One of the simplest ways to start writing your own tarot poetry is to begin with the haiku format. There’s something about following it’s basic rules that frees up the creative sense. Since there are three lines you can either dedicate the whole poem to one card or use it for a three-card reading—one line for each card in your spread. (I write a haiku for each of the three cards and then take one line from each to form a fourth haiku that integrates those three cards.) Different decks tend to evoke entirely different “voices” in your haiku. Try it, and you’ll see what I mean.

Want some inspiration? You’ll find lots of examples, support and no criticism at Aeclectic’s Tarotforum haiku thread here.

The following are a few haiku rules, which you can feel free to break or use as you will.

A haiku describes natural phenomena in the fewest number of words, making an indelible impression on the reader. It calls attention to an observation and in effect says, “Look at this” or “Think about this.”

It consists of 17 syllables, or less, in three lines:
5 syllables
7 syllables
5 syllables

Guidelines (follow only if you wish):
• Use the present tense.
• No titles or rhymes (except to name your card, if you wish)
• Include two images that create harmony or contrast so each enriches the understanding of the other.

• Either the first or second line ends with a colon, long dash or ellipsis (marked or not).
• The two parts create a spark of energy, like the gap in a spark plug.
• Limit the use of pronouns.
• Traditionally, each haiku contains a seasonal reference.
• Use common, natural, sensory words. Avoid gerunds and adverbs.
• Images often begin wide-angle, then medium range and zoom in for a close up.
• Present what causes the emotion rather than the emotion itself.

Do you have a tarot haiku? If so, please share it via the comments.

Here’s one based on a very literal description of the 6 of Pentacles:

Hands catch falling coins.

Under the balance, someone

reaches — emptiness.

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