Using a Tarot Journal to Expand Your Tarot Knowledge

by Brigit on January 21, 2010 in Tarot 101

tarot-journal

What is a Tarot Journal?

A Tarot Journal is a place where you can record your personal thoughts, insights, observations and notes about each of the Tarot cards to help expand your Tarot knowledge and skills. Your Tarot Journal may also include Tarot readings that you have done and Tarot spreads you have used or created contains your own notes about each Tarot card, readings you may have done, and spreads you have used or created yourself.

Why Bother with a Tarot Journal?

The benefits of keeping a Tarot Journal are enormous. Not only are you learning from texts and other standard resources throughout the course of your Tarot study and journal writing, but you are also applying your own personal experience to your learning journey. Relating your own experience to the Tarot increases your ability to develop the breadth and depth of understanding the Tarot. A true understanding of the Tarot cards will not stem from simply reading numerous texts, rather it will stem from gut instincts and personal intuition.
Not only will a Tarot Journal help your ability to read the Tarot, but it will also aid in your spiritual development. Each card holds a personal message that can be used for daily meditation. Each card can be seen as vital on any given day and can truly help you in finding out who you are and what your purpose is. Understanding the Tarot in this way can inspire you and take you to new levels if you allow it.

Getting Started on your Tarot Journal

Your first step will be to decide what format you would like your Tarot Journal to be. If you prefer hand-writing your journal, you can either purchase a blank notebook or a specially designed Tarot Journal such as Ari Stone’s Daily Spread Tarot and Oracle Journal or my interactive PDF Tarot Workbook.

Alternatively, you may like to store your Tarot Journal on your computer or online. Blogs are also becoming increasingly popular and offer the opportunity to share your Tarot Journal with others. A great place to start is with the free Blog tool, WordPress).

In addition to your Tarot Journal, you may wish to buy a small notebook to carry around with you, should you have any sudden Tarot insights. It can be terribly frustrating when you have a wonderful idea on the bus (or wherever), and by the time you have gotten home, you have forgotten it!

You might also want to purchase a special pen for your journal. Be sure it is one that won’t fade over the years, as it would be terrible to lose all that important information!

What to Write in Your Tarot Journal

As mentioned previously, you can use your Tarot Journal for the Tarot cards, readings you have done, or spreads you have used or created.
When you write about the Tarot cards, there are a number of ways you can do it. You may like to draw a card each morning, reflect on it throughout the day, and write an entry on it during the evening. It doesn’t have to be a new card every day – it could be each three days, each week, etc. Alternatively, you may wish to look at each card in order. For example, begin with the first card of the Major Arcana and move through until you reach the end. It is completely up to you, depending on your tastes and time available.

There are a number of aspects you can write upon when looking at the cards. Here are just a few:

  • Your first impression of the card – how you feel when you see it, which images stand out to you.
  • A detailed description of the characters, symbols, and landscape. Perhaps there are a number of important aspects of the card that you missed in your first glance. How do these change your view of the card?
  • Specific details of the card such as corresponding astrological sign, Major or Minor Arcana, suit, numerological significance, and related element.
  • A collection of interpretations and keywords from books and websites with tarot card meanings.
  • An experience or a person you know who reminds you of the card you are studying.

Throughout your day or your time spent studying that card, try to relate a number of different situations to the card you are studying. You may even want to try being the card. For example, you may be studying the Six of Pentacles. Perhaps you can donate money to charity or help a needy friend. Write down how this made you feel afterwards and if you noticed anything you would not normally associate with the activity.
Some other ideas for actually ‘being’ the card is to write a letter to the character in the card, try a visualisation where you walk into the card, or write down some affirmations that may stem from the card selected.

If you are recording a reading you have done, be sure to write down the positions used in the spread and which card you drew. If you own a number of decks, don’t forget to write down the deck you used. Recording a reading will help you reflect later on the reading. It can be especially useful to look at it a couple of months later and see where you went right and where you went wrong. Think about how you would re-interpret the cards to better suit the situation. Perhaps you will want to use this renewed interpretation in your next readings. In the shorter-term, looking over the reading after just a couple of days may help you attain some extra insight that you hadn’t thought of at the time.

If you are writing about new spreads you have created, you may want to write about what influenced you when you arrived at this spread. You may also want to adapt and re-work previous spreads you have created.

When to Write in Your Tarot Journal

It is best to keep regular entries in your Tarot Journal in order to maintain your interest and your studies. Of course, this is dependent on your time available and your commitment to learning the Tarot. Every day may be ideal for one person, while every week may be ideal for another.
Don’t wait for the ‘perfect’ place to write your journal. As mentioned earlier, carry around a small notebook so you can write whenever an idea enters your head. If you are constantly waiting for the perfect time to write, you may be waiting quite a while and a lot of ideas will be missed!!

Who Can Write A Tarot Journal?

Anyone! Beginners through to advanced Tarot readers can benefit from a Tarot Journal. For beginners, it is an excellent tool to begin grasping the basic meanings of the Tarot. For more advanced readers, the Tarot Journal can open new doors and perspectives that the reader may have never been aware of. There is always something new to learn in the Tarot!

