Triggering Creativity with Tarot: Free Webinar this Saturday, Feb. 21


Join me on February 21, a Saturday, at 10 am Pacific Time (12 pm Central or 1 pm Eastern) for a free webinar sponsored and hosted by North Atlantic Books and NAB Communities.


There is also a handout that goes along with the webinar. Please be sure to download it as reference for the techniques and exercises discussed during the webinar.



* * *

Albert Einstein attributes his most ground-breaking insights not to logic or mathematics, but to intuition and inspiration or, as artists and writers often express it, to the muses. However, the one trait believed about the muses, about how intuition and inspiration hits us, is that it comes only when it comes, almost divinely, and the artist or writer cannot call upon it at will.

Yet through tarot, learn how to harness intuitive-creativity at will. Tarot facilitates the transcendent experience needed for the muses to speak to us. Learn how to use tarot to trigger your intuitive-creativity and apply the tarot fundamentals taught in Wen’s new book, HOLISTIC TAROT to remove creative blockages.

Presentation Preview

In this 45-minute webinar that will be invaluable to any artist or writer, I’ll be lecturing about how to use tarot cards as an intuitive and inspirational tool for creative and artistic passion projects. The lecture will cover attunement, how to exercise the intuition muscle, and specific techniques for using tarot spreads to read about your creative projects.

When I say “intuitive-creativity,” I’m talking about the muses, about divine inspiration, about that “a-ha” moment. Learn how to use tarot to identify your creative focus, mind-map your project trajectory, perform character analysis if you’re writing a novel, explore the themes of your project in greater depth, and generally trigger your own inspiration with tarot card imagery.

2/27/2015 UPDATE:

Watch a replay of the webinar HERE:

So the actual webinar on Saturday (2/21) had a video camera of me yapping away at the corner of what would have been your computer screen as the PowerPoint presentation played, which I would assume would make the webinar more engaging. (Maybe.) However, in the upload, the video camera of me is no longer there. (Also, now I will never get to see how I looked during the webinar. If there were boogers hanging out of one nostril throughout the thing, now I will never know.)

Yikes, now watching this replay (without the webcam of me, which I really don’t know whether it added or took away from the webinar), this looks kind of boring. So sorry. Thank you even more to those who stuck it out with me to the end!

The Poet Tarot: A Divinatory Tool for Poets and Writers


The Poet Tarot published by Two Sylvias Press has just made its debut at the 2014 AWP Conference in Seattle. It was created by Kelli Russell Agodon, who is herself a writer, editor, and poet, and Annette Spaulding-Convy, also a poet. I received an advance review copy and am loving it! This will be one of those amazing decks I use when reading for poets, writers, and artists.

There may be some debate as to whether the Poet Tarot is a tarot deck or whether it is an oracle deck, but more on that later. I tend to see it more as an oracle deck for reasons I’ll explain.


The deck comes in a yellow organza drawstring pouch along with a guidebook, and you will definitely need the guidebook. The dimensions of the cards are about 2.75″ x 4.75″, which for me is the perfect size to shuffle with. They’re very snug in the hands. The guidebook is 5″ x 8″ and while that would not bother me ordinarily, I can’t imagine using the Poet Tarot deck without the guidebook, and so for that, if both were the same size, I could put both in the same pretty cedar box and keep them together on my writing desk, no problem. I have to imagine that as writers come, I’m not alone in that sentiment. Due to the specific nature and purpose of this deck, it would just make more sense to have the guidebook be the same size as the cards, with the intention that the two will always accompany one another.


The art of the deck is in a digital collage form that blends Victorian art and imagery with poet busts in a wholly contemporary style. It’s really breathtaking to look through and has a natural appeal to most 21st century writer sensibilities. They’re borderless like many contemporary decks today, and the borderless design suits the deck well.

Once you hold this deck, you’ll know that every aspect of it was designed for the writer in mind. I just want this deck (and its guidebook) in an ornate wood box in the corner of my writing desk next to Strunk & White. You know what I mean?

The cards are subdivided into the Poets (Major Arcana) and the Suits. The Suits are Quills, Muses, Mentors, and Letterpresses, corresponding with Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles respectively. The four suits represent the four stages of the creative writing process: Quills for creation, Muses for inspiration, Mentors for revision, and Letterpresses for completion. I really love the thoughtful way Agodon and Spaulding-Convy have designed the Poet Tarot deck.

