Writing the Tarot

What has the Unicorn been up to this summer? Well, the Grail of Stars needed some final editing tweaks before publication, the sun finally came out just as we finished them, and then my author disappeared! Turns out she has been to a secret author conference in deepest Oxfordshire, where they do all kinds of authorly things such as five minute readings from work in progress, discussing celebrity series (many of them ghost-written by real authors), drawing pictures with the opposite hand while blindfolded, eating too many puddings, drama workshops, comparing sales figures, finding out more about ebooks, eating more puddings, collecting tips for travelling with books, and - to work off some of the puddings - yoga.

To prove she has been "working", here are some pictures she took and a poem she wrote at a Writing the Tarot workshop led by Jenny Alexander (who blogs in the House of  Dreams, if you want to know more).

Katherine's random major arcana card - "The World"

I am the World.
I am the centre from which all things spring:
The moon and the stars,
The air and the sea,
The growing green,
And the corn that feeds man.
I am the flaming torch and the burning fire,
I am the sword and the cauldron.
I am desire.

It was surprisingly hard work...

The boys - Jonny Zucker and Joe Friedman

The girls - Rosemary Hayes, Lynne Benton, Jenny Alexander, Jackie Marchant

The thinkers - Miriam Halahmy, Celia Rees, and... can you identify the sleeper?

We all started with "The Fool", because this card means new beginnings. In two of these packs he is foolishly/innocently stepping off a cliff as he begins his journey. Fortunately, in Katherine's pack (centre) he is just setting out up a tempting sunny path that divides ahead and might lead to the cliff, having ignored a baby with its hand in the fire and its screaming mother. I am not in The Fool cards (because I am no fool, obviously!), but if you look closely at a tarot pack, you might well find unicorns in some of the other cards.

Three Fools
This workshop proves that anyone can use a tarot pack with its beautiful pictures to inspire a personal or creative journey, rather than just use the cards in the more usual way to tell fortunes. The workshop reminds me of the magical Story World cards sold by Katherine's publisher Templar, which can be used in a similar way and are especially good for younger writers.

Have you ever been inspired by a pack of cards? Let the Unicorn know!


catdownunder said…
Humans need to spend their time like this occasionally - of course, my dearest unicorn, unicorns and cats would enjoy it too I suspect! :)
Jen Alexander said…
What a great poem, Katherine! I love your tarot cards too - which pack is it? You fool's a bit further from the cliffs than mine, but that's where he seems to be headed...The Fool is my soul card, which might be why I love doing these random things with the SAS :)
Celia Rees said…
Great post, Katherine and a lovely poem. Mainline inspiration there! And thanks for introducing me to the Story World cards. They look interesting - and could be used in schools - avoiding elf and safety and all that PC business. I will be posting on one of my favourite Charney moments on Thursday on the History Girls. If we can't be there, we can write about it!
Cats would love it, Catdownunder! Good garden, old house, lots of swifts to chase...

Thank you, Jen - mine is the Tarot of the Old Path (a female version).

Templar's StoryWorld cards are great. There are lots of different packs - I have two sets so maybe could bring them another year? I also have an "Oracle of the Grail" pack, which is quite inspiring.