Use Tarot Cards as a Writing Tool

Tarot cards are not just for psychics and witches, they can be used for many purposes.

Tarot cards are essentially a system of pictures with symbols and meanings. They represent events in our lives and people in the world. And, they are full of symbols and meanings.

You don’t have to know how to read Tarot cards to be able to use them in your writing. So, here are some ways to do it.


If you know how how to read Tarot cards already, you know what to do! Pull a card and use the card to help you develop your character.

If you’re new to the cards or purely looking for inspiration, you can either simply pull a card and see how the character on the card strikes you, or you can look up the meaning of the card to get more information about the person on the card.

If you’re like me, you love complex and messy characters. Here’s where the cards get fun. After you’ve pulled your primary character card, pull another one… and maybe another one. Use these as traits of your character. Give them some depth and then go back in and write their backstory about how/why they have these traits.

For example, let’s say I pull The Magician.

  • He is talented, smart and capable. He can achieve whatever he sets his mind to. Then, I pull three more cards to give the character more depth.
  • With the Five of Pentacles, he’s afraid of not earning enough money and becoming homeless.
  • Wheel of Fortune – He’s very lucky (or unlucky) in his life and things usually work in his favor.
  • Nine of Swords – He is extremely anxious and his worries keep him up at night and cause him a lot of trouble.

Now, I can go write his story.

Dark Mansion Tarot


After you have your characters, you can pull cards for what will happen to them in the story. The cards are so visual that you can do this intuitively, even if you don’t know the meanings of the cards.

Dark Mansion Tarot

I pulled three cards for my Magician. Things go well for him… until they don’t.

What story would you write with these three cards? I hope his new bride wasn’t in that house!

Writer’s Block

Finally, if you feel that writers block creeping in… sometimes all you need is a little inspiration. You can use Tarot cards to just get you to start writing when you’re stuck. So, pick a card and write anything you want about it. Maybe write about the character, their future or backstory, their hopes or fears, maybe how they’ll die. Maybe the picture on the card will inspire you for a setting or a theme. Tarot cards are full of themes as well.

You could even pull two cards and write about the relationship between the two characters.

It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you get your pen moving again!

So, share your ideas below! Have you used Tarot cards in your writing? Does this inspire you to give it a try?

Number Patterns

This applies to the minor arcana, not the major arcana. Each suit goes through a journey, and there are some patterns in the journey among the suits. For example, when you see a 5 – you know that it represents conflict. So, if you have a 5 of Swords, you know it’s a conflict with thoughts, or communication. This number patterns strategy is great jumping off point in your tarot learning journey. Rather than memorizing 40 different card meanings, you can learn the number pattern and apply it generally across the Four Suits. The suits mostly follow this pattern, although the Swords is a slightly different story.

Four of Swords

The Four of Swords is a card about resting. It’s following that … yikes Three of Swords, so the message is to rest and recover after that painful thing. Traditionally, the Four of Swords is more of a quiet, rest, but I love the more playful connection to the song that I associate with this card.

Yes, The Lazy Song by Bruno Mars.

This song is all about taking time and taking a day for yourself. Doing whatever you feel like doing. What better way to rest and recharge than to spend a day doing whatever the fuck you want, or nothing at all.

“Oh Yes! I said it, I said it, I said it ’cause I can

Today I don’t feel like doing anything
I just wanna lay in my bed
Don’t feel like picking up my phone, so leave a message at the tone
‘Cause today I swear I’m not doing anything”

The Lazy Song by Bruno Mars

What I love about this song for this card is that it’s unapologetic about being “lazy”. Being lazy isn’t a bad thing – sometimes you need to give yourself a break.

Finally, this song is so happy and upbeat. It makes me want to dance around and enjoy my time of and my resting. Yeah, taking a break with the Four of Swords can be about sleeping more and getting more literal rest. But I much prefer the idea of tuning into yourself and doing whatever feels like fun. We don’t do that enough!

What do you think? Do you agree with my song association? Do you have another song that you associate with this card? Let me know!

