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cards and stationary with magnifying glass
Photo by Melissa Constandse

Tarot Card Readings: An Altering Experience from the POV of a Previous Skeptic

I’m in no way a psychic or fortune teller; most of my life I’ve been only a casual member of spiritual or religious practices due to my overwhelming incapability to believe in things which I cannot see, touch or feel. That being said, three weeks ago I bought a package of tarot cards (from urban outfitters mind you) and my mind has been opened, or “blown,” as kids say these days. 

The tarot is a pack of playing cards, used from the mid-15th century in various parts of Europe to play an array of games. Now mainly known and used for fortune telling, a tarot card deck consists of 78 cards, made up of four suits of 14 cards (the minor arcana cards) and 22 other cards (the major arcana). These cards are associated with a specific meaning based on where the card falls in a reading, the way it is facing, and the order it is laid in. Tarot cards have beautiful and detailed images on them which match or associate with the name and meaning of the card. When partaking in a tarot reading it is important to consider all the features of the cards including the images, messages and placements of said cards. 

tarot cards
Photo by Viva Luna Studios from Unsplash

Tarot is an individual experience, to my inexperienced understanding it falls in the same realms of meditation and reflection. Tarot is not something to be taken literally, you don’t flip up the death card and die the next day, NO! The cards are meant to provide new ideas and thoughts that one may not have considered before; personally, I use them to open my mind to a new perspective on events in my life.

After watching countless YouTube videos on tarot and consulting friends and family who have partaken in this practice for much longer than me, I’ve developed different understandings and individual habits when doing readings on both others and myself. Tarot cards have become my big party trick, when friends are over and the drinks are flowing I whip out a couple candles, a little side table and my tarot cards and thus I have created my sacred space reading for readings and good energy. For me it’s all about the energy of both the person doing the reading as well as the person being read: in many cases skeptics are not going to get the same results or understandings as an individual who opens themself up to the practice of tarot and understands the energy and meaning of the cards, as well as the ‘questions and answers’ people are looking for. When one has a closed off energy, the result is to get a closed off reading. If there’s any anger or dark emotion the reading is affected, at least to my understanding.

There are endless amounts of possible readings, which are used and interpreted for differing purposes and focuses. As a beginner the card placements I’ve been using have varied from 1 card to 4 card readings. One card readings often used to answer or reflect on one’s connection to their higher self or providing a quick answer to a small question of guidance. three card readings usually combine three cards to understand or reflect on three separate entities. For example, a ‘Past, Present, Future’ reading would be a 3 card reading. Finally, my favorite, a four card clarity reading: four cards in placement with one focusing on the overarching issue and the three factors that are influencing its outcome and effects.  There are so many factors that go into the practice of tarot and as I’ve already said it is an experience that is extremely individual, with each person who participates bringing something different to the reading every time.

cards and stationary with magnifying glass
Photo by Melissa Constandse

At first I truly bought my cards as a joke, but now I don’t leave the house without them. Starting second year I bought a bunch of plants for my room, put a tapestry up, bought an evil eye glass wall hook, and started listening to indie and alternative music, as well as dressing in a really indie and alternative way. This sparked an interest in the subject of meditation, reflection, energy, auras and their influences and connections to health, so I thought ‘hell, why not mess around and get fortune-telling cards’, but it is no longer a joke, let me tell you that! Tarot is something I do everyday now as a way to reflect and ground myself, to focus on the smaller things in life and meditate on aspects and understandings which I may not have otherwise considered. As I said earlier there are a wide array of different reading possibilities. I have had readings that still give me the shivers to this day, where so many things lined up and connected with the space and energy that was present during the reading. These readings not only provided guidance and a new outlet of thought on the situation I was looking for clarity on, but also connected to the thoughts and distractions that were present before, during and after my reading. 

Maybe I’m just buying into the belief of tarot for a subconscious reason related to loneliness within quarantine or the need to believe in a higher power, but in my experience of personal readings, as well as after giving 20 plus readings to both my friends and random connections I have made at parties and hearing their experience after a reading, this practice has turned my world upside down and opened me up. My mom doesn’t really buy into this kind of thing but even she has noticed a calmness about me that wasn’t there before, a grounding nature that I normally wouldn’t be associated with. I notice these things too, but hearing it from an outside party validates my experience that much more. I was a skeptic and now I’ve apparently changed into this mellow individual who, rather than rushing to anger, stress, panic and anxiety in situations, I look for the connection of energy and my higher self in relation to the rush of emotions I may be feeling. I’m not holding onto the little disturbances in life anymore, no no: as Augustus Waters once said “I’m a rollercoaster that only goes up my friends.”

So take what you will, stay skeptic or order a pack of tarot cards for your own use or hell, DM  me on Instagram and I’ll give you a reading myself, but don’t be afraid to open your mind to things in your life that you are skeptical about. Open yourself up to the energy around you and the forces it has on your day-to-day life. There are 78 cards, 78 images, messages and placements to reflect and meditation on, and even if cards are not your thing or you just don’t buy the power of the tarot which I have described, allow yourself to meditate, reflect, and sit back and watch and see how this practice and these habits can change your views on everyday life. 

Hi my name is Caroline and I am super excited to be joining Her Campus as a writer this year!
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