It's in the cards...

The Down-Low of the Tarot

Newsflash! The Tarot isn’t the Devil’s Uno!

Although metaphysical modalities are becoming more and more commonplace these days, the tarot still gets a bad rap.

Watch any movie or show that features a tarot reader, and you will see some mysterious, shifty-eyed woman or a creepy dude who undoubtedly flips over the Death, The Hanged Man, or The Devil card. Nine times out of ten, they don’t even interpret it correctly. (hint: these cards are not harbingers of doom.)

It may surprise you that there is no such thing as a “good” or “bad” tarot card, that a woman can most certainly be a Knight of Wands, and that a pentacle is not the sign of evil.

And more astonishing? I don’t believe a tarot card tells me what to do, answers my questions for me, or tells me my future.

What’s Truly in the Cards

We have been trying to figuring out how to make our way in this crazy world since the day we came into it. So many of the things we’ve learned helped us make sense of things in ways that got us  through challenging times, but we may no longer need those lessons. Many messages we’ve received have been suggestions and stories others believed and have told us that don’t necessarily speak to who we are as we evolve and grow.

As the tarot has a way of breaking down the walls we build around our subconscious to get at our elemental self, it encourages us to rediscover and become who we truly are. When we tap into this alignment, paths have a way of opening up and leading us to exactly where we want to be.

Tarot For Writers

One fine day a client  requested a card reading for the character of the story they were writing, and I knew then that I could combine two of my favorite things into an exciting new venture!

There are many wonderful tools out there to help the writer hone their craft, and I say, use as many as you can that feel good to you!

Sometimes, however, the same old methods and assignments can fall a bit flat. As a creative person such as you, working with something new and unique can really get those imaginative sparks flying and inspire you in a whole new way. Using this magical modality as a creative muse is a powerful way to relax your over-thinking mind, allowing it to play and let the ideas flow.

With so many different decks of various moods and themes, tarot cards are chock-full of creative inspiration. Whether or not you know their given meaning, each card can be a treasure trove of color and symbology, open and ready to be interpreted however you see fit. Using it as a creative muse is a powerful way to relax your over-thinking mind, allowing it to play and let the ideas flow.

Within my own writing practice, I have discovered that working with the tarot directly with elements of your story is truly extraordinary! Read on to see how they can help you…

Develop Your Character

In my humble opinion, character development is the most essential part of story writing. 

It goes without saying that a good plot is very important as well, but if I can’t connect with a character or I notice that they are thinking or reacting to something in a way that doesn’t align with their prescribed personality, the whole story falls flat!

With this in mind, I have devised a unique system using the Court Cards of the tarot to help you create a character that is not only three-dimensional and believable but stays consistent throughout your entire tale.

As the Court Cards are the personality and archetypal cards of a tarot deck, assigning a specific one to your characters brings a distinctive understanding of them that can bring character development to a whole new magical level. I periodically teach this very method in a class at the prestigious Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis, and I love to share it one on one as well.

Character Interviews

As writers work with characters, these beings become living, breathing people.

We often go through exercises to explore what any given person in our story may be thinking, what motivates them, or who in their lives has left a lasting impression–everything that shaped them into who they are. This process then makes them more genuine to the reader.

Can you imagine being able to actually ask your characters what they’re thinking or what they want to do next?

My in-depth Character Interview Reading offers 24 probing questions about who they are, what may be their internal conflict, and how aspects of their external world are affecting them. From there, you and I work through what they may be saying through the cards.

This is such a wonderful way to hear their voice and work through some aspects you may not have thought about before.

Story Immersion

Sometimes you’re going along in your story and your hero’s journey comes to a screeching halt. It’s like a giant road block wedged into your brain and you suddenly have no idea where to lead them.

Other times you have too many ideas, and gaining some clarity would be really helpful.

Consulting the tarot as you work through aspects of your plot can be a game changer. Suddenly ideas are coming at you–not from someone else, but from your own elemental self.

This is an author-led, organic process. This is not about where you should be going with your story, screenplay, or video game idea; it’s simply letting ideas ebb and flow, going where the story takes you, or taking it in a different direction.

Some people like to use the cards as a starting point for the seed of an idea to help them shape their story idea from the very beginning! 

And don't forget...

A Creative Companion

Whether you are a professional writer or someone who loves to put words on paper for their own reflection and personal growth, using the tarot as a creative resource can be really powerful. 

As an everyday self-care and motivational practice, specific cards can help get your thoughts out on paper with journaling, brainstorming, or free-writing. As someone who writes for a living or simply loves the practice, it gets yourself in the ‘write’ frame of mind, or help to unstick your overworked brain.

I’d love to see people work tarot into their lives as a regular self-care practice as one would take part in meditation or exercise.  Like those activities, using the tarot this way can help you gain clarity, reduce stress, and explore new ideas that undoubtedly come from diving into these ancient nuggets of wisdom. 

See For Yourself!

Are you a fiction writer? Have you read about how the tarot can inspire your craft and you want to experience it yourself? I got you!

I’ve created a newsletter called Pen & Tarot, a writer’s sanctuary where you don’t have to feel have to feel frustrated and stuck anymore. 

Every week I share how the tarot can add spark to your story along with musings and tips about the writer’s life in general. 

As a paid subscriber you also have access to The Parlor! Once a month you have the opportunity to join me and some fellow writers as we combine work and play! We pull cards around your current WIP or a story you’d like to resurrect.

Not working on anything at the moment? You can request a card to inspire an idea, or even how to guide you out of a writing slump. (we all have those.) 

Clicking the button below will take to the Sanctuary–you’re invited to claim your spot! Get ready to be inspire and reenergized in a whole new magical way.