Okay, so part one was all about learning that the tarot can be used for more than just telling the future. In fact, the tarot doesn’t actually help foretell anything. I’m going to let you in on a little secret that tarot readers understand but they don’t generally tell you. It is impossible to foretell the future. Doesn’t happen. Instead, what the tarot does is tell you likely outcomes given your situation and state of mind at present.

Wait a minute. You mean nothing mystical’s going on?

Nope. All that’s happening is that the cards present to you possibilities given where you are at present which depends on what has happened in the past. So what does that mean and how does it pertain to your writing.

There are 78 cards in a standard tarot deck (I understand there are some non-standard tarot decks but for my purposes we’re cheerfully ignoring them). This is comprised of 22 major arcana and 56 minor arcana. Each of those cards embodies an archetype of some form or another. What that means is that those archetypes are going to ring with some aspect of your life. This is where many dismiss the tarot as being without merit or a fool’s game. If that’s where you leave it then you’ve missed the point of the tarot and I’m going to let you in on its secret.

The tarot’s images are meant to speak to the reader. The reader then interprets them based on a number of factors; your reactions, the cards surrounding it, questions they’ve asked ahead of time. There are many readers out there who are very good at what they do and they have my deepest respect but the tarot is meant to be a personal device, not mediated through another.

When you see a tarot card, there is something in the image that speaks to your inner self. You may focus on a color or how the image is placed. At first you are probably unaware of how this image rings with your deeper self. However, it is there and it is this inner awakening that makes the tarot ideal for helping you to generate ideas.

As we go in this series, I will show you how to take that unconscious recognition and make it conscious. I recommend you get a tarot deck for yourself. As I’ve said in my previous post, I recommend the Thoth tarot deck as the images are ideal for this sort of work. However, you can choose another if you’re more comfortable with them. The problem will be that when I get into the individual cards, you will get lost as Aleister Crowley altered the Thoth deck significantly. The closest to this deck would be the Rider-Waite deck but I still recommend the Thoth deck.

Next time I will delve a bit deeper into the connection between the self and tarot and how to use that connection.