Musings · My Writing

Tarot and Writing: 2

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Tarot Inspirations

In my first tarot and writing post I said I’d be sharing my tarot drawings, but instead I’m going to share a new thing that has come up for me.

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The Fool’s Journey

When I first started studying tarot, one of the books I read (alas, I can’t remember which) told the story of the Fool’s journey. The Fool is the main character from a story that is told by the 21 Major Arcana cards of any regular 78-card tarot deck. The Fool is 0, and he meets various other characters depicted in the other Major cards, such as the Magician, as well as experiences incidents from them, such as the inner spiritual transformations in The Hanged Man, or the disaster of The Tower.

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My Own Brand of Fool

The reason I’m sharing all this is because I saw that the fool’s journey is not only representative of our life journey, but our characters’, too. The character starts off feeling they know themselves and how things should be, but then, as in all story beginnings – something changes.

The Fool reacts to this change and sets out to learn more. In the classic story, he’s given the sword, wand and cup by the Magician and finds out that they are in his bundle from the Hierophant. From the Priestess, he finds that he has to discover their use for himself and that the knowledge he seeks is already within. And so on and so forth… the point being:

Connect the Dots

Just as the fool’s journey builds logically from one point to the next, so must we build our stories. There are classical scenes of self-discovery, decision, facing a villain, and so much more in the fool’s journey. Whether you’re writing sci-fi or fantasy or contemporary or mystery, etc., these logical character and plot development points are in your story, too. You just have to go find them!

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Literally

It is also interesting to use tarot in a more literal way in your work. For example ((SPOILER BEWARE:))

In his second installment in The Dark Tower series, Stephen King has his hero, the gunslinger, find companions in his quest behind large doors that have tarot card titles on them, i.e. “The prisoner”, from a reading that was given to him in book 1 of the series.

Even though tarot has been used in different books, each author puts their own spin on it, and so can you.

Until next time,

Chaitanya

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One thought on “Tarot and Writing: 2

  1. Nice article. I like how these archetypes can be transformed and used in many ways in a story. I’ve been using the enneagram lately to help me with character profiles. It’s a guide to different personality types.

    Like

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