Day 011: Keeping Your Tarot Journal

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Photo By Benebell Wen At benebellwen.com

Tarot Binders & Tarot Resources

Holistic Tarot recommends keeping a tarot journal as you study the book and the book’s corresponding study guides. This is a great habit to get into, and one I admit struggling with in the past. In fact, I’m trying to keep track of all my moon phase tarot spreads for this year. So far so good, but it may have let me physical journal tracking slide. An abundance of articles online are full of advice when it comes to tarot journals. Benebell Wen has both an article and a video on the subject. This post is about my own tarot journal, what I’ve already learned embracing Benebell Wen’s suggestions, and what I plan to do for next year, because it’s never too early to plan!

Before I can give an accurate picture of how Benebell Wen’s advice helped me to keep a better tarot journal, I have to admit where I was before the advice was given. So, like many tarot readers, I had a single notebook where I kept a log of my readings. These would have the card positions and what they meant, and then the cards drawn with a brief synopsis of interpretation. Along the way, I also added two more smaller notebooks to jot down some correspondences and then, a dream journal. Many personal interpretations of tarot cards come to me in my sleep. This is mainly when working on the Kabbalah though, so it is only a part of my tarot record keeping. None of this though, helped me to really feel or gauge growth as an aspiring reader.

Now, to start my journey through Holistic Tarot, I purchased an entire binder. I also picked up some protective sleeves for the paper, mainly because I have a child. And yes, they’ve already saved much of my binder! I highly recommend considering them. When I first started studying Holistic Tarot about a month ago, I only needed the one binder. But now that I’m a month in, I’ve changed my setup a bit. These two setups are very similar, so I’ll mention both in case you end up in a similar spot. As a word of caution though, I highly recommend purchasing a general binder. Don’t splurge on fancy designs. My personal journal is really getting used, and slightly beat up. This is from taking it everywhere, so keep in mind the fact you’ll be staring at this when doing readings, if you’re like me.

To start my binder, I have a section just for the beginner’s study guide. After that, I then printed out and have all templates for the corresponding tarot reading exercises mentioned in the study guide. Then, I am including a section for the monthly reading logs. I’m excited to document these along my studies! Likewise, I then have a study for morning readings. I’m trying to do two week’s worth. So far, I’ve done one full week. I’m taking a break in an effort to gauge improvement, but the pages are there. After that, I have a section specifically for any study guide exercises that don’t have a template but require documenting or keeping track of. So far, I have my Significance of the Major Arcana exercise in there, with a copy of my keyword exercise as well. To complement that, I have a section of the Holistic Tarot keywords without any notes to keep track of them for future use.

This is kind of where my binder starts to be divided in half. After the keywords section I get into the real substance of the binder. Here is where my One Card Studies are in their original unblogged form. I’m almost through the Majors, and I couldn’t be more excited about it! Then, I have the printout for your own definitions. I’m working through those pages as I put up the blog analysis of archetypes and card specific symbolism. When a card gets filled in on these pages, I consider them completely finished. After that, I have my deck logs. I’m slowly working through my backlog of decks, starting with my Rider-Waite Smith themed ones. The goal is to keep up with the decks I highlight in my Weekend Readings section. After this, I have another section that is kind of a miscellaneous right now. In time, it might become a third section officially.

For now, this section is deemed my reading layouts and additional Benebell Wen resources section. This is where I keep my printed scans of some spreads from Tarot for Your Self, especially the ones on three card and ten card spreads. Then, I also have some printed scans of tarot layouts from Donald Tyson’s 1-2-3 Tarot. These are mainly spreads I first started really digging into and find invaluable now. After that is my Benebell Wen section of additional resources. This includes her Learning and Teaching Tarot, Elemental Dignities In Tarot, and Triggering Creativity. Additionally, I also have notes from Tarot for Your Self on the different approaches to the Celtic Cross Spread, and notes on tarot reversals. I haven’t gotten to these in the study guide yet, but I know they’re included and that I’d save them now.

The other binder I have is much more interesting to me. You’ll have to excuse the mess of it though, as it is a major work in progress. This binder includes all the notes I find invaluable in my blogging and studying tarot journey. All articles I want to keep forever end up in this binder, and it is growing way too fast. I’m already outgrowing it, and that’s a scary thought! I’ve only done roughly three tarot card studies, and the binder is massive. But the binder does include articles I’ve previously been bookmarking and accumulating too. I highly recommend doing this. You never know when your favorite articles can disappear. But please, document the original sources. All my printouts while tailored for my binder, include credit to the original sources for future reference.

To being this binder, I have a copy of The Fool’s Journey from Learning the Tarot. I’m hoping to write my own, but haven’t done so yet. Then I have an amazing article called, The Fool’s Journey for Writers. I find this article invaluable and I’m hoping to rework the concept for my own post for the blog. After that is a history article section. So far, there’s only one article here, but it’s on the Cathars and Tarot. Then I have a general section on archetypes divided into male and female. Along with this section is a sub-section just for the Four Archetypes of the Mature Masculine. The articles are long, the section is huge, but as a female I find it an invaluable resource wanting to include perspectives for men that are substantial. It’s also helpful to understanding the female archetypes as well! Sadly, they never put out a companion book for female archetypes. Maybe one day I’ll write one instead!

Anyway! I then have a section for the each of the tarot cards. This is a work in progress and follows my blog posts under the one card studies category. Behind each article I write for the blog, I then have the corresponding research articles that went into the posts. For example, my High Priestess article has corresponding articles on Manfreda Visconti and the esoteric meanings of the twin pillars. As an upcoming post, I have a huge section on The Empress. These articles range from Queen Esther and Vashti to Queen Elizabeth I. After this, is a section for random stuff as well. These are important things to hang onto that I’m not sure which binder they should go in yet. So for now, they’re in my resources binder.

This includes a few brief summaries of beginner’s astrology. Then there’s a copy of my own natal chart. After this is my tarot profile, along with that of my significant other, from Tarot for Your Self. There’s a section on pendulums. There’s also a huge section on tarot sentences and court card interactions from 1-2-3 Tarot. I have also included some spreads and the chart from the blog I recently highlighted having to do with tarot mirrors. I’m hoping to work with a few of the spreads to highlight them too. It’s really a wonderful blog. Then I have some Biddy Tarot resources, for example I recently did a free 5-Day Tarot Reading Make-Over Challenge, which is kept here. There’s also the free Real Life Lessons from the Major Arcana that is truly inspiring and I keep coming back to it in tougher days.

So that’s my tarot journal layout thus far! I’m still working through keeping track of my readings on my computer now, and my dream journal. With the new year, I’m going to invest in a readings binder, and keep general overall readings in it! This will be so much easier for me, and much easier to keep long term. I highly recommend getting quite a few binders, as I’m sure I’ll need one just for my deck logging. I’ll also eventually split out the articles of research just for this blog too. So many binders! That would be roughly five binders to work with. Somehow I think I’m going to need an entire tarot room. Then again, don’t we all already have one of those? If not, don’t worry… you’ll get there too! I never thought I would… and now look at me!

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About Samantha

Hello, Thank you for checking out my blog. If you're wanting to know a little bit more about me then you've come to the right place. I'm currently focusing on being a mother and sharing that experience with others. Whether the topic is life, religion, food, or even history, there's always a new story to share. I hope you enjoy sharing in the experience!
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