IX – The Hermit

Musical Tarot Associations

The Hermit card is about taking time on your own to connect with yourself and do some self-reflection, away from the influence and distraction of others. The Hermit’s knowledge is an inner wisdom that comes from solitude.

What better place to be alone with your thoughts than the desert. The song that I associate with the Hermit is A Horse with No Name by America. It tells the story of a man going through the desert all by himself on a horse with no name.

Horse With No Name by America

What a Hermit card thing to say, “In the desert you can remember your name because there ain’t no one for to give you no pain.”

Then, as he spends day after day alone in the desert, observing and learning along the way. He connects with nature and starts to be more receptive to the subtleties of nature,

“The heat was hot and the ground was dry

But the air was full of sound”

Horse With No Name by America

Eventually he lets his horse go and realizes some of the bigger impacts that humans have on nature.

‘Under the cities lies a heart made of ground

But the humans will give no love”

Horse With No Name by America

So, in his desire to get away from other humans, he connected with himself, and gained wisdom about the world as well.

What do you think? What song do you associate with the Hermit card? What do you associate with the song Horse With No Name? Let me know.

Here’s a link to the Youtube playlist with all of the songs.

XVII – The Star

Musical Tarot Associations

The Star card represents hope, especially a renewed hope. It’s the card right after The Tower.

The Tower came in to uproot you and shake up your life in a major way (lose your job? Relationship? Your faith in your religion? An idea about the world or yourself?). The Tower is the universe saying, “This is going to hurt, but it’s in your best interest.

Then the Star card comes in to renew your faith and hope. The Star card comes and gives you a hug and reminds you that it’s going to be okay. If the Tower card is the father – who coldly does what’s best for you without telling you why, the Star card is the mother who hugs you and shows you the reason why you had to have that rude awakening and how it’s actually better for you.

The song that is like a warm hug and renewal of hope for me is “Here Comes the Sun,” by the Beetles.

There are some obvious connections between renewal in the song like, “It’s been a long, cold, lonely winter… It feels like years since it’s been here,” but it’s more about the feeling that the song inspires.

What makes it feel like a warm, comforting message of hope and better things to come is the, “Little darling,” like something our mother or father would say to us when cheering us up.

Or maybe it’s the idea of a sunrise – I’m all about new beginnings, so maybe that’s just my personal interpretation. What about you? What song do you associate with the Star card? Or what does the song remind you of? Let me know.

Here’s a link to a playlist of all the Musical Tarot Associations, if you’d like to listen to more.

Learning Tarot through Associations – The Devil – Hotel California

Musical Tarot Associations

Rider-Waite Smith

The Devil. Scary Card right? Well… yes. Let’s get into it.

What is the Devil card about?

Earthly pleasures at best, and addiction at worst. The Devil card is about bad habits, addictions, and feeling like we’re trapped or being trapped by our addictions and bad habits. So, yes, you can get out, but it may take a lot of will and even outside help.

One of those addictions may be substance, materialism, obsession with someone or something, or just every day self-sabotage.

Let’s talk about “The Devil” (Baphomet in this card) another day. Today we’ll focus on the couple in the card. The woman has the grapes on her tail and the man has the fire on his tail – representing materialism and power. They have loose chains around their necks, so they’re free to go, sure, but the longer they stay, the harder it is to leave.

This brings us to my musical association of this card – Hotel California by the Eagles, released in 1977.

Why do I associated Hotel California with the Devil card?

“You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave.” This lyric is the best example of the card. Like the Devil in the card, the Night man in the song says that you can leave, but can you really?

Let’s go through the song

The song starts out as the main character is driving through the desert with the “Warm smell of colitas, rising up through the air.” Apparently, colitas is a term for weed – which links us to addiction. Then the character stops at the Hotel California because he’s tired. He meets the woman of the story, and shows her vices of materialism, and hedonism.

And finally, we have this part of the song the cements the idea of the Devil and the association of the card for me. Between the “We are all just prisoners here, of our own device,” (those loose chains), and the people trying to kill the “beast” with their steely knives.

Anyway, what do you think? What song do you associate with the Devil card? Do you have other interpretations?

You can find a Youtube playlist with all of my Musical Tarot Associations here