Tarot As a Writing Tool


Have you ever known anyone who uses tarot in  their writing process?  Sounds
interesting, doesn’t it?

 Recently I attended a workshop lead by Paula Chaffee Scardamalia on the use of tarot in writing. I went as a skeptic.  I don’t know how to read tarot cards, and I’m not sure I believe in them, so how could I learn how to use them in just a few hours? 
Paula brought 4 different decks to the workshop and each participant had the opportunity to use each deck.  One I fell in love with immediately. The colors were vibrant, the drawings beautiful. I could see my story in the illustrations. Another one actually made me nauseated when I used it.  I think it was too busy, each page swirling with more images than my mind could process. 
Paula instructed us to think about our story as a whole, or about the next scene we would write. She asked us to think about a specific answer or solution we wanted the cards to reveal, and examine the card for its message. Some participants had trouble deciding what the card meant. One woman who is editing her book had a card showing someone cutting mistletoe.  She wondered if this meant that she should cut more from her book.  Another person suggested that it might mean the opposite--that she was cutting too much.But Paula said that when we interpret the cards we should go with our own interpretation since the cards are picked by us.  The message my card had for me was very clear: Stop juggling all the bright and shiny ideas, pick one, and stop wasting
Paula also gave the group handouts about different ways to lay out the cards, and a traditional explanation of the meaning of cards.  But it seemed that everyone in the workshop thought the simple practice of examining the cards helped them focus and reach decisions about how they wanted to proceed.

The cards that I drew were fairly easy to relate to the scene I’ve been struggling to write.  The insight the cards offered fit what I had already planned, but with a twist.  With that twist, I went home and wrote the scene that had previously stopped me cold.

 Do I need to admit that I bought a deck of tarot cards?  Of course, mine are vampires, dragons, and shadow people.

 If you want to know more, leave a comment or drop me an email.