• Altersaside

Plotting with Tarot Cards

Updated: Sep 3

I found this idea here and thought it might be fun to test out! I have a trope prompt idea that I'm going to use for this story and I don't have any idea where to start, so this is perfect for experimenting with the plot.


Here are a few words you will need to know to understand this blog post:

Trope - Common literary devices, cliches used commonly in creative works.

Prompt - A very tiny story idea. Usually found on Tumblr or Instagram (often when found on Instagram it has been taken from Tumblr).

Tarot cards - Cards with art on them that have symbols which humans have assigned meaning to. Don't over think it, this is just for fun.


Ok, here we go!


Let's start with the prompt:

  • Enemies to Lovers (personal fave, thank you otp Drarry).

  • Hero and Villain run into each other in public as their civilian identities.

  • They recognize each other and want to fight but they can't because their mutual friends are there and said friends don't know about the secret identities!

  • Friends misread the situation and try to set them up (CUTE).


This is the image I found for using Tarot cards to plot.


  1. What is the theme?

  2. What is the backstory?

  3. What is the obstacle to overcome?

  4. How is the obstacle overcome?

  5. How does this change the MC and/or their world?

  6. How does the story end?









Here are the cards that I pulled from the Santa Muerte deck. I love this deck, look how pretty the cards are! NOTE - These meanings come from the classic Rider Waite deck meaning and from the book included with my Santa Muerte deck.


  1. The lovers - Your heart is ready to make a choice. Create a new union. Proceed with confidence.

  2. Queen of Pentacles - This woman has worked her tail off. Ambitious and wants to move up in the world, but she can be overwhelmed by fear of what is being risked. Move on, knowing that what you risk will be worth the loss.

  3. Nine of Pentacles - Well thought out plans have led to success and you have reaped the rewards. Be careful not to get greedy and suffocate yourself. Properly manage yourself or you will lose.

  4. Two of Swords - The swords work against each other so you need to perform an alliance. You must transform the situation to accomplish strength and cooperation.

  5. Knight of Pentacles - Rapid dynamic gain. Can ignore personal feelings to achieve his own interests. If your heart is pushing you in one direction take a risk. Do not let a good thing pass

  6. King of Swords - A shrewd, intelligent, formidable King. Can be excessively rational. Do not deal with an argument directly, especially if it's one you can win easily. Direct your energy towards positive emotional outcomes.

  7. Wheel of Fortune - The beginning, the middle and the end. Represents change in direction. Be fluid and keep moving, like the wheel itself. Support new circumstances.

Now, I know that the instructions say to use 6 cards, but the Wheel of Fortune card fell out while I was shuffling. In a tarot reading that usually means the card should be added to the reading. I can't just ignore this card so we are going to use it as an over arching theme.


Next I will pick two random cards to design the characters.

  1. Justice - The fairest decision will be made, even if it must be taken by force. Very black and white. Element - Air. The hero.

  2. Temperance - Patience, moderation, balance. See the gray more than the black and white. Stands with one foot on water and one on land. Element - Fire. The villain. This card is usually depicted as a woman, but not for this story.

WOW. I feel like I got really lucky with those character cards!


Let's see what we have here. I'm going to write a story about a hero who follows a strict morale code and a villain who is patient and doesn't see the world as good and bad. The hero, being air, has a tendency to push our villain, fire, over the edge, away from balance and into the realm of burning passion!

Both dealing with internal desire to strive for more (9 of pentacles) they run the risk of suffocating themselves. The hero is close to burning out, using his sword more and more often to settle dispute, while the villain finds that no nectar seems sweet enough to quench his thirst! They will have to work together to overcome their obstacles (2 of swords) and find a way to move past their own egos, lest a good thing passes them by (Knight of Pentacles).

The two of them must make a choice before they run out of time, the wheel of fortune stills its spin for no man.


The over arching theme will be The Lovers with references to their backstory included for the Queen of Pentacles. That summary sounds a bit serious for a silly enemies to lovers story based on a Tumblr prompt, but who knows, I might pull it off!


Hopefully this helps writers out there to use this awesome tarot plotting tool in their own stories!


If you're interested in this story I will be writing it for Nanowrimo November 2020, and posting the rough draft for free to keep myself accountable! Half my 50k word count will go to this story and the other half will go to Mercury Rising.


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