Returning to Tarot

It’s what started this blog, and it’s back again.

Some of my oldest readers (readers? friends? who/what are you anyway?) will remember an attempt I made when I first started this blog to make a tarot deck based on characters from my novels. It… was alright-ish? But it didn’t pan out. The symbolism was wonky and forced and the sheer amount of time it took to do watercolor cards – I hate painting, as it turns out – made it, in the end, not really worth it to me.

And then I did the Five Realms Oracle.

More than anything, that proved to me that I do have a better handle on symbolism than I think I do, and that I have the patience and persistence necessary to complete a long-term, involved project like that. The tricky bit with that deck now is trying to put together a guidebook for it, and for that I’ve been testing it all over the place in different types of readings… but it’s hard to make an oracle deck from scratch. I can use the runes as a guide, obviously, but my views on the runes are changing a bit, and don’t really fit the cards anymore. I might take them off on the final versions. Still, trying to figure out how the symbolism fits into situations is a lot more difficult than I imagined starting out, even with a basic knowledge of the meanings already in place.

Tarot is different. Tarot is familiar. Tarot isn’t easy, per se, but it interacts and weaves into itself in known and predictable ways. The specific imagery can be twisted and shaped but the archetypal meanings stay roughly the same. Death is always change and rebirth. Strength is always endurance and boundaries. The Fool, as it turns out, was what I was missing the meaning of when I first tried to create the Five Realms Tarot (or the Revenant Tarot, I can’t remember which) a few years ago. I didn’t have a good enough scope of the whole story and the players in it. Who was powerful, who was learning. And part of what made the original set of symbolism so off was that I picked the wrong Fool.

Esper is the Fool. He’s the protagonist. He’s the one who goes on an epic journey, and whose journey gets reflected and faceted over and over again throughout his five and a half hundred years, and even after that. He is both catalyst and solution. He is the Fool that walks through the twenty-one doors, being changed by and in turn changing the people that he meets behind them. He’s walked through doors nobody was ever meant to come back through and done it anyway.

The other cards I lacked a decent understanding of? Death, Temperance, Judgement, and the Lovers. Which ties directly into what happened last April. I think I’ve finally walked through enough doors myself to do the Tarot justice. (Heh. Justice.) Watch me change my mind at the end of the Major Arcana. 😛

So… I think I might have another go at the Five Realms Tarot, now that I know who the Fool was. Funny enough, I wrote his Tales in first person. Read into that what you will.


Aside: Quick Localisations of Four Rune Poems

Read as: I like playing with metaphors and wanted to make sense of some funky translations. This may or may not have been my life for the past few days.

Disclaimer: I am not a professional linguist. I just play with words.


“Fé vældr frænda róge;
føðesk ulfr í skóge.”

“Wealth is a source of discord among kin;
the wolf grows up in the forest.”

My understanding:
Knowing your own worth can be controversial;
Those who don’t lose themselves in others.


“Úr er af illu jarne;
opt løypr ræinn á hjarne.”

“Slag comes from bad iron;
The Reindeer races over frozen snow.”

My understanding:
Burning yourself out accomplishes nothing good;
Go steady and you will not fall.


“Þurs vældr kvinna kvillu,
kátr værðr fár af illu.”

“Giant causes anguish to women;
misfortune makes few men cheerful.”

My understanding:
Don’t belittle what others go through;
Nobody enjoys being in pain.


“Óss er flæstra færða
for; en skalpr er sværða.”

“Estuary is the way of most journeys;
but a scabbard is of swords.”

My understanding:
A meandering tale will get you far;
Sharp words stay in you.

All poems and translations were referenced from

Also this experiment was inspired by the work of Jackson Crawford, in particular the “Cowboy Hávamál.” Someday I will do the whole Elder Futhark. Probably.

A Little Poem

Magic is a word I know intimately.
It resounds and dances off canyon walls
and whispers in trees and over fields
and sighs on your lips and fills your throat.

You, my dear, are made of magic,
and magic is a thing I know in my soul.
It fills my words to the aching brim,
till I can speak and write no more.

A little poem for Someone.
~ Erik Stormgaldr, 2016

November Not-Blues

Hello friends!

No aim for this one, just updating. November tends to be the month where I get bogged with all sorts of stuff I wasn’t expecting, as well as some stuff that I was. I suspect this has something to do with Hagalaz and Nauthiz sharing this month. I figured I need to take a post to reconnect a little. Been feeling kinda distant lately as a result of all the stuff I’m doing and preparing for.

