Thursday, 17 November 2022

Minor Arcana of the Apocalypse Tarot

Greetings creatures, my Kickstarter for 'Speak, False Machine', a mighty Tome of posts not unlike this one, has staggered like a blind giant through a variety of artistic goals. So far we have blundered through the palaces of Scrap Princess, Jason Thompson, Jez Gordon, Peter Mullen, Amanda Franck and Daniel Puerta and, daft and thoughtless, have snagged these noble minds and shoved them into our greasy pockets.

Now a new and terrible goal rises like a thundercloud before our eyes - that of Valin Mattheis!

As a tribute to his eldritch conceptions..

 I give you the following post;

Minor Arcana of the Apocalypse Tarot

While discussions of the Major Arcana of the Apocalypse Tarot are common, experienced readers will devote themselves also to the Minor Arcana, the complex meanings of which often add depth and texture to the predictions of a casting.

The House of Suns 

Ace of Suns - A clear sky, contrails, daylight bombing, falling bodies.
Two of Suns - Gradual but inevitable and transformative heating, companion card to the Queen of Seas.
Three of Suns - Natural fires, combustion, lightning, the presence of materials for combustion.
Four of Suns - The darkness inside a fire, pain shutdown due to nerve damage, unhealable wounds.
Five of Suns - A Saint burning, purification, gold, transcendence, revolt of the unconscious.
Six of Suns - Shrapnel, penetration of the body, revelation, the shadow of fire.
Seven of Suns - Witches, heresy, the burning of individuals, assertation of reason.
Eight of Suns - Light brought to a blinding point, lasers, destructive hyperfocus.
Nine of Suns - The shaped charge, great force brought to a point, armoured vehicles.
Ten of Suns - Firearms, conventional weapons, individuals acting en-masse, a great number.
Page of Suns - Dehydration, death from water loss, water wars, rivers, desalination.
Knight of Suns - Firestorms, mass strategic bombing, loss of home, a journey by night.
Queen of Suns -  Fission weapons, nuclear dawn, a singular number, loss of flesh, blindness.
King of Suns - Rapid stellar expansion, Nova, total atmospheric loss, Mars.

The House of Seas

Ace of Seas - Water, the cooling of thirst, rabies, the lapping of animals at a spring.
Two of Seas - Venom, animal derived poison, political assassination.
Three of Seas - Rats, fecundity, invisible transport, to be the medium.
Four of Seas - Radio noise, the Dark Forest, solar events.
Five of Seas - Pesticide, indigestible compound poisons, undrinkable water.
Six of Seas - Invasive species, a creature with no predators, vast numbers of alien things.
Seven of Seas - Plagues in the classical sense, a lack of immunity, isolation.
Eight of Seas - Neurotoxins, mirror proteins, cannibalism, the brain.
Nine of Seas - Ice, preservation in ice, (reversed if cast with a 'Suns' card)
Ten of Seas - Shipwreck, loss of goods, a catastrophic sudden change, ice.
Page of Seas - Peace, perfect isolation, a fortress against the world.
Knight of Seas - Floods, rising oceans, a concentration of people, drowning.
Queen of Seas - Tides, hurricanes, Tsunami, the inundating storm.
King of Seas -  Silence, preservation, utter stillness, the interstellar dark

The House of Insects

Ace of Insects - Locusts, famine, crops, preservation, prophecy.
Two of Insects - Reaching fingers beneath a door, an invisibly predatory crowd, the public gaze.
Three of Insects - Parasites, infection of the flesh, the secret removal of resources.
Four of Insects - Skittering, unseen movement, the spaces behind the quotidian.
Five of Insects - Drummers, distant music, an arrhythmic sound, incoherent codes.
Six of Insects - Teeth, a great multiplicity of things, a crowd.
Seven of Insects - Concentration camps, population loss, cultural deletion.
Eight of Insects - Binary, the false projection, a model of the world.
Nine of Insects - Bacterium, symbiosis, a feast, unseeable but not unalterable.
Ten of Insects - The Virus*, the unperceived and unalterable, the mirror of life 
Page of Insects - The engram, neural lace, dreams, dreams invaded, cybernetics.
Knight of Insects - The synthetic mind via pure mathematics, simulated worlds, simulation theory.
Queen of Insects - Fecundity, infinite growth, annihilation through growth, cancer, nanomachines.
King of Insects - Grey goo, total atomisation, cosmic noise, the Planck length.

*(Doubled if combined with the Grand Arcana card 'Grand Virus') 

The House of Terrors

Ace of Terrors - Your own name discovered where it should not be, conspiracy, official interest.
Two of Terrors - Storage, loss, theft, limited resources, meat.
Three of Terrors - Familial secrets, hidden history, the truth revealed.
Four of Terrors - The remaking of reality, doublethink, the well-accepted lie.
Five of Terrors - An empty house, an unknown number of rooms, indeterminate values.
Six of Terrors - To be lost in a familiar place, the unknown street, the familiar made strange.
Seven of Terrors - Voices in walls, inverse and unseen spaces, that which has long been prepared.
Eight of Terrors - Faith made real, Revelation, faith proved in blood.
Nine of Terrors - Reavers, the armed group, a breakdown in law, the knife.
Ten of Terrors - The State inverted, disordered government, an inappropriate order accepted.
Page of Terrors - Traditional madness, delusion, to become incoherent, to discover.
Knight of Terrors - Moral and physical triage, a decision which cannot be unmade and cannot be survived.
Queen of Terrors - Betrayal, the false self, many faces, the family.
King of Terrors - That which cannot be imagined, information hazard, the card which is not a card.


  1. As a one-time sooth-sayer and avid collector of tarot decks (not to mention post-apoc fiction) I find this “Apocalypse tarot” delightful and magnificent.

    One day, my own PA RPG (based largely on the Canticle For Leibowitz) will feature something like this. Solid.

  2. I cannot say much here except that I really like what it is written here and also hope we will have such art in the book.