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Learning Tarot: Embrace the Tarot Journal

Have you ever been surprised to read something that you yourself have written? Sometimes I look back at stories or posts or email Tarot readings that I have written a while back, and I can’t believe that I actually wrote that, it feels like reading someone else’s words. It usually happens when I’ve been writing and I really feel in the groove, connected, like everything has locked into place and is just flowing. I go back later to read it, and I wonder where those polished and precise words came from. Of course, this doesn’t happen all the time, but it’s remarkable when it does.

Letting the Message Just Flow Through…

The first time that this happened to me was when I was about eleven years old.  I wrote a poem that has just stayed with me. I cringe if I read the words now, but the feeling that I had when I wrote it had a lasting effect. I remember I was in the English classroom in my middle school, and the assignment was to look at a particular picture and write a poem based on what you see or feel. So funny, I can almost see it, it was a cheesy, misty photo of a horse grazing in a field surrounded by trees…as I looked at it, the images in the picture took over my mind and words that were older than my years flowed out.

I think this was my first “Tarot” experience, even though it didn’t involve Tarot cards. And it explains a lot about why I love Tarot! Images evoke such a powerful, visceral response, they can access parts of our hearts and souls that we usually keep locked away. For me, those images spark words, like I’m translating the pictures into words or stories. There is a feeling of being connected to something much bigger than yourself, like you are simply delivering a message.

On to the Tarot Journal!

Find a cozy spot to write

Find a cozy spot to write

This brings me to the topic of the Tarot journal, how keeping one can help you to learn the meanings of the cards, bond with your deck, trust your intuition and much more.

I think that it’s really important to study Tarot, to learn about the system and the symbols, but it is equally important to combine this with your own intuitive response when you are reading the cards. The Tarot journal is a wonderful vessel to record those flashes of intuition, to capture them before they fade away.  By keeping a Tarot journal, you are creating your own “How to Read Tarot” book, your own book of Tarot meanings, a record of how you grow and transform as a Tarot reader.

Technical Considerations…

Choose a journal or medium that works for you

Choose a journal or medium that works for you

So, first, the technical side of things. I personally like to actually, physically write my Tarot journal with pen and paper. When I was first learning, I chose a beautiful, ornate blank book to write in, but I found that this was just too intimidating! I felt like what I was writing wasn’t worthy of this gorgeous tome! Silly, but it held me back. Now I just use pretty spiral hard bound notebooks from the dollar store and things flow much better.

Other people prefer to do things electronically, recording their thoughts in a Word document or in a daily blog. Some people also prefer to take a more organized approach, dividing their journal into sections in a three-ring binder or Excel spreadsheet (e.g. Majors and Minors, Spreads, Daily Draws).

Any way you wish to do it is FINE, do what works for you. Just do it. Don’t feel that you have to write a work of fine literature, don’t overthink it, just record your thoughts in a comfortable and enjoyable way.

Now what do I do???

So, what should I write? Well, for me, I like to record any thoughts, ideas, eureka moments that I have with the cards. These come through various sources, such as:

  • Daily card draw
  • Readings/Spreads for myself or others (look back and see how they panned out)
  • Meditations with the cards
  • Dreams about the cards
  • Random thoughts that pop in throughout the day
  • Conscious explorations of cards I like and want to get to know better, or cards that I find challenging and want to get friendlier with
  • Create a list of three keywords for each card
  • An issue or question in your life that you want to explore through Tarot
  • Sketch your own versions of the cards
  • Anything involving glitter, glue, macaroni, the possibilities are endless…

The important thing is that you capture your uncensored thoughts and feelings in your journal, so that you can go back later, digest it, see if you have changed your opinions or outlook over time and build a truly personal Tarot reference for yourself. It should be playful, an adventure, not like homework. If you only have time for one phrase, one thought, one word, no worries, it’s all good.

What do you think? Will you do it? Take a moment today, sit down with your deck and your journal, somewhere that you feel comfortable and cozy, and just start writing. I’d love to hear about your experiences, please feel free to comment and share below. Or, feel free to keep your thoughts between you and your cards.

If you enjoyed this post, check out my companion video on You Tube here!


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