Inspiring Enchantment & Illumination with Tarot & Intuitive Guidance

Journaling in the Third House

Each thought that is welcomed and recorded is a nest egg, by the side of which more will be laid.
~ Henry David Thoreau

After all the Super Moon hoopla and celebrations of Spring’s many holidays, today we resume our journey through the Third House of the astrological chart.

The Third House is involved with the aspects of our lives that include our early childhood, relationships with our siblings (if any), and mental activities like schooling, learning and our intelligence aptitude. Ruled by Gemini, it also includes communications, and how we organize and share our unique experiences.

Which brings me to today’s topic: journaling.

Show of hands – how many of you keep a diary or journal of some sort? Maybe, like me, you keep several.  Right now, I have an ongoing Book of Shadows, a Tarot diary, my morning pages journal, and a gratitude journal. Oh yeah, and this blog, too, I guess!  I don’t write in all of them every day, but as you can see, I am a bit of a journaling nut!

Believe it or not, though, in my younger years, I would have never done this, mainly because my parents thought nothing of prying into my personal papers and private letters, even when I was much too young to be up to anything naughty.

So I learned early that the idea of writing down something truly intimate or revealing was a big no-no. I found that it was very unsafe and I needed to hide my inner thoughts, fears and dreams, for they were vulnerable to bitter misunderstanding and strife.

Even as an adult, thanks to years of unconsciously choosing dysfunctional lovers and friends who simply replicated all the problems in my family of origin, such private musings on paper could have been embarrassing and even, in the case of my first marriage, dangerous.

Happily, years of therapy and healing later, I found that writing down my thoughts was, not a liability, but a revelation.  Maybe it’s all the Air in my chart, but I process my experiences better by writing them out.

I enjoy going back and re-reading my journals. It helps me discover how far I have come (or if I am still whining about the same old junk).

With my first cup of coffee in the morning, I love to have a quiet chat with my inner self.  For me, this helps to set the tone for a more focused, intentional, and calm day.  It is a simple ritual of self-nurturing and I highly recommend it.

If you were here in 2009 when we worked our way through Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, you know I agree with Julia that morning pages are crucial to our creativity and even spiritual well-being.  In all my Tarot classes, I encourage my students to start keeping a card-of-the-day journal. Similarly, in my Develop Your Intuition workshops, noting your psychic hits throughout the day is key to improving and trusting your own unique ways of tuning in.

Like a ship’s log, journals keep us on course towards our destination by tracking with great accuracy where we have been. They help us organize our experiences and make sense of our lives.

So do you keep a journal of some sort?  What kind(s)?  How long have you done so?  Do you have a favorite way you prefer to do it?  A personal ritual?

And if you feel journaling is not for you, is there some reason?

Please share with us!

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  • March 24, 2011, 2:11 pm Carey

    I’m really glad to see this topic come up again here because I missed your year with Julia Cameron and The Artist’s Way. However, as my new Years treat (Imbolc) I purchase a copy of her book. Perhaps now is a good time to begin.

    I too grew up never writing anything down, and on an even greater level, keeping ~all~ of my most inner self, my real self, completely hidden away from myself, from everybody. Not that there was anything “naughty” there but that those inner places were so fragile and vulnerable and true and the possibility of them being crushed and poked at was so great. The pain would be unbearable. I had a diary once as a very young girl, a pink leather bound one with a gold lock and key and the pages were edged in gold. I think my grandmother gave it to me, but I only wrote in it a few times…something must have happened which I cannot remember because that was it for me, the last I wrote anything down which came from my heart. I remember it’s smell, and how my young cursive looked in it, with my attempts to write beautifully and within the lines.

    As an adult I have discovered that I have a desperate need to write, to speak through my fingers, to see my thoughts held still for a moment on paper before they swirl and transform yet again. Writing captures my thoughts, holds them poised, before they escape into the ether and I’ve lost them. I’m not embarrassed by my thoughts anymore, but am still a little uneasy about people finding them, someday when I am gone. This isn’t stopping me.

    Love all those stacks of morning pages Beth!

  • March 24, 2011, 2:59 pm Beth

    Oh so beautifully said, Carey! I am so grateful and glad you have found your writerly voice – it’s masterful!

  • March 24, 2011, 7:16 pm Jade

    As you can see, I’m a bit behind but catching up today! LOL I’ve been journaling since 1978 – and yes, still have them all in large, empty cat litter tubs (found Scoop Away tubs were the best, but now they’ve gone to boxes and bags – drat!). One member of my 40 year sisterhood/coven has the charge of burning them should I leave before her – as I, too, consider them completely private and not for viewing by anyone one else. My Taurus mother often said she would want to read them if I passed before her – luckily, she crossed before me! LOL I occasionally pull some out to see if I have made progress or am still stuck in some areas, but also see them as a daily morning ritual that kickstarts my day by letting go of fears and concerns by writing them, listing my reasons for being grateful, as well as my affirmations each day. I try to do it when I first get up, but if that doesn’t happen I aim for writing before bed to at least release and note the day before sleep. I started out with lovely hardback lined books, but finally discovered that the spiral notebooks (that go on sale for school kids in August – wide ruled!) are the best – and I stock up on them every year! I remind myself to always write what I’m thankful about as well as my concerns – and often just the process of writing about things allows me to find answers that were escaping the mental processing. I’ve been using various card decks for a “pull the card for the day” for years – and choose what feels right that day – be it Power Animal Deck, Tarot (I have used the Connolley Deck for years for professional readings and my own), Rune Deck, or even Denise Linn’s Soul Coaching. I highly recommend to my clients to start journaling when they find themselves struggling -it’s amazing the results they can achieve with that. Thanks for all who have written about this – I got some new ideas myself! Blessed Be!

