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Using Tarot Cards To Awaken Your Creative Spirit

by Bernie O'Connor

The first in a series of articles exploring how you can use Tarot Card readings to help you tap into the universe’s unlimited creative energy.

Have you ever been inspired by a beautiful painting? While you were gazing at it, did you find your imagination suddenly start to soar as you gradually lost yourself in its palette of colors? Did its imagery “speak” to you on a deeper more meaningful level? Did you feel that you were uncovering a secret message meant only for you? Did this type of experience unconsciously lead you into new ways of thinking about life and seeing it in a more positive way? Maybe this painting served as a “creative trigger” that enabled you to experience joy as new and exciting, totally unexpected images, thoughts and insights flooded into your consciousness? Did you begin to feel energized and more confident about yourself? Did you feel well, creative?

What if I told you that it’s possible to achieve these “EUREKA” moments everyday and almost every time events in your life demand all your attention and energy? This may sound strange at first, and really too simple, but just go out and get yourself a deck of Tarot Cards. Then put aside some convenient quiet time each day to relax and focus your thoughts on the many mysterious images depicted on the Tarot cards. The more you practice “reading” these cards and learning the different messages they can convey to you through their symbolism, the more you’ll find yourself becoming aware of different levels of consciousness around and within you. Before you know it, you will be naturally awakening your intuitive inner-self and calling on it to constantly recharge your creative batteries.

Tarot scholars often refer to the Tarot as: “A book of wisdom disguised as a deck of cards.” And thanks to Hollywood, most people think of Gypsy Fortune Tellers and wizened crones casting forth sooths when the subject of Tarot cards comes up. Granted it’s true that these scenarios do make up a small part of Tarot history and culture. But the real key to understanding how Tarot Cards can help you become more creative is in understanding and interpreting the mystic symbolism portrayed on the cards. Once you understand this self-help system and practice it, you’ll find yourself dealing with everyday situations, either at home or work in more creative and satisfying ways.

You don’t need to be a psychic to begin reading Tarot cards for yourself and maybe eventually others, nor do you need to perform exotic rituals by the full moon to use Tarot cards. However, your psychic ability will develop the more you study the Tarot.

All you need is attunement, practice, and a mind open to unlimited possibilities. Additionally, you don’t need to read every Tarot book ever written to begin understanding the cards, although it’s important to build a firm foundation to work from by reading and learning about historical perspectives and the many other practitioners’ approaches to interpreting the Tarot. (All of that will come much later.) All that is initially required is to further develop your innate power of visualization and have a willingness to listen to your inner voice. By doing these two things, learning to read Tarot cards will be surprisingly easy for you.

To begin with, you need to get a pack of Tarot cards. There are literally hundreds of different types of decks and a good assortment can be easily found at almost any bookstore or in various places online. Better still, try a local New Age shop. Usually these stores will have a larger selection and offer more personable service and expertise in helping you choose a deck you will be comfortable with.

The most popular and most recognized Tarot deck in the world is the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, and this is the deck most people start with. When it was first introduced in 1909, it was considered revolutionary because each card featured its own unique mystical image. Up till then, “fortune telling decks” had “pips” on them and more resembled contemporary playing cards. The universal acceptance of the Rider-Waite-Smith deck makes it a good first choice for learning the basics. For this article, this is the deck I will be referring to.

The classic 78 card Tarot deck is divided into 2 parts. The first 22 cards are called the Major Arcana. These represent the overarching cosmic forces that influence us. They are also known as Trumps. These cards are numbered zero through 22. The remaining 56 cards make up the Minor Arcana, and represent people and events in our everyday lives. These cards are divided up into four suits: Swords, the cards of air and mental activity. Wands, the cards of fire and action. Pentacles, the cards of earth and material things, and Cups, the cards of water and feelings. Each suit has four Court cards as well. The Page, Knight, Queen and King. The remaining cards in each suit are numbered one to ten.


Open the box, take out the deck, and make yourself comfortable. Take each card and place it face up on the table until the whole deck is laid out. Usually each deck comes with what is referred to in Tarot circles as the “Little White Book” (LWB) that briefly explains the meaning of each card. Put this aside for now, you can revisit it after this exercise is completed.

Slowly look at all the cards for a few moments. Does any one card attract you more then the others? Draw it out and then ask yourself: “What does this particular card say to me?” Close your eyes and let mind float free. Begin to free associate and see what your unconscious comes up with.

In almost all situations, you will correctly guess what the established “meaning” of the card you choose is. This is possible because surprisingly, and you will sense this, there is usually something eerily familiar about the pictures on the cards. Why is this? Because in your unconscious intuitive level, you actually do know and understand the meaning of the card, you just don’t realize how you know it.

Using this semi-meditative free-association technique while looking at a Tarot card causes the symbol to reach into your mind and activate your unconscious. The card acts as a “creative trigger” that enables you to connect with what Carl Jung, mystic and founder of analytical psychology, described as the collective unconscious. This ground breaking theory claims we all share a universal language of symbolic truths that resides hidden in our unconscious mind.

