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Chasing Your Tail (Tell Me Your Story)

Making a Tarot Collage

Craft 1 Whether you’d like to familiarize with a particular Tarot card or perhaps gain fresh, intuitive associations, making a Tarot Collage is a fun, creative activity.

First, choose which card or cards you’d like to explore. You may choose your favorite card or—if you’re studying the Tarot one card at a time—choose whichever card you want to explore next. You could also choose to explore a particular theme or grouping. For example, you could do a collage that represents all the Aces, all of the Queens, all of the Tens, and so on.

Alternatively, you could create a collage based on elements—one representing Fire, Water, Earth, or Air. You could even create a collage based on a reading you’ve done for yourself or others.

Craft 2 Materials you’ll need:

•Poster board, cardboard, or canvas

•Scissors or Exacto-Knife

•Unused magazines, greeting cards, store catalogues, flyers, photos, or junk mail

•Glue or other adhesive

Optional Extras:

•Markers, crayons, paints


•Scrapbook materials

•Glitter, pipe cleaners, feathers, googly eyes, faux gems, fabric scraps, or other craft items

After deciding which card/s or theme you’d like to explore, cut out words, phrases, and pictures that remind you of the card/s or theme. Paste them onto poster board any way you’d like. If you choose to embellish your collage, add any desired elements like faux gems, fabric scraps, or other extras.

Craft 3 You can use your collage for meditation or for decorating your personal space. Journaling about your choices can also open up new avenues of thought. For example, why did you choose the pictures you did? The phrases? How you arranged the collage? Does your collage remind you of a particular person or life experience? How does this person or experience connect to the card? How does the associations you’re making with the collage resemble or differ from what others have said about a particular card?

 If you’ve made a collage based on a reading, what additional insights does your collage bring to your awareness?

Do share pictures of any Tarot collages that you make!

-- Janet


Michelle Halpern

I replied to Janet's post about this on Facebook:

I collaged a Tarot majors-only deck last fall... it's not great, but it was definitely a fun way to get to know the trumps better. :-) Behind-the-scenes note: I had a bunch of parenting-type magazines from the library, plus library magazines, and you can definitely tell from looking at some of the cards! LOL

Janet's response: OMG, how cool! Go post this on my blog! Please! I LOVE your Death card! What is the inspiration for The Hermit? I don't "get" it. Is it a personal association? Wow are you good at this! I suck at collage. :oP There are two artists in this family, and I ain't one of them...

Thanks for the compliments, I had fun! I wish I had background images for everything instead of just the pink cardstock I was taping things onto. (I also would have laminated them instead of taping them.) I have a handout from someone, who I'm not going to name but is known in the tarot world, teaching about how to collage tarot cards. There are pages for each card showing the RWS pictures, along with lists of possible meanings and symbols that are often used in the cards and why. So I was picking and choosing what symbols I wanted to use, and deciding what other images I could find that my brain instinctively correlated with particular cards. Like the tennis ball and racket on my Temperence card, showing the idea of balance, a back-and-forth movement. Another personal favorite is Robin Hood on the Wheel of Fortune -- rob from the rich, give to the poor. Whether that's good or bad depends on your perspective.

For the Hermit, my focus was on the Knowledge aspect. A lot of times my first instinct when I see the card is along the lines of retreat, taking a sabbatical. But as someone once pointed out to me, the Hermit is someone who has "been there, done that" and can offer a lot of advice. He is a wise man who can see the world from his vantage point up in the clouds. So my Hermit card is the outside of a library, with a cartoon version of a librarian who (I don't know her, but according to the article) was getting an award I think? Or somehow being recognized for her work. The dog... I honestly don't remember why I put him there, but I know there was a reason for everything I put in the cards. I'll look at my notes when I get home from work tonight, if I remember, and see if that jogs my mind.

I'd be happy to answer any other questions about my choices. :-)

Janet Boyer

That is so cool, Michelle! I had never heard of any Tarot author writing on Tarot collages (that article I wrote is years old, actually!) Very interesting! Are the handouts available on the web for just anyone?

I tend to see the 4 of Swords as taking a sabbatical and retreating from a "war" or difficulty (it is Swords, after all). The Hermit isn't running from anything and, in fact, may not even be heading to a particular destination either. He knows that the journey IS the destination--and that the Way forward is lit from within. :o)

Michelle Halpern

The packet was on a private site, and has been taken down. So unfortunately it's not available anymore.

Can't find anything about the dog, maybe that was just to fill some space on the card, in a fit of inspired improvising?

The library background, I now recall, was chosen because it's night and the light reminds me of the Hermit's lantern.

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