Folks, I apologize for being so late with this post. It’s been an odd week and I’ve been playing catch up. But here we are so let’s begin.

Okay so now you have a basic idea what the tarot is all about. Now what? Now comes the challenge to all of this. How do you get the ideas from the tarot into your head? Once you learn how to do it, it’s simple. In this part we’re going to concentrate on simply learning to see the card.

google-eye-trackingThis is an image of how the eye sees a Google page. The red areas indicate where the eye looks first. Those of us who read English will automatically look to the upper left hand corner of the page first. That’s because English is written on the page from left to right, top to bottom. If we were speaking Japanese, our eye would go to the bottom right hand corner.

This automatic reaction is gold to marketing firms. They know where to put the important information so it grabs your attention right away. However, for us, this is a problem.

The tarot isn’t designed with a left to right, top to bottom kind of thinking. Rather, the tarot is wholistic (no, that’s not a spelling error. It means all-inclusive, to include the mind, body and spirit) and central dominated. The image on the card starts in the centre and spirals outward as in this picture of the Fool.

The Fool - Thoth Tarot Deck

If you look at this picture, you will see that most of the activity is focused on the centre. Take your eye and look closely at that centre point where the butterfly, the dove and the vulture spiral around him. Then move your eye outward to slowly take in the whole picture.

There is a lot going on in the picture and you should take your time. Let yourself see each image before moving outward. This isn’t easy as our tendency is to want to jump ahead to see everything. If this is what your eye tends to do, then let it but go back to the centre point and really see the individual images there before trying to put them together as a whole. A useful exercise is to take a pen and paper and write down the individual images you see on the card. Don’t forget to include colors and shapes. Be as specific as possible.

Although this exercise can be frustrating, it can be useful in more than using the tarot to generate ideas for your writing. By learning to really see what’s in front of you, you gain a better picture of the world around you. By being able to see the details, you train your eye to look for those same details in your everyday life.

For example, when driving your brain filters out most of the information. By learning to be more aware, you may be able to see that driver who’s about to cut you off before he does it. Or you may see that dog running out in the street before he does it.

Next week we’ll learn how to see the image as a whole rather than just its parts. It’s this section which will get us closer to being able to use the tarot to generate ideas not just in writing but in other projects as well.