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Whether you’re looking for some clarity on your crush, insight into that promotion at work (fingers crossed), or wondering if that girl’s trip is a good idea, it might be time for you to try a tarot card reading.
Since the 15th century, people have turned to the tarot deck for guidance on what their future holds. Getting your tarot cards read can help you to answer questions big and small, so your path is equipped with insight and intuition. Simply put, it’s an easy (and exciting) practice of self-help—and self-love.
The tarot deck consists of 78 cards, split into the Major and Minor Arcana. Think of the Major Arcana as the Hollywood A-list celebrities (known as the trump cards) of the deck. The Empress. The Lover. The Devil. The Fool. The structure of human consciousness. A reading with many trump cards is powerful and can suggest that the situation in question is out of your hands and is left to ‘fate.’
The Minor Arcana (the suit cards) are like the supporting cast members, adding more insight and perspective to the reading. If your spread is full of suits, you’re being guided to take ownership over your journey.
The Minor Arcana relates to the four elements: air, water, earth, and fire. These are depicted through illustrations depicted on the tarot cards, which can help you understand your reading on a deeper level:
Swords = Air
A reading with many sword cards can mean you might be over-thinking things—or you might need to examine the details a bit more finely. Swords represent communication and logic.
Cups = Water
The cups are a container for our emotions and emphasize our relationship to our feelings about ourselves—and others. You can either see them as half full or half empty. The choice is yours.
Pentacles = Earth
These coins represent our material world. Anything you can physically touch. Money, that new shirt, the roof over your head. Concerns among a tarot read with a lot of pentacles are usually practical and related to our resources.
Wands = Fire
Wands are usually an indicator that action or growth is possible (and potentially emanate). Maybe it is about that promotion—or the person you’ve got your eye on.
If you’re ready to experience your first tarot card reading, there are a few things you should know so you can fully embrace the power of the tarot. Trust me, it’s an amazing experience.
We get it, it’s easy to be skeptical of any wellness practice that doesn’t have much scientific backing. The practice of tarot is designed to be a guideline for roadblocks in your life and can be interpreted in a way that positively directs you. Allow your reading to empower you. Otherwise, if what you learn doesn’t resonate, feel free to leave it at the door!
Be specific on what you want to gain from the reading.
Come to the reading with some specific scenarios in mind on what you’d like to gain clarity on. You can ask things like, “what is holding me back from getting ____?” or “should I move to New York City?” The more specific your question, the easier it is to apply the meaning of the cards to what you’re going through.
Let go of fear over a ‘dooming reading’
When I was younger, I was terrified of tarot and psychics because I was convinced they would tell me about an impending disaster. As it turns out, there is no such thing as a “bad reading.” The Death card in the deck actually signifies the end of a cycle and can be a truly positive part of a reading for those going through a tough time, indicating it will soon be over.
Bring a journal — or record the reading on your phone.
Insights from your reading can be powerful and healing, but they can’t help you provide direction if you don’t remember them. Instead of trying to ingest the information at the speed of light (there will be a lot to listen to), your tarot reader won’t mind if you take notes or record the session. It will only help, not hinder, your experience.
Do it regularly.
The more often you pull your cards, the more familiar you become with the lessons to be learned from each reading. From acquiring your own deck and learning the way of the tarot to getting weekly (or monthly) readings from a professional, it’s essential to stay in tune with your intuition—and the divine forces that influence our earthly energy.
Does a tarot card reading tickle your fancy? Is Mercury Retrograde kicking your ass? I gave my friend three different readings, and yes, she's feeling that big moon energy. See what cards she got (hint: she might have pulled The Devil card).
When you think of self-love what do you think of? Bubble baths, walks on the beach, facemasks, or what? Self-love can mean so many different things but when we think about self-love, we have to acknowledge loving ourselves both on the outside and on the inside. The way that we show ourselves love is one of the most important things we will ever do.
How do we treat ourselves? How do we talk to ourselves? What foods are we putting into our bodies? How are we thinking about our overall well-being when practicing self-love?
As self-love defines and redefined itself for you over the years, here are a few foundational tips to think about when easing into your self-love journey.
Don’t we love this one? Loving ourselves has a lot to do with the boundaries that we have for ourselves, with others, and for others. Take time to think about your own emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual needs when setting boundaries that reflect your personal needs. Boundaries don’t have to be big and scary; they are here to remind us that you get to have your lived experience and still have expectations about how you’d like to be treated and what you’d like to feel.
When thinking about your boundaries, ask yourself:
In a world where perfectionism and curated existences have been rewarded, begin to cultivate compassion for yourself. You are a soul having a human experience and it’s totally okay if things are not perfect.
Mindfulness exercises such as Breathwork, self-care activities, and self-compassion, all help train the mind, emotions, and even the body’s stress chemicals to be able to deal with undesired situations. Self-compassion means, can you be nice to yourself? Can you find empathy and kindness for yourself in the middle of what feels chaotic, stressful, or unwanted? Self-compassion means that we get to make mistakes, have our plans not work out the way that we wanted, and we still get to celebrate that we are doing the best that we can and it is enough.
When thinking about self-compassion, ask yourself:
In every sense of the word “nourishment”, begin to learn what nourishes you and what depletes you. Nourishment doesn’t just mean food for yourself; it means that whatever you are consuming whether it be media, podcasts, people, energy, information, etc. all impact the way that we think, feel, and experience life.
Nourishing yourself definitely goes right along the lines of having your boundaries intact and practicing self-compassion.
When thinking about nourishment, ask yourself:
That’s it. Those are the foundational steps to cultivating a self-love practice that you can ease into your daily routine. Come back to these questions often, because like anything else, self-love is a practice and it takes effort, time, and intention to maintain.