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Tips for Digital Tarot Journaling

Posted by Esra Dagtekin on

As the Fantôme app is being developed, I asked some of you what you would expect or like to see in the app's journaling section! With the Kickstarted campaign being heavily focused on the AR aspect, the topic of digital tarot journaling didn't even cross my mind much.

And since the best way to research and generate ideas on something is to teach it, I decided to put together tips on digital journaling for the tech-savvy tarot practitioners! 


Optimizing your notes searching system.

Before we talk about taking notes, let's talk about the whole reason we record in the first place — revision. Digital journaling makes it quick and easy to record your tarot session, yet surprisingly easy to lose them, especially if you use the same app for all of your notes! That one specific reading you're looking for in a sea of files could be sandwiched anywhere between a grocery list and a work-related draft.

Naming system.

Consistency is key. What kinds of things will you be recording and later searching for in the long run? Create a naming formula for reference! For example, if you're recording a spread template with explanations on how to use it, perhaps the note titles could start with a keyword like 'spread-temp'?

Say you're saving a daily draw. You might want to use short dates in your title with a tarot abbreviation, such as 'Wed 28/7/21 #daily 2W'. It might not look flattering, but what you're doing is making it easily discoverable. If you want to search your #daily spreads only, they'll pop up chronologically. If you vaguely only remember the card but not which day it was, searching 2W (Two of Wands) in addition to #daily will solve that.

Cataloguing system.

If you prefer to do things via desktop, then having everything in neat little folders makes separating these sorts of things intuitive. On a phone though, notes typically come as a single stream. Be it anything from EverNote, Keep or your default phone's note app, most have features like categories, tags or hashtags in your notes - weaponize them!

Create rules for how you separate personal readings from those done for others, with tags like 'for me', 'for close', 'for strangers'. Whenever naming or tagging, bear in mind what other results will pop up if you're trying to look for this particular note. 'Family' is too simple a term, as it could be a word within an interpretation or card meaning rather than identify as a category.

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For example, you have a note that's all about the Two of Wands. You could have classical keywords and notes about how your different decks visualize that card and how that influences the meaning. In this case, searching 'Two of Wands' or 2W will likely give us all the notes containing that card. So instead you might use a #2W or #2ofW to differentiate that one study note from reading notes.



Recording system.

Having talked about how to get the most out of a reading along with creating your own spreads before, so here I'll focus on how to capture that enlightenment for your future self. Since divination is also called 'channeling', you act as the bridge or messenger for the information. So it's incredibly common for tarot practitioners to hardly remember any of their readings!

Here's a list of journaling prompts for almost any tarot spread:

Initial issue statement.

In one clear sentence, what has the Seeker come for guidance? What is the concern, question or topic?

The spread, questions and clarifiers.

A picture is not enough. You can easily forget what our intentions for each card was. Things can already get clutter-y fast when getting into detail, so it's a good idea to use links to pre-existing spreads and questions, then record anything you might have added. If you improvised a spread, you can create a separate note only for this spread's design, then link that into your reading note!

Initial reaction.

What stood out the most at first glance? What was your first gut feeling?

The detailed interpretation.

Everyone has their own style of interpreting. Some go card-by-card and so look only the overall connections between cards. some tell themselves a story. when you get into interpretations don't forget the most important thing!:

Your own unique observations.
Every reading is unique. what stood out about this one? may be a particular deck's design has a more positive visualization of the four of cups. Did you feel like the hermit looks particularly sad today for some reason? Write it down.
Voices and associations.
Some of us hear or think of extremely specific words, phrases, maybe even songs. these associations often push us towards a specific interpretation of a card of combination of cards, or guide us to ask very specific clarifiers.


Things you learned and actions to take! tarot readings are all about creating clarity, getting answer or at least feeling unblocked, informed, enlightened. You shouldn't leave a reading feeling lost, so make sure you have some kind of conclusion or further guidance.


If you're in a rush or just need a refresher, a short one or two sentence blurb of the spread can help a lot. better yet, add this to the top of your note after you're done doing all of the above.


Another good thing to have at the top of the note is a post-scriptum days or weeks after the fact. what happened? did you realize the cards were saying something else in retrospect? this is a window forr your future self to learn from reflection.



Post Scriptum

All this scrutinizing continues to give me so many ideas. Weaponized with these tips I'll be challenging myself to keep a digital tarot journaling habit and... see how that goes! I would love the app to make you happy to journal rather than a chose or something you forget. Now, in addition to your comments, Tweets and mails, I can also have my own pool of experience on how to make digital tarot journaling work — and then how to improve it with my app!


Will you be joining me for this experiment? 

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