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Prior to proceeding with the further protocolar meetings – the hero was approached by numerous lobbyists groups and organizations attempting to influence his decision on whom to meet next – Strength or Justice.

Before the Hero ran for his life (that is - engaged in the  terrestrial locomotion allowing him to move rapidly and thus preserve self-sustaining processes that distinguished him from organisms in which such functions have ceased )   he got introduced to the history of magical orders active in Great Britain during the late 19th and early 20th centuries and their ciphered founding documents with detailed outlines of the Grade Rituals;

the latter presumably were  based on some ancient qabalistic diagram to which they referred to as ‘Tree of Life‘ (whatever that was); he was also given introduction to the earliest esoteric Judaic texts as well as to the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet and their respective  correspondences to  ‘American Idol’ winners through the years,  global television viewership of the Super Bowl, the 158 verses of Greece’s national anthem and golf ball’s 336 dimples.

The Hero was breathless (which is - lacking involvement in the process that moves air in and out of the lungs ) when he ran into the protest expressing objection to the Tarot Trump switch.

Minors of the Suit of Swords, followed by the Suit of Cups and led by their respective Court representatives – Kings, Queens, Knights and Pages – marched around carrying slogans:

Birthright Sequence

Waite was clueless

Occupy VIII

Karma is a bitch

Simultaneously, Minors of the Wands and Pentacles Suits in a counter-protest chanted:

Libra comes after Leo

Old decks – no numbers

Crowley was clueless

And while the Pages were running around shouting loudly, the Twos held the silent vigil, the Fives educated the public and the Nines were handling disruptive behavior – Justice and Strength themselves could not be seen anywhere…

As the Hero stood flabbergasted at this ongoing historical cross-cultural confusion, which threatened to turn his journey into an epic  -  a genre foreign to his postmodern minimalist views – a mysterious figure wearing hooded cloak approached him and gave him a sign to follow them.

Without much hesitation, the Hero obeyed – at this point his animal companion, who justifiably felt rather neglected in the narrative, started suspecting that the Hero might be, so to say, one card short of a deck and considered expressing his respectful disagreement with the course of events by banging his head against the nearby brick wall.

Another issue which concerned the loyal animal companion –  and the main motive behind his joining the Hero on the journey –  was a rather urgent matter; it was brought to his attention that the overall use of animal metaphors in traditional Tarot artwork was disparagingly simplistic – and, in some cases, even discriminant.

In the case of the Trump called Strength – the lion was depicted as an uncivilized and  unrestrained creature whose nature needed to be tamed by his manipulative owner for some irrational and unacceptable reasons.

Sadly,  up to this point the Hero has not shown concern with the the worthy cause and the loyal animal companion was starting to despair when a billboard caught his attention: Pips for the Ethical Depiction of Animals.

Meanwhile, the Hero was following the cloaked character walking briskly in front of him…

Unexpectedly, his mysterious guide stopped, turned around and – facing the Hero – removed the hood with a sudden movement.

To Hero’s amazement, in front of him was standing an attractive brunette.

Hold on – the Hero said, while reaching for his Pocket Tarot Bible which he carried with him at all times; he sought for Trumps Index and soon was holding his finger at the section titled The Hermit – you are supposed to be an elderly gentleman with untrimmed beard, he continued.

The Hermitess laughed heartily and asked in a sarcastic tone: And you believed it?

*TO BE CONTINUED*