The Tentacle Monster Tarot
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XIII. Suspension


The Card

The Schoolgirl is bound nude in an elaborate harness of rope, which wraps around her body and breasts. She dangles beneath a tree on the edge of the Wilds, suspended parallel to the ground. Additional ropes bind her ankles, holding her legs apart. Her clothing rests in a neat pile at the base of the tree. Behind her, the buildings of the University rise into the sky.

The Story

Now that the Schoolgirl has acted in the face of her fears, claimed ownership of her body, and questioned her idealism about how the world works, the Schoolgirl's perceptions of what is possible have changed as well. Her experience at the hands of the Mad Scientist has shown her there are things to be learned even from experiences which she did not choose herself. Escape showed her that she can take power over those things. Now, her newfound pragmatism tells her that she can not escape the Tentacle Monsters forever.

Accepting the inevitability of her fate, the Schoolgirl makes her way back through the Wilds to the edge of the university, which she realizes must be overrun with the monsters by now. She strips off her clothing and folds it carefully. Then, naked, she wraps a length of rope around herself. She binds her ankles with a second piece of rope, then affixes the rope to the stout limb of a tree. Finally, she leans forward to place her weight on the rope and, thus suspended, awaits whatever comes next.

The Meaning

Taken on one level, Suspension is about accepting and even welcoming the inevitable. To interpret it only on this level, however, is to miss the deeper meaning.

Suspension is a card not only of accepting the inevitable, but about applying our experiences to think about it in an entirely new way. Things that we once feared, and fled from, can be transformed by new knowledge so as to lose their terror and even become, on some level, inviting. Suspension is not just the acceptance of our fate, but of transformance, of changing ourselves to better understand it, and even to go out and meet it on our terms.

The Schoolgirl binds herself in order to commit to a course of action. Even though she is still afraid, she has chosen to use the rope to compel herself to face her fears. We may be able to outrun the things that are pursuing us, for a time, but ultimately our fates will find us. The Bound Self is a reminder that it is often better to meet these things in a time and place of our own choosing.

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