Nancy Hendrickson discusses scrapbooking as a form of tarot journaling.
Special guest post by Nancy Hendrickson
When You Want More Than a Quick Journal Entry
If you’re like many tarot readers, you might begin your day with a one- or three-card draw, noting the cards in your Tarot journal. But what if there are specific readings that you want to save by blending the cards with a little artistic magic? Enter tarot scrapbooking.
Fortunately, you don’t have to be an artist to create a scrapbook, as supplies are available in craft stores or from online shops like Amazon. There are hundreds if not thousands of paper designs ranging from super old-fashioned to bright and bold moderns, florals, and art deco. And that doesn’t even include the stamps, stickers, punches, stencils, and embellishments that help bring your page to life!
The one challenge you’ll probably face is getting your tarot cards onto the page without using your real deck. I found the easiest solution was to save copyright-free images of the Rider-Waite-Smith deck onto a USB drive and make copies at my local office copy shop. You could also lay your real cards on your scrapbook page and take photos to be printed.
Once you have your supplies, you’re ready to go.
So, It’s Not Perfect
Although my artistic skills are close to nil, I still like the process of saving a special reading via the scrapbook. For me, there’s something about the visual process that slows me down, forcing me out of my left brain. Doing an art piece gives me the opportunity to slowly delve a little deeper into an issue.
In my hand-created scrapbook page (below) I wanted to ask the cards about a new idea for another ancestral tarot-related project. I honestly wasn’t sure if I had the time or energy to start a large project before the end of the year. I knew I wanted old-fashioned-looking people on the scrapbook page, so I went to a local craft store and came home with a few turn-of-the-century images.
Then it was a matter of drawing tarot cards and a few from my own City Oracle (a work-in-progress). Once I had drawn the six cards, I added the people and the dog and, surprisingly, found myself listening their opinion too!
As in most Tarot readings, the cards asked more questions than they answered. That inspired me to list all the things I needed to consider about the project. I found the page evolved on its own as it became increasingly messier, forcing me to face how much I question my own abilities. Definitely an eye-opener.
What About Going Digital?
I don’t think it’s hard to see that I wasn’t exaggerating about my lack of artistic skills. Fortunately, all is not lost if you prefer going digital. There is typically less writing on a digital scrapbook page, but there is always a Tarot draw, one done with intent.
In this example, I wanted to create a page in remembrance of my mom. Because the date was so close to Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), I chose images commonly seen then, such as marigolds and sugar skulls.
After arranging all the images on my iPad, I drew a card, asking what I most needed to know about Mom being in Spirit. It wasn’t a surprise to see the 9 of Cups (the Wish card) as one of her last wishes was to be with me in her next life. (For my UK friends, Mom had already decided her next life would be in an English cottage by the sea.)
If your skills are more digital than hand-drawn, you’ll find thousands of copyright-free images, including scrapbook paper, on Pixabay.com. If you have a tablet, the easiest way to create a digital scrapbook page is with an image editing or collage app. There are several of both types of app, but I use Superimpose X because it’s so simple to create multiple layers. If you don’t want to get that deep into photo editing, pick a collage app and you’ll get close to the same results (see below).
For digital, you can use any tarot deck you like. Just take a photo of the cards with your phone or tablet and then pull them into your scrapbook page.
Exploring Difficult Decisions
One more example. This time I was torn about a potential new client. I knew the work would be interesting, but I wasn’t sure if the client was a good fit for my personality.
I drew three cards from the Rider-Waite and one clarifying card from the City Oracle. I have to admit, the clarifying card tipped the scale, letting me know that my client’s Emperor-ish ways and changeable moods (and wants) was not a good fit for me.
How Deep Can You Go?
Since tarot is a visual medium, it makes sense – at least to me – to blend the cards with other imagery. In the end, you’ll end up a deeper layer of understanding. Or you’ll end up with questions you didn’t even know you had. Even if your scrapbook page is a simple remembrance, like the one I did for my mom, you still need to take the time to consider what imagery most matches your intent.
Does tarot scrapbooking take more time than a daily tarot journal? Sure. And I don’t do scrapbook pages for every little question. But I do use them when I feel that I need more input than a few tarot cards. Trust me, you’ll be surprised at the feelings and thoughts that arise as you begin to create your own pages.
Decks used in this article
Mystic Mondays Tarot by Grace Duong
Tarot Grand Luxe by Ciro Marchetti
Have you ever tried scrapbooking your tarot readings? Share your scrapbook entries with us on Instagram for a chance to be featured on our blog!
About Nancy Hendrickson
Nancy Hendrickson is the author of Ancestral Tarot (Red Wheel/Weiser March 2021). You can find her on Instagram @nancysageshadow or via her website SageandShadow.com.
We also highly recommend this interview with Nancy and Theresa Reed!
Love these ideas, Nancy! I have a couple of tarot journals with a page or two devoted to each card in them and I too pull in other images to flesh out the card meanings. When I mentor new readers, I always suggest they do projects like this. Tarot is a visual medium and this kind of creativity can really facilitate a deeper connection to the cards. Thanks for sharing your process!