The Hermit 10 of Cups Temperance 9 of Pentacles The World

Tarot Studies Logo

Tarot Journal Articles

Creative Tarot Journaling
by James Wells (used by permission)

No matter what one's "level" of tarot experience, one of the most valuable tools in your kit is the journal. It is a record of your work and play with the cards, a document of your research and experience. Through it, you will grow as a tarotist and as a human being.

I recommend that you NOT use a computer or typewriter, but rather get out good old pen/cil and paper. There's something intimate and healing about involving your arm, hand, and fingers in the process. The physical experience of journalling will assist you to integrate the material more fully. And you can always add notes and sketches later on with different coloured inks. By all means, enter it into your computer files afterwards.

As one might suspect, there are as many ways to use a tarot journal as there are people who keep one. Sometimes I keep a separate tarot book, but often I just incorporate my tarot reflections, etc. in my regular journal -- tarot is, after all, a part of my everyday life.

Some tarot journal ideas include (but not exclusively):

• Set aside at least six to ten pages per card -- lots of room for notes, clippings, sketches, emails, etc.

• A section for 'interpretations'.
As you read more, talk with more people, participate in lists and workshops, etc., you will get even more meanings. Jot 'em down!

• A 'philosophy' section.
The more you work with the cards, the cleaner and clearer your basic ideas about life and the workings of the universe will become. Record these! You and the tarot will become your best teachers.

• Write down *everything* about any readings you do -- date, time, place, deck used, spread, card(s) chosen, personal associations, memories, important symbols, textbook meanings, and so forth.

• Create poetry (I LOVE this!), especially haiku
(3 lines - first 5 syllables, second 7 syllables, third 5 syllables) to encapsulate the essence of your tarot sessions, meditations, and discoveries.

• Draw a mandala of your daily/weekly/monthly card
Make a decent-sized circle on your page, then divide it into quadrants.  Choose the four most important symbols/characters/colors/ whatever from your card. Draw one in each quadrant. It's a neat pictorial summary of your reading.  I sometimes use these four quadrants as the basis for my haiku.

• Use the right hand page for tarot information and the left hand page to record actual events in your life. Gradual study of this will reveal patterns that will enrich your interpretations and make them more 'accurate' (a term I'm leery of, btw) or helpful.

• Collect images that you feel relate to each card's concepts. Paste them on a page. Make a collage. Could be the start of your own deck!

• Write affirmations based on qualities you LIKE about a card. Use your affirmation for a minimum of three weeks. Write it and speak it every day.

• Create rituals based on card concepts or imagery.

• Compose a piece of music based on the cards' concepts OR use some form of numerological tarot system to work out which notes go where.

• Write stories or fairy tales based on your readings or meditations.  Relate these tales to your life.

• Have a 'history' section to jot down notes about any interesting bits of tarot/divination history.

• Write down deck and book wish lists.

May your tarot journal enrich your experience. Who knows, maybe one day it will turn into your very own tarot book!

James Wells is a Toronto-based Tarot Consultant, Reiki master, weaver of rituals, and workshop facilitator with an international clientele. His mission is to create sacred space for soul work and constructive feedback.

To find out more, please go to

Tarot Journaling
by James Ricklef [CTM] (used by permission)

I want to talk about something called "journaling". This is an exercise that you can do as we study the cards. It will help you learn and it will give you an excellent resource after we have discussed all 78 cards.

You can start off with a loose-leaf binder with 78 pages in it where you will record your thoughts, ideas and discoveries about the 78 cards. If you prefer to use a computer, you can record your thoughts, ideas and discoveries in a document there.

Just the process of writing down your thoughts is helpful; it fixes those thoughts in your mind. But more than that, if you do this, by the end of this class you will be on your way toward creating your own personalized "textbook" which will include descriptions of the meanings for all 78 cards. This can be your best Tarot reference of all!

The following are some ways of journaling with a card:

In the morning pick a card and jot notes of what it says to you.

(NOTE: If you are creating this journal as we progress through the cards in this class, you won’t pick a card, you will use the one we are talking about. Also, we will be going slower than one card per day, but that’s ok. This will just give you more time to consider each card.)

Perhaps you may want to consider what this card says about some of the following --

* Something you plan to do that day
* What’s going on in your life right now.

You also may want to see what advice this card has to offer for your coming day. Or you may see what spiritual insights this card has to offer. Or what affirmations it suggests you may want to use that day. You get the idea -- there are lots of ways to look for meanings in each card.

If you REALLY feel adventurous, you might want to try to write about each of the following aspects of the card:

Mental -- How it relates to your thoughts and concepts
Spirit -- How it relates to your drive, enthusiasm, will power
Emotional -- How it relates to your emotions and feelings.
Physical -- How it relates to your material/financial well being, or to your health.
Soulful -- How it relates to your soul and its journey or to your spiritual quest.
Business -- How it relates to your work or career.
Relationship -- How it relates to your relationship(s).
Problematic -- The most problematic aspect of this card.
Beneficial -- The most beneficial aspect of this card.

In any case, write about what this card means to you and how it is relevant to you life, either in general or specific to what is going on right now.

Then in the evening you can consider what this card says about your day.  How does it reflect upon or comment on you did today? Were you able to actualize one of its positive messages? Or were you able to heed his warnings? In retrospect, considering this card do you see something that happened today in a new perspective?

This process will do the following:

1. It will help you come up with one or two keywords or phrases for each card. Keywords or phrases are a helpful tool because they help students when they do a reading because they can jumpstart your intuition.

2. It will give you additional insights into the cards and a greater depth of understanding of them.

3. It will give you practice using your intuition to find messages in the cards as they apply to specific situations, which is what you do during a reading.

And as you do this, feel free to use whatever we talk about here, and you can ask questions that this process brings up for you.

By the way, speaking of journals, if you are already doing readings, you will find it helpful to keep a journal of them too -- at least of readings you do for yourself.

For each reading, note the following:

* The Date
* The Question for the reading
* The layout you used
* The cards dealt for each position
* Your interpretation for each card
* A summary of the meaning of the reading

Then you can look back at them a few months or a year later. (Every New Years day I review all the readings I did for myself that year.) This way you can see what you missed when you originally did the reading, and what 20/20 hindsight can tell you about the reading, which you can use to improve your abilities with future readings.

If, however, you are not yet ready to do readings, just set this information about creating a Readings Journal aside for later, when you are ready.

Bright blessings, James Ricklef, CTM

To find out more, please go to

Note from Don
I have created a Daily Worksheet based on James Ricklef's article that you can find => here.

<Last>   <Next>
  <Print Page>