Tarot decks carry art, mystery, and mysticism in their forms. The artistic interpretation of the myriad of decks available means that almost everyone can find a tarot deck to match their taste. The illustrations and words provoke reactions, evoke emotions, and spur new thought. And we can use them to unlock our own creativity.
Even if you think that tarot cards are just woo-woo silliness, this exercise can still work for you. We’re not trying to tell our fortunes or discover the secrets of the universe. We’re using the imagery and phrases on the cards to court our inspiration.
Consider a particularly spiny problem you are confronting in your work. Perhaps you are trying to write a confrontation in a scene or figure out what will go into the next section of your sketch. I’ve even used this technique to find clarity around business matters like which goal I wanted to pursue and how to approach a difficult conversation.
Take out a deck of tarot cards. Dump them onto a table face down and shuffle them around.
Select a card and study it. Many times the card deck will include a little guide to the meanings of each card. Don’t look at it yet. Allow the illustration to speak to you. Consider the words on the card if any are prominent.
Now, with all of these ideas in your mind, return to your problem. How could the influence of this new information change the way you are approaching the issue? Take some time and play with all the potential solutions which arise from this process. Once you’ve worked through one angle, rotate the problem and approach it again. Get whimsical and loose. Rise overhead and see it as a bird. Sink low and roll underneath it like a mechanic with a car.
Next, pull out that little guide and look up the meaning of the card, both regular and reversed. Does knowing this information change the way you look at the problem? Does it change the value of any of your solutions? Does it promote any new ideas?
FYI – If you don’t have a tarot deck and want to use this exercise as an excuse to purchase, look around for one whose illustrations resonate with you.