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10 Ways Tarot Archetypes Can Help You Write Your Story

Many thanks to writer and B2W Academy member Pamela PerryGoulardt who has written today’s post about Tarot archetypes … AND created these fantastic cards herself. Wow! I am blown away by how gorgeous the images are. The lady is a talent!

Writers often ask me ‘how’ to write great characters visually, so when Pamela suggested Tarot I was all ears. Whilst I have been aware of the practice for decades, I’d never thought of using Tarot cards as a writing aid. So, over to you Pamela!

Write Stories That Are Off The Charts!

Tarot is a detailed system of numbers and symbols allowing writers to consciously communicate with their subconscious minds and provide their imaginations with a new perspective. Rather than thinking in words, you begin to think in pictures!

What do you see?

1) CARD-STRENGTH #8

A confident woman wearing a crown walks on water and through fire. A Lion by her side, an infinity symbol over her head. A warrior who makes decisions through love and intuition.

ARCHETYPE = The Ruler

Charlize Theron as FURIOSA in Mad Max: Fury Road. She weaves power and authority with courageousness and a mature outlook. She thinks before she acts and stays balanced and sovereign as she takes reign. This is a unique tool. A woman doesn’t have to act like a man to be a leader and command respect.

2) CARD – EMPEROR #4. REVERSED

The character breaks the rules with direct intention. Often, they do it to protect others, showing a nurturing side.

ARCHETYPE = The Ruler

Uma Thurman as The Bride in Kill Bill. Pushed to the edges of existence, The Bride will take her revenge. Outlaws stand up to authority and break free. It may be an act of bravery or a need to stand out and be different.

This can be powerful when writing female leads because OUTLAWS are still mainly male characters, even in the 2020s!

3) CARD-THE MAGICIAN #1

A multi-tasker. A table filled with all he/she needs to create whatever they want. They don’t hold back and can transform anything.

ARCHETYPE – The Caregiver

Da’Vine Joy Randolph as Mary Lamb (BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS, The Holdovers) is a caregiver at their best. She pulls out resources, creating feasts from thin air, and making time for everyone’s emotions but her own. Race and social status are cleverly woven into her cooking chores as she grieves for her recently killed son in Vietnam.

4) CARD – THE SUN #19

An innocent, authentic child carries the positive, radiant energy to succeed. Her heart and soul fly free.

ARCHETYPE – The Innocent

Hushpuppy (Quvenzhane Wallis) in Beasts Of The Southern Wild. A six-year-old girl, the youngest person ever to be nominated for an Academy Award(Best Actress.)

In the story, she battles climate change and poverty with resilience and confidence while facing extreme challenges. For writers, this is a unique application of the innocent, a character who often plays a sweet cartoon character. Hushpuppy plays an adult role, bringing hope and spirit to her community.

What can be gained from symbols, numbers, opportunities, and obstacles?

For writers, it is beneficial to be open-minded and try new things even if they challenge your personal views. You can only benefit by gaining new insights.

What can be lost?  

Tarot can assist you to grow as a writer by becoming more in tune with your intuition, opening doors of creativity that access the unknown. You will only lose thoughts and ideas that do not serve your infinite potential.

5) CARD – THE DEVIL #15  

We all need pleasure and fun; the key is to choose discretion over abundance. Don’t be seduced by the material world or physical pleasures.

ARCHETYPE – The Hero

Julia Roberts won an Academy Award as Best Actress for playing Erin Brockovich in the movie Erin Brockovich. A single Mom with no legal training takes on the corrupt corporate ‘Man’s World’ to fight for a settlement for the residents of a town in California that had its water supply knowingly contaminated by a big Power Company. Based on a true story.

SPEAK of the DEVIL … Meet JUSTICE!

6) CARD – JUSTICE  #11

What is fair? Truth, and treating others justly. Inner strength for decision-making is paramount.

ARCHETYPE – The Hero

George Clooney plays MICHAEL CLAYTON, a ‘Fixer’ who needs money, and carries a big bag of legal loopholes. He’s good at his job. Hired to defend and protect the corrupt, Michael has a moment of clarity. He devises a scheme to not only pay his bills but also serve Justice on a platter to the corporate elite. 

By the way: Tarot Archetypes can be male, female, human, animal, anthropomorphic, non-binary, cartoons, abstact, etc.

7) CARD – THE FOOL #0

Take a Leap of Faith! The Fool represents new beginnings, risk-taking, and expanding your horizons.

ARCHETYPE – The Everyman

A wooden puppet boy plays PINOCCHIO, who longs to become a real live boy. It’s often necessary to cut the strings and leave home, only to make a fool of yourself. Mistakes are a given, but we all have a ‘higher self.’ It may not carry an umbrella and wear a Top Hat and Tails, but if you learn to listen to it, being real becomes natural. Trust yourself.

8) CARD – THE HERMIT #9

Take time to think and reflect. Intropsection brings inner guidance and understanding, accepting and trusting yourself for who you really are.

ARCHETYPE – The Hero

In the movie  SHREK, a Green Ogre, lives alone in the woods to avoid ridicule for his appearance. He learns to like himself and is happy as a loner, but when he needs to retrieve his land he departs to rescue a Princess who hides her real self behind a mask of false beauty. With his bravery, loyalty, and courage,  Shrek makes her realise she only needs to be herself to be happy.

9) CARD – THE STAR #17

Dream big. Learn to walk before you run. A renewed spirit with an optimistic outlook. You are still strong and bright no matter what you’ve been through.

ARCHETYPE – The Creator

Anne Hathaway (Andrea Sachs) and Meryl Streep (Miranda Priestly) star in THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA, where compromising your integrity for success can be the cost of ambition for women struggling to succeed.

Miranda is an ego-centric magazine editor who treats everyone like a servant. When Andrea, an aspiring journalist and assistant to Miranda, finds herself becoming like her boss – vain, selfish, and narcissistic – she leaves the job and the toxic workplace.

10) CARD – THE WORLD #21

A successful ending of a cycle of achievement. You are whole and ready for a new beginning. Symbols of the Universe guide you on your next journey with balance and harmony.

ARCHETYPE – The Warrior

Emma Stone won an Academy Award for BEST ACTRESS, playing Bella in the feminine-powered Hero’s Journey POOR THINGS.

An undisguised romp through the Tarot. Starting as a foolish Frankenstein child created by a Magician, Bella quickly awakens to self-awareness and breaks free from the men pulling her strings.

She still has flaws, but she is a natural anarchist who is self-reliant, resourceful, and determined. Her cycle ends by deciding to serve mankind as a Surgeon, winning the war without weapons.

More about Archetypes on B2W

12 Character Archetypes And How To Use Them

Why The Hero’s Journey Is NOT Just For Male Characters

Everything You Need To Know About Character Archetypes [INFOPGRAPHIC]

How Friends Makes Character Archetypes Look Easy

5 Times It’s Okay To Write Stereotypes (Really!)

5 Simple Gender Flips To Freshen Up Your Story

Good Luck!

How NOT To Write Female Characters – Grab Your FREE Copy!

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4 thoughts on “10 Ways Tarot Archetypes Can Help You Write Your Story”

  1. OMG! Mind officially blown! The artwork on the tarot cards is stunning! The application of the cards to contemporary characters helps me understand the tarot cards on a deeper level. Thanks so much Pam! I feel more creative just reading these!

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