Finding inspiration in the tarot


Inspiration can come from many places. For me, it was doing a tarot course with Maddy Elruna that gave me the idea to write a story inspired by Norse myth.

I admit Iโ€™d never really liked The Hanged Man before doing Maddyโ€™s course. I always thought it signalled a time of waiting around (and who likes that?!) but this card has a much deeper meaning.

The Hanged Man is very much associated with Odin, the main Norse god. He wanted to learn the secrets of the Norns โ€“ the three women who weave fate in yggdrasil, the tree of life. When they wouldnโ€™t tell him, Odin hung himself upon the tree for nine days and nights. He was close to death when at last he saw the runes in the well.

When you see the Hanged Man in a tarot reading it can mean that you need to โ€˜surrender to the process.โ€™ Odin hung himself, not knowing that the runes would appear, just trusting that his sacrifice would lead to great reward. The card can mean that you need to make a decision based on feeling and not logic (when you hang upside down, your heart is literally higher than your head). It can signal that you need to give something, or a way of being, up. Or it might simply be telling you to look at a situation from a different perspective (standing on your head is optional!).

Sometimes, taking time out from โ€˜doingโ€™ and looking at something in a new way can be exactly what you need. When I did Maddyโ€™s course, I had a novel that I knew wasnโ€™t working. I stopped trying to fix it, and instead looked at the story in a different way. What if I drew directly from Norse myth but kept the characters I loved and the contemporary settling? It was this change in perspective that led to a break through.

(The Hanged Man pictured is from The Druid Craft Tarot Deck – created by Phillip Carr-Gomm, the leader ofย  The Order of Bards Ovates and Druids, who is based in my home town of Lewes, East Sussex.)

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