An Unexpected Tarot Gift
Someone gave me a spare RWS Tarot deck. It’s almost strange for me to be given a deck because nine times out of ten, I’m the one giving Tarot decks away. This person was adamant that they didn’t need the deck, however, and wanted me to have it, so I gratefully accepted the kind offer. The cards are old but barely used and the box they came in is missing the bottom (it’s the lid you see in the picture).
I mulled it over for a few days and then decided to use these cards as illustrations in my Tarot journal. I’ve had a few through the years but I never had one dedicated to individual symbols in the cards, so I thought I would start one of those this time. I also very much cherish the idea of a physical rather than an online journal. Less screen time can only be a good thing!
The RWS Tarot Symbols Journal
Perhaps you have noticed that your eye is often drawn to a particular area of the card because one of the symbols seem to pop? This is because your subconscious is actively communicate that aspect of the card to you. Something about that symbol relates to what your subconscious mind is trying to make you aware of.
According to Jung, symbols are different to archetypes. Archetypes are more universal (this is how the Majors have set and easily recognisable meanings), where as symbols are more subjective. Hence, in Jungian dreamwork, there is no dictionary of symbols – each symbol only takes on meaning in context of our own psyches.
Because I’m reading Jung at the moment, I feel inspired to delve deeper into symbols and really study how I relate to the symbols in the Tarot as an individual. This is one of my main reasons of making symbols the main theme of this Tarot journal…
How I will Do My Daily RWS Tarot Symbols Draw
The intention is to pull one card a day (Mon-Fri), until I have worked my way through the whole deck. I will glue the card onto a page. At the top, I will add some keywords and meanings that I have found work for the card. Then I pick the first symbol that my eyes are drawn to. First I write the traditional symbols and then my own thoughts, including any personal stories that relate to the symbol.
Because I’m using a ringbinder, I can keep adding more symbols to my library when I go around again with another deck. I can also arrange all the cards in order so that the journal in the end becomes a dictionary of Tarot symbols.
Join in the Fun
You can join in the fun in more than one way and you don’t have to use a physical journal. If you prefer, you can use your social media account as your journal. If you do share on social media, please use the hashtag #RWSTarotSymbols. You can also add a hashtag for individual symbols by using ‘name of symbol + RWSsymbols’ – For the symbol I honed in on in the 2 of Wands it would be #redhatRWSsymbols. Oh, and feel free to tag me @tarotize!
There are FREE symbol library resources online if you are new to the Tarot and not sure about the traditional meaning of the symbols found in the cards. Here is one specifically for the Tarot. A good book that talks about many of the symbols contained in the cards is ‘Holistic Tarot‘ by Benebell Wen.
This Tarot challenge starts today but it doesn’t have a final date. I hope to keep it going over the next couple of years at least. Join us over at the Tarot Geekery group if this sounds fun to you. Apart from studying Tarot symbols, we will be doing a monthy Tarot book study.