The Classic Tarot Journal

Learn the basics of Tarot through recording your readings in a journal. Although a much written about topic, I will summarize some of the main techniques here.

I have many different journals! A small sketch book for when I’m on the go and have a fleeting thought about a card, one sketchbook solely dedicated to my Tarot deck, and two notebooks to record my daily draws. Note my different coloured pens to colour-code my ideas.
  1. One to three card daily readings

One of the most common ways to learn Tarot is to draw one card a day (advancing to three-card spreads), see how it plays out in your daily life, and write about it in your journal before bed.

An example of a three card reading. It doesn’t have to be about a particular problem, it just happens that this was the situation at the time of this entry. If you want to do a daily draw, you don’t need anything on your mind, just see how the card tells a story about your day.

    2. Record spreads

WRITE SPREADS DOWN. Whether you are taught a spread by a mentor, read a particularly useful layout in a book or online, or simply make one up on the spot during a reading, you’ll be happy you didn’t forget.

My handy reference for spreads

      3. Key words

Especially when learning the Major Arcana, write out the one or two words that best describe each card. They are not only a useful mneumonic but are also uniquely tied to your interpretation of the card. Daily Tarot Girl has a great cheat sheet for keyword meanings to give you the general idea.

Key words for the Major and Minor Arcana

       4. Colour-coding your journal

In Mary K. Greer’s Tarot for Yourself: A Workbook for Personal Transformation she suggests colour-coding cards in your journal. This includes differentiating the Major Arcana cards (spiritual / crucial life events), from the 4 suits of the Minor Arcana (patterns of daily life – in the realms of thoughts, emotions, ambition and health/monetary concerns). The colour-coding will help you see patterns in daily draws when you go back to reflect on your journal.

My colour-coding system

      5. Journal prompts

Use questions pertaining to each of the Major Arcana to get you reflecting on these universal symbols in your own life. There are many useful Tarot journal prompts online. Eventually you can try writing your own. Here are some fun and straightforward journal prompts for learning the Major Arcana.

Enjoy your Tarot journaling! And remember, this is only a basic summary. A search online will quickly reveal dozens of techniques to learning Tarot in a daily journal.


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