A Tarot Journal?  Why?

By Stephanie Arwen Lynch

So you want to keep a Tarot journal, do you? Great! Join the many of us who utilize this unique tool. Tarot journaling can be used as a learning aid as well as for meditation, and it can open up for you the world of Tarot. 

First, you will need the basics: something to write with, something to write on, and a Tarot deck. These are the three basic necessities; in fact, you don’t need much else. And your journal doesn’t have to be a fancy handmade book. You can use a .99 cent notebook from the local Whatever-Mart. It’s your journal and no one else needs to see it.

Now you need to do something much more challenging. Find the courage to write on the first page. That is the hardest thing for many of us -- “ruining” that lovely white paper with ink. But it has to be done! So I offer you this exercise to begin.

On the very first page of your journal, write your name. Now place an apostrophe and then the letter ‘s’. Now write “Tarot Journal.”  You have just named your journal. Mine reads, “Arwen’s Tarot Journal.” It may seem silly, but you have to break that barrier first!  Do use stamps and colored pens and pencils if you feel like decorating your journal. Remember that no one will be looking at this journal unless you allow it.

On the next page, write “Table of Contents.” Now skip two to four more pages. Do the following spread:

The Journal Spread

What Will I Learn From This Journal?

What Will Block Me From This Journal?

Why Is This Journal Important?

The cards are laid out in order in a row. Write the spread name and the questions, along with what cards show up in those positions.  Now interpret them. Jot your interpretations down in the journal. Don’t worry about making long in-depth entries here. Just slap down on the paper what you get from the cards. Draw pictures in your journal of what the cards look like or what leaps out at you from the cards. Again, there is no wrong way of doing this unless you are just not doing it. 

The next thing you might like to do in your journal is 78 pages of cards. I took my old primary reading deck, The Frank Fradella Adventure Tarot, and glued the cards onto the pages of my journal, one card per page. I am in the process of adding things to the pages as new ideas come to mind.  I’m also planning on buying an old Rider-Waite deck to use in the same manner, so that I can compare the cards on the same page. For me, more symbology leaps out when cards from different decks are viewed together and compared in this way.

On that note, you might want to consider adding a book on symbols to your Tarot collection. I find it to be an invaluable resource.

I write down my first impression of each card that I glue on the page. How did it make me feel when I first saw it? What leapt out at me? Then I want to write a story that includes the entire card. I have to take time to really study the card. One thing I like to do is the meditation technique where you imagine yourself traveling into the card image. To do this, study the card for three to five minutes. Absorb it as if it were a painting you were going to have to do a paper on for Art History. Then close your eyes and relax. Imagine you are seeing the card in front of you. Let the card grow large until you can easily step over the border and into the landscape. Interact with the items or figures in the card. Ask questions. Stay aware of what you see, feel, do, smell, etc. When you feel ready, let the card shrink back to normal size, and return to your own time and space.

Now write down everything you can remember. I find this a good time to draw. I am not artistic by nature, but just after this type of meditation I can bring that latent side of myself forward enough to capture what I felt and saw.

You can also include correspondences for each card, such as astrological sign, numerology, gems, etc. There are many lists on the web as well as in various books. 

Some people write in their Tarot journal on a daily basis. In the morning, they pick a card for the day and write down what they see in it. Then in the evening, they discuss what happened that day, what themes or events the card was pointing toward. You will often find that your interpretation and. the book interpretation work best in combination with actual life experience.

Keep in mind your goal for starting a journal. Consider this a college course that you are guiding yourself through. You can do this at your own pace. No one is waiting to grade you. Your TCA (Tarot Card Average) will be how well you know your cards.

Contact Arwen for a personal reading at readings@tarotbyarwen.com, or visit her website at http://tarotbyarwen.com

All submissions remain the property of their respective authors. 

Tarot Reflections is published by the American Tarot Association - Copyright (C) 2009

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