Blue Hat Thinking – Beginning a Writing Course

“Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way.”

“Creative thinking – in terms of idea creativity – is not a mystical talent. It is a skill that can be practiced and nurtured.”

Edward de Bono

Over the centuries people have struggled to explain why Tarot Cards work and, quite frankly, the vast number of people, often influenced by church leaders, dismiss them as being the tool of the devil.

Over the past eighteen months I have found it illuminating to discover the power of Tarot and Oracle cards. I have been amazed at the imaginative ways in which these cards can be used.

Vincent Pitisci claims to have cracked the mystery of how Tarot Cards work and quite frankly I agree with him completely. I have found that Tarot cards are an indispensable tool when I am wanting to lead creative thinking activities in a group session. Tarot cards facilitate conceptual blending, a technique used by heads of creative departments all over the world.

So, these days I stand on the shoulders of someone like Edward De Bono and I have created a Blue Hat Thinking spread to use with participants at the beginning of a course. I do this because it generates such lively dialogue and everyone is amazed by what emerges.

Here is an abbreviated example of how I use the Blue Hat Card Spread. I emphasise that this is not a predictive exercise. I do not believe the cards are capable of predicting anything. I believe they simply stimulate our thinking process and encourage us to use our imagination. When we work with a spread like this we are critically analysing, reflecting and gaining insight into what we are really seeking to achieve. It helps us clarify our goals.

In this instance I am using Monicka Clio Sakki’s Tarot and Companion Book because when she created all of this she directed her energy towards facilitating the creative journey. The four questions we examine as we seek clarity and direction are:

Where have we been?

Where are we now?

Where do we want to be?

How do we get there?

We begin by pausing and grounding. I like to use a stillness and silence meditation. There are many options online!

In this case I am doing the exercise for myself. I shuffle the deck many times. I use a variety of gentle shuffling methods. You do whatever works for you.

I am fully prepared to ‘unknow’ – to take advantage of a moment of blankness and be prepared to receive what the deck has to tell me.

Here are the cards I shuffled and laid out from left to right.

So let us look at them! Where have I been? I turn over the first card and reflect upon where I have been in my creative journey.

The Seven of Coins draws out memories of what my creative life looked like and how I worked for many years. I affectionately remember the wild garden I spent so many years creating. It involved an incredible amount of time spent online and saw the rise and success of the Soul Food Cafe, a site, which in its hey day drew thousands of visitors and featured the work of an eclectic group of writers and artists. However, with the rise of Facebook, when the landscape of the internet changed and my life hit a ‘Tower’ phase I laid down the hoe and stopped working Soul Food. I needed to have a break and hope that a whole picture would eventually emerge.

Where am I now? I turn over the second card and reflect upon where I am now.


A muscly figure is guiding a chariot pulled by brightly coloured dragons. The driver does appear to be in control as he drives the dragons but if he is going to maintain this control he is going to need to stay alert and focused. Keeping dragons like this together is quite a challenge. I confess I do feel like the chariot driver as I embark on a new phase and begin a project that I am expecting to devote ten years to. Frankly it has been decidedly overwhelming as I gather all my resources and see just how complex this whole field is.

Where do I want to be? I turn over the third card and reflect upon where I want to be.

I want to be the Alchemist who combines things that do not usually go together. Temperance implies moderation in action, thought and feeling. I want to be seen as someone whose mastery of mixed elements seems absolutely effortless

How do I get there? I turn over the fourth card and reflect upon how to get to where I want to be.

I do not have to think too hard about this. I AM the Queen of Swords. I am independent and exercise both physical and mental freedom. I am interesting and interested and I have very high ideals. My perception, logic and creativity is hard to match. I am honest and can be very witty – and of course, I am very humble :-). Although I communicate well I need a lot of time alone to invest in my creative pursuits. I have the time and can think clearly enough to get to where I want to be.

4 thoughts on “Blue Hat Thinking – Beginning a Writing Course

  1. Elizabeth Blakey? Lovely meditation! Know the lovely young woman, by any chance, M? I am VERY interested in the direction you are going! It is a wonderful example of our habit of paralleling each other’s creative lives, a little suggest of synchronicity, insomuch as the art I work on is highly intuitive the images I create, as if creative mown deck of cards in a way, pulling out of me my own experience and those I’ve learned of and from others, in the age-old tradition of What was it like? What happened? What is it like now? And what direction am I going in or hope to go in next?
    Writing has always been my first love but not my greatest talent, and therefore one of my greater sorrows. I have been trying to write you a proper letter for a YEAR. I’ve toned out 5 times more letters than weeks in the year because I don’t feel anything I’ve had to say is interesting enough or creative enough to lay at the doorstep of my Living Muse, Friend, and Mother Biblio-fessor. Instead, I have given up and moved to the area I have a little better chance of expressing myself properly: a but of mixed media for my All-Purpose, All-terrain, All-weather Muse! You really are the most versatile thing, Darling! NOTHING you do makes me look at you queerly, only with greater respect and glee!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Always thrilled to hear from you Stephie! I do love the idea of being an all-weather Muse :-). I don’t know Elizabeth Blakie but I do love her guided imageries. It’s really been a very long road that we have walked since we first met over fifteen years ago. I do hope you will share your imagery and work because you are a very talented artist. Whilst I seem to primarily promote writing I am always very excited to see expressive art no matter what form it takes and, despite drawing being my second language I am going to persist and pull the pencils out again. My writing classes always includes art based exercises because I know what creative wonders spring from such self expression. Delighted you are here xxxx


      1. Oh Darling! it has been at the very least twenty years now! Yes, really. And a certain cycle is being completed in a way. I found you when I was googling ways and means of solace because my mother had just passed away and you were watching over Darryl during that most horrible time of his treatments and was just beginning your sketching to pass the time while sitting by him or in waiting rooms, patiently or otherwise, and now it is my father who is near his last breath, and strangely enough he is dying of that same terrible congestive heart failure that claimed my mother, but he has been stubborn enough to make it to 93. Frankly, I’m ASTOUNDED that i’ve made it to 50. I’m…like…grown up now. Not only that, unless I plan to outlive my father, I’ve even passed Middle Age. LOL

        just the other week I started unpacking some books to finally shelve and was surprised to discover – yes, ME! – a set of Oracle Cards! I set them aside to take a closer look when I had the time and I’m glad the post about your new direction has reminded me of these…I think they are called…Magickal Tree Oracle Cards. Perhaps you would be interested i I did a reading for myself using the formatted questions you use in your writing session? It might prove quite interesting for me at this junction of great change: my father may not still be here by the time I’m able to take the train down to see hi by the end of this week, and I’m just getting myself sorted out and signed in to a Season Long (13 weeks) Creative Arts Course. I have NEVER before taken an art course. I have been self-taught – aside from mentors along the way, of course – no formal training.

        You are to thank, you know? T’was one of Your Ravens, Kerry (Vincent) Scherer, who has been my dearest, best friend for years now who bought me the artist’s book who is running the course. She intuited a couple of years ago this would be perfect to finally pull me out of that very last cave and possibly all the way back in to the land of the living. Wouldn’t that be grand? Should I consider it my second birthday of the year if it works? I wouldn’t mind eating cake at least twice a year. ;^P


      2. I’m sorry to hear about your father Stephanie! My thoughts are with you! As for the Creative Arts Course! I’m sure it will be fantastic. Much love ❤️❤️


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