Tarot can be used for a number of purposes, but I am finding that it is very helpful for defining a character, especially once the character has a place in the story. A person’s inner conflicts can be defined by the layout of the cards. It does help to have put a good bit of thought into the character first, but the cards make a wonderful spark for the subconscious Muse, especially if the reader has some experience reading the cards.
It’s not necessary to believe in the tarot, or to own a deck of cards, as even a rather cheesy free tarot site with very abbreviated descriptions can nudge the unconscious to see where there are some holes in the character;s personality.
This morning’s reading of my villain, Quaid Golden, showed me a deep conflict between his passionate need for action and creativity and his intellectual pursuits and fear of emotional vulnerability, his self-imposed retreat into his own imagined world. He is very intelligent, able to assume a persona easily, but struggles with his own emotions on certain subjects. He is a lot like a Sherlock Holmes without the high functioning side of being a sociopath. he is capable of intense focus, but that allows him to be tripped up by the obvious that he cannot see due to his preoccupation with his own sense of self-doubt. He denies himself the good that he could have and do because it does not match his imagined vision of his life.
Golden is torn between his passionate nature and his calculating mind, his need for revenge, his need to create the fortune he has been denied, and his need to be seen and acknowledged as the brilliant person he is, preferably with cash, luxury and perks. To get those things, he will need to submit to the feminine, which in his case is seen as a weak, victim position, much like the one his mother lived. He sees Madame as being no better than his father, when she should be on his side, allowing him to be her hero and protector, except that as one who services the rich, she is not worthy.
On the other hand, personal readings are not so great, or maybe I am not so open to interpret my own conflicts. That’s what characters are for.