J is for Journal.
I love keeping a journal.
In fact I love keeping several journals.
I have a shoulder bag in which I keep all my various journals together!
Keeping a Tarot journal has been my most important step in my study of the cards.
Before I began making my own personal, daily connection with the Tarot, I made the mistake all Tarot novices make, trying to memorize every meaning for every card, in every possible scenario.
This does not work, it is an impossible feat of memory.
Drawing a card, or cards, each morning, noticing the synchronicity throughout the day, then sitting down to write your experiences and insights each evening, is the way you learn the Tarot.
Sometimes, I will come up blank, this is where meditation comes in.
But it is afterwards, when you coalesce the insight gained, into a journal entry, that you start to get a real grasp of the deep meaning of each card.
Another book I keep, is one I use for anger or stressful days.
All that stuff you need to remove from your mind, get off your chest.
Letters to people who have wronged me and general rants and upsets, go in this book.
It is better to channel the anger into something, then, once it is contained within those pages, it is gone from my conscience and firmly in the past.
I also keep a meditation journal, where I can jot down my experiences in meditation, shamanic and altered states work.
Coming out of trance, it is hard to know where to begin, but I find that when I just start writing, it flows like a river.
Important symbolism and advice, that would have been forgotten, reappears in my conscience mind as I write.
I would not gain much value from this work without the write up of my experience afterwards.
I have a journal that sits beside my bed.
I am one of those people who has trouble sleeping, because I get these amazing flashes of idea and inspiration as I start to enter the first stage of sleep.
If I can write these down as they happen, I can then put it aside to deal with the next day, instead of tossing it over and over in my head all night.
I keep a Book of Shadows as well. This is not so much a journal, but a place where I store everything of magickal interest.
I include it here, because this is also where I write my thoughts and experiences of ritual and other such magickal work.
I may as well also include this blog in the list.
An online journal forces you to organize your thoughts even more clearly, so as other people can understand it and hopefully gain something from it themselves.
A lot more organisation and clarity is required here.
This has been a valuable exercise for me, as I hope it has been for my readers.
As you can see, the journal is an important part of my life and development.
Journal writing is how I organize my thoughts and track my development.
It is useful to go back through these writings on occasion.
Sometimes, I can see where I got it wrong and other times, those earlier insights can lead to bigger understandings and new ways forward.
I use the journal entries in my Book of Shadows, to develop and refine my own personal rituals, starting simply and building them from there.
I wouldn’t have the growth I have had, without my journals.
I read a lot of the work of other people, but I find the most value is held within my own writings.
What flows from the heart, this is where the real power lies.
This is the truest source of growth, development and learning.
It is a way to tap into the subconscious and to reach a true understanding of the most important of the Witches’ creeds,