By Autumn Guthrie
Years ago, I picked up my first tarot deck at Borders (that gives you an idea of just how many years ago)! I had some experience practicing pendulum readings, but was ready to branch out and try something new. As I began working with that first deck, I felt overwhelmed as I tried to learn the meanings of each individual card, as well as how they could tell a story when brought together; I quickly put them aside to revisit another day.
Oracle cards initially proved to be a different story for me. I found them much easier to read and amassed a rather large collection of them – but I still eyed that tarot deck which was always close by. By this point, I had seen a fair amount of people online giving card readings using a mix of both oracle and tarot cards, creating a more well-rounded response for their querents.
Wanting to learn how to do the same, I searched for a tool to help me retain the messages from my cards – especially the tarot cards – and develop a level of comfortability in working with them. I grabbed my decks, a book I had purchased on tarot card meanings, and a beautiful journal I had recently found. (Note: the book I used was Tarot for the Green Witch by Ann Moura, which I found super helpful – I highly recommend this or a similar book). So, grab your favorite decks, pens, and a notebook as we do some witchy divination journaling together!
An important note as we get started: as with everything in witchcraft, do what makes you feel comfortable and resonates with you. If my set-up doesn’t feel right, create your own journaling set-up that will make you happy! My personal journaling practice has evolved since I first began.
Step One: Draw and Record Your Cards
I begin each entry by writing a title that tells me the deck or decks that this reading comes from. For example, “‘Waite-Smith’ Card Pull” or “‘Lenormand + Angel Oracle’ Card Pull.” Then I create three bullet points. Leave three blank lines beneath the first bullet point (this number can change depending on how many cards you pull), one blank line beneath the second, and one beneath the third.
Shuffle the deck(s) and pull your cards. With the first bullet point, describe the type of spread or pull you are using, and on the three blank lines beneath it, indent and list the three cards you’ve pulled, marked by asterisks:
Example: 3 Card Pull for a ‘Message Right Now’
* Card #1
* Card #2
* Card #3
Step Two: Tune in to Your Intuition
Title the second bullet point “Intuitive Meaning” (or any similar language you’re comfortable using here). On the line beneath, again indented and marked with an asterisk, detail any intuitive messages you’ve received from the cards you’ve pulled:
Example: ‘Intuitive Meaning’
*The message I intuitively received from this pull is…
Step Three: Compare Notes
Finally, title your third bullet point “Actual Meaning” (or something similar). On the asterisked line beneath this bullet point, write the meanings of the cards as outlined in your deck’s companion booklet. If your deck did not come with a companion book, either look online, or find a book that covers general tarot card meanings as I did.
Example: ‘Actual Meaning’
*The more literal meanings of these cards are…
Through this method, I was able to practice receiving intuitive messages and easily compare them to the actual card meanings to see how similar they were. Not only can the ‘Intuitive Meaning’ be used for writing spiritual messages and downloads, but also just what you instinctively feel these cards mean. With consistent practice, over time, you can come to know your cards without ever having to refer back to a book!
For readings that seemed to point towards a particular future outcome or event, I was sure to leave a small space at the bottom of the page, entitled something along the lines of “What Happened.” This way, I was able to see whether those outcomes came to fruition, and if so, in what way. After getting the main points journaled, I filled the empty spaces around the paper with relevant sketches, as well as any little notes I felt were important to write – including words or messages that came to me when reading the cards.
When it comes to tarot and oracle cards – and really anything witchy – I feel journaling is a great way to track your progress. It helps keep you accountable for actually engaging in your practice, as well as creates a record of what you are learning. So practice on, Witches, and have fun in your tarot, oracle, and journaling journey!
About the Author: Autumn Guthrie has been a practicing Wiccan/Witch for the past 10 years. When she is not working on divination or something witchy, you can always find her doing something crafty and creative. Writing is her life blood and is one of the reasons she feels she was put on this earth. She loves channeling all of her magical knowledge and creativity into fun adventurous paranormal fiction novellas, and is currently nearing completion of her second book.