A hip, accessible, and practical guide for artists and creative people looking to tarot for guidance and inspiration in the tradition of The Secret Language of Birthdays and Steal Like an Artist. What if the path to creativity was not as challenging as everyone thinks? What if you could find that spark, plot twist, or next project by simply looking at your life and your art through a different lens? Written for novices and seasoned readers alike, The Creative Tarot is a unique guidebook that reimagines tarot cards and the ways they can boost the creative process.
Jessa Crispin guides you through the intuitive world of the tarot to get those creative juices flowing again. Thought to be esoteric and mystical, tarot cards are approachable and endlessly helpful to overcoming creative blocks. Crispin offers spiritual readings of the cards, practical information for the uninspired artist, and a wealth of fascinating anecdotes about famous artists including Virginia Woolf, Rembrandt, and David Bowie, and how they found inspiration.
With five original tarot spreads and beautiful illustrations throughout, The Creative Tarot is an accessible, colorful guide that demystifies both the tarot and the creative process. Select Parent Grandparent Teacher Kid at heart. Age of the child I gave this to:.
Hours of Play:. Tell Us Where You Are:.
Preview Your Review. Thank you. Your review has been submitted and will appear here shortly. Extra Content. It was exciting to look at all of the images, all of the mysterious men and women fighting with swords or juggling coins or drinking from cups. But after a few aborted attempts to teach myself to read the cards, I gave up. Unsure of what to do with the cards, I put them away, and they were lost in one move or another.
Ten years later, I came back to the tarot during a particularly difficult time in my life. With the help of a skilled reader, I was able to see my circumstances differently. She helped me find the narrative inside all the muddle. In short, she told me a new story about my life and what I was experiencing. A story I could move through; a story in which I could see how all of the other characters and situations were operating.
After that, I was hooked. I began the slow process of studying the meaning of the tarot and understanding its uses.
At the time I worked mostly as a book critic, and I was intrigued by the way the cards could be used as a tool for storytelling. Each reading is, essentially, a story. It begins here, at the center. Other cards show up as people wandering into your story; others create plot and action. You lay out the cards, and there on the table you have the outline.
You have the who, what, where, and when.
It is not necessarily about telling the future. It is about retelling the present. After noticing the way the cards hook into your intuition and imagination, I realized that they could easily be used to assist in the creative process. Soon most of my tarot clients were artists, looking for a little guidance on what to work on next or how to overcome a block.
The tarot is a deck of cards designed during the Renaissance. The deck consists of two parts: the Major Arcana and the Minor Arcana. The Minor Arcana cards illustrate circumstances and conflicts—the kinds of things that add action to a story. The Minor Arcana comes in four suits that correspond with the four elements: Cups water , Wands fire , Swords air , and Coins or Pentacles earth. Each suit has cards numbering one through ten, and then four court cards: Page, Knight, Queen, and King.
The cards depict the whole realm of human experience, from love to death, from joy to sorrow, from loneliness to friendship. Some cards are particularly nasty; others easily cheer a reader up. But either way, you have to take the dark with the light, just like in life.
The interpretations of the cards change as society changes. The Lovers card, of course, does not require a man and a woman to fulfill its meaning. And at one point, I read in an old tarot book that the Three of Wands indicated that a family member was going to die and leave me a chateau in his or her will. You will experience the cards differently than I will, because they are based on your own experiences and your own philosophy and values.
As a starting point. Each card has its own thorough interpretation and guidance on how it relates specifically to creativity. The book is also meant to be a source of inspiration. Because I believe firmly in looking to our betters to teach us and guide us, I have included anecdotes of creators throughout time to show how others have overcome obstacles, as well as recommendations of paintings to study, books to read, music to listen to, films to watch, etc.
Remember: the Greeks believed our genius was not part of us but was a divine visitation. Our jobs, as artists and writers, was to become the best possible vessel for that genius. Part of that is to be forever learning, improving, expanding, and experimenting. I read somewhere that your first deck is supposed to be a gift.
It is absolutely okay for you to buy your first tarot deck. That is one of those mystical mumbo-jumbo things designed to make beginners feel inadequate and unwelcome. I have a Virgo moon; I have no time for such nonsense. Is the tarot just about telling the future? People have always wanted to know their fates.
Will I be rich? Will I be wise? Will I fall in love? And they have used whatever they had around them to try to sneak a glimpse into the future. In Greece, I had my coffee grounds read. I sipped my Turkish coffee while chatting with the very nice woman. Then my cup was inverted on its saucer, and the shape the grounds made was interpreted to tell me my future.
