Been all over hell’s half acre this week, including a whirlwind trip to the Washington DC/Baltimore area and a TV appearance (trying to find something to wear was not a fun experience!). But the most fun I’ve had in the last week was a visit to Columbus, Ohio for a meeting of Central Ohio Fiction Writers. We had a great crowd and a lot of fun learning how to beef up our brainstorming skills by playing with cards.
That’s right, I said cards.
Sound too woo-woo for you? Too kooky? Too spooky?
Actually, it’s none of the above.
Because they’re packed with images, symbols, colors and numbers, tarot cards are the perfect brainstorming tools. Each card packs a punch that can send your mind going in all sorts of directions. There’s nothing spooky or mysterious about it, and you don’t have to be psychic or in tune with the spirits or the Universe.
All you have to do is look at the cards and say what you see.
Each year in the winter, I attend a week-long brainstorming group meeting along with four other authors, and tarot readings have become the highlight of our evenings. We use tarot as a jumping off point, a trigger. We decide which character, plot point, conflict, etc. we want to address in our reading, lay out the cards in what tarot readers call a spread, assign a meaning to each position in the spread (i.e., the first card might stand for the character’s greatest strength, the next for her hopes and dreams, etc.), and take it from there.
We say what we see on the card and as each author puts in her two cent’s worth, the ideas grow and blossom like nobody’s business.
This, of course, is the best thing about reading tarot with writers. When I read for "regular" folks (that is, not writers!), I often have a hard time getting them to open up. I'll ask them what the images on the cards mean to them. I'll tell them what the traditional meanings of the cards are and ask if that has any significance in their lives.
And often, they sit and stare and say, "I dunno."
You know writers, rights? So you know this is never a problem for them! Communication is what we do, and writers love to jump in, offer opinions, throw out ideas and share their imaginations, no matter how wild they happen to be! As I saw at that COFW meeting, this makes the tarot experience interactive and fun.
Interested? Check out the multitude of tarot decks available on line and at bookstores and New Age shops. There are thousands, and you’ll want one that appeals to you, both artistically and intellectually. With cards in hand, you’re on your way to amazing brainstorming adventures!
(This just occurred to me . . . if there are enough people here at the Wicked blog who are interested, we might be able to do an online brainstorming with tarot workshop. Anyone game?)