New tarot readers are often instructed to keep a tarot journal but why is it a good idea and how exactly do you start? Do you draw a random card and write about it? Are you supposed to work your way through the deck? What do you write about?
This complete 81-page tarot journal template will help you begin your own exploration of the cards by providing prompts and nudges for every card in the deck. I’ve suggested some ways to use it… but you are very welcome to do with it what you will.
The main reasons for keeping a tarot journal are
- To deepen your knowledge and understanding of the cards.
- For you to connect the tarot to your own life. By viewing the cards through your personal lens, you will gain even deeper understanding.
- To help develop your intuition and gain valuable insights – because you will be the one uncovering them, they will have the most impact.
- Journaling will help you understand yourself… and those will be the most important discoveries you will make. The tarot can provide a lot of comfort and companionship as you continue on your own life journey.
Choose whether to draw random cards or to work through the deck. You can also mix and match – there is no right or wrong way, pick which feels right to you.
Take your favourite deck and photocopy or scan and print all the cards. Glue the copies into your own specially chosen journal. Use selected prompts from the template to get to know your cards intimately.
Print out the Tarot Journal Template (81 pages). Use a hole punch and insert the pages into a ring-binder. Write straight onto the pages, using the reverse side and extra pages as necessary.
Draw one card a week and work your way through all the prompts. This will take a long time so you will need patience and determination to get through the whole deck.
Draw a card a day in response to one or two prompts only.
Draw a card and research it thoroughly in your tarot books and/or online before choosing a prompt and journaling your response.
Keep your journal digitally. There’s nothing that says you can’t keep your journal on your computer. Use a note making software like EverNote (free) or a dedicated program, such as The Journal by DavidRM. I use both and they are equally good. The great thing about them is that you can very simply insert images into your journal entries, therefore you can keep a visual record of all your readings as well. You can even copy interesting articles from websites, etc. Your study journal could be just one part of your tarot life.
Each card has a page dedicated to it. There are seven sections for each card, divided into various prompts. The first section is a very brief list of keywords to explain what the card is about.
The images are copyright-free reproductions of the Rider-Waite deck. They are there simply to remind you what each card looks like. It will be much better if you refer to your own favourite reading deck as you write in your journal.
Emotional response: Write down your initial feelings as soon as you turn the card. These emotional responses are very important to record as we all get a bit blasé as we become more familiar with the cards. Examine the feeling in your solar plexus as you look at the card and try to describe it. This is all about you and your reactions.
Is the card positive, negative or neutral? Explain why – don’t look up card meanings, just go with your own opinions here. Again this is about you.
Detailed description: You’ll need some time for this. Use your own deck – the images on the template are not really suitable. Write down or list every little detail in the image. Sometimes you will get really good insights by doing this because it forces you to really look at the card. Note such things as the colour of the sky or a tiny butterfly on the hem of a tunic. It may seem tedious but it is well worth examining each card in this way.
List keywords and phrases for the card. This is where you can turn to your books. Try to find as many as possible and, of course, if anything else occurs to you as you continue on your tarot journey, just add it in. You may find that one or more cards has special meaning for you – include it in the journal.
How did the card manifest during your day? It’s a good one to do in order to connect the tarot with real life. For example, your card for the day was the Queen of Cups and you found yourself comforting a colleague who was upset because her boyfriend ended their relationship. Write it down. Perhaps your card was the Ace of Swords and at some point you read or heard something that made complete sense – one of those a-ha moments. Write it down in your journal. The more you do this, the more your readings will become accurate and professional.
Personal journal prompt with quotation. Some people will love these and others will hate them. They are there to make you think; to illuminate your own life as it connects with tarot. Take one question and explore it, or take them all. Alternatively ignore them completely.
As well as gluing scans or copies of your cards, consider making it into an art journal at the same time. Use crayons, markers, coloured pencils or even paint (if your paper is heavy enough. Add in single words or symbols that are meaningful to you. Do childlike sketches when and wherever the fancy takes you. Make this journal yours – in every way.
Please note: A copy of this introduction is included in the PDF.
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