Sudden upheaval, broken pride, disaster
The prince runs through the dark hallways of the manor, the sounds of battle echoing all around him. He doesn’t know why the people have risen up against his father, but at the moment it doesn’t matter. All that matters is that he gets far away from here before they tear him to pieces.
He rounds a corner and finds himself face-to-face with a man. The man’s throat is torn out, and blood and gore covers him. He moans and reaches out his arms as the prince turns to hurry down a different passage.
Addiction, materialism, playfulness
The woman slowly rolls the hundred dollar bill in her fingers. She can feel the man’s gaze on her as she does so, and she looks up only long enough to give him a teasing smile. She knows exactly what it is that he wants, and she’s willing to give it to him as long as he does the same for her. Using the tips of her index finger and thumb, she slowly spreads the cocaine across the plate.
“Go on, then,” she tells the man. “Sign the contract. What’s a soul compared to what I’m offering?”
Middle path, patience, finding meaning
The killer pulls back tighter on the garotte, feeling the last of the victim’s strength draining away. The man put up a better struggle than he had assumed, but it was finally over now. The tongue rolls out of the mouth as the body slumps down onto the bedroom floor. It is a wonderful moment. He has waited for it for so long…
He is roused from the daydream as he arrives at the man’s house. It is time to turn dream into reality. He smiles to himself. Tonight his patience will be rewarded with all the man has.
The Hanged Man
Sacrifice, release, martyrdom
The soldier walks out towards the middle of the battlefield, his arms extended outward towards the sides. He moves slowly as he crosses the distance between the two armies. For the first time, the battlefield is silent.
The opposing archers don’t release their arrows. The soldier knows that the sight of an unarmed person walking through No Man’s Land must be confusing. He also knows that soon an officer will order them to fire, and he will die when that happens.
It will also release the dark spirits inside of him. He smiles to himself. Everyone will die with him.
Cause and effect, clarity, truth
The man grabs at his head, the pain that fills it so intense that he nearly collapses back onto the ground. Slowly, the agony begins to fade. He leans up against a tree and waits for the last of it to pass. That was the worst migraine he had ever experienced.
He doesn’t know where he is. Looking around, he finds that he’s standing in a small graveyard in the middle of a forest clearing. Confusion fills him as he sees his name written on the nearest tombstone, and the hole he had crawled out of in front of it.
The Wheel of Fortune
Change, cycles, inevitable fate
The man holds the red container over his head and pours the gasoline onto his body. He makes sure that every inch of himself is soaked with the fluid before dropping the container. Reaching into his pocket, he retrieves a small lighter from his pocket. The moment the fire touches his clothing he bursts into flames.
Death is fleeting. It takes him for just a moment before releasing him. He climbs out of the ashes of his old body and goes back out into the world, once again seeking a way to finally find the end.
Contemplation, search for truth, inner guidance
The monk sits on the hard stone floor, feeling the cool mountain air flow across his skin as he slowly inhales and exhales. For years he has sought personal enlightenment, to be at one with himself, and here in this moment he is closer than he has ever been. His emotions have often been at war within him. To find his true self, to know who he truly was, would be a blessing beyond any other that he had been granted.
He opens his eyes. He knows. He is the darkness, and all shall be consumed.
Partnerships, duality, union
The twins walk down the stairs as they hold each other’s hands. The boy tells his sister a silly story as they descend from the second floor. She smiles and giggles before asking for him to tell her another one. At first he hems and haws in jest before giving in and creating another story on the spot to keep her amused.
As they go down the stairs, they leave red footprints on the white carpet. It’s unfortunate that they got their shoes messy, but it could have been worse. Their parents’ blood could have gotten on their nice clothing.
Direction, control, willpower
The man approaches the side of the road. He stops at the metal barrier separating the woods from the busy highway. The section of road that he’s near is on a curve, and with the heavy forest the oncoming cars can’t see anything on this part of the street until they’re right on top of it.
He looks back at the woman standing just inside the trees. He silently begs her stop making him do this.
She shakes her head. Tears streaming from his eyes, he steps out onto the road as he hears the truck coming around the curve.
Inner strength, bravery, compassion, focus
The brave warrior stands against the angry mob, his hands clenched around the handle of his sword. He is greatly outnumbered. If he were a lesser man he would be doomed. He calls upon all of his courage and skill. His muscles cry out in exhaustion, but he forces himself to continue. To yield means death.
Finally, the last of his would-be assassins falls to his sword. The warrior puts its tip into the ground and takes a moment to rest. He smiles broadly. Now that the defenders are dead, he will have the pleasure of cutting down the innocent.