If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

August Interviews

8/5 Lucy Burdette, The Key Lime Crime

8/12 Maggie Toussaint, All Done With It

8/19 Julie Mulhern, Killer Queen

8/26 Debra Goldstein, Three Treats Too Many

August Guest Bloggers

8/8 Leslie Wheeler

8/15 Jean Rabe

August Interviews

8/22 Kait Carson

8/29 WWK Authors--What We're Reading Now


Congratulations to our two Silver Falchion Finalists Connie Berry and Debra Goldstein!

Paula Gail Benson's "Cosway's Confidence" placed second and Debra Goldstein's "Wabbit's Carat" received Honorable Mention in the Bethlehem Writers Roundtable 2020 short story contest. Congratulations, Paula and Debra!

Susan Van Kirk's Three May Keep A Secret has been republished by Harlequinn's Worldwide Mystery. The WWK interview about the book can be accessed here. We're so glad another publisher picked up this series.

KM Rockwood's "Burning Desire," and Paula Gail Benson's "Living One's Own Truth," have been published in the anthology Heartbreaks & Half-truths. Congratulations to all of the WWK writers.

Please join Margaret S. Hamilton's Kings River Life podcast of her short story "Busted at the Book Sale" here. Congratulations, Margaret!

Look Margaret S. Hamilton's short stories in the new Mid-Century Murder by Darkhouse Books. Margaret's story is titled "4BR/3.5BA Contemporary."

Grace Topping's second novel in Laura Bishop staging series, Staging Wars, was released by Henery Press on April 28th. Look for the interview here from April 29th.

Annette Dashofy's 10th Zoe Chambers mystery, Til Death, will be released on June 16th. Look for the interview here on June 17.


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Tarot Tells The Tale

I'm not psychic. I'm not a fortune teller. I can't read your palm. But I can read your cards.

I'm a tarot reader, you see. I use the imagery of tarot cards to help people—and myself—access the information and wisdom that we already have at a subconscious level.

There are many different ways to read cards, and knowing as many as possible helps me decide which particular approach is best for any particular occasion. I also study new spreads (patterns that the cards are laid out in), new methods of shuffling and dealing, new approaches to explaining what I see, new symbolic interpretations. I especially enjoy exploring new decks. My favorite right now is the Steampunk Tarot by Barbara Moore and Aly Fell—it's very sci-fi geeky, with clockworks and dirigibles, a Victorian esthetic combined with a gearhead love of nuts and bolts. I also have ghost decks and Renaissance art decks and decks based on the Welsh Mabinogion lore. Decks with woodcuts and decks with watercolors and decks with images like stained glass.

Regardless of what some may say, there is no carved-in-stone "right" way to read tarot. I enjoy a narrative approach, where I let the cards' various interpretations connect into a storyline, just like I do when I'm writing mysteries. And like crafting the plotline for a novel, I find that this narrative approach is best served if I leave room for intuition to blossom.

To paraphrase Freud, sometimes a sword is just a sword. And sometimes a sword is a representation of the dual-edged nature of the human intellect. Being open to the many symbolic possibilities of the images on the cards makes a reading not just personal, but universal.

I believe the tarot works on many levels: psychological, spiritual, intellectual and practical. It works equally well for "spiritual" people as it does for atheists and agnostics. The key is the willingness to engage your own conscious and subconscious in a way that lets information and wisdom bubble up where you can reach it. Some call this intuition. Some call it divination. I understand it as both.

Does it matter what the person I'm reading for calls this power? Only as much as it helps me frame my responses. The tarot itself is neutral on this issue. If you treat it and the process with respect, you'll get a treasure trove of information in return.

(PS: If you're interested in reading more about tarot, including my weekly Writerly Tarot posts, you can visit my Tarot by Tina blog. There you can sign up for my weekly Writerly Tarot, read a tarot-themed mystery short story, or explore previous posts on the art and science of tarot).


Warren Bull said...

Thanks for the information. I'd heard of Tarot Cards but I knew very little about them.

Jim Jackson said...

My daughter-in-law reads Tarot as well. Jan and I have favored runes in the past. These methods and those like I Ching are a way of letting the subconscious inform us in ways to understand ourselves better – if we let it.

KM Rockwood said...

Lots of good information, but it's only a springboard that has piqued my curiosity. Thank you!

Tina said...

By all means, do explore on your own. There are beautiful decks for every taste and fancy -- cats and herbs and art and mythology. I have worked with runes and the I-ching before, and with non-traditional oracle decks. But I keep coming back to the grand old Rider-Waite-Smith with its devils and angels and lovers.

Kait said...

Tina, what a great post. The Tarot are old friends of mine, but I haven't read in quite some time. This days, I prefer being read to reading. How did you develop the interest and the skill? I've often thought a good reader of Tarot is a great reader of character.

Tina said...

Thanks, Kate! I'd always been fascinated by them, though my exposure was mostly through pop culture (now that I know a little something about them, I see how much pop culture got totally wrong!). So I bought a deck, the Morgan Greer, and started pulling a card a day, reading about it, watching its energy develop through the day. And while I can't claim to be a great reader of character, I am a pretty good reader of cards...and they have yet to lie to me.

Gloria Alden said...

Interesting post, Tina. If you haven't read the Book of Speculation, by Erika Swyler, I think you should. As one blurb said, it's mystery, family and Magic, and deals with Tarot cards. I've never had a reading or had a deck of Tarot cards.

Tina said...

I looked that book right up! It has mermaids too!

Shari Randall said...

This is the second or third time I've heard about The Book of Speculation! It's a sign, right? I've got to read it.
When I was a little girl, my sisters and I had a Gypsy Witch set of tarot cards - fascinating, but of course we had no idea what we were doing with it. I'd love to get a reading sometime.

Margaret S. Hamilton said...

Fascinating. I'm thinking about the James Bond movie "Live and Let Die" and the role of tarot cards in it, and how interesting and effective they are in a novel or story.

Tina said...

I have not seen the Gypsy Witch cards, but I do know that certain disreputable "fortunetellers" used a very bad-tempered deck that always foretells doom...that you can then pay them for a spell to avoid.

I think that the cards are very effective in a story, especially if the thematic elements are used in tandem with the work's themes. I use them in my novels even though my protagonists are both skeptics. Writers who don't know tarot well seem fascinated with the Death card, but most tarot readers know that Death is one of the more gentle cards in the deck, usually referring to a transformation of some kind. Now if the Tower shows up, better batten down the hatches, and quick!