NaNoWriMo has been my main focus the past few days, and surprisingly enough I’m actually beating my dad for word count. Which to me is hilarious given that he’s a full-time author and I just do it because I’ve got a world that wants to be read. I have a feeling he’ll get few thousand words in edgewise over the weekend, because I’ll be doing stuff where I can’t write for long periods of time like I’m used to, but for now I’m winning. (I’m a competitive person. I get it from my Other dad.) The world that has bloomed out of a couple day’s worth of splatting words onto paper is giving me all of the “proud mother” feels, which is rather disconcerting but you know what? My fictional children are amazing people. Fox-butt is a cutie. Legion is still my favorite, though he is a bit of a creepy bastard.

Weirdly enough, now that the summer is more or less vanished at this point and my seasonal grossness is over with, I’m finally back on some kind of schedule, and most of that is actually because of the writing. Apparently, having long-term projects is good for me, and after the job I had for the first part of the year, I desperately needed some kind of cycle to latch onto. The creative cycle is a good one. (I imagined Odin on a motorcycle just now and almost snorted coffee out my nose. Thanks, Gramps!) It’s been a quiet, peaceful, relaxing couple of days, and I am so grateful for that. There are a lot of people who can’t just decide to sit down and write a book, and the fact that I can is something that I try not to take for granted. It’s my way of honoring my friends, my skill, and the talent that my family/Family handed down to me. My stories have, on the surface anyway, very little to do with what I write about on this blog, though some of you might catch the little hints here and there. It’s what I do besides draw, and it’s something I never thought I’d end up doing at all, let alone be on my third year of NaNo and have six books already published. Holy magic beans, Batman!

That said, Hagalaz despises too much peace, and I do have A Thing coming up this weekend. The capitalization is rather apt in this case actually. I feel like I’m going to be put through a trial. My nerd friends and I decided a few months ago to plan a startup for a Pathfinder group in their town, but having seen the dearth of faces that showed up to our trial run a few weeks back, as well as the actual location of this thing, I’m getting the suspicion that this is a project doomed for failure. Of course, that’s not going to stop the single extrovert in the group from trying anyway, and dragging the rest of us along with him. Val actually agrees with me. Loki’s being cagey about it but he doesn’t like this guy trying to run it at all and I tend to trust his judgement too. Heck, even Frey keeps saying(politely) that my time and energy would be better used elsewhere, and my friends’ probably would too. Still, we’re going to try again on Saturday and hope for the best. I don’t mean to be the dark cloud over this particular party but there’s a season for everything, and this is not it. Finals(or midterms? Idk) are coming up for the people still in school(who are, oddly enough, the target audience for the group) and they’re going to be tired and stressed thinking about that, Thanksgiving is coming up so people probably won’t be wanting to make commitments that they’ll have to bail on to be with family, and anyone doing NaNo and school will want the weekends to be able to sit down, get homework done, and then write the SNOT out of their stories! ‘Tis the season for trimming back obstacles, reflection, contemplation, and solitude. If we’re going to do this thing, we really ought to wait until spring, or early summer, when the kids will be out of school and looking for things to do so they don’t get bored. *sigh* Ranting, ranting, ranting. Sorry about that.

Aside from that, everything is going surprisingly well, now that I’ve gotten my head out of the summer fog. I actually had myself a proud moment yesterday: I walked into a busy fast-food place that I’d never been to before and managed not to panic and run away. It was a good moment! Of course, I had to giggle when I realized that the mantra keeping me from turning into a non-functioning pile of goop all over Brandon was the phrase, “Van Helsing doesn’t panic.” Apparently that character was good for me. I’ll make a post about stories and mantras another day, though, because Bran and I had a discussion about it afterward. Also, a post about why people don’t (usually) remember their past lives, and what happens when they do. Good ideas, good ideas!

Alright, back into Redgate with me. I’ve got another 5,000 words to write today and it’s going to be a dramatic chapter. Let’s do it.

(I’m not even sorry. XD It’s been a good week.)

Also, Val’s birthday is tomorrow(don’t ask how old he is. It’s a high enough number that he’s probably forgotten at this point). I should do something for him before I have to go deal with people.

30-Day Tarot Challenge: Days 8, 9, and 10

I’m currently three days(two?) behind on a mission to complete Calamity’s 30-Day Tarot Challenge. Lest anyone wonder why, I have been editing and formatting and format editing Runesong for the past week and since it comes out on the 21st – which would be tomorrow, when I’m writing this – I’ve been nitpicking. It just went out for review, so, yay! Breather! Now, let’s do this thing!

Day 8 – Which card do you dread pulling the most?

Judgement. No question. Judgement, and about half of the suit of Swords. Why? Fear, mostly. With the swords, I don’t know what it is. In my old deck, Tarot of the Elves, the Knight used to always make me a bit paranoid, because it always stood for the idea that someone was plotting something behind my back, which I don’t like. Even if that thing is a good thing. The Ten of Swords makes me a bit nervous for the same reason, like, who’s about to stab me in the back? Is it me? Please let it not be me.

