The White Panther

November 17, 2007 § 1 Comment

This morning I turned on my PC to do something tarotic and wound up spending over two hours editing and preparing a short story to send off for a competition. Why? A seemingly serendipitous email – reminding me the closing date for a competition I wasn’t planning to enter is only two weeks away – landed in my inbox on my day off. It seemed like an opportunity so I took it.

The story, entitled ‘The White Panther’, is one I wrote a few years ago. It was one of those stories that popped into my head one lunchtime and was almost finished by dinnertime (back in the days when I could spend whole afternoons writing – and alas, on the whole, didn’t). I’m really very proud of it and I like it a lot but I’ve never done anything with it. So now I’m sending it off into the great wide open to see if it can hold its own.

After I’d sealed the envelope I drew three cards from my newly trimmed Mythic (thanks TarotDame) to see how my story might fare.


I can interpret The Star in a few ways, all of which are relevant. That’s me, having high hopes for my story and choosing to ignore its flaws. But also (as I asked how the story would fare and this is the commentary card) I think this card says it’s got a chance. It could shine. And then again, why am I in a situation where I have to place so much faith in one story? What happened to all my other stories?

The 8 of Swords is the message. This is the ‘between a rock and a hard place’ card. I’m trying to remember the story behind this particular card (the book is all the way upstairs and I can’t be bothered to go and get it). Both the Furies and Apollo are angry at Orestes. He can’t please either one of them and so he’s flailing about in the middle not knowing what to do or where to turn. He’s afraid of the consequences of whatever he does so he does nothing. I’m not sure I get how this relates to my story but it does remind me of a feature in Psychologies magazine this month about self-sabotage (actually, it might have been last month – I’m so behind on my reading). One of the reasons put forward for why we self-sabotage was fear of success (yes, I can relate to that – success leads to expectation and the potential for bigger failures). The article says (I looked it up – it was only in the next room): “By thwarting your chances for success you always have the potential to be great.” How true. I know I can write well and I enjoy writing. But I write less and less. It’s easier to think, “I could be a best-selling novelist if I wanted to be but I’m not sure I want to be.”

The 8 of Wands is the vision. It’s a picture of easy progress, where all obstacles have been removed and you’re flying. It seems to be a very positive card here, but I can’t help thinking I’m biased (like the girl in the Star, only seeing what she wants to see). Maybe if I could detangle myself from my fears, I could achieve this plain sailing. This reading started off about one story and has grown to talk about the whole complicated issue of me not writing. This is what I like about the Mythic – it’s so easy to relate to.

Very rambly post this. Can’t remember what my point was.

By the way, if you write stories or any kind of fiction, check out Critique Circle.

§ One Response to The White Panther

  • Tarot Dame says:

    Your cards look great…don’t they feel so much more wonderful to work with now!?

    Good luck in the writing competition! I was pretty amazed when reading the title of your post, as I had just written about my daily card, including a little paragraph on the panther. Maybe that’s a good sign!! 🙂

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