Before we get into the Meet the Cards Series I figured I’d talk a little about keeping a Tarot Journal. This is a great way to get to know the cards. Additionally, if you are interested in life applications this is a good way to see patterns within your life.
I’ve kept different types of journals over the years, I suspect most writers do, and I really enjoy my Tarot Journal. I’ll be starting a new one for this new deck.
I like to use different colors for each type of card — hey, any excuse to shop for office supplies — and have sparkly gel pens just for this purpose. I use:
- Purple for the Major Arcana = Spirituality and higher purpose
- Red for Wands, fire element = Passion and creativity
- Blue for Cups, water element = Emotions and moods
- Pink for Swords, air element = Mentality and organization
Why Pink for Swords/Air? For me, I think of sunrise/sunset and all the pretty pastels. Besides, clear ink doesn’t show up very well
- Green for Disks, earth element = Growth, physical and monetary
In your journal, you’ll want to record the name of the card, deck info if you’re using multiple decks, number, and the details of your chosen method (see below). Sometimes including a picture of the card is fun too, whether you paste an actual scanned image or sketch it or choose a different medium.
There is no right or wrong way to create your journal.
For life applications, choosing random cards for each entry works best, return the next day to add your moods and activities. This will help you correlate the cards to your life. The color coding also helps you see the shifting patterns over the weeks and months of your journal.
To start, either pick the next card in the deck’s sequence or shuffle the deck and choose a card at random.
Getting to know a card
Look at the image (rotate the card if you want and look at the reverse, shadow, image).
- What emotions do you feel? What is the overall mood?
- What story do you see in the picture? Try answering the classic Who, What, Where, When, How questions.
- What details in the picture reinforce your feelings, the mood, or the story?
- What do you feel the card means?
After you’re done, go to the (L)ittle (W)hite (B)ook that came with your deck and read through the information for that card. (If your LWB is lacking, as many are, visit a site like Raven’s Tarot and look up the card there.) Compare this with your own impressions and don’t worry if they don’t match. Your intuition and life experiences are giving you unique insights.
Learning a card
Read the information for that card, you can use the LWB or a site like Learn Tarot. Write down keywords, note any symbols, and study the details of the picture. Memorize what you can but don’t worry you can always refer back to your source.
The worksheets at Tarot Studies are another great way to get to know the cards. You could simply note the information in your journal or create a journal out of the worksheets.
I haven’t completely decided which method to use as we discover the Gaian Tarot deck. I suspect it will be some combination