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The Hero’s Journal: Give Your Goal an Epic Quest

I am an avid journaler, so much so, that on the shelves of my desk hold at least ten journals, each with a different theme or focus. From gardening and plants, to tarot and gratitude, I love to journal. There is so much that can be said about journaling in regards to being an ally and healing enhancer. Journaling allows you full expression, or control of your expression, over a situation or circumstance without ever relinquishing safety or discomfort to the weight your words carry. You can tell someone to fuck off, without them ever knowing it. You can list every dream you have ever had to make connections to your subconscious projection. You can document and follow the course of your free-flowing thoughts with no regard to cause or consequence.

Journaling allows you to speak what needs to be spoken, without saying a word. It allows you the metaphorical microphone of universal witnessing. It is a sacred act of self-expression. I want to highlight one journal in particular- The Hero’s Journal. I want to highlight this journal as my pick for the month because it is a helpful tool for people like me who love to journal, but often get sucked into the format of free-write with little to no organization or thought for layout. This journal has also been helpful in keeping me on track, and reminding each day that the process of success of attainment is a journey, not a destination.

What It Offers: Organization, Visualization, and Balance

This journal is broken down into a complex format given for each day. The organization of this journal is loaded with resources including:

* offering gratitude, which has been shown to keep a positive perspective and sense of levity to all situations

*A calendar that allows you to adequately plan your day

*A place to write down what your goal is, so you can be reminded each and every day of what you are working for

* The most important three tasks to make sure you’re fulfilling the requirements needed to stay on track.

*An affirmation to motivate and inspire

*Needed balance in vocalizing threats and allies. Knowing both allows you to lean into support, while staying mindful of what could be a hindrance.

*There is a dotted section, helpful for any add-on’s, thoughts, or reminders. The visualization is adorable, and helps to give comedic relief, as well as reminding you that this is a journey.

*The journal is broken down into chapters with further journal prompts so you can move honestly and thoroughly through each phase of your journal.

I personally love the layout and feel of this journal. The thought process behind the creation, which you can get in more detail by clicking here to watch a short YouTube video from the creators, is this: by viewing and pursuing your goal as a quest and as a desire instead of a destination you become more awake to the vibrancy of your calling. You become more emboldened to live and feel and breathe in your personal paradigm.

In order for anything to be manifested, it isn’t enough to merely want it. You have to have the desire to see the journey through, during the discouragement and the beauty. This journal has been helpful for me in keeping me engaged each day that I use it. It has reminded me of my why and helps with my how. It makes me smile because who could’t smile at those adorable little raccoons on the bottom of the second page?

I love the layered approach to each daily post, and how the transition of the journey moves and morphs over time, as do all journeys we encounter. There are three different kinds of journeys, so you can choose your adventure. What I love so much about this journal is that I get to see the trajectory of my quest, and track my adventure. You can pre-order a journal by clicking here. If you like to journal, like to keep track of your progress, or want to give your goal some emphasis in folklore, check this journal out.

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How to Create the Perfect Tarot Spread

Write the spread that guides you home…

If you read tarot cards, chances are you know about the classic spreads. These are the spreads like the Celtic Cross, the Horseshoe Spread, Past / Present/ Future, and so on. These are the spreads that have stood the test of time. They are iconic because they are bring in and cover such a broad base of messages. When I first started reading tarot, I turned to these spreads, and any others that accompanied the beautiful books of my teachings. I felt these spreads would last with me through my whole tarot journey.

And, that hasn’t been entirely incorrect. Every now and again I will turn to one of these tried-and-trues, but to be honest, once I got a handle on how I read tarot, and what I want the messages in the cards to offer me, I stopped relying on most of these well-known spreads. The main reason is that I like spreads with a little more direction. To me, the Celtic Cross started to move me in circles. Like I was driving to a new location that I have never to before. I know the zip code. I know the general location I am in, but the side streets and landmarks are not leading me anywhere helpful.

I started to write my own spreads. It may seem easy to write a tarot spread, and there are days where the needed messages just come flowing forth, from somewhere within me that I cannot name, only feel. Other days, I feel like I am on the right track, but still getting nowhere. So, if you want to write the perfect tarot spreads for yourself, or for your business, keep reading!

Tarot lets you explore your reality, your possibilities, your elusiveness. What do you want your cards to say?

To make it easy, there are three key things that I feel should be considered when writing a tarot spread, so that it includes everything to make your tarot experience beautiful and empowering….