For Judgement, it stems from a deep-set fear of that very thing. Being judged, especially judged as unworthy. Evidently I have this thing about worrying what people think of me, even though my much-more-observant-than-I boyfriend usually points out that nobody is actually paying any attention to me at all, let alone judging me. When the card comes up for other people, I’m a bit more alright with it, when it comes up for me, I cringe and want to run far away.

Speaking of other people, I really do dread pulling the Tower, because every other time I’ve pulled it, I’ve been the one stuck cleaning up the aftermath. That, and I don’t wish culture-shock-inducing rapid change upon anyone, even though it happens.

Day 9 (my favorite day) –  What card do you pull the most often? Why do you think that is the case?

It used to be the Hermit, which is why I named my page, “being the Hermit,” and it usually popped up because I am normally an introvert, and have a tendency to huddle up in my wee shell for long periods of time, refusing help from anyone who would be so kind as to offer. Not so much anymore. After I got the Shadowscapes deck, my new totem card is apparently the Two of Cups, which I’m guessing refers to my state of affairs with Bran, my aforementioned observant boyfriend-person.  We seem to be doing a good job thus far of “filling each other’s cups,” as it were, although there are some things we are neglecting that we probably shouldn’t be. Finance comes to mind. Neither of us are really money-oriented people. Which, in a culture that runs on money, is not the best thing ever. Luckily, my books seems to be gaining wee bits of momentum! In Denmark. Which is quite possibly the last thing I expected, but, hey! It’s something!

Day 10 – What card best represents your personality (or, is most often pulled to represent you in a spread)?

Again, this used to be the Hermit. Quiet and insecure and kinda not knowing what to do with my particular spot in the universe. Now… I have no idea. Let me check.

Evidently, Shadowscapes thinks I’m a Sun kind of person. In a lot of ways, I guess I am. According to test scores I’m generally pretty bright, I’m always been an optimist – except in high school, but it’s hard for anyone to be an optimist in high school – and I tend to dream bigger than I can probably accomplish. This month, anyway. My new year’s resolution was to be a source of hope for people, which, I suppose the sun also is, and I do that by dreaming up worlds and characters and writing down how they deal with their problems, in hopes that maybe someone, somewhere, can apply those principles elsewhere. Like, never give up, even if you feel like you are/should be dead. Or, even the people with the most seemingly useless skills can change the world if they put them to good use. I guess this could also be a pun, given that I’ve always seen myself as more of a “son” than my parents have always considered. I’ve been told a lot recently that I’ve got a warm and friendly outward personality, so, I guess I’ve made some progress from the shy wee hermit I used to be.

And with that, I bid you adieu. May your tomorrows always be more on time than mine usually are. I’ll see you then.

Who is this “Hermit”?

Well, I’m not a crab, I can say that much for certain.

I am someone who sees the “alignment” drop-down for inserting an image into a post, and thinks to myself, “Chaotic Good.” I’m that person who, in the midst of a sentence, gets distracted by my own thoughts and follows the thought-bunny in my mind for a few seconds before picking up where I left off. I have a crystal collection that outnumbers the number of single shoes I own, a propensity for finding shiny things, and a habit of looking at something and finding a use for it that it was not intentionally or originally designed for. I am someone who tries to see beauty in everything, and sometimes fails miserably in doing so.

Before this gets asked, and I know it will, no I do not live in a cabin in the middle of the woods somewhere. Except in my mind. My mind-palace happens to be a mind-forest. No, I actually live in my nice, cozy, sometimes too cozy, room, in the middle of Cow Flats, Colorado. I do have a nice little park across the street, though, so, from my window I would be able to imagine myself actually living in a forest… were it not for the bright garish yellow house in the way. Oh well.

I’m not a complete nut-job, though. I am in the midst of getting a bachelor’s degree in Geology from the college in my town, which isn’t the best, but I am in one of the best states to be studying what I am, so, learning before notoriety. Hah. Originally I wanted to try out Physics as a degree but decided that there was too much math and not enough things that I could actually pick up and look at. As mentioned before, I do have a rock collection. The step seemed inevitable.

By spirit, however, I am an Artist. I have been doing Art since I could pick up a crayon and make a mark on a page. Why am I not pursuing a career in Art, then? And why on Earth do I capitalize Art? Because I don’t want my ideas and creativity to be channeled down the narrow tube of commissions, which has happened before, and I have since discovered that, no sir, it is not for me. As for the second question, I use Art to refer not only to visual art – drawing, painting, photos, digital, etc. – but also dance, writing, music, martial, and spiritual arts. Which is why I am an Artist, and not an artist. I do all of those things, some professionally, most for my own enjoyment. I live, eat, breathe, and dream Art, which leads to all sorts of weird and crazy outlooks on life in general.

And that would be the Hermit in a nutshell. Or crab shell, whichever you prefer.