Yesterday, I found this free tarot app over at Amazon for my Kindle Fire. It’s pretty neat for a free app. It has images of all 78 cards (the Rider Waite deck), keywords, interpretations and spreads. You can get a pro version for cost which has more spreads and allows you to save your spreads, but the free app has a single card, three card, Celtic Cross and Relationship spread and, for my writing with tarot purposes, that’s more than enough.
So I used the app today for a three card spread. In Tarot For Writers, Corrine Kenner talks about the Power of Three. She states that the three card spread is the foundation of many tarot readings, which it is. It’s very flexible, especially if you’re wanting to do a quick read. Over at Biddy Tarot, you will find some very useful three card spreads. And all of these three card spreads can be used for writing. You can use them to brainstorm characters, plots, situations, goals, motivations.
In Tarot for Writers, Kenner says you can use a three card spread for a “past, present and future” spread and then read it like a story. So, for example, I used my handy-dandy Kindle tarot app and it gave me these three cards:
Now, let’s see what I can come up with. I always think it’s best, even if you don’t have an idea for a story yet, to come up with at the very least a genre. You need something to start with so that when you’re looking at the cards, your imagination will have something to work on. Otherwise you’ll probably just flounder around.
I’ll select the genre mystery and I’ll use the keywords and interpretations from my tarot app to guide me. Oh, one other thing. I don’t usually read reversed cards since I think all cards contain both positive and negative elements. I just turn the card right side up and then, depending on the question and its position in the spread, decide whether it’s positive or negative.
But when you’re using the tarot for writing fiction, make sure you take a look at the reverse/negative keywords and interpretations. Why? Because in fiction, you want bad stuff to happen to your characters or else your story will be as exciting as watching paint dry.
Okay, on with the story.
Past – (Queen of Swords) Once upon a time, a self-aware and intelligent woman, who had just been elected judge for the county she lived in, chose to ignore her instinct and succumbing to harsh criticism and bullying by the powers that be, let a man she knew to be innocent be convicted of a murder he hadn’t committed.
Present (The Hanged Man) – The man was executed some years later, still proclaiming his innocence and the woman has had to live with this on her conscience until one day the brother of the man, a Jesuit priest who had lost touch with his brother over the years, came to the city to find out what had happened to him, for he knew his brother to have been, perhaps not a perfect man, but a man of good character.
Future (Knight of Pentacles) – With the help of a doggedly determined detective, the judge and the priest now seek,, after all these years, to discover who actually committed the murder and why the powers that be wanted the actual murderer protected.
Now, I’m not saying its a great story, but it’s a start, and that’s always what’s most important. You have to start somewhere. Oh, and you have to finish too. Second most important thing. You have to start and you have to finish.
Tarot can help you do that. Need an idea for a story? Pull out a deck or use a tarot app. Stuck in the middle of your story ? Use the tarot. Need a new character or a motivation or a goal for a character? Pull out the tarot. 🙂