I’m going to do a quick exercise from Tarot for Writers . I just got called in to work some extra hours this evening, so my time’s a bit short.
This one involves the Seven of Swords from the same deck I used yesterday, the Legacy of the Divine Tarot. This time I’m going to read the description of the card from the accompanying book, which is called Gateway to the Divine Tarot.
Under the cover of general darkness, with just enough moonlight to illuminate his access point, the thief takes advantage of the open window. From Gateway to the Divine Tarot by Ciro Marchetti.
I’m going to stop right there.
So, here’s this bald headed guy sneaking into a room. On his back are five swords. In the room are two more. He’s obviously stealing these swords for a reason. But why? Money, or could these swords have some other worth to him?
Now, that’s a literal interpretation of the card. But remember, with tarot everything in the card is also a symbol. Swords are the symbol of the intellect. Of ideas and inventions so it could be this card symbolizes someone stealing someone’s else’s ideas. The card could represent a person stealing the idea for a new technology and either making use of it himself or perhaps he’s going to sell the ideas to the highest bidder.
One of the exercises suggested in the Tarot for Writers book is to ask questions of the card and the person in it.
For example, here’s me questioning the Seven of Swords card.
Q: What are you doing?
A: What does it look like I’m doing? I’m stealing.
A: Because I’m a thief.
Q: A professional thief?
A: Of course. I’m the best in the world.
Q: You’re stealing swords? Why?
A: Ah, but are they really swords?
Q: What do you mean?
A: I’m not answering. You ask too many questions. Go away and let me get to my business.
And that could go on for as long as I want until I get an idea for a story or a character or I reach a dead end. That happens sometimes. If I do find a card just isn’t giving me what I want, I pull another and work with that one. There are, after all, 78 cards in a typical tarot deck and 77 more opportunities to find what I need to get jump started on a story.