  • March 25, 2011, 1:37 am Athene Noctua


    After my kids, I started jotting down what happens during the day, just brief notes in the Llewellyn Witches Datebook. After reading your blog, I started the Gratitude Journal, and last year did the morning pages, even though I didn’t really do the artist way. I am NOT a morning person, definitely a night owl here, but I still take 5-10 minutes to jot down what I dreamed about the night before, and any concerns. I guess my morning pages are more of a dream journal. Haven’t started a card of the day journal, but perhaps next year.

    Also, I still have a Hello Kitty Diary I wrote in off and on as a kid, but never completely filled. My daughter made off with it.

    Athene Noctua

  • March 25, 2011, 8:15 am Dawn Z

    Do I journal?! Like you, I have several different notebooks for different things ~ my daily which contains the Carte du Jour, my SoulCollage pick and goings on; my Tarot readings; my Visual journal; my blog; the guest book from my mother’s memorial service I’ve taken for writing letters to her in; and I hope to get started on my Morning Pages again (missed the boat last year w/ your Artist’s Way). I’d done as much of the exercises as I could from Cameron’s book 12 years ago, but the Morning Pages were a comfort and an annoyance (sometimes I just didn’t have the time or there were too many interruptions). I love writing it all down ~ even and sometimes especially the whining. Thanks for posting.

  • March 25, 2011, 9:42 am Madeleine

    Oh Yes! JOURNALLING! One of the highest of spiritual practices in my opinion!! I too keep a gratitude will CHANGE YOUR LIFE! I do a daily tarot card journal once in a while, off and on. Illuminating! And I write other thoughts down in a ring notebook too.. a kind of daily grind journal.

    I have Jupiter in Gemini in the third..been WRITING THINGS DOWN all my life!

    Blessings to you! I’m loving the blog this year, haven’t had time to comment much,lately but will start again now!!

  • March 25, 2011, 10:12 am Maria

    What Carey said really resonated with me. I grew up in a hostile and violent environment, where I learned that something was wrong with me but I was not allowed to know exactly what it was. I kept so much, so far inside that eventually even I couldn’t find it. At age 30, I couldn’t even tell you what my favorite color was. How weird is that?

    Anyway, I think I came across The Artist’s Way a couple of years later, and I guess I’ve been doing Morning Pages on and off for about 15 years now. It has been an enormous help in digging for the truth of myself and my life. Sometimes, the simple boredom of listening to msyelf complain about the same thing over and over motivates me to change it! 🙂

    I’ve kept a journal of favorite quotes for 10 or 12 years, and a Tarot journal for about 10. Recently, I’ve started visual journaling, and I’m still working the kinks out of that — how often, techniques, etc. I also have two blogs.

  • March 25, 2011, 12:31 pm Merryweather

    Seems like a couple of us have had the same experiences when we were young – I grew up in a hostile environment too, and buried “myself” so no one could find me. If “I” couldn’t be found, then “I” couldn’t be hurt. And that went for journalling too – I would collect journals, but never write in them. I knew it wasn’t safe to write anything down. And no one was ever going to see who I really was. I was literally just a blank page. Safer that way.

    So no, Maria, it’s not weird that you didn’t even know your own favorite color! I completely understand! The way I handled it was basically this – my favorite color was the color that someone else thought I should have. There was no way I was going to let anything that truly defined me out in the open, so I just took on other people’s definitions of me.

    Now however, after LOTS of deep healing work, I’m finally letting ME out. And NOW I’m journalling as if I’m making up for lost time! Tarot journal, meditation journal, random every-day journal. I even carry a notebook around with me everywhere I go! And I like this much better!

  • March 25, 2011, 5:01 pm judy

    I love journalling and having been doing it for countless years. I pour out my heart and soul on the pages.. with words, with art, with love and gratitude and with rage and despair. And, therefore, I couldn’t bear for anyone to see them. For years, I simply told my daughter, that if anything unexpected should befall me, she was to rush over to my place(even before the hospital!) and burn all my journals.. without looking inside.
    Then, when pushing 60, I began to feel the weight of all that emotion on paper in my space(under my bed most of the time). If I reread them, I just found myself reliving all the old drechh I’d grown out of through those experiences… sooo.. as you might guess, I desroyed them. Ripped them up(so the garbage man couldn’t read them!) and threw them away.
    I did keep as many of the pages of magical moments with animals, both real and ‘journeyed’ as I could find.
    But oh, what a WEIGHT of years and emotions was lifted from me with the letting go of those journals.
    Now I hold onto the journals of wisdoms, poetry, meditations and such.. and release the ones I keep for shouting my heart.
    Thanks for the opportunity to share these things in our ‘virtual circle’, Beth.. hugs, Judy

  • March 25, 2011, 5:25 pm Beth

    Oh, you all! I am so loving this!!! Every post I read, I am just nodding and murmuring YES! YES! (ask my cat; she will tell you this is, disturbingly, true).

    Notice how journaling as an act of intimate expression .. even if it is only to ourselves is so, so powerful. I celebrate each of you and the pathways that you are opening, to be able to know and write your truth.

    If I was an astrologer, I suppose I might be able to look at your chart and see what was going on in your Third House that has made this activity so hard, or gratifying, or spiritual, or so ominous, and where, now, so much talent and joy can be reclaimed.

    But since I’m not, I can only say, doesn’t this show something powerful about our lives?

    Thank you everyone who is sharing here. Look how strong (and healing) our common experience is!