Updated: Jan 24
On Magic Monday, I shared details about my “coming out of the tarot closet,” and offered a little housekeeping in order to clear the air of negative stigma around the cards. Today, I’d like to bring the conversation around creativity and intuition full circle and examine how using the tarot can expand each. As such, this post will explore:
According to Dictionary.com, creativity is the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful, new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc. It is originality, progressiveness, or imagination. Similarly, renowned psychiatrist Carl Jung said this about the concept, “The creative process, so far as we are able to follow it at all, consists in the unconscious activation of an archetypal image, and in elaborating and shaping this image into the finished work.”
On the other hand, the concept of intuition is not as easy or clear to define. Google the word and you’ll find half a billion results. Search for the word on Dictionary.com and you’ll find a selection of entries, including philosophical and linguistic definitions. Considering the research, and my own understanding of the construct, the easiest way to define intuition is that it is our internal “hunch” or “nudging.” Intuition is an instinctual way of knowing something, without having any prior information or understanding about the person, place, thing, or idea being considered.
Conversely, psychologists like Jung have long argued that intuition is nothing more than the brain’s propensity for recognizing patterns in order to inherently understand new, yet “familiar” information.
Sounds paradoxical to me, but I digress.
If you are reading this blog post, then you are most likely a writer, artist, or other highly creative soul. In that case, let’s settle on intuition being an innate sense of knowing something without being able to explain how or why. How does that sound?
And now, the convergence of creativity and intuition. Did you read my very first post on this blog? In the post, I shared a story around my own “creative intuition,” my ability to “see” a finished project without having drawn a single line or written the first word. It is my theory that I am not a minority, but rather among a majority of creative people who experience a similar creative “knowing.” As such, this very phenomena of “seeing” a finished work even before gathering one’s materials to create it is where I believe creativity and intuition intersect. Therefore, creative intuition is a person’s ability to conceptualize something new and whole without ever having given that creation a single thought.
As previously mentioned on this blog, the tarot is an insightful tool. The cards can be used for more than just fortune-telling by folks with psychic gifts. Anyone can use them and find inspiration. Ruminating on their illustrations compares to considering a work of art and the story the piece tells (See my regards for the Mona Lisa in My Intuitive Story ). Because the tarot is a collection of art, it can evoke an emotional response. Similarly, it can promote creativity and open the storyteller’s mind to novel ideas (pardon the pun). In the case of writers using the tarot, the cards can help to activate intuition, pulling forward stories around what’s happening in the illustrations and inspiring plot and character development. Using them can even help writers work their way through writer’s block.
If you are a writer, and you have little or no experience using the cards, I’d like to show you how easy it can be to foster creativity and sharpen intuition with a simple, two-part activity. Those who have a moderate to expert amount of experience, please also participate! As you know, there are always opportunities for learning something new.
What you need for this activity:
Your favorite tools for note-taking
For this activity, please do not worry about not knowing the tarot. You don’t need any experience with the cards to enjoy this simple activity. Next week, we will cover all the tarot basics, so stay tuned for that. For now, I have pulled a single card from my favorite everyday deck, the borderless Smith-Waite Tarot.
For the first part of this activity, I would like for you to write down your immediate thoughts about what’s happening in the card, without overthinking it. Write the first thoughts to “pop” up in your mind, your immediate feelings about the card.
Next, study the card. Ruminate on what’s happening in the scene. Who could these people be? What are they doing? Why are they doing it? If you were to write a short story about the image in this card, how might you tell it?
If you enjoyed this activity, save your work! Use your writing as the first entry of a tarot exploration journal of sorts. If you’re enjoying this blog, and plan on continuing to read my posts, there will be many more opportunities in which you will have the chance to explore the cards and allow them to inspire you.
Before you scroll any farther, I would love to know your thoughts around this activity. If you would like to share your ideas and story with me, please send them in an email. I promise to never divulge your information or use your writing for anything but pleasure reading and determining the efficacy of this activity; however, if you would like for me to share on Instagram, please let me know! I will create a cool graphic and tag you in the post.
Next Magic Monday, I will cover the tarot’s anatomy. I’ll share with you what I think are a couple of good starter decks for writers and everything you need to know for getting started using them as an inspirational tool.
The Card(s) of the Day:
In her more than thirty years as a storyteller and visual designer, Amanda “Mandy” Hughes has written and designed over a dozen works of upmarket, literary, and women’s fiction under pen names A. Lee Hughes and Mandy Lee.
Mandy is the founder of Haint Blue Publishing Company, LLC, an editing and design service that helps indie writers grow in their craft and achieve their self-publishing goals. Although she earned a Bachelor and Master of Science in Psychology, she has yet to figure out her family, much less herself.
When she’s not writing, Mandy loves going to the movies, theater, traveling, nature walks, birdwatching, margarita-making, and binge-watching The Office. She is a tarot enthusiast who uses the cards to promote wellness and enhance creativity. She lives in Georgia with her husband and four boys, two of whom are furrier than the others (but not by much). Visit her website at haintbluecreative.com and follow her on Instagram @haintbluecreative.