Tarot Journaling: Tarot shorthand

When filling out your tarot journal, you can quickly run out of space, especially if you’re writing the card names every time. This is why a “tarot shorthand” is essential. Not only does it save space – it can save your hands!

You might use simple abbreviations such as Temp for Temperance and QP for Queen of Pentacles. I’ve seen other folks use Roman numerals for the Majors, meaning 0 for the Fool and IV for The Emperor. In some cases, drawing out symbols, such as a crescent Moon for the Moon or simple scales for Justice, can also work. 

What’s essential is you figure out what makes the most sense for you and is easier to remember. 

Consider creating a list with your shorthand codes at the front or back of your journal, similar to what bullet journaling folks like to do. This can come in handy if you intend to share your journal with someone else. 

Here is the tarot shorthand method I use:

The Major Arcana

The Fool – FOOL

The Magician – MAGI

The High Priestess – HP

The Empress – EMPRS

The Emperor – EMPR

The Hierophant – HIERO

The Lovers – LOV

The Chariot – CHAR

Strength – STRENGTH

The Hermit – HERM

The Wheel of Fortune – WOF

Justice – JUST

The Hanged Man – HM

Death – DEATH

Temperance – TEMP

The Devil – DEV

The Tower – TOW

The Star – STAR

The Moon – MOON

The Sun – SUN

Judgement – JUDGE

The World – WORLD

The Minor Arcana

I use the same formula for each Minor suit: the number plus the initial for the suit. For example, Ace of Wands would be 1W, while Ace of Swords would be 1S.

For the Courts, I use:
P for Page
KN for Knight
Q for Queen
K for King

Using this example with the Pentacles would look like this:

PP for Page of Pentacles
KNP for Knight of Pentacles
QP for Queen of Pentacles
KP for King of Pentacles

For reversals, I use Rx, which is the retrograde symbol in astrology. This means the Devil reversed would be DEV Rx. You could use a simple R if you prefer.

Easy peasy.

Alright, I hope that helps you find a shorthand for your tarot journal. Of course, you can choose to write everything out too. Ultimately, it’s up to you.


The journal pictured is The Weiser Tarot Journal.

© Theresa Reed | The Tarot Lady 2023

image from personal collection

*Some of the links are Amazon links, which means I receive a small compensation if you purchase through that link. This does not impact the price of the item.


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