Ever discover you like something you didn’t know you liked? Or found a fascination with something you’ve never paid much attention to?
For me, it’s the tarot. I collect tarot decks. I own four so far, the Gilded Tarot, the Rider Tarot, the Vampire Tarot, my favorite, and now my latest acquisition, the Steampunk Tarot, purchased today. I’m not a practitioner; what attracts me to the tarot is the art (the visual symbolism of astrology) and the mythology. The art of the tarot captures the wonder of fantasy and the mythology is equally fascinating, and fits right in with my lifelong love of fantasy and my interest in the imaginative, the bizarre, and the wondrously strange.
Furthermore, when I’m wandering lost in the narrative forest seeking the path into a character or trying to puzzle out a plot, I find the tarot makes a useful and fun writing tool. A few years ago, I used the Vampire Tarot to help me work out an understanding of my characters in my fantasy novel, A Lamentation of Swans, which I’ve been writing for years. I used each character’s reading to weave in wants and conflicts and to see where story threads could intertwine. The readings were a kick–great brainstorming aids.
Each specialty tarot deck has its own distinctive interpretations of the conventional Major Arcana and the Minor Arcana. The finely detailed, beautifully drawn artwork on the cards fires up my brain–synapses pop and crackle. And I like to use the tarot deck that suits the novel. The Vampire Tarot was perfect for A Lamentation of Swans, which isn’t a vampire novel, but it’s about a supernatural race that has embedded itself among humans.) Too much fun!
And that reminds me–I think my characters in The Foreigner could do with a reading.
I’ve no idea what new tarot deck will catch my fancy next–hey is there a Dragon Tarot out there?
Happy writing, d:))