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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UC Berkeley chapter.

If you’re anything like me, you constantly have questions about your future that you can’t quite answer. That’s why I started to learn to read tarot cards.

I was immediately drawn to the beautiful imagery, symbols, and different themed decks. I was never a very spiritual person, but my partner at the time was, so he bought me my first tarot card deck to learn. The theme of my deck honored the many goddesses throughout history and used their stories to place themes of women empowerment and feminine strength at the center of the readings. This made me excited to learn and gave me an incentive to really connect with it. After months of discovering the meanings of the different cards and doing readings for the people in my life, I’ve learned quite a bit about tarot cards and what they can do for you. Whether you believe tarot cards can reveal something about you or hold any truth, I really think there’s something in it for everyone. Here are some of my takeaways:

#1: Trust your intuition

Yes, different cards have different meanings, but you can’t treat them like a dictionary and read them to someone verbatim. Cards adapt to the questions you ask, and it all comes down to your intuition when giving someone a reading. Cards can change meaning when paired with other ones, especially when certain images come together. No two people will read tarot the same way, which is why it’s so important for you to simply look at the cards and build your own connection to the images and symbols. 

#2: … but don’t just BS

There are 76 tarot cards in a deck. After months of learning, I still don’t confidently know every card like the back of my hand. There’s no shame in referring back to a guide. The worst thing you can do is tell someone what they want to hear instead of accurately reading it.

#3: Take what resonates with you

Not every reading will make sense, and sometimes, it doesn’t apply to you at all. Take only what speaks and resonates with you. Maybe this is advice for the future and not for the present. 

#4: It doesn’t tell you something you don’t already know

A woman looks at her reflection in the mirror.
Photo by Jessica Ticozzelli from Pexels

I truly believe that tarot cards don’t tell you something you don’t already know about yourself. While a card doesn’t give you a detailed explanation on what your entire future looks like, it does give you insight on certain issues or situations occurring in your life right now. Maybe it’s a decision you’ve been contemplating for a while, or a problem that has yet to be resolved. I’ve had friends who were unsure about their current relationships, curious about the near future regarding school or their love lives, or worried about internships. Whatever it is, you’ve likely already thought about it and considered your feelings regarding it. Tarot cards come in handy to guide you through this issue or situation, perhaps suggesting a direction you knew was right all along.

While they don’t hold all the answers, tarot cards provide something significant for us to reflect about ourselves, as well as guidance during times of uncertainty.

Emily Lai

UC Berkeley '24

Emily is a second year at UC Berkeley intending to major in Political Economy and History. She is from San Francisco, and is passionate about fitness, food, and politics. Emily is looking to go into a career in finance, and enjoys writing about her college life.
Melody A. Chang

UC Berkeley '19

As a senior undergraduate, I seek out all opportunities that expand my horizons, with the aim of developing professionally and deepening my vision of how I can positively impact the world around me. While most of my career aims revolve around healthcare and medicine, I enjoy producing content that is informative, engaging, and motivating.  In the past few years, I have immersed myself in the health field through working at a private surgical clinic, refining my skills as a research assistant in both wet-lab and clinical settings, shadowing surgeons in a hospital abroad, serving different communities with health-oriented nonprofits, and currently, exploring the pharmaceutical industry through an internship in clinical operations.  Career goals aside, I place my whole mind and soul in everything that I pursue whether that be interacting with patients in hospice, consistently improving in fitness PR’s, tutoring children in piano, or engaging my creativity through the arts. Given all the individuals that I have yet to learn from and all the opportunities that I have yet to encounter in this journey, I recognize that I have much room and capacity for growth. Her Campus is a platform that challenges me to consistently engage with my community and to simultaneously cultivate self-expression.