Unconventional Tarot Club

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Neptune Harris
- 11/3/2023 11:06pm

The last thing I saw leaving town was the Eight of Cups barreling down on me. The crescent moon over the mountains, and the unnerving, maddening weight of the figure with the walking stick...

@Ginny Havafone got the worst of it. On her psychic dérive around town she uncovered them all, from The Fool to the the King of Pentacles. All the ones that weren't already in the Growlz Arcana. And in that menagerie of supersized mystical egos and aspects, Ginny lost her mind. Like poor @Shilpa108 before her, and @Ryan Gavins, and of course @gg Growlz.

When Ginny stumbled home to the dorms on Halloween night, literally mindlessly, they followed. The Hierophant, the Five of Cups, the Two of Wands, all the members of the Tarot Convention, towering above campus in their enormous psychic girth.

But I knew it was me they were after. The only one left they hadn't claimed. Me AND the book. Which is why I had to run. To save the school! To save everyone from the mindcrushing hugeness of the reality of the mentalities within the Tarot. The Unconventional Tarot Club had drawn these powers out, finding them in the world all around us. They felt our attention, and came through. To our side.

Which is why I hopped the train at the edge of town. Me and the book. To lure them away, and let all of you live without the burden of their attention.

It's better you don't think about them at all.

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Ryan Gavins
- 10/28/2023 11:51pm

The cabins at the Shady Havens retreat are ideal for my task. Preparing for the full Jelly Belly reading takes an incredible amount of focus, and the quiet and seclusion are exactly what I need.

I started by laying out all 78 cards of the major and minor arcana, then pairing each with a unique Jelly Belly flavor. It looked pretty good for a first draft. But it's important to know all the permutations, so I took one from the bottom (Peach, which had been paired to the King of Pentacles), and moved it to the top (the Fool, which had been paired to Buttered Popcorn), then moved all of the rest down one.

That looked pretty good too. Only 76 more to go. I wrote each set of combinations down in a notebook.

But once I finished all of those... The Ace of Swords was Grape Jelly. That just wouldn't do. So I swapped it with the Mango on the Knight of wands and wrote that one down, making 79 lists. But Red Apple for the Five of Cups? I was saving Red Apple for the Lovers, so I swapped them. Which made 80. I wrote that down too. But I really liked the layout for combination number 47, except it didn't make sense at all with Mango on the Knight of Wands, and then that threw a lot of other things out of kilter...

So, I made some more adjustments, and some more, writing each one down... and more adjustments, and more adjustments...

I haven't slept for three weeks. I had a scientific calculator shipped next day and it turns out there are roughly 11 septendecillion possible sets. It's a factorial 78, which means 1x2x3x4x5x6x7 all the way up to 78. I'm up to almost 33 sexdecillion, which is about 0.3% of the potential sets, but none of them seem quite right, and I know if I just keep going I am bound to get there...

I've had to barricade the doors and windows of my cabin. I only paid for a weekend, but I can't stop now, and there's no way they're going to throw me out! Not when I'm so close!!! And I hear @Shilpa108 needs my help more than ever, now that she won't leave shop class and refuses to speak or do anything but oil changes.


- 10/25/2023 11:26pm

I am experiencing a growing feeling of unease. I think it's from tracking down the people in the Growlz Arcana.

@Ginny Havafone wrote notes down in the book about where to find them. She even left me her car, while she is went on a divinational dérive to find the others.

So I've been spying on these people and following them home, and it's creeping me out. They seem like normal people, but the more I watch them the more it's making me queasy. It's like... the world sort of bends around them when they move, and you just want to get away.

Like Justice, at the Handymart. She's a heavy set middle aged lady who sits behind the counter all judgey like. After her shift, I followed her home. At first I just had a headache. Then it turned into tunnel vision. The trees and the buildings on the street were reaching over her, almost touching. I got her home address and got out of there.

The Hermit lives behind the bus station, in a cardboard box, so that was easy. He paces the sidewalk, looks through trash cans, but if you keep watching you can see him wearing out a hole in time like it was a bad carpet, the scenery around him getting thinner and thinner...

The Emperor lives by himself in the apartments above the dry cleaner. I saw him looking back at me through his window and the sky went dark and it was like a trap door opened beneath my feet...

I ran back to the car and at first it wouldn't start. Thank goodness I didn't drop shop class.

