I’m currently really behind on a mission to complete Calamity’s 30-Day Tarot Challenge. This time the excuse is the finishing of the first draft of the second novel in the Tales from Liserna trilogy. That, and dealing with a director for a sword fighting troupe that doesn’t know how to direct, even though he thinks he does. Working on it. Anyway!
Day 11 – What spread do you use most often/prefer and why?
It used to be that I used the three card spread almost exclusively, but now it depends on the situation. I have about three or four that I use most often, one of them being Rustus’s amazing Questing Path spread, which can be found in reference here and here. I have a Dream Come True spread that came with the Shadowscapes tarot that is just fantastic, but the one I use most is actually an adaptation of a rune spread that, when I found it anyway, went by the name of “the Jormundgandr spread,” which is basically the querent’s journey. Except that if they don’t complete it, the quest loops back on itself, and they have to go through it again, like the world serpent eating his own tail.
Oddly enough, the one I use most often in any situation is actually a spread for character development or story direction. Because I am ridiculously bad at dragging myself out of a bad bout of writer’s block. So, yeah. Thankfully my cards don’t mind being used for such mundane tasks as writing novels.
Day 12 – Have you ever created your own spread? If so, how effective is it? (feel free to show spread)
I have! And it’s pretty effective, for being what it is. As has just been stated, I often end up using tarot as a writing tool, and especially an idea springboard, so the only spread that I’ve created – although it probably has been done before – is a Hero’s Journey spread for story planning. It’s surprisingly cohesive, especially if you already have a bit of an idea kernel that you can then water with the story line it gives you. I have now planned two books that way. And probably should have planned the one I’m currently writing that way too, given how much I’ve been utterly struggling with it.
Day 13 – Is there a card that continuously stumps you when it is drawn? Why do you believe this to be so?
About half the minor arcana, to be honest. But that’s in the literal definition sense, because I still have to look in the book for a few of them. Once I’ve gone through the process of actually making those cards it’ll probably be easier, but… eh. Later time. However. There are two that stump me even after I look in the book for them, and those are the Seven of Wands and the Four of Pentacles. And if I knew why they stumped me then I wouldn’t be stumped by them, now would I? Actually, no. The Four of Pentacles has come up as a warning of what I can only describe as “Dragon Sickness,” for those who are familiar with the Hobbit, although I very rarely know how it applies whenever it’s drawn. The Seven of Wands is a symbol of challenge, but again I’ve never been able to figure out what it means in context, either. Maybe it’s a reminder that while I am very easily overwhelmed, that if I power through it, all will be well, but, still, context. Tricky business, that.
Day 14 – For what purposes do you usually use the Tarot?
Defeating the dreaded Writer’s Block. Next question? 😀
Kidding. Mostly. I actually use tarot for – besides writing – figuring out where to go next if I have too many options available too me, or none at all. When I’m stuck, in general, the cards help me get an idea as to how to be un-stuck. I remember once I used Tarot to figure out how to handle dealing with certain people that I did not want to deal with on that particular night, and the answer was, “Sit down, relax, and let Bran do the talking.” And I did, and it worked. Thank the gods.
And with that, I will bid you all adieu. I’ve got stories to write and cards to draw. Have a good one! I’ll see you when I see you.
-Ej the “Tired of My Director’s Bullsnarky” Hermit