If you have been following me online, or even if you just read the introduction to the guidebook of the Mermaid Tarot, you will know I have had complicated feelings towards creating this deck. Our relationship was rocky from the start, yet somehow over the three years from idea to fully created deck, we have come together in a beautiful and respectful way. The story of this deck is pretty much the story of a lot of ideas that seemed stupid, ridiculous, and even a little embarrassing at first. I mean, come on, mermaids and me, that's just insane. But this idea, this vision, the voice of this deck stalked me. It literally threw itself in my path on more than one occasion in the form of mermaid music CDs, mermaid pictures, and mermaid statues. I shook it off, rejected it, kissed it away, but it kept coming back again and again with the same message: You are going to create me. Of all the books I have written and the decks I have worked on, this one has taught me the most about what it is to live a truly creative life.
The profession of a writer is a complicated one to begin with, but noisy, persistent ideas that stalk you in both your waking and sleeping hours really need you to see them through. So if you have an idea that you think is silly, or one that you feel might be nice if someone else did it, pull up a chair and let's have a chat. Because I am going to share with you the wisdom of the Mermaid Tarot and how your stupidly embarrassing idea that won't let you live a normal life may just be the best idea you have ever had.
Mermaid Wisdom 1: Your Ideas Don't Belong to You
Sometimes we need to understand that although an idea needs to come through us, it does not belong to us. The moment I saw Julie's artwork for this deck, I knew this idea was hers. I could see it in every line of her sketches, in every glittering scale of the mermaid tales. She was, in many respects, why the idea for the Mermaid Tarot never felt quite right to me, because it wasn't my idea. It needed me as a mouthpiece, a conduit of communication, so that it would land in the lap of the person who needed to see it, read it, and create it. Your idea may be exactly the same. It may not be for you but it needs you to bring it forth and put it into a place where the person who is aligning to this idea can grab hold of it and make it real.
A great way to get even more clarity about this point is to pull a card from your deck and then do some automatic writing or journal work with it. See if you pulled a card that shows collaboration or partnerships, like the 3 of pentacles, the two of cups, or even the 4 of wands. See if you got the green light to move forward with cards like the 3 of cups, 8 of wands, or 6 of swords. Or maybe you are not quite hearing your idea correctly and you got cards like the 10 of swords, the 8 of cups, or the 5 of pentacles. Pulling a card or two will help to get some more information around your stalker idea.
Mermaid Wisdom 2: Perception Is Everything
Have you ever heard the saying, "Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change?" Dr. Wayne Dyer used to say this all the time, and it is one of the ways I got more comfortable with the idea and ultimate creation of the Mermaid Tarot. I started seeing it through the eyes of other people. When I would tell other people about the Mermaid Tarot they would immediately get excited about it. Then, once the art started coming in, they started to drool over it. The way other people viewed what I perceived as a bit of a dumb idea started to become infectious, and I do believe it is that energy that ended up in the final product that many of you will now get to hold in your hands. Go ahead and pull cards for this step; pull one card to show you how you are viewing your idea and pull another one to show how others are viewing it. You can do this intentionally if you already know what cards align to your question. This means searching the cards deliberately to find the card that looks or matches your view and the view of others. Or you can, of course, pull them intuitively, place them face down in front of you and select two cards. Both ways will work. Spend some time with the cards you have pulled and do some meditation or journal work around how different or similar the cards appear to be.
Mermaid Wisdom 3: It Takes a Village
If you are already in publishing, you know that it takes a small village of people to get your idea from just a pure thought to a finished product. I have been blessed to work with an incredible team of people over the years. None of my ideas would ever have made it onto bookshelves without my village. This is a truth that I truly wish more creatives understood. You can't move your idea along its natural process alone. Eventually, you will hit a wall and won't be able to go any further, which may just make you feel even more validated that your idea was stupid all along.
Grab your tarot deck and spread the cards out face down in front of you and ask the cards what will your village look like. See if you can get some hints from the cards about what sort of energy and skills your village will need or have. Open your journal and take some notes about the village you will need to take your idea from crazy to real. By now you will be getting some valuable information in your journal about your idea. Maybe you are starting to see it is not that silly after all.
Mermaid Wisdom 4: See It Through to the End
One of the biggest problems with any idea (good, bad, insane, or indifferent) is that most people don't follow through with it. I spent six months researching mermaids and mermaid mytholog,y and read more mermaid fiction books then I would ever say in public. The artist Miro once said that painting was like taking a line for a walk. I see the creative process much the same way: to create a deck or a book you have to take your idea for a walk. And you have to do it daily. Are you taking your silly, nonsensical idea for a walk every day? If not, you are not really allowing it space and opportunity to show you exactly what it could become.
No matter what you think of your idea, if you have gotten to this step you have to make a commitment to it. You have to promise to exercise it, to give it permission to expand and grow. If you still don't like what you see or you still feel out of alignment with your idea or spark of inspiration after all of this, then maybe it just means it's not the right idea for now. I had to let go of the mermaid idea for a while. It was a good four months before it came back around and the stars aligned, and I am so glad they did, because I have never been prouder of a silly idea in my life and I can only hope all of my other stupid, half baked ideas will turn out just as good.
I hope this article has given you some light in the sometimes confusing dark space of the creative process. If you are still struggling, take a swim with the Mermaid Tarot and let them sweep you away into the undertow of inspired inspiration and show just what can come of following a silly idea all the way to the end.