Most of my friends in college consider me to be a little bit of a hippie. I love bell-bottoms and flowy fabric pants, I’m passionate about the environment and I am a proud owner of a tie-dye bucket hat. However, when we get into belief systems, I’m a logical person and I find it difficult to place my faith in anything I can’t see. My little sister is much different. She’s been reading my tarot cards since she got her first set a few years ago, and while it hasn’t changed my outlook on the world, it has slowly made me more sure of my own goals and the path I want to take to reach them.
I’m not deep into astrology or a die-hard believer in the supernatural, but ever since I was given my own set of tarot cards at Christmas, I have been taking time once a week to read my cards and set my intentions. Even if you don’t believe in the cards, reading them helps you zero in on what you really want for that week. I currently have the Tori Hartman Chakra Wisdom Tarot set, but you can pick any brand you like. I would recommend starting with a cheap, pretty set that gives you room to upgrade if you get more into tarot, but one that also inspires you to do your readings.
Since we have been back to campus, I have hosted Tarot Tuesdays with my friends. We choose a half-hour period each Tuesday when we’re all free to set our intentions and focus on one question that we would like answered in order to move forward. We head to the park, even in the bitter cold, and on the drive over we sing along to the radio and talk about our days. Then we pick a spot and take turns doing readings. We sit quietly for 15-20 minutes while we ask our questions and after we have our answers, we take a moment to say thank you and reflect.
Last week, I asked the cards if I would get one of my research papers published. I had already taken all the necessary logical steps, but I was looking for reinforcement on my attitude and assurance that I had done everything right. The card I drew was the High Priestess. When upright, like my card was, the High Priestess represents intuition and the divine feminine. It’s about the subconscious mind and inner wisdom. Basically, the card says that the answers you seek are already within you and that you have to trust yourself to make your desires a reality. You are meant to connect with your compassion and empathy by feeling your emotions instead of rationalizing. This was significant to me because I had already finished the rational part of the process. I had written my research paper and submitted it to a journal. Now, the only thing I can do is wait. I took this card as a sign to trust myself and my work by taking a step back until I hear back from the journal.
Now, can this card be read differently by different people? Can others mold it to fit their situation as I did? Of course. I don’t read my tarot cards to determine what significant actions I should take in my life. I would never rely on a tarot card, a psychic or anything else to tell me what my major should be or if I should make a major financial decision like buying a house. But tarot cards can reinforce your own inner beliefs and validate you on decisions you have already made. I already submitted my paper, but I was (and still am) nervous about the possibility of publication. I can’t push that anxiety away, so I have to embrace it and all of my other feelings in order to move past it.
You can have any tarot card takeaway that you want. You can believe wholeheartedly or think it’s a total scam. But for those of us who crave validation and reassurance, it can be nice to place a little faith in something outside of ourselves.