A Tarot Anthology

Edited by Madison Scott-Clary

A Thurston Howl Publications Book

Twenty-two cards.

Twenty-two archetypes.

Twenty-two stories.

Arcana ✶ A Tarot Anthology collects stories from around the furry subculture to highlight the stories within and around the cards of the Major Arcana, those named cards within the divinatory Tarot deck, each of which is luxuriously illustrated by Joseph Chou.

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It’s said that the shuffling of the cards is the earth, and the pattering of the cards is the rain, and the beating of the cards is the wind, and the pointing of the cards is the fire. That’s of the four suits. But the Greater Trumps, it’s said, are the meaning of all process and the measure of the everlasting dance.

— Charles Williams in The Greater Trumps

No one is quite sure when the Tarot as we know it came into being.

Perhaps it was a slow evolution. A process of amalgamation over the years, bringing in disparate aspects of games and fortune telling, which led to the creation of the deck of seventy-eight cards. A bit of symbolism here, a touch of mechanics there, and a generous dollop of creative thinking spread out over time.

Beyond the fifty-six cards of the suits—the swords, pentacles, wands, and cups—there are twenty-two additional cards. These are the Major Arcana, or the trumps. They have no suit, but instead bear names. Beginning with The Fool, they work their way through a set of images—The Hermit, Justice, The Tower, The Moon—until they wind up at The World.

These cards are where the meaning is richest. The Major Arcana show images and people, each mapping directly to an archetype, each calling out to some deeper meaning within us.

Sometimes these cards are taken to represent individuals: The Emperor and his iron will. They can also be taken to mean events: The Tower and its sense of destruction. Or perhaps they wind up referring to social themes: Temperance and it's gentle urging towards moderation. Each bears meaning, of course, and that meaning can be applied to a situation in many ways.

These cards of the Major Arcana, taken as a whole, have a meaning in their own right, a story told from the innocence of The Fool to the wisdom of The World. The Tarot is poignant in that way: it represents the cycle of our life, and all of the myriad cycles within.

Arcana, as an anthology of furry literature, follows along that path. For each card, a story, and for each story, an archetype that drives the characters and their actions. The cards may show up in the story, or the story may be driven by the images.

We invite you to join us, to join writers from all over the furry subculture and from all walks of life, in the lived experiences driven by these meanings.

Come with us and divine the meaning of all things from within Arcana.

Table of Contents

Card Title Author
0 The Fool The First Step Madison Scott-Clary
I The Magician Cat's Paw Mut
II The High Priestess Catalyst Kristina "th'buni" Tracer
III The Empress Domestic Violence Frances Pauli
IV The Emperor Joseph and the Technicolor Fur Coat Stephen Coghlan
V The Hierophant The Lunatic C. M. Averin
VI The Lovers Love Not Misplaced Hypetaph
VII The Chariot Avoiding the Subject TJ Minde
VIII Strength Chasing the Dragon Baxil
IX The Hermit While It Lasts John Kulp
X Wheel of Fortune The Dragon of Volcano Island Madison Keller
XI Justice Red Searska GreyRaven
XII The Hanged Man Unbound Chris "Sparf" Williams
XIII Death St. John's Bridge Rose LaCroix
XIV Temperance A Temper for Order Frances Pauli
XV The Devil Faux Atrum
XVI The Tower The Storm J. S. Hawthorne
XVII The Star No Peas in My Garden Dan Leinir Turthra Jensen
XVIII The Moon Who Fights With Monsters Kyell Gold
XIX The Sun Remembering Sisyphus George Squares
XX Judgement A Time for Giving Allison Thai
XXI The World The Unification of Worlds Mary Lowd