It’s not always easy to keep track of one’s progress along the spiritual path. One good way I’ve found to gauge my studies over the years is to keep a journal. There are several types of journals that can be helpful.
I must admit to being somewhat of a journal-holic myself (I’m a Virgo. Say no more?). I keep a Tarot journal, with a brief record of the day’s events beside the record of the 3 cards I picked that morning. A cloth-bound blank book holds my thoughts & feelings, as well as significant events. I write in it once a week, on average, and tend to go through one each year. My dream journal records the most significant or memorable of my dreams. And of course, I have my Book of Shadows which holds information on my magickal pathwork.
The daily Tarot journal, which can be adapted for use with runes or other types of divination, is a good way to see how your year is going. At the end of the year, I do a tally of how many times I drew each card. It’s also interesting to observe how your day’s events match the cards you drew that morning.
My standard journal has served me well in reflecting how I’ve grown and what I’ve learned, especially in my metaphysical studies. I read somewhere that there are two rules of journal keeping: 1. Date every entry. 2. Make no other rules. My long-term memory is also not great, so it is valuable to be able to refer back to my own past-self’s reflections.
Most books on dream work suggest keeping a daily dream journal. Personally, I find that I only record dreams when they are particularly vivid or significant to me. Do what seems right for you. But remember, you are the only person who is truly suited to analyze your dreams. Discovering your own personal system of dream symbols is an interesting process, one with which a written record can help.
I find that my personal Book of Shadows is more like a recipe book than a journal. But even so, I go through it every so often to update it and take out things that I no longer need. It’s all too easy to fill the black ring binder with way too many papers. I find that what I’ve included can provide insight on what my interests and spiritual needs have been in the recent past (“do I really need 12 healing spells?!”).
Whatever types of journals you choose, be sure to take time every so often to go back and read what you’ve written. It can really be an eye-opener, and point out to you how far you’ve come along your chosen path.