Tarot for Writers author Corrine Kenner got my attention when she wrote that writers are fortunetellers. I had never thought much about it, but when I read that famous authors like Stephen King and John Steinbeck brainstormed with tarot cards, I decided to try it myself.
I had hit a snag with Seaglass Christmas. There was a gaping hole at the end of the manuscript where it is explained why the antagonist did what he did. The problem? I still had no idea for all his actions — and that was part of my job as writer!
When consulting my intuition or Higher Self, I tend to use oracle cards, but for this exercise I decided to open The Good Tarot deck by Colette Baron-Reid. It’s not a typical tarot deck — its messages are affirmations — but I love its energy and feel comfortable with the images.
I shuffled and pulled three cards, asking: “What do I need to know about my current writing challenge in my book, Seaglass Christmas?” The result was Empress, Ace of Water, and Temptation.
This excited me because my blockage pertained to the search of a stolen Marie Antoinette treasure that had been lost after a New England shipwreck.
Delving deeper into the meaning of the cards, I discovered that Empress was about giving birth to new ideas, Ace of Water related to overflowing abundance, and Temptation signified an addiction to the material world.
That accurately described the situation, but it wasn’t the answer I needed. I drew another card, asking: “What is the solution to my writing block?”
The card drawn was 10 of Air, meaning: “…a point of epiphany, an end to old ways of thinking.” While I was disappointed that it did not offer me a solution, the card did depict the outcome, which I already knew because I wrote it!
I was impressed but not too surprised how “the cards” knew my story because the cards were tapped into my own Higher Self.
Determined to get the ultimate answer, I drew one last card. “What do I need to know about my story?”
The 5 of Fire appeared with a message about creative brainstorming: I have the freedom to explore the ideas that seem the most far-fetched. What seems crazy today proves tomorrow to be brilliant.
Curious how it turned out? You might be surprised, so stay tuned!
Exercises • Write a scene where a character is scrying with water. • Write about a scene where your character visits an intuitive. Do the predictions come true? • If you were to create your protagonist and antagonist as tarot card archetypes, which ones would they be and why? • A character in your work-in-progress is searching for guidance and stumbles upon a magical cave. Inside is a stone table displaying a crystal ball, pendulum, runes, I-Ching, and tarot cards. What is your character’s question and which oracle would provide the best answer? • Pull an oracle card for your character’s journey, then ask a question about your character’s motivation. Pull another card for the answer. • Pull a tarot card to answer this question: What should my writing goal be for this month? Then begin working on that goal!