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Tarot Cards: Not Magical, But Maybe Life-Changing

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

I’ve been using tarot cards for the past year and a half after seeing The Fountain Tarot, a stunning tarot deck at a natural wellness store (not sponsored, I promise). It was honestly an impulse buy, a last-minute fancy of a “magical” tool I didn’t know a whole lot about. I wasn’t too sure about how to use them, but as soon as I emptied the box and gazed at the cards’ beautiful, imaginative designs, they struck a chord in me.

I vividly remember the first reading I did for myself: I was sitting on the cozy couch at my cottage after a lovely day with my family, feeling happy. It was a day in late summer, and rays of sun were streaming in through the window as I brought out my (quite literally) shimmering tarot cards. As fate would have it, I pulled The Sun card, a representation of light, happiness and positive things to come. This singular card, the first I had ever drawn from the deck, seemed to be an omen of goodwill. I’ve admittedly gotten some gloomy readings since then, but in that moment, The Sun proved to me that my tarot deck would bring me what I was searching for.

Since then, I’ve done countless tarot readings for myself and my friends, but I usually pull out my deck when I’m going through a rough time. Ultimately, this is what tarot cards are for, at least in my eyes. They’re not meant to predict the future, but to guide you through your own.

A quick run-down of tarot cards: there are seventy-eight total divided into Major Arcana (twenty-two cards) and Minor Arcana (fifty-six cards). The Major Arcana represent significant events and the Minor Arcana represents daily life, which is split into four elemental symbols: swords, wands, cups and coins. No one card is like another and each has its individual imagery and symbolism. The cards that you draw and the ways that you draw them reveal deeper meanings about your life.

Originally, tarot was a simple game that eventually evolved to have divine meaning beginning in eighteenth-century France. Even though modern creators of tarot decks have attempted to promote them as tools for self-help and self-fulfillment, the myths about tarot being mystical and supernatural remain. Let’s clear this up now: I’ve said it many times and I’ll say it again, tarot cards don’t predict your future!

If there’s anything I’ve learned while discovering tarot, it’s that you can’t go into a reading expecting a certain outcome. No matter what cards you pull, what kind of layout they’re in, what order you draw them, they’re not going to give you all the juicy details of your fate. Instead, think of tarot cards as a tool for bringing your intuitive senses to the surface, a guide to embracing the reality of a situation (whether you’ve been willfully ignoring it or completely unaware of it).

Reading up on the symbolism of your cards helps to apply that information to your personal life, in whatever way that feels right. But in the end, your cards are up to interpretation, so there’s no right or wrong answer. Several times I’ve pulled The Devil, which initially scared the crap out of me, but (shockingly) didn’t lead to my demise or anything of the like. The Devil actually represents a fight between the complexities of morals and desires, a classic Freudian dilemma that in tarot, tells you to be honest with yourself about what you truly need. I very much needed to hear that advice at the time. Sometimes cards will seem irrelevant to your life, which is when it’s time to take a closer look at their nuances and the smaller ways in which they can apply to you.

Listening to your intuition sounds like hippy-dippy stuff, I get it. Plus, it’s hard to distinguish between what you think is best and what your gut is telling you. However, I think The Sun card was right. Positivity has indeed come into my life since that first day, and exploring the tarot has helped me to acknowledge, reflect and see the good side of life. Another benefit of tarot cards: even if the reading is a little dreary, they have me convinced that everything will work out just fine.

Natasha Shantz

Wilfrid Laurier '25

Hi! My name's Natasha and I'm a writer for Her Campus Laurier. Writing had been a home for me since I was in elementary school, typing up fantasy and fairytale novels. I like to write about a broad variety of topics, such as self-improvement, social issues, literature and pop culture. When I'm not writing or studying, you can find me dancing to music in my room, sipping coffee in a cafe, or reading a book.
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