Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Monument to Liberation Struggles, based on a 3-card Spread from the Black Power Tarot by King Khan and Michael Eaton

VII The Chariot (Little Richard)

You gotta drive, man. You gotta grip those reins and drive those horses hard – keep on moving, stick to that winding road wherever it goes. Just keep drivin’, keep on poundin’, rollin’ out that insistent left-hand boogie-woogie. There ain’t no limit to where you can go. I came from nothin’: poverty, depravation and prejudice. I was little and I was weird, but I weren’t gonna let nothing stop me. Once I got my start, that’s it, I was off. 

But you gotta watch out. If you take a wrong turning, you gotta get back on that right road to salvation and glory. Whatever you do, don’t crash off, for there’s a gaping chasm each side and once you get down in there there ain’t no getting’ out. Keep on that straight and narrow and you’ll rise, like a rocket to the stars.

XVII The Star (Alice Coltrane)

Each of us is a star: a unique moment of celestial radiance. A universal pulse made of pure love. All we need do is raise up our voices and sing out, giving and receiving the breath of the universe:

sarvesham svastir bhavatu 

sarvesham shantir bhavatu 

sarvesham purnam bhavatu 

sarvesham mangalam bhavatu

When we are in harmony with our nature, there is no loss or adversity we cannot overcome, if we just accept our true nature and acknowledge we are a font of pure love that resonates with all of creation: 

purnam adah purnam idam purnat purnam udachyate 

purnasya purnam adaya purnam evavashishyate 

Our song of love supreme rises and fills the skies with the sacred OM, the ever-repeating cycle of life.

X The Wheel of Fortune (3x Malcolm X)

The Roman philosopher Boethius said: “It is my belief that history is a wheel. Rise up on my spokes if you like, but do not complain when you are cast down again on the other side.” Each of our lives is a wheel, constantly rising and falling – mutability truly is our tragedy, but also our hope. I know, for I have been round on that wheel more times than I care to remember. 

But we are not all sitting prettily astride the wheel, like fools on a fairground ride. Some of us are bound to that wheel – shackled hand and foot – spun by dizzying forces beyond our control. It is up to us to throw off those shackles – no one else will – and free ourselves first, by any means necessary, before we can ride the vicissitudes of fate on our own terms. 

Just imagine! And imagine then, if we all, collectively – the whole human race – put our shoulders to that wheel, revolving it in a direction beneficial to all… 


The above is based on the following spread drawn at random from the Black Power Tarot deck by King Khan and Michael Eaton (major arcana only):

Terry Holland grew up in England, studied theatre and languages in London and Berlin before settling in the Netherlands, where he works as a translator and editor. His writing has been shortlisted for the Propelling Pencil Flash Fiction Competition, longlisted for the Retreat West Flash Fiction Prize and the Cranked Anvil Flash Fiction Competition and published by Almond Press (Scotland), the Bath Flash Fiction Anthology (UK), Stukah! magazine (Netherlands), Full House Literary (online), Free Flash Fiction (online), voidspace zine (online), Daily Drunk (online), Ellipsis Zine (online), Pure Slush (Australia), Seaside Gothic (UK) and Loft Books (online).