Other Tarot Journal Resources

The Ultimate Guide to Tarot Card Meanings Companion Workbook by BiddyTarot – My Tarot Workbook is a fully interactive PDF so that you can type and save your notes in your Tarot journal on your computer.

Tarot for Your Self : A Workbook for Personal Transformation Second Edition by Mary K. Greer – Originally published in 1984, this classic is the first book to explore and promote the concept of reading the cards for personal insight with detailed instructions how to do so. Mary K. Greer is a Tarot Grandmaster and is a well-known author in the Tarot world.

Tarot Journaling: Using the Celtic Cross to Unveil Your Hidden Story by Corrine Kenner – Tarot Journaling covers everything needed to create, keep, and preserve a personal tarot journal.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Marianne August 12, 2011 at 11:58 am

Thank for letting me open my insights about Tarot Journaling. At first, I thought it best to write my journal online; then I thought about what you said that it’s best to write something whenever you just feel like it; eg., when you’re on a bus, when you’re on a cafe. . . I always wanted my own Tarot Journal to carry around me. My main problem is if I would still keep writing even after summer break. The only free time I have to study tarot is summer time; after that, I would be going back to school again and who knows if I’d still be interested to persevere studying tarot again. :-)

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Biddy_Tarot August 14, 2011 at 5:54 pm

Either online or handwritten Tarot journals can be good… totally up to what is most convenient. Keep an eye out in the next couple of weeks as I release my Companion Workbook for the new Ultimate Guide to Tarot Card Meanings… just like an online/interactive PDF Tarot journal.

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Marianne Quintinio September 21, 2011 at 2:55 pm

Hi,

I am the person who commented on your blog about tarot journals about a month ago. As you know, I told in my comment that I am very interested in learning tarot cards despite my busy life in school and work. I finally manage to create an online blog although my entries were not my reflections. I copy-pasted the description of each tarot card I get via e-mail newsletter and afterwards post them on my blog. Click on the website linked in my name and you will see what I mean.

Although it is not exactly online tarot journal (since they are after all, just copied and pasted), posting each card gives me a bird’s eye view of what to expect on each day. Posting each card also helps me to look back on each card at the end of every week so I can reflect on them even though I’m not writing down my thoughts online.

I followed the link to your tarot e-book and I find it amazing that you are a professional tarot reader. When your book is available for loaning from our public library, I will definitely borrow and read it. So far, I’ve only read 3 books during the summer when learning tarot cards. Now that I’m in school, I limit myself to one card a day via e-mail newsletter.

When I’m studying Tarot cards and borrowing tarot books from the library, I had to keep them a secret because my whole family/relatives is/are against Tarot Cards. My religion is a Christian-Catholic and I am not supposed to mingle or associate with myself that has anything to do with divination. It’s according to our religion although the illustrations intrigue me greatly that I can’t help but study what each illustrations mean. I got to the point that I couldn’t keep my Tarot learning a secret from them any longer and accepted the fact that I’m sorta against my family because of my passion for the cards. In some Tarot books, there are introductions which explains that Tarot cards aren’t evil and anybody can use or study them. People like me should be careful however, according to the books I’ve read when using the cards. I am not a tarot expert and must not trespass the spirit world just because for fun or entertainment; I use free online tarot readings so as not to come in physical contact with my cards everyday unless I really want to.

I guess that would be all. Thank you for replying on my first comment by the way. I had your message in my spam box but accidentally deleted it; that’s why, I’m just making this reply now. Well,good night then and thank you again. :-)

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ayu December 20, 2011 at 4:25 pm

Hi Brigit,

Just wondering would you be able to do an entry on the different suits and their meanings in details. As we already know the basics like Cups are for feelings, emotions and Swords for logic and so on.

It would be fantastic if you are able to give us more insights on what the different suits actually means with regards to a reading or a person etc.

Thank you so much!

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Biddy_Tarot December 29, 2011 at 7:29 pm
Johnny December 30, 2011 at 5:15 am

I have been keeping my personal notebook with all my recordings of Tarot readings & researching. It’s a great way to learn and remember everything I have written; an excellent resource to come back later when I have a deeper insight over the time.

The fun thing I can have about having a Tarot journal/notebook is that i can design it! My Tarot notebook is a regular school-like folder and I added glow-in-the dark stickers of the stars and moon on the front cover. Overall it is indeed a helpful resource to store everything you’ve learned about Tarot.

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Aditya Jois September 13, 2012 at 8:07 pm

I just finished your article, really its inspiring (also you!) Thanx a lot..:) :)

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RadimK September 25, 2012 at 6:30 am

Hi Brigit,

Thanks for the inspiring article. I would like to share an information about a site which has been recently launched, which allows anyone to have their own personal Tarot Journal for free online – http://www.tarotlog.com. I would appreciate any feedback you or anyone from the readers may have!

All the best, keep up the good job!

Radim

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Brigit September 25, 2012 at 8:16 pm

Your website is a great idea! When you have most content on it, let me know and I will see if I can help promote your website.

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RadimK October 1, 2012 at 6:49 am

Many thanks Brigit for the positive response! I hope the website will be useful for anyone who is learning and practicing Tarot at least as your website is!

Reply

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