Certain outside stimuli can reach into this reservoir of symbols, percolating in the deep recesses of our mind, causing us to become aware of them. This type of synchronistic event can trigger imagery on all different levels of a person’s psyche. Although we all share these same symbols, each one of us interprets the meanings of these symbols quite differently because we are all individuals with very different frames of life references and experiences.

Shamans believe that sacred messages are hidden in symbols, dreams and meaningful coincidences. These messages are constantly being sent to us, but we often lack the skill and openness to see, hear or experience them in their proper context. This is where the Tarot comes in. The Tarot guides us to these occult gifts and decodes these messages for us.

Learning to read the Tarot will elevate your consciousness to such messages and make you more aware of the sacred universal mind that is around every living thing. When you have achieved this enlightened awareness you can then ask this universal mind for help to access its limitless creative positive energy.


The first step in using the Tarot to enhance your creativity is to practice your power of visualization. To do this exercise we are going to use a variation of

a standard spread, the card of the day” draw which is to begin each day by shuffling the cards and picking one at random, then briefly meditating on the selected card. Then, as you go about your day, see how relevant that particular image is in predicting events that may happen to you or the type of people you may come into contact with.

What we are going to do differently here for this exercise is, instead of picking a card at random, we will deliberately begin with the Major Arcana and use THE FOOL.

THE FOOL is usually the first or last card of the Major Arcana and is assigned the number value of “0”. Draw this card from the deck and placed it, face up on the table. Now get a blank piece of paper and pencil and put them next to the card and clear your mind of all your everyday worries and concerns. The most important thing here is to RELAX! I cannot stress this point enough. It is vital as you continue your Tarot studies that you strive for a quiet mind. This semi-meditative state will make you more receptive to whatever messages the universe is trying to send you. Some Tarot practitioners claim that when they are at this level they are able to actually hear their spirit guides or Guardian Angels speaking to them.

Begin by studying the many colors in the picture. What mood do the hues and tones put you in? What is the young man doing in the picture? What about the animal in the picture? What is it and how is it acting? Where are they both? Where are they going? What message is this picture trying to convey to you? What about the zero? What does it mean? What about his clothes and the things he is carrying? How do you feel about looking at it? Do you feel good or bad? Go deep into you unconscious, what are you discovering on this inward journey of discovery?

As you relax more, what type of pictures are flitting about before your mind’s eye? Are words popping into your head? Are there any sentences starting to form? Can you understand and read them? Do you hear any voices? If so, what are they saying to you? What are they talking about? Imagine that you are experiencing a dream. Here’s your chance to free associate and exercise your creative muscles. Have fun, enjoy yourself.

Write down your impressions of THE FOOL on the blank piece of paper you have on hand. It doesn’t have to be in any particular order, just whatever you are comfortable with. (If you want, you can date and save this paper later on as it will become the first page in your Tarot journal.) Write down any words, feelings or thoughts you may have about the card. Does anyone thing stand out about it? What does this card represent to you? Does the figure remind you of anybody you know? Do you see yourself in this picture?




- Optimism

- New beginnings

- A new endeavor

- Childish enthusiasm

- A leap of faith

- Trusting in your own intuition

- Impulsive, adventurous, spontaneous

- Seeker of opportunities

- Willing to take a chance

- Traveling very light

- Recklessness

- Not looking before you leap

- Carelessness

- The white dog is a symbol of instinct

- THE FOOL can be anyone at anytime.

- Everyday is a new day and we are

always starting over in life

- Joy, intoxication

- A major change in life is coming

- Trust in your own ideas

- The zero actually represents an egg, a symbol of birth and new possibilities

Please bear in mind that these are but a small sampling of what THE FOOL card represents. Where and when THE FOOL appears in a spread will also greatly influence its meaning at the time of the reading.

Well, how did you do? Are you surprised by the results? For fun and to check yourself, pick up the Little White Book now and thumb through it. See what meanings are assigned to THE FOOL.

Now do the same card of the day exercise with all the cards that make up the Major Arcana. Draw one each day either randomly or in numerical sequence

and apply the same meditation and free association technique you used on THE FOOL. Do this each day and be prepared to see what happens in your life when you invite the universe to come out and play.

Please look for the next installment:





For a complete history of the Rider-Waite-Smith deck visit:



Marcia Masino

ISBN 0-917086-59-7


Cassandra Eason

ISBN 1-58091-068-8

Page four


Rachel Pollack

ISBN 0-00-713115-1


Sarah Bartlett

ISBN – 13: 978-1-4027-3838-8


Nancy Garden

ISBN – 0-671 – 67087 - 5





About the author:

Bernie O’Connor has been reading and teaching Tarot professionally for several years and in 2007, founded the Pennsylvania Tarot Association.  www.patarotassociation.com

Along with the Tarot, he has studied paranormal phenomenon for over 35 years, authored the book: How to Investigate UFOs and was the editor of Official UFO Magazine. Bernie is self-employed as a Marketing / Creative Consultant and conducts online surveys, consumer research and creative projects through his firm: www.armchairresearch.com

He can be reached at  info@patarotassociation.com

Copyright © 2008 Bernie O’Connor
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