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?

The Tarot Decks that Survived the Big Purge

I had a nice little collection of Tarot Decks… but I donated, sold, and tossed everything I owned and moved to Paris. So, I had to whittle down my collection. Here are the Tarot Decks that survived.

Light Seer’s Tarot – This has been my favorite deck of all time. This is the deck that really got me into reading Tarot and reading regularly. My learning had stalled and then I started using this deck and bam! I become an intuitive reader.

  • What I like:
    • I love how positive the guidebook is. It really shaped me as a reader and how I always find the positive in every card or situation.
    • The artwork is beautiful. I resonate with these cards so much!
    • It’s so easy to read intuitively.
  • What I don’t like:
    • Sometimes the art only shows one of the meanings or symbols of the traditions Rider-Waite-Smith cards, so I have to explain while reading, “This card shows this, but it also means this in the traditional RWS decks.” The Ten of Swords is a good example. The art shows a woman walking into a sunset rather than the traditional ten swords stabbed in someones back. Two very different messages.
    • The card stock is shit. It’s not cut evenly, it’s not smooth… it’s a mess. Maybe this has been fixed because I bought this deck years ago… but it’s still my most used deck.
  • Who is this deck for?
    • This deck is for both beginners and seasoned readers.

The Dark Mansion Tarot – This is a gorgeous deck from Poland. I can’t remember where I first saw it… but I was drooling over it for months. It’s my most expensive deck, and I have no regrets.

  • What I like:
    • The artwork! It’s kind of like a Tim Burton style. The colors are so crisp and beautiful. I even love the backs of the cards.
    • There are a few cards with a slightly different interpretation than usual. Like the Sun card has two kids looking at a poster of the Sun… It’s as if the Sun doesn’t exist anymore? Like… post-happiness? And the Judgement card has skeletons dancing. I just love their interpretation!
  • What I don’t like:
    • The matte cards are hard to shuffle. It could just be that I’m afraid to use them but… still, they’re hard to shuffle.
    • On the flip side of the things I like, I don’t resonate with every interpretation, but there are just a few.
  • Who is this deck for?
    • Experienced Readers and Deck Collectors.
    • I wouldn’t recommend it for beginners just because of the price point ($59 plus shipping), but if you really love fall in love with Tarot cards, for your second deck.

Golden Art Nouveau Tarot

  • What I like:
    • It’s so pretty! The “Golden” does not disappoint. It’s so shiny. I also love the artwork. I love the Art Nouveau style even more since moving to Paris and spending every possible moment in Pere Lachaise (Art Nouveau all around!)
    • It’s a RWS clone, so it’s easy to read.
  • What I don’t like:
    • If I have to pick something, it’s just a flimsy tuck box and a tiny little white book.
  • Who is this deck for?
    • Beginners or experienced Tarot Readers. Since it’s based on the traditional Rider-Waite-Smith deck it’s good for anyone interested in Tarot.

What’s your favorite Tarot deck? Let me know below!

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