Friday, January 16, 2015

'Warning the Stars' Saturday #11: Writing with Tarot Cards

I love the metaphysics.  I consider myself a Buddhist and a mystic.  So it's no surprise that I woke up this morning wanting to 'play' with my Rider Tarot Deck.

My tarot deck was given to me as a gift from a friend some years ago.  I can read simple spreads but usually if i need guidance I just mix the deck up and pick one card (I do the same for my Norse Runes).

Anyway, today I picked 'The Star.'  And although the reading did seem to apply to my current life situation, I found myself mesmerized by the artwork.  It totally engaged my imagination and before I knew it, I'd written a short poem.

If you are not familiar with Tarot cards, you should be aware that they are wonderful works of art.  You need not use them for their fortune telling or guidance purposes if that's not something you particularly believe in.  However, I do believe they work wonderfully in jump-starting one's ability to generate ideas for creative writing, poetry, and stories.

There are several ways to integrate tarot into a creative writing exercise:

1)  Write about the artwork...what's going on, describe the scenery and relationships....extend that to your personal life, are there any similarities?

2)  Look at the meaning of the card.  Write about that in relation to your life, your imagination.  Create a character.

3)  Use a combination of the artwork with the description.

4)  Pull words from each description of the card (the actual description or your description of the artwork on the card) for endless wordle variations.

5)  Use a series of cards, in a row, to tell a story.  Example, Card #1 the character, Card #2 the plot, Card #3 the ending.  Take a spread of several tarot cards and use them as a timeline for a story or poem.

Really, the possibilities become endless if you allow yourself to be inspired.

Below I have included 4 of my favorite cards from different Tarot suites (that I found through a google search).  They are my favorite for their artwork (so many writing ideas come to mind when I look at each one!).  Below each card, I have added the official description for the card reading:

THE LOVERS:  attraction, love, beauty, trials overcome.

THE MOON:  hidden enemies, danger, calumny, darkness, terror, deception, error.

THE STAR:  Loss, theft, privation, abandonment, OR hope and bright prospects for the future.

THE TOWER:  misery, distress, ruin, indigence, adversity, calamity, disgrace, deception.


Allow yourself to be inspired by one (or more) of these cards.  Or, if you prefer, do a google search and pick another card that calls to your imagination.

Use whichever card(s) you choose as inspiration for a poem, flash fiction, or short story.

Have fun with Tarot, and happy writing!

2 comments:

  1. I do love the art on the various types of Tarot cards. I've used different sets through time but have settled with The Gilded Tarot with art by Ciro Marchetti and a companion book by Barbara Moore.

    Thanks for giving me a great idea. I read them but never thought of using them for inspiration to write. I am always lost in the art and the reading.

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    1. hello gail!

      i love most any type of oracle, i believe in the invisible guidance.

      i have oftentimes written from pictures and artwork, perhaps that's how i made the connection. but as i gazed into the rider tarot version of 'the star' the lines just began to run through me, and i wrote them down.

      i hope you'll give it a try! :)

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