How to Use the Tarot to Develop a Story with M.B. Strang #Tarot #StoryDevelopment

As a writer, I find the Tarot helpful with planning out stories. I have a lot of different decks, some I use for meditation, some I use for practical exercises like story creation. Choose the deck that feels right to you. 

I find it helpful to separate the major arcana from the minor. Use the major arcana, or even just the court cards, to represent the characters of your story. The minor arcana shows situations characters get into and, depending on the cards, can help suggest resolutions for those situations. If you want writing prompts, shuffle the deck and draw cards randomly, then use your imagination to connect the cards and build a story. If you already have an idea and need to develop it more, search through the deck, or decks, and find images that best represent your idea, then choose other cards to help you refine your concept. 

There are no hard and fast rules here. Use the images of the Tarot to spark your imagination. Sure, other art can inspire you, too, but Tarot decks are relatively inexpensive, come in a vast variety of artistic styles, and have 72 cards in each box. That’s a lot of potential inspiration in one little deck. The Tarot itself tells a story when you look at all the cards in order. You could even write stories about each suit. One possibility is to use the major arcana for character and minors for plot and situations, you could set aside the minor arcana and just use the major, or vice versa. Setting limits on how you use the cards will limit your creativity. The more you work with them, the more they will inspire you.

The following is an example of how to construct a story from a Tarot deck:

I drew some cards randomly, then went through the deck to find cards that helped make a sensible narrative. I rearranged the cards until I could see the story. Here are the cards I drew and chose: The Emperor, The Hierophant, 7 of Cups, The Tower, 5 of Pentacles, 5 of Swords, Page of Cups, Queen of Wands, Strength, 8 of Pentacles, 2 of Swords, King of Cups. I didn’t choose a card to represent the Main Character (MC), but you could if that seems helpful. So, the basic story here could be that the Emperor is the MC’s father. He is authoritative and influenced by the Hierophant and criticizes the MC for building castles in the air (7 of Cups) and not developing useful skills. The Tower and the 5 of Pentacles shows how MC is upset by this and leaves home. The 5 of Swords makes the MC question themselves. Maybe the 5 of S is a person the MC meets and decides they don’t want to be like. Then the MC meets the Page of Cups and the Queen of Wands who help the MC find the inner strength (Strength card) to develop their skills (8 of Pentacles) which allow them to fulfill the dreams represented by the 7 of Cups. The 2 of Swords represents the balance in the relationship between the MC and their father; it isn’t a perfect balance, but it’s an improvement in the relationship. The King of Cups represents the change in the father, who while he may not be happy with the MC’s choice of career, at least respects the skills the MC developed. 

This story still needs refinement, of course, and this could be done by drawing more cards for more ideas, or maybe there’s enough here in the cards already drawn, but I hope this shows how the cards can spark suggestions and how one idea can lead to another. This can be useful if you have writer’s block or just need a little nudge to get your thoughts flowing. Remember, there aren’t rules to this. The Tarot is a tool and I hope you enjoy using it to inspire your creativity.

Arrow’s Flight
Knights of the Pearl Order 
Book One
M. B. Sträng

Genre: Fantasy
Date of Publication: 02/17/2022 
ISBN-13: 979-8418478887 
ISBN-13: 9781005631352 
Number of pages: 277
Word Count: 99,600 
Cover Artist: M.B. Strang

Book Description:

An unknown menace moves through the polite society of Pearl’s Holding. If not caught in time, it will bring down not just the hallowed Knights of the Pearl Order, but also everyone who lives and works with them. The answer lies with a young woman of mysterious origins whose life has been touched by tragedy. To fulfill her potential, she must confront her past and discover a future more amazing than she’d ever imagined and find the inner strength to fly.

She’s not alone. A handful of Knights, a hearthmage, and their magickal companions all test their physical and magickal limits to make things right before it’s too late. Otherwise, dark forces will overtake the Knights for good.


