I met up with a very dear friend recently, and as we were catching up with all of our news, we got to talking about my passion for art and tarot. And I realized that while in my mind the two are connected, I’ve never actually explained how I use the tarot as part of my creative practice.
One of the ways in which I consistently use the tarot to inform my art and creative practice is in my moon journal. I’ve never really attempted to explain the linkage before, but I’m going to try, and I hope this will give you some insight into how you can also use the tarot in your art and creative practice.
Using tarot for creativity: Seeing the signs and symbols in the cards
My fascination with the tarot cards began in my teens. My initial exposure to them was via a friend who had brought back a tarot deck from one of her visits to the US. As we looked at the images on the cards and read the little white book that came along with it, it seemed somewhat mysterious and a bit spooky that we could potentially get so much information from a deck of 78 cards.
That initial exposure to the cards deepened my fascination with tarot, and I remember spending hours on angelfire websites reading whatever I could find on the tarot.
The symbols and scenes on the cards lend themselves beautifully to storytelling, and I find them to be an endless source of wisdom and inspiration.
So potent is the symbolical language of the tarot cards that noted Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Carl Jung also recognized that the tarot had its origin in the collective unconscious, and could serve as a bridge between the unconscious and the conscious.
When I pull tarot cards for myself, the colors, symbols, and story within the cards lend themselves to a visual or feeling-toned image in my mind, which I can bring to life on the canvas or in my art journal.
Using tarot in my art and creative practice: Translating a tarot spread into a piece of art
As I already mentioned, the one place where I always combine the tarot and art is in my moon journal.
On each new and full moon I do an in-depth tarot reading for myself, and I use the imagery, colors, story, and feelings that arise from the reading to create a piece of art.
I think I can best explain this with an example.
I drew the following cards on the recent full moon in Leo, using this spread that I had created.
I spent some time interpreting the cards intuitively, and made a note of my insights in my journal. I then spent some time just gazing at the cards. Allowing the images, symbols, and colors to “speak” to me. And I used the feelings and thoughts that arose – along with the written insights – to create the following spread in my art journal.
The wide open heart is a combination of the Ace of Cups and The Star. This understanding of following my own bliss, my dreams, and allowing my heart to guide me in everything that I do.
I drew on the 6 of Pentacles – the energy of divine reciprocity, of giving and receiving – in her bright orange mane of hair, which is also evocative of Leo energy.
And I interpreted the contented energy of the King of Pentacles in the plants growing on her dress. To me, this symbolizes the contentment that comes from tending and nurturing my dreams and my precious heart.
Also read: A flip through of my moon journal from 2019
This is an example of very consciously translating the symbols and meanings and feelings that the tarot cards evoke into a creative art journal spread. I do the same thing when I paint intuitively.
Using tarot in my art practice: Creating intuitive art using tarot storytelling
I often draw a few tarot or oracle cards before starting an intuitive painting. At this time, I’m not looking for any guidance for myself per se. Instead, I use the tarot cards for storytelling.
Looking at the cards above as an example, the story here is one of trusting the Universe. Of holding a dream close to your heart…of listening to your heart’s wisdom and intuition…of putting in the work towards your dream, and trusting that for each step you take, the Universe will take a step towards you, too.
And then holding that story….that feeling….those colors lightly in your mind’s eye as you paint.
Also see: Intuitive painting process: Into the storm – In this post + video, I walk you through how I created an intuitive painting using the story from a few oracle cards I drew before I started this painting session.
Using tarot in my creative practice: using the tarot cards to write an article
Another fun way in which to use the tarot in your creative practice is to draw a few cards and write a blog post or article based on what comes up!
One way to do this is to separate all the major arcana cards and pull a theme from there. Then shuffled the rest of the deck and pull a few cards and use those as prompts to build up an article.
When you’re using the tarot in this way, I would recommend that you trust your intuition. Spend some time looking at the images on the tarot cards. How do the images make you feel? What thoughts pop into your head? Do you have a personal association with any of the symbols?
For example, if I look at the cards above, I can make an immediate connection with the bookshelf behind the King of Pentacles, because I have a similar floor-to-ceiling bookshelf in my home. How, then, can this association and the rest of these cards be used to write an interesting blog post?
Also see: Three keys to creative living I used the tarot cards to write this post!
How to use tarot in your art and creative practice
If this article has you intrigued about the many ways in which you can use the tarot intuitively in your art and creative practice, and if you’re brand new to tarot, then I encourage you to take a look at Tarot Fundamentals, my tarot course for beginners.
In this self-paced course, I share all the things that I wished I knew when I was starting my Tarot journey, including:
* The two mainstream Tarot systems and the best starter Tarot decks
* The structure of the Tarot
* How to quickly start reading the cards …. and much more
When you sign up, you also get some exclusive bonus content + PDF downloads, including:
* How to do a daily Tarot reading
* How to keep a Tarot journal
This class is perfect for you if:
* You are curious about Tarot and want to know more about its origins and how it works
* You are keen to start reading or learning the Tarot but don’t know where to start
* You’re feeling beginner’s overwhelm and are ready to chuck the cards in a drawer and never look at them again
* You dabbled with the tarot but found it confusing or couldn’t understand what you were doing with the cards or how to begin interpreting them
This course is the next best thing to sitting across the table from me and picking my brains about the basics of the Tarot.
I really hope you will consider signing up!
And if you have any questions at all – about the course or about using the tarot in your art and creative practice, leave me a comment below and I’ll do my best to answer all your questions!