Learning Objects: Teach Me Goodness: Jessa Crispin’s The Creative Tarot

Written for novices and seasoned readers alike, The Creative Tarot is a unique guidebook that reimagines tarot cards and the ways they can boost the creative process. Jessa Crispin guides you through the intuitive world of the tarot to get those creative juices flowing again. Thought to be esoteric and mystical, tarot cards are approachable and endlessly helpful to overcoming creative blocks. Crispin offers spiritual readings of the cards, practical information for the uninspired artist, and a wealth of fascinating anecdotes about famous artists including Virginia Woolf, Rembrandt, and David Bowie, and how they found inspiration.

back matter,  The creative tarot: a modern guide to an inspired life.

From “How to do a Reading”, The Creative Tarot, Jessa Crispin

The first thing you’ll want to do when you are learning the tarot is to draw one card every morning. Let it represent your day ahead. I still do this, actually. If you have to remind yourself what the card means, then refer back to the card definitions here or in another guide. Maybe search for information about the card online; get some differing opinions.

Next, look at the artwork. Notice the colors, the feel of the card. Take note of the number of the card, if it’s not court card. If it is a court card, ask yourself if the person depicted reminds you of anyone in your life.

Then go about your day, but keep the card in your mind. Refer back to it from time to time… What happens during the day that reminds you of the card? Do you have a conversation that does the way the card might suggest? Do you meet someone who reminds you of the card? Is there a pattern of to your day – something that keep happening, or a feeling that keeps emerging? Thinking about these things will bring a more expansive meaning to the cards. You’ll see how many different moods, behaviors, and circumstances these cards can indicate.

Let’s say you draw the Nine of Wands for your first day. If you read the manual, it will tell you that this card represents “defensiveness…” Later, you’ll get into work, and that coworker who is always driving you mad starts to take credit for an idea that was actually yours. You stand your ground and confront him about it. That can be a Nine of Wands.

After work, it’s been a trying day, and you’re invited out with some coworkers or maybe some friends. Instead of talking about your feelings, maybe you let your shyness take over, and you kind of shrink back into yourself. It makes you feel lonely, even within a crowd. That’s also the Nine of Wands.

So you can see how many different situations can be a Nine of Wands situation. These situations become significant because you’re putting this added attention to them. This helps you understand your cards better, but it also helps you understand patterns in your behavior better…

Try to avoid predicting how you think a day will go based on the card you pull. This is more about drawing your attention to patterns rather than giving you a glimpse of the future…

That being said, Jessa Crispin also notes in the introduction of her book…

We give things meaning by paying attention to them and so moving your attention from one thing to another can absolutely change your future. Exactly who or what is doing the work here—whether fate is choosing the card, or your unconscious, or random chance—doesn’t matter as much as the act of seeing, sensing and paying attention.

Crispin, J. (2016). The creative tarot: a modern guide to an inspired life (First Touchstone trade paperback edition). New York: Touchstone.