Leisa ReFalo Offers Journaling Materials

A Sample Page from the Rider-Waite-Smith Journal

Rider-Waite-Smith Journal: Spiral Bound - Click Image to Close

You can order the Rider-Waite-Smith version shown here for $18.00 US, or one of the other many configurations offered by Leisa on her website at http://www.tarotconnection.net/shop

She also offers art supplies and many, many other items! If you have thought about wanting it, she probably has it!

By Sheri Harshberger
I was going to wait and publish this review next month, but since Gary mentioned journaling in his Lesson this month, it seemed the right time to mention this new tool by Leisa ReFalo...

Leisa ReFalo is definitely one of us. As she illustrates often through her podcasts, she taps in to what Tarot readers want and need with an uncanny knack for perfect timing. With the seemingly regular expansion of her website shop, I find I need to stop in each week to see what she has added to her site. Frequently, I find something there about which I had just thought, “it would be great if I could find…” or “if only…was available.” Leisa is psychic, and she's reading our minds! 

I am absolutely thrilled to find that Leisa has added journaling materials to her website store, www.tarotconnection.net/shop !

Whether the goal is to read the cards for oneself, or for others, many Tarot practitioners will offer up that the best way to learn the cards of a Tarot deck is through journaling. I've written down the dates and the details of readings I've done for myself and for others, even including diagrams of the layouts I’ve used, but beyond that, I have been at a loss. I did daily reflective card pulls for a few months--until I became bored with the mundane life that I lead.  I bought Corrine Kenner's Tarot Journaling book, but found that a bit too much. The book is very centered on the Celtic Cross spread, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but it seemed to require more time and devotion to a spread that I don't use than I cared to commit.

I have read posts by others in forums I belong to discussing how much fun, and how important, their Tarot journals have been, and still are, to their journeys… And I felt left out. I didn't know where to begin. That is, until now.

The one that I have is Rider Waite Smith/Tarot of Color oriented. With this particular journal, Leisa demonstrates through application the powerful learning technique of comparative study. The same card from each deck is printed in black and white at the top of each right hand page of the journal. A little over half of the page beneath the card prints is blank, as is the back of the pages to allow space for notes and writing. There are several types of journals, called "Tarot Notebooks," available. There are binder versions and spiral bound versions. There is the RWS/Tarot of Color version, a RWS-only version, and an Alchemical version. She also offers several blank, bound journals, as well as binders and blank parchment sheets so anyone can make their own customized journals.

I love the size of the spiral bound journal! It feels substantial with 80 pages of quality paper (one page for each of the 78 cards of a Tarot deck, plus a title page and introduction). The introduction includes a message from Leisa about the importance of journaling in Tarot, and some suggestions on supplies to have handy in order to get the most from journaling activities. At roughly 8 inches tall and 6 inches wide, it is extremely portable but still large enough to work with. The spiral binding is substantial. The front is a clear plastic overlay atop a light cardboard, decoratively patterned, cover. There are different patterns available. The back is constructed of very flexible black plastic that has a texture similar to leather on the outer side, and is smooth on the inside (so writing on the last page of the journal will go smoothly).

I feel that the intent of these notebooks is to be not just a way to start journaling, but a way to start visual journaling--a very exciting concept! The paper stock is sturdy, but not stiff. It reminded me of the type of paper available in tablets at any art supply store, the kind that is suitable for multiple media applications such as pen, pencil, colored pencil, marker, and dry brush watercolor (the paper cannot withstand soaking, but can take swipes of a slightly more than damp brush). With visual journaling, you don't have to write anything. You speak in colors, images: art. You can color the cards, letting your imagination fill in what colors should be where. You can extend those thoughts onto the rest of the page if you wish, experimenting with whatever media you’d like to use. You can take as much time as you want with each card pair, or as little. You can go in order, or in no order at all.

At $18.00 US, the spiral bound journals are extremely affordable, especially when compared to blank journals offered elsewhere. The binder version is even less, and Leisa's selection ranges from the standard vinyl, to stunning, deeply embossed leather. She also offers a variety of blank journals (lined pages) covered in beautiful materials, as well as small notepads. For the convenience of one-stop shopping, there are also watercolor pencils (used like colored pencils and then blended with a water dampened brush) and sharpeners available on the site.

I highly recommend these journals to anyone, to those who are starting out with journaling and who would like to start with a basic framework to learn and work within, and also to those who are experienced and who want to use quality materials to continue or to expand their current journaling activities.

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Tarot Reflections is published by the American Tarot Association - Copyright (C) 2008
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