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How Skeptics Can Use Tarot Cards for Self-Care

Tarot cards can bring to mind fortune-tellers draped in robes offering a glimpse into the future for a small price. But no one needs to pay for a tarot reader when the practice exists for everyone’s personal use and self-care. 

Tarot might not predict an unexpected pregnancy or tragic death as stereotypically expected, but the cards can help with critical thinking and getting out of a funk. Skeptics should buy a deck and see the proof for themselves. A common question tarot-lovers ask their decks is how to solve a problem in their life, or to explain why they feel so low lately. The cards produce an unbiased spread that suggests different areas of the reader’s life that can be improved upon or examined as the possible cause for a problem. If the user can’t seem to decipher a spread, they can shuffle the deck and start over.

Magic and the power of foresight make for thrilling fantasy stories and add to the allure of practicing tarot. Whether a user believes in the supernatural or not, tarot cards make for a great self-help device. Pulling the Ace of Cups reversed could point to tension within a family or friend group that should be relieved while the Three of Swords could suggest there’s grief a user hasn’t properly unpacked yet. 

Crystals and astrology fall under the same category as tarot. Some believers find deep meaning in their signs or precious minerals, but skeptics largely avoid the topics altogether. But, whether a person believes in the stars or not, analyzing a birth chart can force someone to consider their inner child and past trauma that could impact their daily life. Holding a crystal and charging it with the intent to have it encourage feelings of happiness can work.

Tarot, astrology, crystals and all of the new age mystics may connect with some divine force… or everyone might just experience a placebo effect combined with the benefits of self-therapy aided by cards and rocks. Maybe it’s both. But the fact of the matter is if someone holds a crystal every time they feel happy and they tell themselves over and over for months that said crystal is what makes them happy… eventually their brain will associate the rock with happiness. And if someone feels down and needs to fix a part of their life, a random card that gives them an area to focus on building up will give a user direction. A sun in Leo or Mercury in Sagittarius might sound like jumbled nonsense, but it also can help someone think about how their obsession with material items could be harmful or how their passive nature might not serve them well in a competitive field. 

In the end, it’s up to the user to use their surroundings to their advantage. And the public shouldn’t write off old practices as useless or ineffective. There’s a reason people have turned to these tools for centuries. A curious mind could gain more than it thinks from picking up a tarot deck.

Emma Lingo

Mizzou '23

Emma Lingo spends her time working as a barista at her local coffee shop, reading and being vocal about social justice issues. Emma is active with student government, student media and local nonprofits. She hopes to be a journalist one day and to live out her life in the mountains with her cat.
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