July 2023: Tarot Cards for Writing Inspiration

Writers may have a tendency to be solitary creatures, but what do you do when your main character reveals themselves to be solitary, and/or is even the only narrator in the story? How do you build conflict and drive a story/plot line, when the character may live in isolation, away from people? Are there other life forms that are their companions, or are their own thoughts their only company? Perhaps your character may be dual natured, or in connection with inhabitants of other realms or dimensions. Check out the reading below for more tips from the tarot on how to build out your story idea.

Deck: The Tarot of the Old Path by Howard Rodway

Character: XII The Lone Man. This card represents a character that is dual natured, or multidimensional, in thought and behavior. The Lone Man is typically represented by a jester or a court fool as they are often walking the balance between being serious about their inner development, and not taking anything too seriously (or with a perspective rooted in impermanence). They have the ability to be both grounded and fluid. This tendency to be more chimerical makes it difficult for them to form lasting relationships—with people, anyway. Nature, and, potentially, unseen worlds and dimensions, are ruled more by intuitive, elemental energy, as personified by fairy folk and other such creatures that also have the ability to walk between worlds.


Setting: Two of Rods. As mutable as the main character’s inner existence is, their physical environment is fairly stable. While Nature runs through its own cycles of change, there is a certain order to the character’s daily life. They may have regular visits from their nonhuman animal companions, and the sun always rises every morning, until it’s replaced by the moon. And the nearby creek will always be there for the character to get a cool drink from when they are thirsty. This character can be as introspective and meditative as they wish, confident in the fact that their shelter will still be there when they return from their mental and spiritual journeys. Everything around them has a reliable, and comforting, balance.


Theme/Development: IX The Wise One. The Wise One, although they are a soul that is more open and even evolved/experienced when it comes to deeper levels of understanding, intuition, and knowledge, may still struggle with elements that upset the balance of their life, or their remote sanctuary. The patch of forest that always grew the mushrooms that the character collected and stored for the winter have not emerged as expected. When the Wise One greets their deer friends in the meadow, the deer startle and run away. The Wise One seeks guidance and answers from the spiritual realms, but all is murky and devoid of the realm’s usual inhabitants. Whatever is disrupting and threatening the physical world seems to be impacting other dimensional spaces as well.


Conflict/Climax: Five of Swords. The character draws on all their wisdom and knowledge to restore order and balance, but things just keep getting more and more out of sync. Their nonhuman animals seem to be disappearing with the threatening approach of an oncoming storm. The air is full of menace, and even the happily rustling trees have gone still and silent. Even more frightening, the doors to the other dimensions and worlds are closing all around the main character. They aren’t sure where the threat is coming from…from this world or another, but the character has to struggle not only with their darker side that’s angry at the changes to their world, but restore order and balance across all realms and dimensions. Well used to a solitary life, the main character has never felt more isolated. Can they face down the danger alone?

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