So, I’ve been obsessed with Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid series for the past few weeks. Halfway through book 3, Hammered, I decided to draw cards on the ending of the book. (My notes from my Penzu journal that day, March 31, are below.) Though trying to foresee the plot planned by a fantasy writer is, perhaps, a fool’s errand. But I am nothing if not a Fool!
First, I pulled cards to place around the Man, placing that card in the center as a significator to represent Atticus. Then, I decided to try letting the cards themselves randomly choose the significator, and got a slightly different spread. Both times the Heart, Lily, and Snake appeared. But in the first spread the Fox appeared, making me wonder if Coyote would have something to do with the outcome of this book (though it seemed unlikely given that Atticus had agreed to help several friends into Asgard — not really Coyote’s purview — so they could slay Thor). There is no Coyote card, so my thought was that the Fox was close enough.
Well — and I hope this is not too much of a spoiler for those of you who may not have read the book — Coyote does not influence the end of Hammered. But what’s interesting to me about my Coyote theory is that Coyote turns out to be central to the next book in the series, Tricked. It does make some sense that Coyote, as the Fox, because he has a personal connection to Atticus and not to the other allies against Thor, would appear in the spread that includes Atticus as the significator, rather than in the spread that focuses more on the mission of the book, travel (represented fairly well in the second spread by the Ship) to Asgard.
How do the spreads do otherwise, in predicting Hammered‘s end? Well, I didn’t foresee any of this, really, in my notes (which are copied below from my Penzu journal). If you look at the first spread, with the Man at the center, you can see the Book (diary or secrets). The central issue in this book is the secret stories that have been carried around by the individuals who want to take revenge on Thor, each for his own reasons. Then we have Letter and Fox, suggesting a message sent to Coyote, perhaps, but that had already happened in Hammered before I did this reading (I was 49% of the way through the Kindle version at the time). The center row suggests that Atticus has been or will be deceived (Snake) by someone he cares about (Heart). Well, he has been deceived by his friend Leif about the whole reason Leif is in Arizona in the first place. I could not have predicted that, but then, there is no vampire card in the Lenormand (a startling oversight! just kidding). The bottom row could relate to the story told by one of the allies, an older man (Lily), who goes to Asgard because he wants to take revenge on Thor for killing a water monster (Fish), but is killed in the process (possibly, Mountain). Or maybe the Fish here can be taken as representing the icicles (beardsicles!) on the Frost Giants, but that might be a stretch — or maybe it’s not as much of a stretch as it sounds, since the Frost Giants want to kidnap a goddess and have sex with her (Lily again, but Lily as sex rather than as an older man), but they are foiled (Mountain) in that as well.
Let’s turn to the second spread. As I noted before, the Ship at the center seems appropriate since the book is about planning for and taking a journey to Asgard. The ring is also appropriate — Atticus takes the trip because he has made a promise. First the promise (Ring), then the trip (Ship). And then love (Heart)? Well, yes, to some degree, as he becomes very attached to men who go with him (two of whom are already very good friends of his). But his love is taken from him (Mice?), as friends (I won’t say which ones!) die in the battle. The Mice could also reflect Atticus’ anxiety and growing fear that there is no likely happy (Sun) outcome. We also have the Snake (deception) connected with the Heart, as in the first spread, which makes sense given that Atticus finds out that a friend has been deceiving him for a long time. How about the Lily here? Connected with the Ring, a promise made to old men (chronologically old if not physically that old). The key? Yes, that promise is the key. The clover? A little luck with the friend who deceived him (in that he manages to save his life when it seemed that would not be possible). And a little luck in that Atticus himself manages to survive and get safely out of Asgard.
Could I tell you based on these spreads what would actually happen next in the book? Not a chance. However, they do make some sense in hindsight. All part of the learning process…and a good excuse to read an awesome series!
Penzu notes on these spreads:
March 31, 2014
49% through the book at time of reading
For this reading, I pulled cards twice–once with Atticus in the middle using the Man as significator, and once letting the cards determine the significator. Both times certain cards appeared: heart, lily, snake. Heart and lily make me wonder what Atticus’ love life has to do with the outcome, while the snake is making me think that as usual, he gets through this challenge using his trickster abilities. In the second reading, we have fox (close enough to Coyote!) next to snake, making me wonder if Coyote is going to appear in Asgard or have something to do with what happens there. Could Atticus send a secret (book/diary) message (letter) to Coyote (fox)? [Full disclosure: Coyote has already appeared in the book, but I don’t know yet if he will be involved in the outcome at the time of this writing.] We have the book next to the heart and mountain, but Atticus has already safely stored his books before this part of the book. Also wondering, does Atticus become romantically involved with someone who is a trickster? Seems like it wouldn’t be the first time…With the letter appearing in the middle column across from the fish, I wonder if Atticus will be sending messages to some kind of water elemental. Or maybe he just has to water some flowers…it does sort of look like things are growing, when you consider mountain, fish (water), lily…Also, through knightings of the letter, I’m wondering about messages sent to Gaia (mountain) re plants growing (lily) — but again, full disclosure, that has happened once already in this book. Knightings of heart: love leading to sex (lily), possibly with someone wily (fox)? There might also be secrets (book/diary and snake) connected with money and abundance (fish). Reading the diagonals: wiliness related to getting up a mountain or through one, secrets (or research?) related to sex? We shall see…
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