Journaling is a practice that is not only meditative and therapeutic, it’s also great for tracking progress and change over time. As an avid journaler (guided journals are my jam), it was only natural that I wanted to combine my love of journals with my love of tarot. Here’s everything you need to know about how to keep a tarot journal, including my personal journey with creating my tarot journal.
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What is a Tarot Journal?
Tarot journals are places to collect information surrounding the study or usage of tarot cards. A tarot journal is a way for you to track your own practice, reflect on previous draws, and compare changes over time. This practice is incredibly customizable. You can use your tarot journal to capture your thoughts and reflections on the meaning of spreads. Other ways to use tarot journals focus on the learning aspect rather than the recording one. Capture notes about the major and minor arcana, including information on your decks, and record notes from books on the practice of tarot.
Why Keep a Tarot Journal
Keeping a tarot journal gives you the opportunity to record your spreads and learn from them over time. This turns into a sort of guidebook you can reference in the future, especially when hindsight is 20/20.
This can also be beneficial for those who go to have their cards read by someone else. Keep it in your car or bag and immediately following the reading, before heading about your day, record how your reading went.
But, this isn’t to say a tarot journal can’t benefit those who read their own cards as well. Either way, very few of us will remember our spreads to a T. This is increasingly true for spreads that are more complex, like the Celtic Cross.
How Often to Use Your Tarot Journal
I’d recommend using your tarot journal after every pull. But, you don’t have to. For example, if you do a daily spread each morning it may not be something you want to record in your tarot journal. Perhaps you want to reserve your tarot journal for major readings. Or, perhaps you want to use your tarot journal as a form of learning. This could mean you create the journal in a set period of time and then reference it like your own personal guidebook.
What to Record in Your Tarot Journal
What you record in your tarot journal is up to you, your practice, and your preferences. Here are a few suggestions:
- Deck Used
- Interpreted Meaning
- Personal Thoughts and Reflection
3 Tarot Journal Options
You have a few options to pick from when it comes to starting your own tarot journal. You can go with a completely DIY journal, create a digital journal, or buy a guided journal.
All you need for a DIY tarot journal is a blank notebook, a pen, and a dollop of inspiration. DIY journals are nice options as they can be completely customized to your tarot practice. However, if you are just getting started with tarot, it may leave you feeling aimless. This is by far going to be a cheaper option than a guided journal unless you opt for the most expensive journal on the shelf.
Digital tarot journals can be as simple as a word document or as fancy as a downloadable PDF that you fill out on the computer. This option can be completely cost-free, which is excellent for those on a tight budget. A great benefit of digital journals is taking an image of the spread and putting it directly into the journal.
Guided journals can save you time and give you direction. I recommend this especially for those who are newer to tarot. A guided tarot journal will hold your hand through some of the processes of recording your spreads and thoughts, which can be great for building confidence and learning. There are two options you may want to consider:
- 2021 Biddy Tarot Planner
- Modern Witch Tarot Journal by Lisa Sterle
- Tarot Tracker: A Year-Long Journey
- How to Learn Tarot: A Guided Tarot Journal with Intuitive Prompts and Spreads by Jess Carlson
Guided tarot journals may provide you with spread suggestions, a guide to the major and minor arcana you create yourself, and a series of questions to meditate on after each reading. The key is to find a journal that meets your needs instead of making a purchase simply because it is a tarot journal. If you find your needs are specific, it may be best to create your own tarot journal or mock-up a digital option to use instead.
5 Essential Tarot Journal Spreads
If you don’t know what journal spreads to add to your DIY tarot journal, get started with the following five suggestions:
Create a Key for Major and Minor Arcana
Creating a guide to all the major and minor arcana can help you with your personal interpretations and words for each. This will help you to better understand these cards from your various studies.
A monthly check-in spread can be used to set the tone for your month. You can then journal about your expectations, goals, and thoughts. Review the spread in a month and see how things unfolded.
Daily Spread Calendars
Daily spread calendars can be used to provide a bird’s eye view of all your daily draws for the month. This is great for those who want to record their daily pulls without taking up a bunch of pages in their journal.
Get to Know Your Deck
When you first use your deck you can do a ‘get to know your deck spread’ and record it in your tarot journal. In the future, this will give you something to look back at as you get to know your tarot deck better. You can check out our suggested spread for this type of reading here.
Getting Started With Your Own Tarot Journal
Whether you go the DIY route or purchase a guided tarot journal to get yourself started, know that you are taking an important step into a deeper understanding of your personal tarot practice. Share your personal tarot journal preferences in the comments below. We’d love to hear your thoughts and personal experience with tarot journals!