Almost everyone in the tarot world uses tarot journaling prompts for different exercises to enhance their intuition, help with creative blocks, open up to spiritual experience and getting to know your cards better. Tarot is such an amazing tool it can be used for many things besides divination, and I know that this blog post is maybe not bringing you any new or mind blowing information but I will share some prompts that I gathered from different sources or come up with on my own and I actually use.
Drawing/creating your own tarot card
When you’re just learning the meanings of the cards or when you’re trying to deepen the knowledge of a certain card a visual representation of your own making really helps. There are many ways in which you can create a visual of your own depiction of a tarot card. You can take a pencil, a pen, watercolors, markers, anything you like and put it to paper to create shapes, figures, symbols, maybe just colors that associate you with the card you’re having in mind. Even if you’re not an artsy person or think you can’t draw, you can use other techniques like scrapbooking. Gather some magazines, cut out things that you connect with that card, glue them together and voila! There you go! There are so many ways to do it, for example if you’re into photography use that, take different objects, put them in a certain formation and take photos of it. If you’re not much of a visual person, you can also use different compositions of sounds, or even smells and tastes to help bring that association with the card within you, and then journal about it!
Your own meaning
You can read about the “basic” meanings of the cards everywhere, but the important part is to add your own, let your intuition speak. Don’t stress yourself out with trying to impress anyone with it, that is not the point of this. Just take the card, look at it, take it everywhere with you for a day, stare at it, try to find places that remind you of it, go there, experience it and then just write something about it. Anything really. You can write down literally what you see in it. What is actually on the card? Is there a person, an animal, a scene? What is happening? Does it remind you of a movie, a fairytale, a song? Take whatever you get, even if it’s the complete opposite of the basic meaning, and work with that.
Make up your own story about the card – it doesn’t have to relate to the basic meaning, let the card just speak through you. Imagine that you are speaking to the character in the card or that you are the character in the card. What is their story? What are they doing and where are they headed? What are their dreams, wishes and fears? What lessons do they bring and what are they about to learn? If there is no character in the card imagine just experiencing the scenery of the card, pathworking with it. What is beyond the imagery you can see in the card? Does it remind you of a situation or a time in your own life? This can be such a fun thing to do as well as a highly spiritual experience. It deepens the knowledge of the cards on a subconscious level. That also brings us to creative writing. If you have no idea how to start, just set a timer for let’s say 10 minutes and commit to writing all the time, until the alarm goes off. Don’t stress about if what you write makes sense at first, just write, even if all you have to say is something like “Oh fuck this just doesn’t make any sense and I have no clue what to write.” Just stick with it, trust me. After you overcome that blockage you will keep writing even after the alarm goes off when those creative juices start to flow. And yes, you can pick one card or more of them to create a story.
Find your friends
I think I found this prompt while scrolling through pinterest or something, but this is one of those where you go like “damn, how come I didn’t think of that before???”. This exercise consists of just the court cards. What you’re supposed to do is pull out all the courts, lay them out, write down their characteristics and connect those to people you know! Those people can be friends, relatives, coworkers, or even a character from a book or a movie. No, you don’t have to really know them, but it’s easier if you do, because that is the point of this exercise – making it simple for you to remember what those people in the court cards are like. So, pick your people and think about their characteristics, good sides, bad sides, maybe even take their astrological signs into consideration if you’re into that. What are their elements? Totem animals? You can take into consideration basically anything that resonates with you. When you’re done with that, also think about who gets along with who, and who doesn’t like each other. 😀
This is a common exercise, but still one that is worth mentioning because it really does matter to work with your deck every day if you wish to get to know it. Keep it simple, take your deck and pull a card every morning/evening. Write down what it means to you and what energy does it bring into your day. You can do this for others as well, and it doesn’t have to be just one card. You can do full on daily readings, just remember to pick something not too complicated, so you stay with it and are consistent with it. If you do this in the morning, you can reflect upon it in the evening and see how it worked out.
Same cards – different deck
As the title says, you pick a same card from two or more different decks and compare it! Write down the symbols that repeat in all of them, write down the similarities and the differences, basically anything that comes to mind while you’re comparing it.
The fools journey
The fools journey is basically a story that describes the journey the fool goes through while traveling through all of the cards of the major arcana. There are different versions to it and that is fine – once again, take what feels right to you. So, what you do in this exercise is you use the cards of the major arcana to lay out your own life journey/story, so the cards don’t have to be in order. Link the cards to bigger events in your life that matter to you, that made you who you are and just write it down.
Goods and bads
Again, very simple. Take a card and write down the positive and negative parts of this card. The light and the shadow. Every single card has it.
No everyone does reversals and that is just fine. I haven’t done reversals for a long time, because it was just overwhelming to figure out the right side up meanings of all the 78 cards, and doing reversals meant to me, having to learn 78 meanings more. But once I got really comfortable with what the cards meant to me I tried reversals, but I still don’t use them all the time, or with all decks. So do as you please. But if you do want to work with reversals this was a good exercise for me as well – it’s all about asking yourself the right set of questions. Reversals are not just opposite meanings of the upside cards, they are much more than that and they really do reveal so much more. What I ask myself with reversals is:
- How are the meanings in the reversal different?
- Is the upside energy being blocked?
- Is the upside energy being corrupted?
- Is the upside energy being suppressed?
- Is the upside energy being false/faked?
- Is the upside energy being used wrongly/for selfish purposes?
- And the last one I ask myself is – is it opposite from the upside meaning?
Last on my list is comparing different systems of tarot, different structures and traditions. In my opinion this is something you journey upon once you have a very good knowledge of at least one of the systems of tarot, but if you’re feeling really enthusiastic about it, well go for it! As far as I know (and I don’t know everything at all!) there is a Rider Waite Smith system, a Thoth tarot system and tarot of Marseilles system. There are also “rebel” decks out there as I would call them, because they don’t fit into any particular system but have their own, and that is fine as well! Whatever you feel like working with, just go for it!
This list is probably going to get longer with time, but for now this is what I use. Any other ideas or suggestions are so very welcome, so please feel free to leave them in the comments or even contact me!