Creativity techniques

Something bad happened: journalling/creative writing technique

Even a horrifying event contains the seeds of action. Here is a technique that shows you how to use tarot cards to turn an aspect of a crisis into action.

You can use this technique in two ways: 1) a journalling technique exploring a traumatic event or 2) a creative writing technique to illustrate something terrifying happening to your protagonist.

The cards are laid out in the form of a cross (see image below), with two sections: the first comprises a vertical row of cards labelled "What happened." The second is a horizontal row of cards labelled "Action." The two sections share a card where the two rows intersect. This card has two labels: "What happened" and "Action 2."

Begin the technique by reading the three "What happened" cards from the top card down. Let each card explore a facet of the event, or perhaps a progression: this happened, then that happened.

For the second group of cards, "Action," read the middle-row cards from left to right, each card detailing an action to take following the event. You will read the middle card twice, but this time not as something bad that had happened but as a positive action to take.

Spread for Something Bad Happened tarot technique

(For a brief explanation of how to read tarot cards, look at my free article, "How to read tarot cards: A quick guide." You might also consider my tarot-reading course, "Reading the cards for your self.")

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