I’ve been a tarot reader for a long time…most of my life, in fact. I gave up using it as divination a while back, but it’s a fantastic aid in writing and characterization. Over the next few weeks, I’m going to touch on what to look for when using the tarot as a writing tool. And since I read with the Rider-Waite deck, that’s the visual I’ll be using.
Ah, the Fool. Since he’s the first card in the tarot’s major arcana, we’ll start with him. What do we know about him as a character? How could we write him in a book?
Arrogant, maybe? He certainly appears so. Look at him dallying along, chin high, hair blowing in the breeze. What’s the conflict here?
Hey, Fool, you’re about to step off a cliff!
Although…he does have one more step. Maybe he’s daring and reckless. This could be a game of Chicken. Will he get right at the edge, turn, and walk back, feeling the extreme rush of adrenaline?
Or maybe he’s not so arrogant. This could be a suicide. After all, he’s carrying baggage, and the sun is behind him. No happy days left for this guy. But if he’s really offing himself, why the smug look? Maybe he’s determined to die with dignity.
And what about that white rose? Where’d he pick it? Surely not up there in the craggy mountains of conflict land. That flower must be precious for him to hold it so delicately. Does love bloom for our sweet Fool, or does he plan to place it on a loved one’s grave?
Now consider location. He is high. A stoner, perhaps?
And what about the dog? A stray? Emotional support dog? Man’s best friend? Metaphor for the Fool himself?
Take a good look at the card. How would you characterize The Fool?
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