Ginny Havafone
- 10/20/2023 9:43pm

Hells yeah I already know half the people in the Growlz Arcana by sight. There's the Hermit who hangs out at the bus station, Justice sits at the Handymart, and the Emperor will start yelling at you at the park if you get too close. I could easily follow each of them home and get their addresses and then we trick or treat at their houses this year.

@Neptune Harris is on the fence about it but I say we do it. Let's field trip into town this weekend and start tracking them down!

Neptune Harris
- 10/15/2023 10:09pm

As the last person to see @gg Growlz before they went mad, I think it's important to share something.

gg had been doing tarot with anything and everything -- rocks, bottle caps, street names. It's like the whole world was becoming one big tarot deck to gg.

We were hanging out at the Keyhole. That's the cul de sac in the abandonded subdivision by campus. We would hang out there a lot after school, getting in touch with the infinite in gg's car.

"Shit! Here comes somebody!" I said. It was a woman in a black track suit walking her dogs. One was a wiener dog. The other was some kind of scary wolf hound.

"Just be cool," gg said.

The woman let them off their leashes and they took off in the field in front of us, barking and howling like crazy between a pair of unfinished houses.

"Hey there's a notepad in my glovebox. Can you hand it to me?"

On the cover of the notebook gg had scrawled GROWLZ ARCANA in sharpie. gg opened it and started sketching and scribbling furiously.

"Yeah, they're all around us. Right here in this town. That lady there? THE MOON."

The hairs on the back of my neck were rising. Like something was crawling up my spine.

"Yeah, I've been seeing 'em more and more," gg said. "They're coming out of the woodwork. Like some kinda convention. And I've got a ticket."

"A tarot convention?" I asked.

"THE tarot convention. The assembly. The conference. The full-on Tarot Congress."

"Huh. And you say you're going?"

"We're already there! You take my notebook and study it. You'll see what I mean." gg was getting pretty worked up.

"Sure, gg. I'll give it a good look."

So when they took gg away I guess I kinda saw it coming. But some of the stuff in this notebook... I'll bring it to the next Unconventional Tarot Club meeting if anybody wants to see it.

gg Growlz
- 10/11/2023 9:23pm

I keep an Uno deck in my glove compartment for super quick tarot readings. @Ryan Gavins found it when I was driving him to his retreat so I gave him a reading and it was really weird. Red Skip, Red Draw 2, Green Reverse.

I fear for us all.

Ryan Gavins
- 10/7/2023 9:40pm

I was helping @Shilpa108 work through some of her life choices and suggested we do the full Jelly Belly reading. It's really the only candy that allows for all 78 cards of the major and minor arcana to be represented.

As there are no traditional pairings for Jelly Belly flavors in the ancient tradition, the person who prepares the beans is responsible for establishing the relationships. For instance, deciding that the Wheel of Fortune be piña colada, the Two of Wands be licorice, The Chariot be banana, and so on. And it's never the same for any two readings.

However, that part has to be done extremely delicately. There are cleansing and focusing rituals you absolutely have to follow. You can't just go about it willy nilly. There was that kid in Steiner Hall who didn't do any prep at all and lost his marbles. Hasn't left his room since 2019.

So I'm heading off on a retreat for the next few weeks to prepare this sack of Jelly Bellys and help Shilpa figure out her schedule.

- 10/3/2023 9:52pm

There are 22 crackers in a box of Barnum's Animal Crackers, which lines up nicely with the major arcana. Bear, bison, camel, cougar, elephant, giraffe, gorilla, hippopotamus, hyena, kangaroo, koala, lion, monkey, rhinoceros, seal, sheep, tiger, zebra, and three non animals -- the Fool, the Hermit, and the Star.

After applying the traditional associations of each animal to the proper card, @Ginny Havafone began giving Tarot readings. But by the time it was my turn, the monkey, tiger, zebra and Fool had all been eaten, so I don't think it was a fair reading.

Still, it's been on my mind. Should I drop shop class?

Ginny Havafone
- 9/30/2023 11:52pm

I had @Neptune Harris read my tarot with his Chessmen cookies.

Queens were high, and the Rooks were broken (befitting that Tower energy), but it was clear the Pawns were closing in so I had to get out of there.

I ate the King and left.

Neptune Harris
- 9/29/2023 9:52pm

I got an unopened package of Pepperidge Farm Chessmen cookies out of a dumpster behind the Spoonbender. They’re those flat butter cookies with different chess symbols stamped on them. I’ll be doing Tarot readings with them in my dorm room all weekend.