Creativity has always been the focal point of my life. I spent many of the rainy afternoons of my childhood (and even some of the sunny ones) writing stories and drawing pictures. By high school, I had filled my class schedule with art electives. Even in my free time, I attended fiction and screenwriting workshops outside of school.
Much later, armed with a master’s degree in creative writing and a love for the academic world, I had embarked on what was then my dream career: teaching college-level writing classes.
Yet by my late twenties, everything stalled. My teaching career had hit a dead end, with nothing resembling job security in sight. Commuting to different campuses and grading stacks of papers every weekend left me little time for my own creative pursuits. And those low adjunct wages meant I was barely scraping by. In other words, my dream job had turned into more of a nightmare.
It was only when the school year ended that I had free time once again — and a reminder that I was more than my career, my degree, or my pittance of a salary. In that stillness, I could remember what mattered most. Whether I put words to paper or paint to canvas, I realized that any act of creation could make me feel more like myself and was a huge neon sign pointing to what I really wanted out of life.
Around the same time, I began to delve into the worlds of tarot and magic. Through this, I recognized another truth: we are all the creators of our own realities. Just as you can turn a blank canvas into a masterpiece, you can work the same kind of alchemy to create the life you want to live.
Since that time, my life has completely shifted. I switched careers to work in marketing as a content creator. I’ve run my own business as a writer and editor. I also developed a regular spiritual practice that keeps me feeling good. On top of that, I’ve had opportunities to travel that I never considered possible in my twenties, met a bunch of amazing and magical people, and even stepped into the classroom again to teach the art of tarot reading.
In 2019, I decided to explore my creativity in as many forms as possible. That year, I maintained an art journaling practice, scheduled creative dates with friends, painted several pictures, redecorated my home, rebranded my business, attended a writing conference, took courses on magic and creativity, and developed and drafted two novels.
And despite all the curveballs and heartaches that 2020 threw our way, I kept up the momentum throughout the year. The first thing I did that year was workshop my writing with Weetzie Bat author Francesca Lia Block in her online course Healing Through Writing. Through her expertise, feedback, and her 12 questions for writers, I gained a whole new understanding of the magic of storytelling. More importantly, getting an outside perspective on my work has helped me to expand my vision for what’s possible for myself as a creator.
During 2020, especially, I learned that it’s never too late to learn and grow, and we’re never done creating. Our potential is limitless — to create and to live a good, fulfilling life. It seems only fair that I take the practices that I’ve cultivated over the past few years and share them with others so that they can live their most creative lives, too.
Out of the turmoil of 2020 also came a weekly blogging series I’d released on Patreon. Some of that material later ended up in my digital zine, The Muse Manifesto.
All of it, however, is now in its entirety, expanded and revised, in my book The Creative Arcana.
What is The Creative Arcana?
The Creative Arcana is exactly the kind of grimoire (or spellbook) that I’ve always wished existed. It contains many of the creative and magical habits, activities, and practices that I’ve used throughout these past years, and I’m thrilled to share them with you.
Each of the 22 chapters in the book features an introduction to an archetype or symbol in the tarot and applies it to living a creative life. The journey begins with The Fool, a symbol of embracing new beginnings and taking bold risks, and ends at The World, the culmination of the Major Arcana.
In each chapter, the work to help you integrate these concepts into your creative practice falls into two categories:
- As Above: Spellwork, rituals, and witch “crafting” ideas to bring your higher self to your art
- So Below: Questions, activities, and “practical magic” designed to help you see your inner creative in a whole new light
In The Creative Arcana, you’ll learn how to find what really fascinates and inspires you and use it to spark your creativity. There are exercises and rituals in the book to help you release long-held limiting beliefs about yourself as an artist and create powerful objects and symbols that will invite positive change into your life. You’ll also learn the basics of different systems and tools of magic and gain a deeper understanding of the archetypes and symbols in the tarot.
The Creative Arcana also includes:
- Minor Arcana Magic: 40 prompts and creative dares based on the Pentacles, Cups, Swords, and Wands
- Goal-Setting Guidance: 4 worksheets for setting goals and planning projects, based on wisdom from the Court Cards in the tarot
- A list of 50+ additional resources: Books, tarot decks, courses, and more to help you continue making creative magic
- The Tarot Cheat Sheet: A quick-and-easy guide to reading tarot cards for divination
Why read The Creative Arcana?
If you want to live your most creative and magical life, this book will help you get there. My hope is that by the end of this book, you will have examined your long-held limiting beliefs and dismantled them to build something better. You’ll have new resources at your disposal for those times when you’re not sure of your next steps. You’ll become confident in your ability to plan ahead and share your vision with the world. And finally, you’ll connect to and fall in love with your own creativity and magic in all new ways.
Get the book now on Gumroad and name your price.
This article is excerpted from The Creative Arcana and appears in the autumn 2022 issue of The Muse Manifesto, my digital zine for creatives. Get both on Gumroad.