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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).
Have you ever come across a fitness class on Instagram and thought, that looks so fun, only to scroll on by knowing you’d never in a million years actually sign up for it? Because, same.
For me, it’s always been dance. Pole dancing, twerking, salsa, ballet, Zumba... I don’t even think twice about booking. There is no way in hell I’m heading into a studio with a bunch of strangers and attempting to follow along to some moves I’ve never tried before.
...and then there was COVID.
When studios everywhere started to shut down, virtual fitness started to blow up—and all of the sudden, I had the opportunity to try basically anything without leaving my house (or feeling at all embarrassed). It was a silver lining and a kick in the ass all wrapped into one.
I started small, doing the classes I was most comfortable with. Once I had perfected my online yoga routine, I needed a little more oomph, so, I stepped it up to HIIT. I was proud of myself for getting back into the swing of things after a long the-world-is-ending-so-I-don't-need-to-work-out break. But still, I hadn’t fully gotten out of my comfort zone. I had taken in-person yoga and HIIT classes before, so even though I had tried out some new studios online, I had a general idea of what to expect.
Then, my coworkers told me about Rachel Vickhouse and MVP Dance Fit. Rachel and some other badass, beautiful ladies coined the phrase “Lift Your Booty, Love Your Body ™,” and that’s what MVP Dance Fit is all about. They told me this studio offered twerk fitness classes, and that right now, they’re not only offering virtual, but they’re giving one free class to all newbies, too.
I was curious.
Without really looking into it much further, I trusted my coworkers and signed up for the signature “Swerk” class (Sweat, Work, Twerk) to take after work one day.
Or so I thought...
My first mistake was not checking the time zone before booking. I thought I was signing up for a class at 5:30 PM, but turns out, the studio is in Ohio. Seeing that I live in California, my timing was all off. Luckily, I realized my mistake when I received the link to join the class in my inbox, and I had time to get ready to twerk in the middle of my workday (whoops).
I usually exercise out on my deck, but there was no way I was going to give my neighbors a free show (although I’m sure it would’ve spiced up their Monday). So, there I was—at 2:30 PM on a Monday afternoon, dragging my coffee table to the side, shutting my blinds and curtains, filling up my water bottle, and getting ready to dance like no one was watching.
When I logged on, I saw lots of faces on the screen. One woman was dancing while doing her laundry, another was rocking to the beat in her living room, and another had a prime weight room setup I was pretty jealous of. About half of the participants had their cameras turned on and were starting to warm up (AKA dance around) to the Drake song that was playing, while the other half kept their videos off. Because these women looked like seasoned pros, and I was a total newbie, I opted to keep mine off. (Yes, this is 100% an excuse. I know you see right through me.)
Then, Rachel herself appeared onscreen with French braids and bright pink lipstick. I’ve never seen someone with more energy—I swear, I think she was drinking Diet Coke out of her tumbler, but I can’t be sure. She let everyone know there were a bunch of first-timers in class, and they’d all have to show us how it’s done (no pressure). She asked if anyone had any song requests, and the chat started popping off.
After that, there was no messing around. The first song started playing, and she got right to it. Right about now, I was so glad I had my camera off because I must’ve looked ridiculous. She was moving so fast, and I was stumbling trying to keep up.
She went from sliding left to right, to dropping low, to lifting a leg and landing in a squat, to hands-on-the-floor-ass-in-the-air, all in the span of a song.
But after just a few minutes, I started getting the hang of it. The choreography repeated, with different moves for different parts of the song, and once I figured them out, I was able to keep up.
As soon as I got the hang of song #1, we were onto the next. And I love a challenge, so I was ready. Throughout class, we switched from more cardio-intensive songs to leg-focused dances involving squats and lunges. Halfway through, I was sweating. I couldn’t believe how much fun I was having, while also getting such a good workout at the same time.
At the end, I was so proud of myself for getting out of my comfort zone, and I definitely felt the high of a great workout on a day when I was feeling some serious Monday energy (or lack of energy) beforehand. I’m so thankful virtual was an option, because, without it, I don’t know if I ever would’ve tried a class like this.
During class, I knew I’d end up being sore, and over the next few days, I proved myself right. The next morning, I stood up out of bed and I felt it in my quads and glutes. Thinking I’d be good by the weekend, I planned an eight-mile hike for Saturday morning with some friends. I was so sore I thought they were going to have to leave me on the mountain. Thanks, Rachel.
1. Check the time zone.
Luckily, I figured it out just in time, but if I didn’t check my email, I easily could’ve missed my class. The beauty of online fitness classes is you can book them at studios all over the world. But, with that, comes time differences. Whenever you’re booking a virtual class, make sure you check the time zone and figure out where the studio is located, so you don’t have to ditch your afternoon meetings. (Unless that’s what you’re going for. Then, more power to you.)
2. Wear shoes.
This might seem obvious, but to me, it wasn’t. When I was getting ready to start class, I wasn’t sure if I needed to wear shoes or if I should have a yoga mat, towel, or weights ready. I wasn’t really sure of anything, to be honest. So, after I made some space in my living room, I looked up MVP Dance Fit on Instagram to see if I could find some answers. From the looks of it, no equipment was necessary, and shoes were probably a good idea. So, if you’re reading this, I hope I saved you some trouble. All you need is some shoes and a little bit of space.
3. Know that no one’s watching you.
Camera or not, no one can really see what you’re doing. And no one cares. I started off the class in gallery mode so I could see everyone, but to follow along with Rachel’s movements, I had to have her on full screen, and I couldn’t pay attention to anyone else in class. Having the camera on just gives everyone the sense that you’re in class together, just like you would be in person. So, maybe next time, I’ll toughen up and leave it on.
4. Maybe have some caffeine.
Should I be encouraging that? I don’t know. But man, that girl had a lot of energy. And dancing takes a lot out of you. About halfway through, when I started getting tired, I wished I’d had something caffeinated before to get me through. But maybe that’s just me. The good music and Rachel’s encouragement definitely got me going, and I had a lot of fun with it.
5. Try it with friends.
Distracting or helpful? I’m not sure. But I do know it would’ve been so fun to have seen all my friends dancing around in little boxes on the screen from their respective houses. And since the first class is free, it probably wouldn’t have been too hard to convince them. So, if you’re planning on trying it out, get some friends to join! I’m sure it’ll be fun to talk about after.
I’d recommend this class to anyone who likes hip-hop and wants to spice up their routine. If you’ve thought about trying a twerk fitness class, just do it already. There are literally no more excuses (coming from someone who would literally never set foot in a dance studio for real).
Maybe pole dancing is more up your alley, or maybe you’ve never tried a HIIT class before. Whatever it is, just know that it's the perfect time to get over your exercise embarrassment and try something new.