Tarot and Writing Workshop

I must say, getting back to working full-time is proving quite the experience. Having to do errands on the weekends. Squeezing in my writing during the week.

I get up around 4:30 a.m. in the mornings to write during the week. Of course I get really sleepy in the evenings but I prefer writing in the morning when I’m still fresh and have not been “corrupted” by all the attendant “slings and arrows” of everyday life in the 21st century.

As a result, I’m still making progress on my writing goals. As a matter of fact, once I log off the internet I’ve got edits to do today for Ellora’s Cave and a short story to finish and start revising.

I posted the following over at my Tarot and Writing Yahoo Group site. It’s about the tarot workshop I did at Wiscon.

The workshop was held on Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m. I initially didn’t think many would show up due to the late-night and into the early-morning partying that goes on at Wiscon on Friday night. But the room was full (although it wasn’t a terribly big room to start).

Basically, I went over the handout of the workshop which you can find in the files at the website. I talked about how when it comes to using the Tarot for writing, there are no rules. That the beauty of using Tarot is that you can and should make up your own rules.

The point of using Tarot for creative writing is to get past preconceptions, to get out of a creative rut, to look at your story and possibly yourself in a new way.

Tarot cards are a mental shortcut to your unconscious. They allow you to tap into ideas that are swimming just beneath the surface of your conscious thoughts. What’s on the surface can, in a sense, be polluted with all that everyday stuff we all have to deal with. Our jobs, family issues, being bombarded with voices coming at us from every direction. It can be hard to break through all that and get to the wellspring of your creativity.

Tarot can help you do that. I find when I lay out the cards that I immediately get calmer and I began to shut out the noise and cacophony and focus on my inner self. Once that’s done I can then quiet my mind and find the answer to whatever creative problem I’m dealing with.

I advised the workshop attendees to try and use different Tarot decks if they had them. To even mix it up. Writing a dark Gothic vampire? Use a light, airy deck. Writing a romantic comedy? Use a dark, horror deck.

Don’t censor your thoughts when it comes to using the Tarot. Whatever feels right do it! Seriously. The spread worksheets I provided are only the beginning. Create your own spreads unique to your writing process or your writing topics.

Mix up decks. Use one deck just for the Major Arcana and another for the Minor.

Read books on the Tarot. Join forums. Read with others.

During the workshop as a group we had a lot of fun brainstorming not only a character for a sci-fi mystery-adventure, but a plot for her too. I had never done a group brainstorming session with Tarot but if you’re in a writer’s group I highly recommend it.

I also did an impromptu workshop that following Monday morning in a coffee shop. There were only a handful of us but just pulling the Magician card and coming up with the description of “a rebellious librarian” we managed to plot out a pretty interesting high-fantasy novel.

So, yes, definitely work with others (can just be your writing partner and you) but using Tarot can work just as well when you’re alone. As a matter of fact, that’s how I see it. As a pull it out of your pocket and brainstorm on your own kind of tool.

I’m currently stuck on a plot point for a short story and will be pulling out my deck later in the day to see if I can find a solution to it.

Please feel free to join the Yahoo Groups, Tarot and Writing, if you’d like to learn more.

Tarot and Writing


6 Responses to Tarot and Writing Workshop

  1. Digital Dame says:

    Sounds like the workshop went well, congrats!

    This is such a fun technique to get the creative juices flowing. I can almost feel the wheels in my brain downshift to a different gear as soon as I start shuffling the cards (no doubt a result of being a reader anyway).

    Blending different decks can be a really jolt, too. Pull a couple from, say, the Karma deck, and a couple from the Cosmic and watch them mix it up! πŸ˜‰

  2. Jenna Reynolds says:

    That’s what so cool about using the Tarot for writing. No rules. You can do whatever you want or need to get those ideas flowing and your mind open. πŸ™‚

  3. Jenna,

    All your hard work is definitely inspiring. And much congrats on your successful workshop.

    I love your advice about mixing up the tarot decks. Great post!

  4. Jenna Reynolds says:

    Thanks, GS! I really enjoyed doing the workshop and am planning on doing it again once I find a proper venue. πŸ™‚

  5. Patricia says:

    I would love to be able to read Tarot cards. I think any kind of fortune telling is interesting. Glad to know you are doing well with your writing! I’m finally back to blogging. I had so much going on with a the job from hell plus writing, I had to let blogging slide. Things are better at the present (knock on wood) and my Western historical romance (a novella) is going to be published by Carina Press. I got the call yesterday!

  6. Jenna Reynolds says:

    Congrats, Patricia! That’s great news! Whoo hoo!

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