If you are a beginner at Tarot, it can feel pretty overwhelming! There are a lot of cards and a lot of different ways we can interpret them. However, a sure-fire way of enhancing your journey is to start a Tarot journal.
I don’t know about you, but whenever I see Tarot’s top tips for beginners, they always will mention the importance of a Tarot journal. I remember when I spoke to Tarot experts last year for my Tarot for beginners article, the idea of a Tarot journal came up time and time again.
But, how does Tarot journaling help you with Tarot, and what do we actually put in one?!
What Is a Tarot Journal?
A Tarot journal is basically a notebook where you can track your Tarot progress and understand the different cards. It allows you to write down your thoughts and feelings, different spreads, and your own interpretations of the cards.
It is a pretty personal project and allows you to freely discuss your relationship with the Tarot. This also means that everyone’s Tarot journal is different. There is no right or wrong way for the journal to look, as long as you are getting everything you can out of the process.
Why Does Journaling Work?
I am not going to lie, it took me ages to start a Tarot journal of my own. I didn’t really see the point, as I thought I would be able to read up on the cards whilst doing spreads and learn that way. Of course, you do learn a lot about the Tarot this way, but there is something missing in this process, and this is your personal connection with the cards.
Writing down your experiences with the Tarot allows you to freely discuss your connection with the cards. Once you put the pen to paper, you can muse on the Tarot cards that are in front of you, making connections and allowing you to develop your skills.
Plus, something about writing things down makes things stick a little bit better in the brain.
A Tarot journal also means that you can look over your progress with the cards. You are able to add in thoughts and feelings, connecting ideas together. It will soon become a place of reference for you when doing readings for yourself and your friends.
Exercises and Ideas for Your Tarot Journal
Of course, you can buy yourself a journal dedicated to Tarot from online stores. For example, I have a printable Tarot journal on my Etsy! These have exercises in them for you to follow, and spaces for your own thoughts and interpretations.
However, you may want the freedom of creating your own. If you are starting your own, make sure you get yourself a really nice notebook. You’re going to be using your Tarot journal a lot, so it’s gotta be something you like looking at! Spend a while looking in stores to find a journal that feels good in your hands.
Oh, and I would strongly recommend getting your hands on some printable Tarot decks. These are great because you can print them out and stick them in your journal, adding a visual tool to your learning.
Now let’s look at some simple Tarot journaling exercises that will help you on your journey of understanding the Tarot.
A Card a Day
Picking a card a day is a great way of getting to know the cards and their meanings. Simply shuffle the deck, and pull a card out at random.
Then, either place an image of the card or write down its name in the center of a page of your journal. Have a look online at the keywords of the card, and add them around the image or title, similar to a mind map.
Then, add your own feelings and interpretations to the mind map. These can be short sentences, words, or even huge paragraphs! Whatever you are feeling about the card, add it to the mind map.
You can revisit cards this way too, adding new discoveries you might have overtime to the page.
Meditations on Symbolism and Imagery
When I first began Tarot, I soon realized that the symbolism and imagery on the cards reveal so much to us in regard to their meaning.
If you work with a traditional deck, such as the Rider-Waite, it can be helpful to sit with a card and meditate on the artwork and symbolism.
Place the image or name of a card in your journal, and then spend time examining the imagery. What jumps out to you? Is there a symbol that you find interesting?
When doing this, try not to read up on the card. Allow your intuition to guide you, identifying the emotions and connections you make. Note down your discoveries in your Tarot journal, no matter how insignificant you may think they are! If they matter to you, they matter.
Journal a Reading
If you have just started your Tarot journey, I would recommend doing a reading on yourself once a week. A weekly reading allows you to get guidance for the next seven days, whilst also learning about the cards.
This five-card spread is perfect for the weekly reading. It allows you to discover what to be aware of in regard to love, career, health, and home life.
After pulling the five cards, add them to a page in your Tarot journal. Then, have a go writing about your interpretation of the cards and what they might mean for you right now.
Perhaps you get the Two of Cups for your home life card. This is a card all about harmony and love and suggests that there will be a whole load of positivity in your home life right now. Have a think about how this might manifest itself, and what you are feeling positive about.
Or, maybe you get the Seven of Wands for your career and money card. As this is a card that is all about standing your ground, write down any issues that you might be having in your workplace that mean that you must stand up for yourself.
By journaling your Tarot spread, you are able to connect your own life to the cards in front of you.
Note Down Different Spreads
Sometimes, we will come across a spread on social media or blogs that we kind of love, but don’t want to try out right now. So, have a space in your Tarot journal to add in different Tarot spreads you discover!
This is also a great way of changing spreads around and coming up with your own. What I love about the Tarot is the way we can ask the cards anything we want to ask them. We can create our own spreads that are specifically about certain aspects of our lives.
Recreate Your Favorite Cards
This is a super fun way of getting to know the different Tarot cards and their meanings. Pick a card you wish to recreate and have a go drawing and crafting your own interpretation of the card.
Grab a whole load of magazines, glitter, decals, and pens. Then, pick your favorite card. Cut and stick imagery or words that reflect the meaning of the card, and sketch out your own interpretations.
Remember, it doesn’t have to look like any traditional Tarot card! It doesn’t even have to be restricted to a Tarot card shape – you can have a whole page for the card and your own personal recreation of it.
Helpful Hints and Tips
When I begin a Tarot page, I will normally use a few pages to write down helpful hints and tips. I might jot down the different suits, their corresponding elements, and keywords. Or, I might take a page to write about the different numbers in Tarot and the keywords of each number.
You may also want to note down the astrological correspondences of suits and specific cards. Or, perhaps you might want to take a page to break down the court cards and how you might interpret them.
It’s totally up to you what you want to include in your Tarot journal, so don’t think you have to include all these things! Simply include whatever interests you and helps you on your journey.
Automatic writing is a spiritual tool that allows you to connect with your inner spirit and intuitions, or receive guidance from the universe.
It is basically when you get into a meditative state and then begin to write, allowing thoughts and feelings to flow down onto the paper. When done correctly, you are not really aware of what you are writing, simply allowing your subconscious to come through.
We can use this spiritual practice in our Tarot journal, by practicing automatic writing in regard to certain Tarot cards and spreads.
If we ask the Tarot a question and receive a few specific cards, we can note this down in our journal. We can then begin to write down ideas and thoughts, allowing our subconsciousness to take over.
This is a great way to explore new ideas and meanings behind the Tarot. We are able to understand the answer to our question a bit better this way, allowing our intuition and soul to guide us.
Begin Your Tarot Journal Today!
A Tarot journal is one of the best ways of growing your Tarot knowledge and techniques. I hope these ideas and exercises will give you a good starting point for your own Tarot journal.
Oh, and remember, the most important thing is to have fun and do it your own way. A Tarot journal is a wonderful way of expressing your spirituality and creativity, making something unique and special to you!