 2014.


-For the beginning, go here: Animating the Tarot Pips.

Animating The Tarot Pips by Natalia L Forty is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at

Published by Natalia

An eternal lover of the literary arts, I am fascinated by words and their power. I am a diviner that writes, reads, enchants, dances and dreams.

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