Tarot: Drawing Upon Creative Spirit


When I am lost, I write. When I cannot write, I paint. When I cannot paint, I sit down with a mug of hot tea and my tarot deck to figure out why. I’ve found tarot to be an indispensable tool for creativity and finding myself when self-expression is most difficult.



In the book The Hero with a Thousand Faces, mythologist Joseph Campbell shows how tales throughout time follow the model of the Hero’s Journey. Gilgamesh, Odysseus, and even Buffy Summers are among countless characters who follow this journey, which begins with a call to adventure and ends with an indelible change in the world.

The Fool’s Journey of the Major Arcana reflects the Hero’s Journey. Look closely at the media that you consume; you’ll find several similar threads and archetypes as you do in tarot. The journey details a life slowly reaching wholeness; with each card, The Fool grows until reaching self-actualization and oneness with The World. It can help your characters and your personal plot grow, too.

The entire deck can provide inspiration for poets and artists of all media. Pull a card from your deck right now. What is it? What does it mean? What do you feel? Do these feelings inspire or overwhelm you? Pull from the imagery in each card, associating the symbols with your memories, emotions, and dreams.

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Just as tarot can be used to navigate the rocky tides of life, it’s also beneficial for examining creative and structural blocks. The creative process, that of manifesting a single piece of art, is itself a journey. A well-considered spread can clarify and help improve your own creative process.


Use this four-card spread to ignite your creativity and critically examine your creative process.

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1.       What compels me to create this work?

2.       What have I created so far?

3.       How are my feelings affecting this process?

4.       What is a step that I can take today to be creative?

Sheena Carroll is a Pittsburgh-based poet, painter, and witch. Her debut poetry collection, Miss Macross vs. Batman, is forthcoming in fall 2018 by CWP Collective Press. She is an Aries and a solitary practitioner of lunar magick and tarot. She enjoys naps, denim jackets, and holy basil tea.

Find more about Sheena on her website: MissMacross.com

or visit her twitter: @missmacross


Photo: Genǝvieve Clarisse // @gatherthyme