Exploring Setting with Tarot

Welcome to Exploring Setting with Tarot! Each week we will go over one tarot card and explore how it can be used in writing as a prompt for setting.

It’s often said that a picture is worth a thousand words. I believe the reason for this is that visual art has a way of tapping into our symbolic and metaphoric vocabularies on a subconscious level. In doing so, it evokes emotions and creative thought within us. This series aims to explore this phenomenon using tarot with intentional purpose.

Setting is defined as the time and place in which the story is taking place and tarot can be used for making predictions in regards to timing.

And while there isn’t at reason why tarot can’t be used for this task, I will fully disclose that I don’t use tarot to attempt to make such precise predictive readings. It’s something I have never learned how to do. The reason for this is that I fully believe it is our choices that ultimately shapes our destiny while everything around us may influence those choices.

So having said that, this entire series will be a learning experience for me as well. And I’ve been thinking long and hard how to go about this since there is a wide variety of methods of predicting timings and this series is largely focused on writers. My question is, “Which method would be most useful to writers while still being applicable to fellow tarot readers?”

Here are some of the webpages I’ve been looking at on the matter:

As a tarot reader, I can see that I have been instinctively using the narrative method as described by Barbara Moore, but that isn’t exactly useful for writing prompts is it?

So I decided that using the Golden Dawn method would be the most useful for everyone involved. The reason for this is because it ties the tarot to astrology, making predictive reading very precise and it makes for a clear timing system for writers to work with as well. After all, the imagery of the cards should be enough to inspire the place for any writer if need be.

This will be the reference website/blog I will be using for this project series:

Timing Events Using Tarot and Astrology at Tarot Elements


Introduction of the Card

ES-ThumbHere we will introduce the card of the week before digging into the variety samples below.


Card Examples

EC-IntroHere we will examine different versions of card for the week before moving on to the writing exercise.


The Writing Exercise

The assignment for each week will be to write a quick sketch inspired by the card for a setting. Describe this place as best you can based on the images you see here. You can choose one or more cards for this task.


What this Card Means to Me

Here I will list off the Golden Dawn timing for the card, the reference page for that, as well as my own sample writing assignment.


I would love it if you linked or pinged back what you wrote so I could see where you went with this.

Happy writing!


~ Celtic Dragon Tarot by D.J. Conway (Author), Lisa Hunt (Illustrator) © 1999
~ Dragon Tarot by Terry Donaldson (Author), Peter Pracownik (Illustrator) © 1995
~ Gilded Tarot by Ciro Marchetti (Illustrator), Barbara Moore (Author) © 2015
~ Goddess Guidance Oracle by Lisa Iris (Illustrator), Doreen Virtue (Author) © 2004
~ Mystic Dreamer Tarot by Heidi Darras (Illustrator), Barbara Moore (Author) © 2012
~ Mystic Faerie Tarot by Linda Ravenscroft (Illustrator), Barbara Moore (Author) © 2015
~ Mythic Tarot by Liz Greene (Author), Juliet Sharman-Burke (Author), Tricia Newell (Illustrator) © 1986
~ Necronomicon Tarot by Anne Stokes (Illustrator), Donald Tyson (Author) © 2012
~ Panda Tarot by Severino Baraldi (Illustrator), Lo Scarabeo (Author) © 2017
~ Shadowscapes Tarot by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law (Illustrator), Barbara Moore (Author) © 2011
~ Steampunk Tarot by Aly Fell (Illustrator), Barbara Moore (Author) © 2012
~ Universal Tarot by Lo Scarabeo (Author), R. De Angelis (Illustrator), A. E. Waite (Designer) © 2001
~ Credit for 3D model and assets used in this rendered image can be found here.

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