Tarot for Creative Writing: Part 2

One of the ways that tarot can be used for creative writing is to help provide ideas and loose structures for a written project. A simple way to do this is to use a three-card spread in which the cards are drawn to represent the following: Character, Conflict, and Resolution.

The beauty of this spread is that it can help kick-start your inspiration (perfect for when you’re feeling stuck) while leaving plenty of space for your creativity to stretch and explore. You can utilize these cards as loosely (for example, ignoring the ‘divinatory’ meaning behind the cards and simply using the images to generate characters and feelings) or as traditionally as you wish. You can also use this spread to generate a new idea, or to help you flesh out a story you’re already working on. It can be quite fun, if you have access to a writing buddy, to draw the same three cards for the two of you, sketch out your ideas on your own, and then compare to see how differently you were inspired by the cards.

It’s a rather simple method, but I find that it’s immensely helpful, especially when I’m experiencing an inner creative block that I can’t seem to loosen. Sometimes I keep the ideas I generate, sometimes I don’t, and sometimes what I write leads my mind to come up with a new idea that’s entirely unrelated to the cards but that I probably wouldn’t have thought of otherwise. Approach it like an experiment, like play. Use it outside of your normal writing ritual, or as a pre-writing warm-up. Use it to provide some clarity on a story you’re struggling to finish. Use it to help you decide the story you don’t want to tell; if you scowl at what the cards are showing you, well, simply write their opposite.

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