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Keeping a Tarot Journal, Part 1

This post was written by Barbara Moore
on August 5, 2010 | Comments (7)

Most tarot teachers and authors advise keeping a tarot journal. I don’t know about you, but I love journaling and especially combining journal keeping with tarot. This entry begins a series of articles that explore what various authors and teachers say about journaling and tarot.

This first foray is from one of my favorite authors, Christine Jette. Her book, Tarot for All Seasons, takes us on a journey through the Wheel of the Year, providing rituals and spreads inspired by the Sabbats and moon phases. But for now, let’s see what she says about journaling:

Keeping a journal allow syou to put into words your innermost thoughts without fear of criticism. A journal is your personal property and can be kept confidential, much like a diary. Many beautiful blank books are available, but you need not spend a lot of money on your journal. A three-ring notebook is adequate, and you can add entries on loose-leaf paper. Perhaps you’ll want to decorate the outside of your notebook. Creativity unlocks intuition—make the journal a unique expression of you.

The benefit of keeping a tarot journal comes from the process of writing your thoughts, feelings, insights, and observances. You can be sad, silly, angry, profane, or anything else you to be without fear of reprisal. The journal becomes the chronicle of your life story. Whether you share it with anyone is up to you. As your reread entries, you will find the journal to be a record of growth, wisdom, healing—and magic.

If you notice some of the cards repeating themselves in your seasonal layouts, there is a message calling for your attention. A theme in your life, represented by repetitive cards, needs examination. Sometimes the cards’ messages are not immediately clear. By keeping a tarot journal, you can review confusing readings next week, next month, or next Sabbat. You may be surprised at how much sense the cards make at a later date.

Honor all information you receive, regardless of whether you grasp it today. Adopt an attitude of respectful regard and do not dismiss cards you like or don’t understand. The message is in the cards—if you stay with the cards. Over time, with patience and practice, the puzzle pieces will fall into place.

Journal entries can be jotted down at odd moments, but you may want to establish a regular time for writing about your tarot experiences through the seasons. Once the value of journal keeping has been established, you will find it becomes a trusted friend—a valuable ritual during which you record your feelings, trauma, pain, joy, triumphs, and insights.

Record and date every seasonal tarot layout and keep it in your journal. With each reading, you are one step further in your journey towards wisdom. Keeping  a record over time allows you to monitor your inner development and observe the miracle of the Wheel of the Year—and your ability to change with it.

Three Journal-Keeping Tips

  1. Pick a journal that you love but that you’re not afraid to write in (if it’s too fancy, you might worry about “making mistakes.”).
  2. Always date your entries.
  3. Review your readings every few months to note how events unfolded.

Reader Comments

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#1 
Written By Blackbird "BB"
on August 6th, 2010 @ 7:09 am

For me the biggest challange is I really dont like to write by hand, I can type nearly as fast as I think, and putting anything down in a hard back volumne just slows everything soooo down, and it’s more difficult to include graphics so…

I’ve posted Daily Draws to an online group for years, and that online Journal has been useful to me, and to the people I share it with, but it does have some limitations;

A Hard copy Journal is easier to review, to seek out those recurring patterns, especially in Seasonal readings like you say. Also you can simply browse a hard book in a way you can’t browse a blog. Yea know once somethings on the blog, its going to be buried over time, and fewer and fewer people will see this post say a week, a month, a year from now.

You’ve honestly gotten me rethinking If I want to revisit that Idea again. Blessings, Bb.

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#2 
Written By Koneta
on August 7th, 2010 @ 11:02 am

I have been keeping a Tarot Journal for several years now. I don’t journal everyday or even for all my daily card draws but,I have found that by keeping a Tarot journal I can get clarity on certain cards or card combination’s. Clarity or those ah’a moments that I may miss if just looking at them. I highly recommend keeping a Tarot journal especially to folks who are just learning, but I feel it can beneficial to anyone.

I have really enjoyed Christine Jette’s books. I think I have all of them.

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#3 
Written By Chloe
on August 9th, 2010 @ 3:11 pm

Interesting post, and comments! I have long kept a tarot journal, though I don’t go back over it all that often. Still, it has certainly proved interesting when I have, especially in terms of noting the reality of patterns I perceived, and some I hadn’t consciously noted.
However, I also agree with BB about feeling more comfortable typing than writing. The question of the format in which we keep our memories stored is an interesting one. Despite the issue with on-line forums, what of a blog? Certainly, since I started mine earlier this year, a lot of what I write is very much a journalling exercise in many ways. And because the blog is mine, those posts won’t get lost. Also, when I journal in a book, I tend to keep everything in my own tarot shorthand, whereas typing I can expand things. And the fact of mixing actual images in with the words sometimes makes me reconsider the cards in a way which I don’t always do when journalling, where I sometimes take for granted my understanding of what PP or 3S means to me ;-)
However, back to a hard journal – I can put things in there that I would never be willing to share with a more general public.
So, my conclusion is that there are pros and cons to both, but writing about tarot is always worthwhile!

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#4 
Written By RadimK
on September 24th, 2012 @ 11:52 pm

Hi Barbara,

Interesting post. 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!

Radim

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#5 
Written By Anonymous
on January 18th, 2013 @ 10:48 pm

For those of you more comfortable with typing, but less comfortable with publishing ALL of your thoughts, I keep my journal on a small key chain hard drive, keeping the files separated into months or informational categories. :] Just have to make sure not to lose the little thing!

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