Beads of sweat rolled into my eyes, and I used the back of my wrist to wipe my forehead as I continued to cut flesh from the lamb’s carcass. The task became difficult as my knife had dulled over the years, and there was no way to sharpen the blade. Scraping it over a rock seemed to make it worse, not better. Taking the animals thumped guilt into my heart, but I didn’t think that the people in the valley would miss them much and I was tired of eating fish. Only once had one of them ventured anywhere near my cave, but he never came close enough to find the bough-covered entrance. I hid, just like my mother said to do. The man soon left, but I’d stayed hidden for hours.

Rumbling filled my belly, and I sliced at the flesh with greater determination. Figuring out how to make fire had come naturally. As for the rest of it—what my parents could do, but I had not yet learned—well, Mama and Papa were not here to teach me. And besides, Mama said to keep it hidden. Some, especially the Brethren, would kill us for what we were.

“Mama said to hide.” I spoke out loud to myself. It had been a long time since I’d heard another voice, but at least I could hear my own. My cave was too far from the valley to hear the people there. The few times I ventured close to the hamlet, I heard their language was not my own native tongue. Suspecting I had lost some words, I spoke more often now, and practised all the languages I knew in order to not forget more, and so my throat wouldn’t lose the ability to speak. I talked to Mama and Papa, wishing they were here. I visited Mama out there in the woods. Just bones now. I had taken the arrow out of her ribs, broke off the shaft, and wore the arrowhead on a cord woven with her hair. It was my way of taking my mother with me, keeping her close.

Heat flushed my forehead. That had been happening more often lately. Despite the warmth in my brow, I shivered. Waves of dizziness washed over me. I finished with the lamb and cleaned the knife on a bit of parchment, one of several scraps I found floating down from the sky one day. A piece had drifted across my face, and I glanced up to see what appeared to be a book flying by. The dropped parchment was no less strange: ornate script scribbled all over in green ink. I had grown tired of trying to decipher the bizarre symbols, many of which different than any of the languages I had learned to read, and found other uses for the parchment pieces.

And now I used another sheet as a mop for my sweating head.

Sitting back on my heels, I clutched the arrowhead in my fist. Once more the events of that long-ago day forced themselves into my mind. That terrible day when a man appeared on the ridge. The sun behind cast him in silhouette, and we could not see his face. He wore the dull robes of the Brethren. They billowed, though there was no breeze. His limbs writhed and twisted and cloth rent as wings thrust out, the man’s body distorting until it resolved into a white wyrm, like a dragon but certainly not a dragon. A foul stench emanated from the beast, and I started to gag.

I saw my father struggling. I knew what he was trying to do, but he could not do it. I knew why my mother could not do it right now but why couldn’t my father? Before they had a chance to ready weapons, the wyrm flapped its leathery wings and issued a bone-jarring shriek. Lightning spewing from its terrible maw, past its narrow, gleaming teeth. That creature took flight, swooped down, snatched up my father in its talons, and carried him away.

“Teban!” My mother screamed my father’s name over and over that the word may reach his ears and give him hope. She fell to her knees, wracked with cries of anguish. Clasping me tightly, she held me for what seemed like a long time, both of us sobbing violently. At last, she gained control of her breath and said, “Quosa, I must go after him. I will get your father back. You must hide.” She stood, and shaking her head, she said, “It must be because of the signatures. That’s why he couldn’t—” Her words broke off as we saw another one of the Brethren approach. She screamed, “Hide!” as the man loosed the arrow that lodged in the middle of her chest.

About the Author:

M.B. Sträng has been happily married to Timothy for over 33 years and they are the proud parents of a Biologist who has earned a Master’s degree. M.B. recently worked at a domestic violence shelter, but now writes full time. She has black belts in two martial arts and occasionally teaches self-defence classes. She enjoys writing (of course), painting, drawing, sewing, and embroidery. At the age of 53, M. B. learned that she is autistic, and suddenly her whole life made sense. She fences with messers, longswords, sabres, and arming swords and bucklers fairly regularly at the Ann Arbor Sword Club, and is a Knight-Magister in the Order of Paladins. Arrow’s Flight is her first novel.

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