Using the Tarot for Writing
In 2014, I purchased an ebook called “WRITE FASTER With Tarot: Structuring Plots” by Diana Castle. I read it, tried it with the Enchanted Deck of Tarot cards I have by Amy Zerner and Monte Farber (I’ve had that deck since 1990, y’all). The ebook wasn’t expensive, and it was worth the read, but it really didn’t have enough information for me, and as a pantser I really didn’t want to structure my novel, what I really wanted was to use the tarot to inspire me, help feed my creative muse, and for the characters.
Then, in September of 2015 I saw a video by Arwen Lynch on YT about her ecourse for using Tarot and the Hero’s Journey to write your novel in 30 days. I debated over it for a bit, and then decided I’d try it. The ecourse is $33, or at least it was when I took it, and well worth that price and more….My only wish was that she’d done a few more videos about it. (HINT< HINT if you happen to be reading this Arwen, lol!).
I began my journey in October, planning my novel for NaNoWriMo, and had a blast. I made videos on YT, I had a journal specifically for my ideas and my journey through the course, and I made a binder to put copies of the emails I printed out. I even kept up with all of it. (Insert pat on the back here because sometimes I lose focus, get distracted, and don’t always follow through with some projects.)
I can’t begin to tell you much I learned, what a great time I had, and how inspired and motivated I was. I’ll be using what I learned to outline the second book as soon as I get to that stage. I’m still using what I learned to help me with scenes or chapters I get stuck on, to help with a major decision a character has to make, or if I feel that twist, where the characters decide to do something that you didn’t plan at all and you’re stuck wondering what the hell happened.
According to Corrine Kenner, author of “Tarot for Writers,” famous authors like Stephen King and John Steinbeck used tarot cards for inspiration. My hero, Mr. King, uses tarot cards for inspiration… Uhhumm! And Mr. Steinbeck, too. I was sold.
Tarot cards are most often used for divination and insight, and though you can use them for that, if that’s not your thing don’t let that stop you from trying them out in regards to your writing. There are tarot decks inspired by books, like the Sherlock Holmes deck, or the Hobbit deck (which I have), or decks inspired by Wizards (I have one of those as well) or Fairies or Vampires or Angels or Animals or Nature or Zombies… the list goes on. I have the Sherlock Holmes, Shakespeare, Angels, Fairies, and a few other decks on my wish list. I can’t afford to buy any decks right now, but I do plan on collecting quite a few more.
For one, the illustrations themselves are inspirational. If you didn’t want to take the time to learn what the cards mean, you could just use the illustrations on the cards as inspiration. For two, I find myself inspired by the meanings, and there are so many different ways to use them to brainstorm, plot, character creation, character arc’s, among other things like answering questions, writing prompts, or as an idea generator.
According to mythology, there were nine muses. With the Tarot, you’ve got seventy-eight!~Llewellyn Website
If you’re interested, here’s the playlist I made of my outlining videos using Arwen’s Course.
If you’re interested in Arwen’s course just click on this link. I can’t recommend it enough. She’s awesome and like I said, I’ll be using the course again to outline book 2 in my Witchy Business (that’s what I am calling it right now) series. 😀
My Affirmation Card for the Day: “I have the power to transform my life….(use this gift [card]when you notice resistance, either in yourself or others, to the idea of being able to change your life.) Profound change usually comes in small increments over time. Keep a positive attitude and you will be able to undo years of negative affirmations in record time.~ Gifts of the Goddess Affirmation Cards, Amy Zerner & Montey Farber