One Thing To Always Include In Your Tarot Journal
I started adding my Tarot reading to my journal ("Diary") when I was around 12 years old.
I didn't use a "proper" or separate journal for a couple more years, but I then I realized 2 things:
1. It became REALLY difficult to go back and find the spreads I was looking for.
2. It wasn't easy to keep track of changes in my life or see progress (and setbacks) over time.
So I started keeping spreads in a separate journal sometimes.
And that was better...
Except I eventually realized that I left out one of the most important pieces of information in my spreads.
After years of keeping Tarot Journals, spreads, and readings everywhere, there's something I wish I had remembered to add from the beginning.
Especially as I started reading using the 5 Minute Tarot process, it would have made a LOT of difference in how I saw the spreads as well as my interpretations.
Because without this piece of information, some of the readings just don't make sense.
Looking back, you may even believe you somehow got them "wrong."
But the truth is, you didn't get it wrong.
When you read Tarot the way we do in Tarot Therapy, you're connecting with your Subconscious, so all of the interpretations and meanings are valid.
You'll be sorting through all of the things going on beneath the surface to help understand the trauma, triggers, positive memories and associations, and all of the parts of you that are driving your thoughts, feelings, and actions in your day to day life.
So what is the #1 thing that you ALWAYS want to include in your Tarot Journal?
The deck that you used.
Of course, if you used a specific spread, you'll want to include that as well as the names of the cards.
But without the deck, you may get confused when you go back and look at your interpretation and meanings of the cards.
WHY DOES THIS MATTER?
In the 5 Minute Tarot Process, we talk about focusing on the physical attributes and then telling the story about what is happening on the card.
And even though I recommend using a Rider-Waite-Smith based deck, the actual artwork can vary widely depending on the specific deck you are using.
For example, let's look at the 3 of Wands from a few different decks. In the first picture, you can see the cards from the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, the Light Seer's Tarot, and the Lo Scarabeo Tarot.
In the first picture, it's difficult to tell that there is water at all. It often looks like a sandy yellow desert to me, but if you look closely, there are ships out in the distance. Still, when I use this particular deck, I think of a man crossing the desert.
In the Light Seer's Tarot, a woman stands at a cliff side, looking out over the ocean. She has a surf board under one arm. When I draw this card in this deck, I often get the idea that it's sunset and the day is over. She'll have to go back out and try again tomorrow.
The third card, from the Lo Scarabeo Tarot, is a more contemplative card to me. The man is still considering all of his options. In this card, the fire is most predominant to me, and gives me a snuggly or even lazy feeling. It's easy to put things off when I draw this card.
Let's look at a few more images and what might come up with them. Below you will see the 3 of Wands from the Gilded Tarot, the Tarot of the Magical Forest, and the Good Fortune Tarot.
The Gilded Tarot has long been one of my favorite Tarot decks, and I highly recommend it to both new and seasoned readers. The images are especially easy for people to relate to, and it works good in professional settings when reading for your clients.
I have purchased at least 50 of these decks to include in programs and courses, and have given them to clients as well as friends.
The Gilded Tarot 3 of Wands was the first deck where I saw the ship in the card. It is also one of the decks where it seems like the ship is VERY close. It definitely brings to mind the idea that your ship has come in, and was the first deck where I started seeing this card as, "So go out and swim to it!"
In the Tarot of the Magical Forest, on the other hand, I often see the ship as sailing away. It is a very forlorn and sad card for me, and I often see it as a lost opportunity, that your ship has sailed. I'm not sure if it's the colors or the overall mood of the card, but when I use this deck, the interpretation definitely fits the situation.
In the Good Fortune Tarot, for the first time we see someone actively waving in their ship. This person is not just standing on the shoreline thinking about her what if's? She is trying to guide the way and do everything she can to make things happen!
When you see the cards side by side, it's easy to see why it's SO IMPORTANT to include the deck that you used in your Tarot journal.
If you go back to a spread even a few days later, you may think, "Why would I ever interpret the 3 of wands as something sad?" and forget that you had used the Tarot of the Magical Forest.
On the other hand, you may have emphasized the need to contemplate your ideas before taking action, or you might have interpreted the card as needing to jump in and lead the way.
Both interpretations are correct, and can be heavily influenced by which deck you used.
By paying attention to the decks you use and your interpretations of the cards, you can start to see which decks resonate with you better and which cards help to bring out different aspects of your personality and your subconscious.
Be sure to always include the deck you use in your readings! This is an extremely important, but often overlooked, part of any Tarot practice.
About The Author
Amethyst Mahoney, PhD is the founder of Tarot Therapy and Spiritual Badass. She helps people learn to use the cards in a way that accesses the subconscious so that they can overcome trauma. Amethyst is passionate about helping people overcome religious trauma and start their own online businesses. She has a goal of helping at least 1,000 people become Certified Tarot Therapists so that they can help more people all over the World with Tarot Therapy. Amethyst is the author of several books as well as the best-selling yearly Tarot Therapy Planner. You can find her in her forever home near Nashville, TN with her husband Brent and their fur babies.