On (tarot) journaling – where do you stand?

The benefits of tarot journaling

Here is where I quote those that come before me in their great wisdom. Mary K. Greer on an interesting post full of tips for beginners says:

Get to know your deck – pull a card a day and/or go through your deck and take notes on each card.  Write your thoughts and feelings about each card in a journal.” (Mary K. Greer’s blog, 2011/07/17.)

Brigit from Biddy Tarot has a full post on the topic, but in a nutshell, here are her views:

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” (Brigit on Biddy Tarot.com, 2010/01/21).

My own tarot journaling story

The topic of tarot journaling came to me this week while looking for images to include in my first-ever set of Tarot-related business cards (more on that in another blog post!). My husband stumbled upon the image below on tarot symbols, which I reproduce in large format for reference.

List of tarot symbols for journaling, found on Seventhelement's blog

List of tarot symbols for journaling, found on Seventhelement’s blog

If you go back to my initial picture at the beginning of this post entry you’ll notice I don’t use this system at the moment. And if you read the previous section on my secret journal full of encrypted symbols then you can realise what I found this a great idea, and much more appealing than the one found here.

Truth is, however, the journaling on individual cards didn’t quite work for me. When I started learning tarot, I set out to create a note book with personal interpretations of each of the cards, relating them to my experience, you name it. I followed the advice to the letter…and found it extremely boring. I quit with one or two suits to go. The journal entry I shared at the beginning of this book was from my readings journal – that flew for longer. For over a month I recorded every single personal or daily reading I did for me, using the three-card method. I usually left some space after the reading interpretation for follow up, and to reflect on alternative interpretations. This kept me going until I ran out of pages!

I found frustrating that the written, paper-based entries did not quite allow me to revise as efficiently as I wanted. So I considered a digital solution, and stumbled upon onenote. A sample daily reading would look like this, including a summary of the type of reading, photo, keywords (personal interpretation as well as that from other books), and an interpretation using elemental dignities.

Sample from my onenote tarot journal

Sample from my onenote tarot journal


For a while in February, I tried to do the same I had done with my notebook the previous month or so, but found it extremely cumbersome. Doing the reading, reflecting different interpretations of the cards, looking things up online and across different tarot books, would take me an hour. This totally killed the experience and my idea of gently bonding with my cards before going to bed. And as you can see, June 3 marks the end of my onenote journal (for now).

Next, final thoughts and other resources.


One thought on “On (tarot) journaling – where do you stand?

  1. First of all, thank you so much for the Likes and for following my blog!
    Second of all, I just wrote a post about journaling that is intended as a guest spot over at Ethony’s fantastic blog. This is the gist of it:

    I’ve been learning Tarot now for about six months. I’ve never been successful in any way with any form of daily journaling. What I’ve devised is a system that works for me, and has the potential to work for other folks too, but is highly imperfect and somewhat slapdash.

    My system comprises two physical notebooks plus Evernote. I use one notebook for recording spreads, cheat sheets, reference notes, etc. Anything I may want to reference that is supplemental to my Tarot books. The other notebook is my “record.” This is where I keep track of each individual reading, along with at least the moon’s phase and aspect, but also any significant astrological information. Evernote serves as a sort of digital card file. This is where I clip notes from around the web, and also where I store material to be referenced in blog posts.

    It all works together pretty harmoniously and is in practice much less cumbersome than it may seem as I’ve outlined it here. It keeps some stuff separate that seems in my head like it should be separate, but can be all taken together as a whole, comprehensive system.

    Again, thanks for stopping by Cups & Coins, and thank you for the insightful posts here. Blessings.

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