RELATIONSHIPS IN THE CARDS
By Alayna Williams
In DARK ORACLE, Tara Sheridan swore off criminal profiling after narrowly escaping a serial killer who left her scarred for life. By combining Tarot card divination with her own intuition, she must help an intense federal agent find a missing scientist who has unlocked the destructive secrets of dark energy. The agent, Harry Li, draws her out of her self-imposed exile and back into the world.
These two are opposites, in every sense of the word. Tara is a closeted mystic, and Harry is a man of pragmatism of science. But they find a way to work together and develop a relationship as the story progressed. As I was writing DARK ORACLE, I wanted to learn more about the characters and their interactions with each other. Throughout the story, I wrote with a deck of Tarot cards in hand as story prompts and for help in characterization. I decided to do a Tarot spread to show me the details of Tara and Harry’s relationship.
I drew five cards: one card for Tara, the second for Harry, the third to illuminate the relationship between them, the fourth to show what brings them together, and the fifth to tell me what pulls them apart. The cards I drew are shown below.
1. The card that came up most often in my random drawings to represent Tara was the Queen of Swords. The Queen of Swords depicts a woman staring pensively into a stormy sky. She’s lifting sword as if it’s quite sharp, and extends her hand as if she’s cut herself with it. The swords, in general, represent intellect. The Queen of swords traditionally represents sadness and mourning or a particularly clever woman. I always associated her with the Snow Queen from fairy tales – cold, isolated, withdrawn.
2. Harry is symbolized by the Knight of Pentacles. The Knight of Pentacles gazes pensively at a golden pentacle in his hands. He’s analytical, methodical, and persistent. He’s reliable and a good person to have in one’s corner – also excellent qualities for a federal agent.
3. I drew the Two of Cups to describe the relationship between them. The Two of Cups is the card of partnership. It’s a blessed partnership or one driven by fate, as symbolized by the winged lion hovering over the couple. A caduceus arises between them, showing the healing nature of the relationship. This partnership has the potential to heal Tara’s old wounds, if she’ll allow it.
4. The Two of Swords brings them together. This card shows a blindfolded woman balancing two swords on her shoulders. The Two of Swords is about balanced force. These two are opposites, but they bring unique insights to the case that make them a force to be reckoned with.
5. The Moon works against them, however, pulling them apart. The Moon is the card of mysticism, intuition, deception, and disillusionment. Tara knows that she’s deceiving Harry by not telling him that her insights on the case come from the Tarot. He has no idea that she’s an oracle, and she fears he’d react badly to that knowledge. And when he finds out (and he will), he’ll likely react negatively. The Knight of Pentacles doesn’t brook misplaced loyalty lightly.
I enjoyed putting these two together to see what they’d do, professionally as well as romantically. Will they move forward with their relationship, or is Tara’s break in trust enough to drive Harry away? Will they be able to track down the missing scientist and keep the power of dark energy out of the wrong hands?
Only the cards can say.
Alayna Williams has an MA in sociology-criminology (research interests: fear of crime and victimology) and a BA in criminology. She has worked in and around criminal justice since 1997. Although she does read Tarot cards, she's never used them in criminal profiling or to locate lost scientists. She recently took up astronomy, but for the most part her primary role in studying constellations and dark matter is to follow her amateur astronomer-husband around central Ohio toting the telescope tripod and various lenses. More info is at www.alaynawilliams.com
"Alayna" is also known as Laura Bickle, the author of Embers from Pocket Juno.
Alayna is offering two lucky readers a signed copy of Dark Oracle
Fun contest rules:
*Ask Alayna a question - whatever is on your mind. She will do a quick one card tarot draw to answer. [This is for fun and entertainment only]
Each person asking a question gets a chance towards a signed copy of Dark Oracle. [Only one question per person.]
This contest is international and ends July 5.
This contest has ended. My thanks to Alayna and all who participated!