I had a woman in the American South read my cards, but she used a deck of playing cards rather than the tarot. There are many other ways to tell your fortune. The shape it hardens into will tell you how your year will be. Many believe that your dreams can tell you your future, if you sleep with certain items under your pillow or drink or eat the right things before bed. With pyromancy, you gaze into a fire; with tyromancy, you look at the coagulation of cheese.
Which is to say that the impulses are all the same. As are the methods, although the medium changes from culture to culture and from person to person. We take an image—this shape of the candle wax or that image on the tarot card—and imbue it with meaning. But I've seen clients suffer heart attacks, depression and addiction because they chose what they thought was 'security. Besides, the velocity of these times demands authenticity. If you're not doing work that comes natural to you, you will have to work too hard to keep it up. And you will always have to wrestle too hard to keep your true passions at bay.
We used to have more of a buffer to keep our secrets, even from ourselves.
But today's pace requires an efficient use of our energy. When you do work that you consider your purpose, it is the most efficient, practical, joyous, and generous thing you can do with your life. Of course, I'd give anyone who's graduatingor laid-off or retiring, and graduating into a new phase of their lives a brand new copy of This Time I Dance! I'd also give them this invaluable "tool kit" filled with 5 unconventional totems--designed to reinforce a creative, inspired approach to discovering the right work and the sweetest life:.
A Breadcrumb: Forget about looking for a marquee or a map. Not happening. A creative career life is one of following the breadcrumbs, instant by instant, desire by desire. What sounds FUN right now? In my work with clients, I offer "Focus on what has energy for you now. It doesn't have to be forever. What has heat? You can't plan an inspired life. This is a path of heart, not head. If you try to see too far up ahead, you will be frustrated and incapacitated. And you will miss the internal communication or necessary step opening right in front of you.
There will always be a breadcrumb. There will always be a next step. There will always be something to do, explore, feel, or heal because your mindset is as important as your actions. Ten years later, that calligraphy class inspired him to create Apple's Mac computer with beautiful typography. A san serif stroke of genius. Ray Kroc bought a small-scale McDonald's corporation franchise because he wanted to sell milk shake mixing machines.
Noticing that this hamburger operation had bought 8 milk shake mixers, he got the creative idea to buy the chain to expand his sales. He followed this next breadcrumb. He hadn't planned on becoming a hamburger company, much less the leading fast food operation in the world. He just paid attention to the next step that revealed itself. We all know those breadcrumbs led to a whole lot of buns. What's your deepest wish? Choose the desire that will stay lit, and hold up this one yellow candle, even when a thousand winds blow.
Your true desires have invincible energy. Please don't talk yourself into being what you think is "realistic. I've spoken to men and women in their eighties. The desire never went away. They had children, good and bad marriages, sickness, financial challenges, trips to distant ports in the world, and they never lost the desire. That's the thing about your inspired dreams. They may look fragile or frivolous, but they have the power to outlast all other desires.
I tell my clients, "Only the real dream has the power. Mild wants won't do it. You need to follow the wild wants. They will take you on a journey you could never imagine and you don't want to miss. Go ahead and reassure the practical side of yourself. This "wild want" focus does not need to be exclusive. But it does need to be in the mix! I spent 12 years writing my first book This Time I Dance! Creating the Work You Love and faced many rejections and disappointments. I battled the pygmies of self-doubt. But real desire gives you stamina. You can withstand pain and detours, because it's more painful to give up on the desire.
Thomas Edison failed thousands of times, before he discovered the light bulb. He had a "yellow birthday candle," the inner summons to invent. He would not have had this same tenacity for a goal he didn't love. Resist the temptation to think "Oh that's stupid," or "That would never go anywhere. Fun runs up ahead and beckons creativity, discovery, opportunity, and success. I'm offering you a PEZ dispenser as a totem because of the legendary story of how eBay, one of the foremost online revenue generators in the history of the Internet began.
In , Pierre Omidyar started eBay from his home so his girlfriend could have a way to trade PEZ candy dispensers with others. Aren't you glad that Omidyar didn't just say, "Oh for god's sakes, do you really need another candy dispenser? Can't you do something productive, like become an accountant or work for Walmart? Earplugs: Listen within and do not listen to others who do not hear the music.
No one knows your path. You won't even know your own inspired path. Gather resources and advice-- but choose what you apply. My advice? Don't take advice from unhappy people. Remember, the truth you listen to determines your whole life. Steve Jobs had this to say about career advice. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking.
Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary. In her early career in journalism, Oprah Winfrey was advised to drop the emotional "touchy feely" aspect of her reporting.