Saturday, November 12, 2005

tarot for plotting and characterization

Madame Sosostris, famous clairvoyante,
Had a bad cold, nevertheless
Is known to be the wisest woman in Europe,
With a wicked pack of cards.
Here, said she, Is your card, the drowned Phoenician Sailor,
(Those are pearls that were his eyes. Look!)
Here is Belladonna, the Lady of the Rocks,
The lady of situations.
Here is the man with three staves, and here the Wheel,
And here is the one-eyed merchant, and this card,
Which is blank, is something he carries on his back,
Which I am forbidden to see. I do not find
The Hanged Man. Fear death by water.

T.S. Eliot, "The Wasteland"

the guest speaker at our local writers' meeting was a tarot reader. she explained how she uses tarot cards to help writers with plot and characterization. she has a spread she uses to define a character, with cards representing things like inner and outer goals and motivations. she does another spread for the hero's journey. if she's hung up on some aspect of her own writing, she will often pull a card from the deck for guidance. she has a website, if you'd like to read more:

tarot by arwen


anne frasier said...

okay, i got out my tarot cards. i'll do a reading for the first couple of people who ask. a 10 card major arcana spread. better if you let me know your question, but you can just think about it.

i'll post the reading here.

Kelly Parra said...

Okay, me! Me! What do I have to do...LOL!

anne frasier said...


kelly, i can just concentrate on your writing future -- or it can be something else you tell me to think about. or it can be a secret. sometimes that works, but sometimes it can be a weak reading. i haven't done this in years, so i'm not promising much! it will be good practice for me!

Kelly Parra said...

Okay, let's try writing future. (gulp!) LOL!

Jeff said...

Anne- I'm game :)

anne frasier said...

okay, here is jeff's. he emailed me earlier to ask if i was serious about this. Kelly, i'll do yours next!

jeff, i don't know if this makes any sense at all. could be too vague.

1. DEATH at this time, you are going through a change and clearing of the negative, making way for the new. (The death card is usually a good card.)
2. STRENGTH a present and immediate influence. It means you show strength and courage in whatever is ahead.
3. THE HIEROPHANT in the goal position. The Hierophant symbolizes tradition, but it can also mean a teacher is going to be entering into your life, or you will be teaching.

4. THE DEVIL in the past, you’ve been held back by your own negativity. You may have also been lured by temptation and/or the material world.

5. JUDGEMENT you’ve recently experienced an awakening, or feeling of renewal.

6. THE LOVERS this card possibly shows a strengthening of a relationship in the coming year, but it could also symbolize a duality in yourself. You may be torn between two things.

7. THE EMPEROR you have an abundant amount of energy, and you are master of your realm. These traits will help you in whatever you want to achieve.

8. WHEEL OF FORTUNE your immediate environment is one of abundance and opportunity, but it can also hinder you with the unpredictable.

9. THE WORLD which symbolizes success and attainment, falls upon emotion, which I take to mean you hope for success, but you also feel anxious about the subject.

10. THE MAGICIAN this is a great card to have in this overview position. It’s kind of saying you are the master of your own destiny. It symbolizes creative energy, and a need for that energy to meet a wider audience.

Kelly Parra said...

Wow, this is neat. Jeff, you stinker, you snuck ahead of me. he-he. ;D

anne frasier said...

here you go, kelly!

THE WORLD, present, means you are seeing success and attainment right now. That is paired with THE MOON, which means immediate influences are unseen troubles, but the moon in this position also signifies completion, fulfillment, and the end of a major cycle. We move on the goal position and find the HERMIT. I’m not sure how this fits you, because it means your goal is to withdraw and seek wisdom, or look into yourself for something you need. In the distant past, we find the MAGICIAN, which symbolizes creative energy. That ties well with THE STAR, in the recent past, which symbolizes hope and inspiration, also realization. In the future, we find the FOOL. The fool is actually a good card, and means you will have some choices to make that will open up a new chapter in your life. DEATH shows up in the doorway from the present to the future, which also signifies a big change and a new beginning. In the domestic area, we find the DEVIL. (hehe) something in your immediatel environment pulls you and tempts you away from your goals, but you can’t let your negativity hold you back. In the emotion spot, we find the SUN. very nice. You have a harmonious marriage and success…which means you will be able to balance marriage and success. The overview is THE EMPEROR. Wow. This card is a broad view of all the aspects of the reading. The emperor is strong and in control, a master of his realm. All in all, the cards fell in a very strong, positive way. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a positive, strong grouping.

Jeff said...

Anne- hmmm is this a "good" reading for me?

#1 When I first saw this I said, "Oh no!" I was glad to see it is a good card to have.

#2 I certainly have the strength and determination.

#3 I wonder if this could mean in some way I will be both teacher and student. Interesting.

#4 My material weakness is in buying music and books! lol

#5 I feel like I have a clearer idea of what genre I want to write.

#6 Not sure about this one. Remains to be seen.

#7 I have an almost limitless amount of energy for things that interest me. I want to know all about them. :)

#8 I am fortunate to have the time and materials to focus on my writing. The unpredictability of how others respond to what I write betrays my insecurity.

#9 I want people to want to read what I write and like it, but I can see myself possibly taking some criticism personally.

#10 I guess this means it's up to me to harness that creative energy and apply it to my writing in a way that others will enjoy.

This was fun, Anne. You did good.
Thanks :)

Kelly Parra said...

Oh yes, Anne, I could kiss you! LOL! What a great reading. THANK YOU. I am so impressed. And can I also say that your reading falls with another astrologer I read, so wow, it's fun to think I have good things going on for me! =D

And I don't know...can I post this on my blog? Or do you not want me to link the source.

This is so cool! =D

anne frasier said...

kelly, that's fine if you post it on your blog. you can even correctly my typos if you want! :D i swear to god i just read the cards the way they landed. pretty freaky!

Mary Louisa said...

Anne, it is so cool that you read Tarot too! I was a whiz bang reader back in my 30s; I used the Celtic Cross spread. Never tried a Major Arcana spread, though. My Tarot is one thing that has fallen by the wayside since I had the kiddos. What deck do you use?

If you're not too worn out, could you do a reading for me, pretty please???

My question is...hmm...I'll be original, here...what will MY writing future hold?

anne frasier said...

mary louisa,
i'll do one for you tomorrow, if that's okay. i was thinking maybe i'd start doing one reading a week if people like it. it's good practice for me. i hadn't had my cards out for years, which is why is decided to do the major spread since it's simpler. i have a dragon tarot. :D it was the only set i could find where i used to live. i've seen another dragon tarot, but this one is sometimes called a wicca set.

emeraldcite said...

Eliot's "Wasteland" is my favorite poem. Such great writing.

I used to be able to recite the first hundred or so lines of it from my head. Don't know if I can do it any longer. I tried to memorize the who thing in college. Never got to finish it.

Sending my psyche across the miles...

anne frasier said...

hi, emeraldcite!
good to see you here, and thanks for the post on my moving blog. :)

i love that your going to be starting reviews. i'll put your link up here soon while i'm putting up new ones.

e-mom said...

me me me me me
(just to let you know, I couldn't access your blog all night last night)