Story Plotting with the Minor Arcana by Diane Wilkes

Since we’ve heard from time immemorial that every story needs a beginning, middle, and ending, I devised the following method of writing a linear tarot story:

One: Separate cards into six piles: Major Arcana only, Court Cards Only, Aces Only, Eights Only, Tens Only, Remaining Minor Arcana

Two: Choose the characters for the story: pull at least two cards from the Court Cards Only pile. These cards will be your two main characters. You can pick more cards for characters if you so desire, but begin here.

Three: Choose one card from the Aces. This will be where your story begins.

Four: Choose one card from the Eights. This will be the climactic point of your story.

Five: Choose one card from the Tens. This will be the ending of your story.

Six: Choose one card from the Major Arcana. This will be the story’s "theme."

Use the imagery of the cards that you’re using to provide concrete details for your story. Note the Court Cards’ relationships to one another. Are the elements harmonious or dissimilar? If both court cards are in the same suit, are they related, or are both card characters alike, but on different levels, ie: the Knight of Cups might be overrun by his emotions, but the King of Cups has mastered his and can serve as a role model...

Not every story is so linear. Try the same method, but shuffle all the Minor Arcana together (without the Court Cards). Instead of choosing just three cards from the Minor Arcana, choose whatever number you and your partner need to create a viable story that ends in a way that works for you both. Below are some "keywords" for all ten numbers in the Minor Arcana. Feel free to choose your own.

Story-Plotting with the Minor Arcana

Wands - energy, passion, spirit Cups - emotions, psychic energy

Swords - intellect, communication Pentacles - material world, manifestation

Aces - beginning, gift, initiation, new opportunity

Two - duality, choice, balance, partnership

Three - creativity, vision

Four - stabilization, foundation, structure/limits

Five - conflict, mundane troubles and personal issues

Six - reciprocity, give-and-take

Seven - life challenge, struggle

Eight - climax, re-assessment

Nine - wisdom/insight/gift born from growth and struggle, culmination/completion

Ten - ending, legacy, final message, result

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