Continue reading “The Poet Tarot: A Divinatory Tool for Poets and Writers”

A Heartwarming Response Piece to a Tarot Reading


Here’s how it went down. Stacey H., an editor over at Best American Poetry asked if I’d like to guest-write for a week. Insecure about having nothing of note to write about, I brainstormed weeks in advance, and only got up to 4 pieces. A week is 5. Argh. I posed the question to myself: As a writer/poet who might be convinced to be interested in tarot if given a compelling enough reason, what topic at the intersection of writing and tarot might interest me? Well, duh. How do I use tarot to help along my writing? I figured I’d try to write about that. Finally. 5 pieces.

Tons have been written about using tarot cards as writing prompts, but that doesn’t interest me too much as a writer/poet. Now… reading tarot for my writing specifically… that concept is intriguing.

Then I had to put the hat of the tarot practitioner back on. Can I do it? Is reading tarot for what amounts to a manuscript (more often than not an incomplete unfinished manuscript no less) being the querent-client something that can even be done? I read for people, don’t I, and in every instance, people who are more or less incomplete, unfinished manuscripts. So why not a book? Oh, for sure, after this endeavor I can no longer laugh at practitioners who read tarot for cats and dogs…

I spent some time thinking about how it could be done, my approach, crafting the techniques to be employed, and how I’d even go about selecting a signifier card for a manuscript, and then reached out to my arm’s length network. Stacey H., the editor, was the first to reply and asked if she could help spread the word by re-posting my call. Go for it! I still kept one eye on my own circle. Then she said she found someone. Oh dear. A complete stranger.

Heck, why not. That is how I “met” Amy G. From our initial terse e-mail exchanges, I couldn’t get a sense of who she was and truly, as she says in her response piece, which I will link later, I didn’t read her manuscript and knew very little about her poetry. In fact, prior to reading tarot for her, I swear I have never read any of her poetry, or writings of any kind for that matter, other than the e-mail exchanges. This exercise was as much for me as it was for her, to see if it could be done, and so I didn’t want anything to cause any sort of bias at all. I wanted to know as little about her and her work as possible.

First, the signifier. Intuitively without even looking at the cards, just going through the archive of memories of the cards in my mind, I gravitated toward the Knight of Cups, but then the Rational Side of me said, “No, that’s not an appropriate signifier. She’s female. The knight is a boy.” However, it just felt right and the more I pressured myself to seek out another signifier, the more wrong every other card felt. So, I surrendered. Knight of Cups it is. Whatever. If she ends up thinking it is ridiculous, so be it.

Once I set my mind and heart to it, though, without direct interaction with her, when the cards were set down, I have to say, I really felt like I was getting to know her. It’s a funny thing to say, especially to the skeptic, but it’s my best way of articulating what happened. I felt her poetry, if that makes any sense, and it was really, really freakin’ beautiful poetry. I made a mental note to myself to look up her work after the tarot reading, because it just felt it would be aligned with what I love to read.

Here’s the tarot reading for her book (plus a how-to on using tarot to read about writing):

It was well after the tarot reading that I got to know Amy’s writing and my feelings were right on. I really do love her poetry and even her casual blog posts at Best American Poetry, posts that are always filled with fire, spirit, humor, truth.

She wrote a response to give feedback on my tarot reading, here:

The universe has a lovely, balanced way of always making sure we’re “compensated.” Now that I’ve been reading some of Amy’s poetry, I get why there was this meeting of the spirits. Her poetry helps to express and validate some of what I’ve been going through in my personal life, and does so in ways I couldn’t have done for myself. Had this whole situation, any part of it really, never taken place, I’m honestly not sure I would have ever had the pleasure of coming across Amy’s work. That was the bargained-for exchange that I didn’t even know I bargained for.

A Tarot Reader Guest Blogs at Best American Poetry


I am the guest blogger this week over at Best American Poetry and am feeling a bit like a fraud since I’m not a poet, at least not since the angry-histrionic adolescent years of poems about boys who won’t give me the time of day, printed in font size 14 in comic sans or some other curly girly font and center-aligned down the page. Hm, actually in college there was a brief period of doing slam poetry on themes of an Asian Diaspora ravaged by post-colonial ambivalence and cultural imperialism but that period is really best left forgotten too. I am, however, an avid consumer of poetry and have bookshelves at home filled with poetry collections and chapbooks, half of poets you’ve all heard of and half of poets you’ve probably never heard of.

I’m trying to think of when I first learned about the Best American Poetry series, and it turns out I can’t seem to remember a time when I was aware of literature and not aware of BAP. I read it in high school, college, and even recall sending a letter to David Lehman directly one time about a decade ago telling him I felt the BAP series didn’t include a fair representation of Asian American poets. The current series has been much better, I think, about diverse representation.

This week BAP is letting a tarot reader (me) run loose on their blog ( and here’s what’s going to happen:

Continue reading “A Tarot Reader Guest Blogs at Best American Poetry”