The Tentacle Monster Tarot
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XVI. The Monster

The Card

The Schoolgirl stands naked in the center of the Library. All around her, bookshelves extend off into darkness. Ahead of her, blocking her way, is another tentacle monster, this one larger than the ones she has encountered before. She holds her hands protectively over her breasts at the sight of it. It stands cloaked in darkness, but makes no move toward her.

The Story

The Schoolgirl, now sated, has fled the underground lair where she was brought, leaving the slumbering tentacle monsters behind. Confused and disoriented, she wanders through a network of storage rooms and hallways until finally she emerges from the basement into the Library.

She believes escape to be near, but then in the darkness she spots a huge tentacle beast, standing between her and freedom. The Schoolgirl realizes there is no way for her to evade the monster; it is too near for her to turn and run back down into the basement, and there is no way past it.

Wrapping her arms around herself to cover her nakedness, she steps forward defiantly and confronts it. "I suppose you're going to drag me back down into your lair and enslave me," she taunts.

The Monster turns toward her, and then its voice echoes inside her head. Why would I do that? it asks, indicating the books around her with a sweep of a tentacle and lightly caressing the back of her hands that she holds over her breasts with another. You've already enslaved yourself far more effectively than I ever could. With that, it turns away from her and disappears into the darkness.

The Meaning

When it appears in a spread, The Monster is a warning to the Querant that sometimes our own preconceptions can imprison us. Not all prisons have physical walls; habits, routines, prejudices, even patterns in our work or romantic lives can shackle us as tightly as any iron chain.

The Schoolgirl values book learning above everything else, but nothing she could have learned in any book has helped her in her trials. Her habits and beliefs blinded her to the fact that other things also have value. The Monster reminds the Querant to look to the parts of his or her life, ideas, or attitudes which may be holding him or her back.

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