Friday, August 28, 2009

My Tarot Journal

Given all the journals and notebooks I own, I've wanted to make my own Tarot Journal for some time from my collection. So I finally got around to it this past week with the help of a friend, whose photoshop skills and general advice were needed and especially appreciated. The tarot cards are a new deck I'd been waiting on and finally bought from, made by Ciro Marchetti--The Legacy of the Divine Tarot. I definitely wanted to use these for my Tarot Journal as they are very beautiful but also very different from many other decks I've used in the past.

First step was to scan the cards into my computer. Then a friend re-sized them to 50% of the original, and we printed them on a Xerox Phaser color laser printer using ivory card stock. Bright white card stock might have been a better choice, but as we didn't have any on hand and I didn't want to wait, we went with the ivory. The detail of the cards even when shrunk is amazing, and the ivory color doesn't distract.

The journal I'm using is one I picked up at Kinokuniya in NYC across the avenue from Bryant Park, a Maruman 26-ring clear vinyl binder with a leather snap closure measuring 8.5 x 11. I love the orange cloth outline, and the size is really convenient--it seems to just fit into my hand. I also really love the leather and brass closure snap, a classy way to keep the journal closed in a very stylish manner.

Another great feature that really attracted me is the binder's clear vinyl body and the front and back pockets. The pockets already contained thick white paper with some advertising on them (a picture of a fork swirling pasta, with Japanese pictographs underneath it) that acted as covers so you couldn't see what was written inside. So I was able to use that paper as a cutting pattern to make front and back covers that had my own design on them. And better still, I can change the images at any time should I want to look at different cards. The front cover shows the Marchetti deck's card design, and the back cover shows The Fool surrounded by the card design.

Inside, the 26-hole writing paper is a mix, some from Muji USA which is a bit thin and some from Kinokuniya made by Maruman which is a bit thicker (left is a comparison of the two papers, Muji and Maruman looseleaf). While there's no bleed through of ink when writing with a fountain pen or roller ball, you can definitely see the words on the other side. But, it's still a work in progress so we'll see how this goes. I'm not attracted to pencils or ball points, but might have to reconsider if the "shadow" becomes irritating. (The Knight of Cups picture to the lower right shows the Maruman paper, while the picture of The Moon card below shows the Muji stock.)

The cards were printed, cut and pasted to a sheet of 26-hole paper. The I took some images from the cards, enlarged them a bit, and created a front and back cover and title pages for each of the four suits (rods, cups, swords, coins) and the Major Arcana. For each suit I used an image of that suit's Ace which was printed on white paper and then cut and pasted to the ivory card stock. That in turn is cut and pasted to the 26-hole paper. These will serve as chapter pages at the beginning of each suit, and with the heavier weight they will make the suits easier to turn to when I'm looking for a specific card. For the Major Arcana, I printed out The Fool card, also printed on white paper and matted to the ivory card stock. I also have sections for notes on various subjects as well, and may make some additional chapters grouping the numbers and court cards together.

The final step was to print up a title label for each card and section, and then paste those onto the pages. And voila! I've now used one of my favorite journals, taking advantage of its idiosyncracies such as the clear vinyl and snap closure, to finally complete a wonderful project that I've wanted to create for some time. This will be a great re-addition to my journal collection. Now to choose among all my pens and get to work transferring notes and observations made through the years to my "new" Tarot Journal.

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