Using the Tarot for Creativity and Empowerment

The Artist’s Way & Tarot: Recovering a Sense of Safety: Shadow Artists


Week 1: Recovering a Sense of Safety

The theme of this week is recovering a sense of safety in which we establish a sense of safety where we are free to express our creativity with less fear. This week’s work may be especially relevant to tarot readers for many people see our work in an even more unconventional and often negative light that that of writers, musicians or painters.

So what do we mean when we speak about safety? Julia points out that often when we’re growing up, any artistic abilities we exhibit may be discouraged or ignored by our parents and teachers. We are raised to be doctors, lawyers, and accountants rather than painters, musicians, photographers, actors or writers. I personally remember hearing from my own parents, “It’s sweet that you like to write stories. But writing won’t pay the bills. You will need a proper job with a proper paycheck.” So in this way, many of us were brought up in environments that did not support us – and rather than encourage our abilities, they were suppressed.

So then we end up as what Julia calls “shadow artists” – that is to say we live a life with a sense of missed purpose and dissatisfaction. We feel as though something is missing and we feel unfulfilled. I can certainly relate to these feelings for I experienced them for many years when I was part of the corporate world and chose willingly to ignore my other, more artistic leanings.

Being suppressed, ignored and discouraged is certainly not a safe environment to find ourselves in. We may face the same sort of discouragement as tarot readers from our friends and family. I know many tarot workers who are afraid to tell any of their loved ones about their work for fear of rejection and/or negative reactions. Even those who claim to be supportive of our work may remind us that “one cannot make a living from reading the cards” and that we have to find a real job. Luckily, working with tarot has become more and more popular over the past few years and has crept out of the shadows into the mainstream. But like any artistic work (and I do consider tarot an art), we have to work on coming out of the shadows and doing our art proudly, without fear. This goes for whatever kind of art you practice.

Let’s Pull Some Cards

So for an exercise, pull two cards from your deck and ask yourself:

  1. What has kept me in the shadows?
  2. What first step can I take to move back into the light?

Given that we are looking at shadows, I decided to use the Borderless Deviant Moon Tarot.

Blake safety cards

I pulled the 4 of Cups card as that which has kept me in the shadows. A perfect card for this position! This card has the connotation apathy and disappointment – a card of feeling or otherwise discontent unfulfilled. I often see myself as being in a rut, perhaps feeling even a little world-weary which can then lead to lack of motivation. This can often arise in artists from a notion that success is not coming quickly enough or that their work is unrecognized or unappreciated. I often refer to this as the “Oh, what’s the use” syndrom.

For my first step card, I pulled the The Hermit. In the Deviant Moon Tarot, the image is of a person hiding from the world in his or her alcove. I see this card as suggesting that sometimes, it’s good to take a break from the world to help put things in perspective. Too much time online can make a person crazy, getting wrapped up in all the perceived importance of Social Media and the like.

Many creatives get so caught up in trying to “promote themselves” that they actually neglect to take the time to do their work – to do that about which they are passionate. I see this as a need to step back, take some time alone to reflect, do your work work and develop a strategy. I have to admit that I’m pretty caught up these days in the frenzy of the Internet which can be exhausting. Maybe it’s time to take a brief Internet sabbatical or at least disconnect a day or two a week?

Next time, we’ll look at some negative beliefs we may be holding – and how we can remove them.

You can check out The Artist’s Way HERE

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