posted on June 10, 2024 by Lori Joan Swick

Sacred Art Journaling  

There is no better way to nurture your soul through stressful times than creating meditative art. Journaling calms the mind and keeps one centered. So why not combine the two and spend some wonderful – mindful time sacred art journaling?

I began my journey into sacred art journaling several years ago. I have kept a written journal for years and began to crave a wider range of self-expression. I do not claim to be an artist in any true sense of the word, but I have found that creating collages of my thoughts, feelings, meditations, and philosophical inquiry to be one of the most self-satisfying things I have done in my life.

Here are a few of my recommendations:

1. This is a rich co-creative process, so don’t forget to start with meditative breathing, articulation of your intention, and by inviting Spirit (or your understanding of the Sacred) to join you.

2.  Be totally free. You don’t have to share this with anyone if you don’t want to. Try not to worry about the final artistic merit of your work, but rather immerse yourself in the experience of creating expressions of your innermost soul.

3. Don’t burden yourself with art journaling expectations that can later thwart your spontaneity. It’s good to have regular goals but keep them open and change them whenever you need to. I like to do monthly journal collages because that is a good rhythm for me. However, if I get behind, I do not let it bother me. Sometimes journaling in retrospect opens new layers of meaning to past experiences, thoughts, and ideas.

Just be sure to regularly jot down events and ideas you do want to include. It’s fine to do this in pencil right on the page you will later art journal over, but it also helps to keep up to date in a written journal.

4. Experiment with different forms of art media and ways of recording your inner soul-self growth and awareness. I love to do my backgrounds with acrylic paint, and I use pearl color over just about everything (love that satiny sheen!) This does tend to make the pages pucker a little, but I just don’t care. I think it gives it more texture and reflects the billowing nature of life. I also play with watercolor paint, color pencils, stickers, rubber stamps, paint markers, ink pens, and glitter

5. I like to do this scrapbook style, which involves collecting memorabilia from travel, concerts, theater performances, greeting cards, photos, etc. I journal dreams, feelings, tarot readings, ideas, poems, psychic experiences, and whatever concepts are burbling up in my brain at the time. But again, it’s important to consult with your inner muse and spiritual guides and find your own way of celebrating your soulful progression through this beautiful world.

Above all, play with this process with joy and an open heart. No matter what surprises fate sends our way, we can always elevate our minds and endeavors to higher pursuits and progress on our own soulful journeys with grace and a great sense of adventure.

I would love to hear about your experiences with sacred art journaling, and I send you good thoughts.


Lori Joan Swick

Lori Joan Swick

Lori Swick is an author of historical novels about women whose contributions to religion and culture have been grossly disregarded. She also writes nonfiction books about sacred arts. Her published works include the historical fiction novel, Comfort and Mirth (TCU Press, 2009), and the nonfiction book, Dreaming ~ The Sacred Art (SkyLight Paths Publishing, 2014). She is also an award winning essayist and poet. Lori earned her Ph.D. in Religion and Philosophy with a concentration in Women's Spirituality from California Institute of Integral Studies. Her specializations are Women's Sacred Arts and Women in World Religions. She was awarded a Master's Degree with Distinction in Theology with an emphases on Feminist Theology and World Religions from the University of Notre Dame and graduated with valedictory honors from St. Edward's University, majoring in English Writing and Religious Studies. Lori currently lives in Southwest Florida. When she is not writing, she presents webinars in sacred arts topics, and works as an adjunct online university professor in religion and philosophy.

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