Try Tarot for Writers

A single card is often enough to inspire an entire story. You can start right now! 

The Wheel of Fortune

Tarot cards can represent people — protagonists, antagonists, or supporting characters. They can depict locations — meadows, wooded glens, or sunny seashores. They can suggest scenes, snippets of dialogue, and entire conversations. Best of all, they can inspire some weird and wonderful plot twists.

Adding tarot and astrology to your writing practice is easy. Start with a single card, like the Wheel of Fortune.

Let’s Write

  • Study the card image for a moment. What do you notice first? What’s the most obvious thing about the scene?
  • Describe the main character:
    • What does she look like?
    • What is she doing?
    • What can you tell by her clothing, demeanor, expression, and body language?
  • What’s going on in the background?
  • What do you think is happening behind the scenes?
  • Extract as much information as you can. Describe the card completely, from top to bottom, or simply list the images and symbols you see.
  • Does the card remind you of a person, a place, or an event you’ve experienced? How so?
  • What surprises you about this card?

Cast and Crew

It’s easy to create detailed, multi-dimensional characters based on the cards. Start with a basic profile checklist, and the Page of Wands on the right. If the answers aren’t obvious, make educated guesses, pull additional cards, or use your intuition.


  • Is your character a man or a woman?
  • How old is your character?
  • What does your character look like?
  • What does your character do for a living?
  • How does your character spend his or her free time?
  • Does your character have a spouse, children, or a pet?
  • What are your character’s hopes and dreams?
  • What does your character fear most?

By the Book

Many tarot decks come with guidebooks. You can pull inspiration from them, too. Here’s an example from the Wizards Tarot Handbook.

A Lonely Librarian

Mandrake’s school librarian usually scurries through the archives as quickly and quietly as a mouse. He’s hard to corner, and you might only catch a glimpse of him before he disappears into a secret alcove or a hidden reading room. He occasionally teaches a class in candle magic, but you’ll have to register early: the Hermit doesn’t like crowds, so enrollment is extremely limited.

Key Symbols

  • The school librarian is an old man, stooped with age and wrapped in a heavy, hooded cloak. He moves through the shadows of ancient tomes by the light of a hand-dipped candle. He carries the light of wisdom for others to follow, but he doesn’t go out of his way to attract attention.
  • The Hermit card usually represents wisdom, prudence, and illumination, as well as philosophy, introspection, and meditation. The card also illustrates the concept of solitude and the power of silence.
  • The Hermit’s constant companion is a mouse, a symbol of quiet watchfulness, observation, and attention to detail.
  • The Hermit is carrying a book inscribed with a glyph for Virgo, the sign of work, duty, and service. Virgos are hard-working, practical, resourceful, and organized — but they sometimes isolate themselves in an effort to live up to their own high standards. In Latin, Virgo means “unmarried” or “self-possessed.”
  • Virgos can be critical — but they’re usually most critical of themselves. They’re also extremely helpful. Once you seek them out, they’re more than willing to share the wisdom they’ve accumulated on their own journeys
  • One of the books behind the Hermit is marked with the Hebrew letter Yod, a simple form that looks like a flame. It means hand, and it signifies the hand of God. It’s also a form that’s incorporated in every other letter of the Hebrew alphabet.