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Tarot and Creativity

This post was written by Barbara Moore
on December 1, 2009 | Comments (6)


I did it! Using tarot cards, I actually wrote a novel. Well, very nearly. I wrote the required 50K by November 30 and before this week is up,  I’ll have finished the story.

The process was very interesting. I used Corrine Kenner’s Tarot for Writers to get started. I created characters using the spreads in the book. I  also used a three-card, a six-card, and a Celtic Cross spread for plot development. For me, the character creation was the most interesting and the most fun. In the end, I think they, more than the plot spreads, drove the action. tarotforwriters

The protagonist’s foil, Alice, has been my favorite character. In this steampunk version of late 1890s St. Paul, MN, Alice is a priestess in a temple dedicated to the three faces of the goddess. She is an oracle and her medium is photography. Using solutions and chemicals infused with magical herbs for developing, the image becomes not the picture of the seeker that Alice shot but a message from the goddess.

The novel turned out to be more an exploration of the nature of divination and destiny and one’s role in creating the future than anything else.

So tarot created the story on many levels. Below is Alice’s spread. What kind of character would you create using that spread? How have you used tarot creatively? Did you participate in NaNoWriMo? Let me know in the comments 🙂


Reader Comments

Written By Helen
on December 2nd, 2009 @ 4:30 pm

I used the Deviant Moon Babs to write a fable, I laid one card out to represent my character, another the goal, three more for the obstacles he would face, one more for something interesting on the way.

I wrote the story which came to 5,000 words, but then I reduced it to a 1,000 for a fable competition (wish me luck! – I’ll need it.).

Tarot is a great way to kick start one’s imagination especially with the diversity of decks and images to ponder on.

No I didn’t participate in NaNoWriMo – but maybe next time who knows!

Written By Barbara Moore
on December 2nd, 2009 @ 5:29 pm

Oh, how fun and exciting. Let me know how the contest turns out. Did your fable have the feel of the Deviant Moon? That was one thing I found, that the feeling I got from the artwork really informed the sensibility of the story.

Written By Helen
on December 2nd, 2009 @ 8:28 pm

Well my character did turn out quite quirky! 🙂

Written By Alayna Williams
on December 11th, 2009 @ 12:29 pm

I did get my NaNoWriMo 50,000 words in this year. Tarot figures prominently in the story, since my protagonist is a criminal profiler who uses the Tarot to solve crimes.

It’s so much fun using the cards to flesh out characters and make plot connections…they really are a fabulous tool.

I love the use of the Priestess as your character’s significator. From what you’ve described her talents to be, it’s a perfect fit!

Written By Barbara Moore
on December 11th, 2009 @ 4:35 pm

Alayna, congrats! You story sounds very interesting 🙂

Written By Barbara Moore
on December 11th, 2009 @ 4:37 pm

Alayna, I just went to your website…your book is being published. That’s so cool. I’m looking forward to it!

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