“You don’t need to know the ins and outs of the Celtic Cross to use this book. You don’t need to be a master of the tarot or a long-time, experienced journaler. You just need a few basic supplies and a willingness to explore your life with the tarot as your guide.” – From the book
With it rich symbolism, familiar archetypes, and arresting images, the tarot is a perfect tool for brainstorming, problem solving, and inspiration. In her book Tarot Journaling, author Corrine Kenner explores various journaling techniques for getting the most out of your “wicked pack of cards”.
Using the famed Celtic Cross spread as a template, Kenner explains how journaling with the Tarot can help you spot roadblocks, uncover attitudes, generate insights, tune in to your higher self, and create the future you want.
Your Self: Kenner discusses the various types of journals that you can create using the tarot and the three P’s of selecting the best journal for your purposes: portability, price, and permanence.
What Covers You: The section covers the backdrop and surroundings of the journaling process—including sacred space and ritual—as well as several helpful charts of abbreviations to use in journaling. For example, Kenner provides abbreviations for the Majors and Minors, as well as a chart of astrological glyphs and a checklist for recording pertinent facts during your journaling session.
What Crosses You: This helpful section deals with confronting the inner critic, procrastination, overcoming writer’s block, and reviving a tired journal.
What Crowns You: Kenner addresses privacy issues when journaling, as well as personal ethics.
What Grounds You: This is my favorite chapters in Tarot Journaling. Kenner provides excellent exercises designed for getting to know yourself—and the cards—on a more intimate level. For example, you can play matchmaker with the cards, setting up “dates” between characters from different cards. Or, try your hand at age progression or regression. What was the Empress like when she was a little girl? What kind of person will the baby in the Sun card grow up to be?
What Lies Behind You: This section delves into exploring the past, including re-working painful memories with the help of the Tarot. As Kenner says, “While the process of rewriting history might not change reality, it will change your attitude.”
Your Self: Who do you think you are? Kenner shows you how to probe your psyche with the use of the Tarot.
Your House: It’s said that you can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family. This section encourages journalers to re-connect with family through writing prompts and karmic exploration.
Your Hopes and Fears: Wish lists, success stories, unreasonable fears and worst-case scenarios are intriguing (if not scary) places to explore for a rich journaling session.
What Will Come: Kenner discusses psychic powers and development. This is the only section that I found disappointing. The author insinuates that many Tarot readers that call themselves “intuitives” rather than “psychics” because of embarrassment. She says, “When we call our gifts intuitive, we diminish them. We make them smaller. We claim them as our own creations, and we trace their origin back to our innermost selves, rather than accepting our psychic talent as a gift from a power greater than ourselves.”
Well, for some intuitives like me, we believe that we are One with All That Is. God—or some mystical bestower of psychic gifts—isn’t “out there”, but “in here”. In my opinion, humans have been making themselves “smaller” by projecting all that is good, benevolent, and powerful “out there” rather than realizing the divinity inside.
Another small sticking point is that Kenner declares that clairvoyance isn’t always visual, but is most often “expressed as a sudden flash of insight or understanding that springs suddenly into one’s consciousness.” Actually, clairvoyance is French for “clear seeing” and does, indeed, have to do with the visual realm. “Sudden flashes of insight and understanding” is known as Claircognizance, or “clear knowing”.
The Appendices provide information like Tarot keywords and Minor Arcana correspondences. Unfortunately, someone didn’t catch a mistake on the color correspondences. The attributions should be Wands=Red, Cups=Blue, Swords=Yellow, and Pentacles=Green. Appendix II gets 3 out of 4 wrong, attributing Yellow to Wands, Red to Cups, and Blue to Swords.
Despite these errors, Tarot Journaling is an excellent book for both experienced readers and those who know nothing about Tarot. Kenner is an able guide, helping journalers navigate the deep waters of the psyche while retaining a sense of play and joyful exploration.
Content copyright © by Janet Boyer. All rights reserved. This review was written by Janet Boyer. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission.