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  • Writer's pictureFallon Clark

Writing & Tarot: Character Prompt

Updated: Dec 28, 2023


To perform this exercise on your own, you'll need to understand the difference between major arcana (what most people think of when they hear the word "tarot"), minor arcana (the royal house cards), and the numbered tarot cards (1-10 for each of the four elements and cardinal directions).

Note: For cards 1 through 6, I used the numbered cards and the minor arcana cards. For card 7, I used the major arcana.

The Spread:

A seven-card layout including:

1 - Initial development state

2 - Inner expression

3 - Outer expression

4 - Greatest strength

5 - Greatest weakness

6 - Final development state

7 - Astrology

Then we pull the cards:

1 - Initial development state - 10 of Cups

2 - Inner expression - 7 of Wands

3 - Outer expression - Princess of Cups

4 - Greatest strength - Princess of Wands

5 - Greatest weakness - 7 of Swords

6 - Final development state - Six of Swords

7 - Astrology - Leo, as described by VIII - Strength

Now, let's walk through the character profile card by card.

1 - Initial development state:

Where the character starts

The 10 of Cups, Success is a positive card of fulfillment where happiness, harmony, and love abide. The artwork on this card depicts a rock pushing up out of the water with a dark spot, such as a cave, in the middle. This signifies mystery, while the black earth in the foreground shows fertility.

  • In numerology, 10s signify times of completion and reaping the rewards. Tens may also suggest new beginnings (like the saying, "as one door closes, another opens).

  • I Ching hexagram 46, Pushing Upward, describes a period of prosperity.

At the story's onset, the character is in a place of security and comfort and is enjoying the rewards of hard work paid off. Perhaps this character

recently achieved financial security or received recognition or an award at work. Maybe the character is simply enjoying the fruits of happy family life where those involved share their love openly.

But success comes with its problems. This character may become overextended or may have issues with extended family members. This character should be aware of things that don't turn out as expected and the dangers of replacing authentic relationships with material goods.

2 - Inner expression

How the character views themself

The 7 of Wands, Courage, is a neutral card of standing up for oneself and fighting for beliefs. The artwork depicts peace, though the background is cloudy. The spears rise up from the earth and show the act of humanity striving upward. The demi-sphere at the top is a glimpse of the mystical.

  • In numerology, 7s signify spirituality and inner growth. They may also suggest retreat, including into oneself.

  • I Ching hexagram 40, Liberation, depicts deliverance or a clearing of the air, such as fresh opportunity after a storm.

This character's inner expression is one of overcoming, despite challenges, through the strength of resolve and a focused will. Perhaps this character holds firm in financial matters even when things appear difficult or holds their ground through diligent work efforts while avoiding distractions. Maybe this character considers working things out with a partner rather than bickering and giving up.

Courage can be limiting and often presents in times of confusion. There may be a lack of clarity or indecision. This character generally tries to avoid problematic people and carefully chooses their battles. This character may sometimes need to set firm guidelines or seek assistance from mentors or experts.

3 - Outer expression:

What they show others

The Princess of Cups, shown through Brigid of Ireland, is a person of calmness and radiance. In Celtic mythology, Brigid of Ireland was the patron saint of agriculture, specifically farm animals, and is often seen as a representative of motherhood and birth. The Princess of Cups speaks to poetry, prophecy, and divination.

This character puts forward a persona of boldness and self-assuredness. This character has the strength of character, which shows in interactions with others. This character should be aware of insecurities, indecision, commitment issues, and immaturity within relationships. This character may break promises or have good but unfulfilled intentions. This character may also live in a fantasy world.

4 - Greatest strength

What this character does best

The Princess of Wands, shown through Radha, is a person of liveliness, a fun-loving adventurer, and a daredevil. She became the beloved of the god Krishna and his constant companion. Radha's flute blends with the colors of the rainbow. She evokes sensuality, motherhood, and wisdom.

This character shines in the generosity of spirit, is idealistic, and is a loyal friend. The character would be happy helping a friend move, bringing or espousing positive messages, and can always be counted on to bring fun to a situation, however brief. Be aware that this character may also spend too much money and become restless in stagnation or commitment.

5 - Greatest weakness

What this character struggles to do

The 7 of Swords, Uselessness, is a negative card of uncertainty, challenges, and exercising caution. The artwork depicts faces melted together, the patriarchs who arrange the world for their own benefit, and the swords are scattered, which may signify risks.

  • In numerology, 7s signify spirituality and inner growth. They may also suggest retreat, including into oneself.

  • I Ching hexagram 36, The Darkening of the Light, adds that the character's efforts should be quiet and self-contained or protected from harmful influences.

This character struggles to formulate plans during chaotic or tricky situations and may have trouble sitting on their hands and waiting. This character may become restless without proper stimulation or diversity but may have difficulty determining which changes are needed. This character may have a hard time seeking compromises and using diplomacy during high-stress encounters.

This character may have a propensity to take advantage of other people to shake any feelings of boredom and should be careful of quick-win schemes or gains through underhanded means.

6 - Final development state

Where the character ends

The Six of Swords, Science is a positive card of putting past troubles behind and marks the beginning of a new phase following upheaval. The artwork shows a hand reaching for a leafless branch. The darkness near the bottom suggests that something has been broken. The swords are carefully and mathematically aligned.

  • In numerology, 6s signify contentment, harmony, and community. They may also suggest gains through suffering.

  • I Ching hexagram 61, Inner Truth, adds that the character looks within for fundamental wisdom, lets go of prejudice, and sees things for what they really are.

At the end of this story, this character has learned the need for objectivity and honesty. This character has left behind a past trauma or sadness and looks forward to smooth sailing. This character embarks on a new path using their internal wisdom as a guide. This character may need to let go of possessions or relocate, which indicates that the character has resolved major problems and arrived at a place of harmony.

However, this character may become stuck in old patterns or may generally be reluctant to move. This character should avoid sticking with old and worn-out beliefs and behaviors due to fear because happiness comes from making changes that awaken the heart, mind, and spirit.

7 - Astrology

How the stars inform this character

This character's sun sign is Leo, a fire sign, depicted by strength and balanced by the snake and the sun. This character approaches life as a king-of-the-jungle type and tends to be a showoff. However, they generally love being alive and can unite groups of people with differing views. The lion speaks of bravery and can become aggressive during a confrontation.

What I see:

In looking at this character, I first notice that there are no earth cards within this pull. This character is ruled by wands, cups, and swords and is full of action, emotion, and perception. However, this character lacks the grounding that earth cards bring. As such, this character has a rather lofty outlook.

I see a character who considers themselves courageous and strong and shows others their resolve and self-assuredness despite being a bit naïve. While this person loves displaying their loyalty and fun side, they can become easily bored or despondent when considering what could be rather than what is. This character will need to learn to push off acceptance from others and embrace acceptance in themselves to achieve inner peace. In short, this character will ground themself through a story of transformation. The prize at the end is the missing earth element finally found.

When I picture this character, I see a young woman, perhaps one fresh from educational endeavors and a social life with limited responsibility making her way into the big wide world. I picture her as a great hostess who has trouble defining herself and her future and is subject to choice overload when considering the next step on her life path. She lands a job that seems great at the beginning but hinders her creative spirit because she feels boxed in. While this character initially defines her self-worth through the eyes of others, her great character building comes as she turns that eye inward and learns the inviolate wisdom of her lived experience.

What do you see when you picture the character within this spread?

Happy writing!


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