First, an update on our efforts to rescue Anais Herschel, expert in nautical imagery in tarot and noted curse word enthusiast, who was recently kidnapped by a villain known to us only as Lace. Danny Delaire (who, in a poorly-kept secret, harbours a special fondness for Ms. Herschel) leads the proverbial charge in this matter. Lace’s ransom note includes a demand for gold. We have, under Ms. Delaire’s guidance, engaged in a variety of fundraisers, including streetside tarot readings, bake sales, bottle drives, only-a-teensy-bit-south-of-legal lotteries, and parkour double marathons, which, according to the physician of our headquarter’s nearest emergency ward, requires training. We all wish our resident athletes, Tina Moretti and Percival Stein a prompt and significantly less painful recovery.
Crystal Balque, the smallest and most disarming of our organization, tied a scarf around her neck and sold boxes filled with cookies. She was forced to desist when a veritable army of young girls chased her away with marshmallow roasting sticks. If you see Ms. Balque, please enter her coordinates in the comments section.
These are frightening days, gentle readers. If Ms. Herschel were here, she would likely call it a “cluster**** ****storm of epic ****ing proportions.”
I remain your most humble and obedient servant,
And now… 26. The Candlestick Maker
Placement: The Obscure Arcana
Description: The Candlestick Maker, unlike what the name may imply, does not depict a person making a candle. Instead, we find a Hand of Glory,* a type of candle made from the disembodied hand of a hanged criminal. To make this magic item, one must mummify the hand and then soak it in a candle wax made from the criminal’s own fat. Often, the wick incorporates hair from said criminal. This magic item is reputed to put one’s enemies to sleep and cause any door to unlock. According to legend, supreme beings called this the “meltipass”.
Right side up:
Petrification. Stillness will turn you brittle, highly flammable, and easily melted into malodorous puddles. This is perhaps the fifth worst way to die in the tarot as a whole, but depending on circumstances it may be the messiest. If The Candlestick Maker appears upright in your spread, avoid committing capital offences near the heirs of 18th century alchemists. Heavens help whoever inherits your priceless Persian rug.
Spontaneous combustion. Your morgue attendant may find themselves craving barbeque pork.
As with the The Candlestick Maker upright, if this card appears reversed in your spread, do not commit capital offences near the heirs of 18th century alchemists. In fact, avoid committing capital offences anywhere.** Evil deeds are, well, evil. If you require the wisdom of an external force, including divination systems, to tell you to be good, then you are either an artificial intelligence*** or you are a terrifying human being and the rest of us should avoid you at all costs.
*Not to be confused with a hole of glory, a truckstop lavetorial feature that falls within the purview of the Ace of Wands.
**Unless, of course, it is a victimless crime against an unjust regime. The disembodied hands of martyrs have far more interesting uses, none of which involve fetid human fat wax. For example, St. Trinian of Cheem’s hand continued his work for two and a half centuries after his execution, dictating the contents of revolutionary pamphlets,**** impersonating hand-sized spiders at exclusive resorts, planting whoopee cushions on the thrones of tyrants, healing the dandruffed, and generally lending a hand.
****with a form of sign language inspired by classical ballet, voguing and riverdance. An archbishop (historian do not agree upon which) reputedly blessed a pair of doll shoes, which the hand of St. Trinian wore on its index and middle finger for the purposes of communication.
Classic The Candlestick Maker deaths:
- Flying too close to the sun
- Haunted wax museum
- Shivd with a sharpened menorah
- Living your life like a candle in the wind
- Some horrific wax-based torture, possibly Brazilian