After purchasing his first Tarot deck in 1973, Mark McElroy began terrorizing other neighborhood nine-year-olds with dire and dramatic predictions.Today, he calls Tarot "the ultimate visual brainstorming tool," and shares techniques designed to help others ask better questions, see more options, and achieve their goals.
He is the author of Putting the Tarot to Work, Taking the Tarot to Heart, What's in the Cards for You?, and the new I Ching for Beginners (all Llewellyn). He is also the author of The Absolute Beginner's Guide to Tarot (Que).
Mark holds a B.A. and M.A. in creative writing and composition from the Center for Writers at the University of Southern Mississippi. He has more than two decades of experience as a public speaker and corporate trainer. He has written, produced, and hosted classroom, video, and online training for some of America's biggest companies, including SkyTel, MCI, Office Depot, Staples, and many others. Today, he works as a writer, voice actor, and creativity consultant; samples of his work are available at www.hiremark.com and www.tarottools.com.
Mark lives and writes in Mississippi, where he shares a home with his partner, Clyde, and two cats, Tiger and Lilly.
Eric Hotz (Canada) has been working as a full-time illustrator since 1984, specializing in Old World illustration styles.
Welcome to The Bright Idea Deck, a powerful idea processor and brainstorming tool disguised as a deck of cards. With this deck you can solve problems faster, generate new ideas more easily, and think outside the box more effectively than ever before.
In planning sessions, executives, managers, and corporate employees can use this deck to outline ideas, pinpoint issues, identify assumptions, and run risk-free "what if" scenarios. Writers can use this deck to map out storylines, gain insight into characters and their motivations, generate plot twists, and shatter writer's block. Marketing departments and advertising agencies can use this deck to boost creativity, make intriguing associations, and prompt ideas for taglines and jingles. Corporate trainers and other presenters can use this deck as the basis for intriguing icebreakers, attention-getting games, and memory aids. Anyone can use this deck to inspire new ideas, explore options, solve personal problems, weigh the pros and cons of a situation, and build thoughtful and effective action plans.In short, because The Bright Idea Deck makes it easier and faster to generate new ideas and answers, you can be more confident, creative, effective, and objective than ever before.
What is The Bright Idea Deck?
The Bright Idea Deck consists of seventy-eight illustrated cards. Each card amounts to a visual encyclopedia of related ideas, which suggest hundreds of possible strategies, perspectives, motivations, methods, and answers. Each card can represent or suggest:
an approach to problem solving; an action to be taken; a person (or type of person); a moment or situation from everyday life; information about an issue or situation; a factor that influences, creates, perpetuates, or could resolve your situation.The illustrations on the cards incorporate a rich and consistent symbolism, making it possible to discover (or create) intricate relationships between any two cards in the deck. As a result, the cards you draw all seem to be about your situation, and all of them seem to relate to each other as well. (In fact, the deck's ability to reflect, analyze, and comment on your situation can seem downright spooky at times!)
Features of The Bright Idea Deck
If The Bright Idea Deck contained nothing but pictures, it would be a powerful brainstorming and creativity tool. (Marketing teams and advertising agencies often employ similar collections of easily randomized images as creativity fuel for brainstorming sessions.) In addition to the pictures, however, the deck incorporates several other features that greatly enhance the effectiveness of the cards.
The deck contains two major kinds of cards: trump cards and suit cards.
Trump Cards: Trump cards, identified by their purple border, carry more weight than other cards. When working with The Bright Idea Deck, these cards represent methods, motivations, and influences that deserve special attention.
Let's say you ask the question, "What are the two biggest factors influencing my situation?" To guide your brainstorming, you draw two cards, one of which is a trump. In this case, the trump would represent the more influential of the two factors. Suit Cards. The other fifty-six cards in the deck are divided into four suits: red, blue, yellow, and green. These cards help you see questions and situations from four unique perspectives:
Red cards concern actions, desires, goals, and intentions-the things you want, and the things you do (or don't do) in order to make them happen. Blue cards concern emotions, feelings, perceptions, intuitions, reactions, and prejudices-what you feel and why you feel it. Yellow cards concern decision making, logic, mathematics, strategies, responses, judgment, and reasoning-what you think and why you think it. Green cards concern material resources, the five senses, physical objects, and the environment-anything you can see, feel, hear, touch, or smell in the world around youDrawing a majority of blue cards during a brainstorming session prompts participants to focus on how emotions create, complicate, or perpetuate a situation. A mixture of yellow, green, and blue might suggest an exploration of how decisions (yellow) made strictly to save money (green) could impact the feelings (blue) of the people involved.
These four suits provide unique perspectives-the four dimensions of your situation. By assuming a four-dimensional approach to solving problems, you expand your perspective and improve your chances of success.
Trump cards are numbered from zero to twenty-one. Suit cards are numbered from one to ten. Numbering the cards makes all kinds of associations possible.
You could assign weights to the cards and pay more attention to those with higher numbers. For example, you might decide the influence represented by the Blue 8 is greater than the influence represented by the Yellow 3. You might arrange or organize the cards according to their number values. For example, you might choose to see the cards as steps in a process, and decide that Green 2, Yellow 5, and Red 8 represent three sequential steps in that process. If the Yellow 5, Red 5, and Blue 5 all turn up in a brainstorming spread, you might consider what themes these fives have in common.
The numbers on the cards aren't random! Within each suit, the progression of numbers from one to ten also tells a story: the story of the ten stages we all go through when confronting something new.
The ten stages are as follows:
1. Opportunity. The opportunity presents itself.
2. Duality. We debate how to deal with the opportunity.
3. Productivity. We take some initial action (or refuse...(Continues)