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?

Major Arcana

What is the Major Arcana in Tarot? They’re the cards that represent major events and archetypes in our lives. Read on to find out more.

Tarot Cards

The Major Arcana cards are the heart of a tarot deck. It’s made up of 22 cards. The Major Arcana is not associated with suits or court cards like the rest of the Tarot Deck, but instead, the Major Arcana are represented by Archetypes in psychology as well as life and its cycles from birth to death. It symbolizes the physical, spiritual, intellectual and emotional aspects of society and our relationships to ourselves and to each other. 

For the archetypes, there is a nurturing mother, a commanding authoritative type, a traditional religious figure, a mystic spiritual figure and so on. These archetypes represent either literal or figurative people in our lives. 

The artwork on a Major Arcana cards has scenes that have symbolic elements. There is so much symbolism! Within all of that symbolism, you find different meanings. This is what I love so much about Tarot. You can pick up on certain symbols for certain questions – this is where intuition comes in! You can’t just rattle of memorized keywords and have a deeply resonating reading. 

The Major Arcana relates to our interactions with ourselves and others, but also our position in the universe and our higher purpose for being on the planet. It tells of our journeys in life especially in relation to personal development. 

The Fool’s Journey

Now, the Major Arcana can be read and learned as a story. NO MEMORIZATION (Yayyyy) 

The numbers on the card from 0 to 22 depict the fool’s journey from birth to death, and from innocence to wisdom and ultimately enlightenment. Although personally, I see the “Enlightenment” idea as acceptance. Peace after all you’ve been through and all you’ve learned. The Major Arcana shows the journey we have to take to reach that acceptance (or enlightenment) in our lifetime.

Go read about The Fool’s Journey here and then go through your cards and see how the story is told based on your intuition and your cards. 

Overall, the Major Arcana represents several aspects of the human experience that we all experience in our lives. It shows us our spiritual selves, our hopes, our fears, our joys and sadness. And then it gives us guidance about what actions to take or what we need to accept or let go of in order to move on. Ultimately though, it only tells us what we already know. It shows us what we need to hear, but we’ve been hiding from ourselves. It’s a little bit of magic, and a lot of psychology.

What’s your favorite Major Arcana card? The one that makes you the most uncomfortable?

Mine is the Devil… for both.

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.

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