Those three key things are:

  • Knowing the insight or clarity you / your client’s need from the reading
  • Knowing what is reasonable (within your ability to ask)
  • Being mindful of receiving the whole truth

Let’s begin with needed insight or clarity. It is vital to understand and be able to articulate what is being asked of this spread. For a spread like the past, present, future, the insight being gained is an understanding of what has passed, what is coming in, and what is within the present moment. If the spread is stop, start, continue, the spread is giving insight into actions that help or hinder.

So, in writing your spread ask what and where you need insight. Do you want your spread more general or specific? Do you want options or choices in your spread, or are you open to receiving concrete messages from your cards? Are you looking for a more spiritual or a more psychological approach, or do you want both covered in your spread? Your spread can include anything you want, as long as it includes the second part of the key themes.

A great way to gain full clarity of what you need from your spread is to do a freewrite journal exercise. Write down whatever you are feeling, thinking, experiencing, or considering. Just write. After you feel you have written down everything that honors and captures your point of view or your needs, put it aside for a day. Let the words sit for a moment. Return to your writing and highlight what you feel the key words or key themes are within your words. These highlighted passages are the bare bones of what you can explore in your spread.

Use journaling as a way to see what themes, feelings, or thoughts keep coming up. This could become the structure of your spread.

Once you have decided what you need your spread to speak to, it is time to move on to the second key theme: what is reasonable to ask of the cards. This theme is open to interpretation, as everyone has a different style of reading. Your style of reading will dictate and determine what is reasonable to ask. For example: my way of reading is intuitive, but not predictive. Therefore, while I have spreads that speak to possible outcomes, I do not in any way instruct or inform my clients that a certain circumstance or series of events will unfold. If you read from a purely spiritual point of view, your spread positions will speak to spirituality.

Once you know your reading style, consider what is reasonable to ask the spread. It is reasonable for you to ask about 3rd party readings? Is it reasonable to ask about financial matters or health issues? Only you can answer what is right for you and your reading style. Once you have decided what is reasonable, your spread will reflect that truth. If you find it reasonable to read for others, include in your spread questions that speak to this. If you feel it unreasonable, keep all questions in relation to you, or whomever is the seeker.

After you have decided what is reasonable, or unreasonable to ascertain from your spread, we move on to the final key theme: honesty, brutal honesty. If we think about it a tarot spread as a dinner plate, the insight and clarity is the main course. It is what is going to probably benefit you the most because you are getting to the bedrock to what has been elusive. The ability to discern what is reasonable to ask is the side dish, which makes honesty the bill.

A needed exchange…

The bill (brutal honesty) is the exchange so you can have this glorious plate of energetic beauty. It is needed, but it may be hard at times to recognize that this exchange is paramount. Just as you could not have a lovely dinner at a restaraunt with paying the bill, you cannot have a truly profound spread that is of service unless there is an exchange. In all tarot spreads it is useful to have specific position that highlight the positives, the love and light if you will. These positions can include: strengths, resources, gifts and offerings to the world, lasting energy, and more. These positions are beautiful, and can highlight the beautiful nature of your / your client’s unique self.

However, it is also important to be willing to have a thorough exchange with the card and include positions that speak to the shadows. These can include: fears, weaknesses, obstacles, things to change, things to let go, and more. It is important to include spread positions like this because your tarot cards are your ally, and the spread is the conversation it is having with you / your client. It is important to go into not just the love and light, but also the shadows and the blockages, because that is how we grow. We don’t grow within the comfortable, we grow with the full spaciousness of possibility, which needs to include that which we may not want to hear.

Obviously, these three focuses are, in my opinion, needed to create a badass tarot spread. You may have a different take, and that is totally fine. You need to find what works for you. If willing, I invite you to utilize these focuses while writing your own tarot spreads. They have never led me astray, and I am confident it will be of service for you as well.

**One side note that I wanted to mention was writing a spread with a specific deck in mind. All tarot / oracle decks can be of service no matter the reading (unless there is an energetic block that has nothing to do with the spread), but sometimes it might be useful to write a spread with the focus through one certain deck. I love using my Mystical Dream Tarot deck for a more psychological, symbolic feel. If I want tangible and of this earth, the Herbcrafter’s Tarot has been it for me. For all things relating to spirit and wild reclamation, The Wild Unknown decks have never done me wrong. Again, all decks can be interchanged, no matter the spread, but if you are really struggling, or really wanting to connect to a certain deck, try writing a spread specifically for the artwork and themes of one particular deck.**

Many Blessings XOXOXO

Ashlie