It is the beginning of a new calendar year – an excellent time to talk about starting a journal. Journals can be dedicated to many purposes – what I am talking about here is creating a living picture, in words, of the coming year as you live it. This journal will be about you, as seen through the lens of the Tarot. Why do you want to do this? Is journaling a magic pill? Does your life go better if you journal?
The Devil on my shoulder wants me to say “Why the heck not!” As a writer, writing is fun. It is how I express myself, and is a huge part of my life. Even for a non-writer, there are definite benefits to journaling, one of which is that it moves you outside of yourself, and allows you to grow as a person. This is also where the Tarot comes in – as your words form the picture story of your life, the Tarot acts as a lens through which you can interpret people and events.
Through the lens of Tarot, you gain clarity on the people and issues in your life. You bypass your conscious mind, and enter the world of your creative self, where solutions offer themselves at a very rapid pace. Aside from gaining clarity on the people and issues in your life, you have also created a record of your personal progress. You can see if you are meeting your goals, you can see what works for you, and what doesn’t, and you can fine tune as you go along.
As you write in your journal, you will find that there is a marvelous side benefit – your stress level decreases! As you put your emotions out there on paper (or e-paper), you are literally taking them out of your body. Once you have taken them out of your body, they won’t buildup and cause headaches, stomach aches, of issues with muscles.
The difference between a diary and a journal? A diary is a record of daily events – whee you went, who you saw,and what you did. Journaling takes the writing process one step further,and includes your reaction to what is happening, as well as any consequences. You are putting your emotions down on paper, truly writing the story of your life, the journey of your spirit and your soul!
There are many different ways in which you can journal:
- An audio journal, either on tape or disk.
- A hand written journal.
- A electronic journal – as a file, or perhaps as a personal blog.
Hand Written Journals
Many people prefer a hand written journal, feeling that their energy comes through in a more personal way. You can create a handwritten journal in many different formats:
- Spiral Binder
- Loose Pages
- Inexpensive Bound Pages
- Formal Bound Journal – Such As A Leather Bound Journal
If you are doing a handwritten journal, you also want to think about what type of pens (or pencils) you are going to use. Your journal is special to you, so the pen that you use to write it should be also. This can be anything from an inexpensive Bic pen to the most expensive luxury pen that you can find. You will want pens with different color inks, to express your moods, and so that when you go back to comment on your entries,you can do so in a different color to make the comment stand out.
If you choose to use an electronic journal (which I do, as my handwriting is not to be believed!), you can simply create a Word file, or you can create a blog online that only you can see. I do both – I have a journal in an electronic file, and I have a private page on an Internet journaling site where I go every morning to list five things that I am thankful for.
You can create any kind of appearance that you want for your journal. It can be strictly text, or you can choose to draw in it, or cut out pictures and paste them in. (With an electronic journal all you have to do is scan the images in.) Your journal reflects you, and is meant to be a creative tool. Make it as neat or as messy as you want to. Write complete sentences, or jot down random phrases or thoughts about your day as they come to you. Write with a plan, or let it free flow. Write any time of day that you find convenient – but write e little something every day. Make this a habit – a sort of spiritual experience, if you will.
How Does The Tarot Fit Into Journaling?
Journaling helps you access your emotional/creative center. The Tarot helps you to look at your emotions, clarify them, connect them, and work with them.
- You may want to draw one or more Tarot cards to help you clarify your emotions about aperson or issue.
- You may want to brainstorm solutions by drawing one or more Tarot cards.
- You may want to draw a Tarot card at the beginning of each day to see what the theme for that day will be.
- You may want to draw a card at the end of the day to see what you need to take from that days experiences.
- You may want to ask the Tarot specific questions, and either draw random cards, or create spreads to bring out the information that you need.
Journaling takes you out of yourself and into the realms of emotion, intellect, physical being and spirituality. The Tarot helps you to understand these realms, and empower yourself. Set aside a given amount of time each day to journal. Create a form of sacred space around yourself – make sure you will not be interrupted (by people, pets, phones etc.), and that you have the elements that you find conducive to both writing and looking inward near you. This may be soft music, a scented candle, a beautiful picture, or a bouquet of flowers. Set a favorite drink nearby – coffee, tea, juice … whatever you prefer to keep yourself hydrated.
Set one or more Tarot decks near you for use. Perhaps one that is a favorite, and one or more that will take you out of your safe place and push the envelope a bit.
Remember that this is your journal, and your story. The Tarot is the element that will help give you clarity, understanding and creative ideas.
Enjoy the journey!