5 Great Articles about Using Tarot for Writing

tarot, fortune telling, tarot spreads, crystal ball, reading tarot, telling fortunesI use the Tarot a lot when I write. I have dozens and dozens of tarot decks. I collect them. I have tarots that feature vampires, Olympic gods, zombies, fairies, vodou, fairy tales, etc. I find them very useful. I use my tarot cards to brainstorm characters, ideas, plots, scenes, settings, etc.

I plan to blog more about how I use tarot for writing  at some point, but for now, since I have to go to my weekend job on this fine, sunny Sunday afternoon, I’ll quickly share some articles about using tarot for writing.

Tarot for Writers – Corrine Kenner

First off, if you’re interested in using tarot for writing, pick up this book Tarot for Writers by Corrine Kenner. I highly recommend it, and I never fail to mention it in the tarot and writing workshops I’ve done over the years.

Kenner’s book is not only a fantastic introduction to tarot, with meanings provided for all the cards, but she gives you great advice on how to use the tarot to create characters, brainstorm plots, come up with ideas and even to break writer’s block. I can’t recommend it enough. Consider it your basic textbook or guidebook for using the tarot for writing.

Kenner also has a book out called Astrology for Writers. I haven’t read it yet as I just heard about it. Like today. I’ve ordered it, however, and will let you know what I think of it. Based on Tarot for Writers and how useful it’s been for me, I don’t doubt Astrology for Writers will prove just as useful.

Article No. 1 – Using Tarot in Writing

My friend Raelyn Barclay has done a phenomenal job with the tarot. She is an amazing resource and you will learn a lot from her not only about writing and using the tarot but the tarot in general.

Article No. 2 – The Tarot as a Tool for Writing Your Novel

This is an excellent article by Marlisa Fabrega on how to use tarot to write your novel. She has great examples on how to use a single tarot card like the Empress, for example, to come up with a character for your story.

Article No. 3 – Tarot for Writers – Using Tarot to Find & Nurture Your Creative Muse

This article by Sarah Ockler talks about how she used tarot to write her YA novel. She has great tips, links to tarot resources and a list of books that feature tarot in them.

Article No. 4 – Using Tarot for Creative Writing

Janet Boyer provides links to spreads that can be used to do tarot readings for your characters. Have you ever tried that? It can be fun and give you insights into your characters that you didn’t have before.

Article No. 5 – Tarot and Creative Writing

This article by Ruth Ann Amberstone provides some handy questions to ask yourself before and during your writing sessions.

I hope these prove helpful to you if you’re considering using tarot in your writing or have already done so, but wanted to see what others have done with tarot and creative writing.

If you have any questions about using tarot for writing, please feel free to ask them in the comments section.

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The Hero with a Thousand Faces – Myth & Dream

I finally started re-reading The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell, and I thought I’d share some of the more noteworthy quotes. The last time I read it, which was a few years ago, I remembered how densely packed the book was and that it contained much that was inspiring and thought-provoking.

These quotes are from the Prologue, Part One – Myth and Dream. In that chapter, Campbell talks about the similarities between myths and dreams, and that the archetypes that inhabit both are universal across time and space.

“The latest incarnation of Oedipus, the continued romance of Beauty and the Beast, stand this afternoon on the corner of Forty-Second Street and Fifth Avenue, waiting for the traffic light to change.” (p. 2)

“Dream is the personalized myth, myth the depersonalized dream; both myth and dream are symbolic in the same dream, sleep, Diana Castlegeneral way of the dynamics of the psyche. But in the dream the forms are quirked by the peculiar troubles of the dreamer, whereas in myth the problems and solutions shown are directly valid for all mankind.” – (p. 14)

“The hero, therefore, is the man or woman who has been able to battle past the personal and local historical limitations to the generally valid, normally human forms” – (p. 14)

And my favorite.

“Furthermore, we have not even to risk the adventure alone; for the heroes of all time have gone before us; the labyrinth is thoroughly known; we have only to follow the thread of the hero-path. And where we had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a god; where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves; where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the center of our own existence; where we had thought to be alone, we shall be with all the world.” (p.18)

from Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, (3rd edition)

The Hero with a Thousand Faces

hero with a thousand faces, mythology, joseph campbellEarlier I’d mentioned a bunch of books I had picked up from the library. Unfortunately, a few of the books, once I started reading them, didn’t hold my interest. Wasn’t really a reflection of the books, per se. Sometimes I’m just not in a particular mood for a certain kind of book. Plus, I’ve been re-reading Joan Vinge’s The Snow Queen for the past few weeks and I want to finish it so that I can re-read the sequel, The Summer Queen. 

A book I suddenly got an urge to re-read is Joseph Campbell’s The Hero With a Thousand Faces. If you’ve heard or read anything about the Hero’s Journey, particularly as it was laid out by Christopher Vogler in his book, The Writer’s Journey, this is the book that started it all.

I’d read Hero with a Thousand Faces oh, geez, I don’t know, about 10 years ago? I know it’s been awhile. It’s a very dense book, not one you can read through quickly, but I recall that after I finished it I felt as if I’d been on my own hero’s journey.

hero, dragon, knight, hero's journey, hero with a thousand faces, mythology, mythOne of the reasons I’m so keen on re-reading the book is that I’ve decided to read and study more mythology and incorporating it in my writing and my tarot readings. I’ve always  loved myth, since I was a kid I’ve been strongly drawn to it and, in all honesty, no matter what kind of stories we write or tell or watch or create, we’re pretty much just re-telling the same ancient myths, legends and fairytales. We’re just putting our own personal and cultural spin on them.

Campbell also has a number of quotes that, over the years, have resonated with me and actually helped me get through some rough times.

Here are a few of them.

It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.

Life is without meaning. You bring the meaning to it. The meaning of life is whatever you ascribe it to be. Being alive is the meaning.

The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.

Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.

—Joseph Campbell