By: A'shiyah Dobbs
With more access to knowledge on things such as astrology, I have become interested in tarot cards. Tarot cards are packs of seventy-eight cards, each with their meaning, used to guide intuition, manifest goals, and envision your future. The purpose of tarot cards is to help guide you to develop as an individual and understand your strengths and weaknesses. Although they can often get associated with fortune-telling or witchcraft this is not always true. Reading the cards is based on symbolism, colors, and your own emotions which can change how you may relate the cards to yourself. This causes reading tarot cards to be highly subjective and based on intuition when interpreting them. This subjectiveness and emotional connection to tarot cards are why they can be used to help with starting a conversation about mental health.
DIFFERENT CARD TYPES:
A pack of seventy-eight cards might seem intimidating to a beginner at first. However, these cards split into groups starting with major and minor arcana. Major Arcana represents the fools/ hero's journey and are cards labeled one through twenty-one. These cards show the hero's journey from a child to adulthood, with card zero (The Fool) representing the hero. Seeing as these cards are life focused, finding a card you relate to can help target different parts of life to improve but also help those around be their best self (this is why some people will limit themselves to these cards only).
The Minor Arcana is made up of the other fifty-six cards and then divided into four suits representing a smaller section of a fool's or hero's journey. These cards can best be understood best by their suit and numerical meaning yet, minor arcana cards are the most affected through intuition and one’s interpretation. The four suits are:
Cups: emotions, spirituality, and water
Coins: materialism, wealth, and earth
Swords: intellect, understanding one’s mind, and air
Wands: creativity, one’s heart, and fire
When I do a reading and want to check on things affecting my emotions I pay attention to cup cards and wands for creative outlets. A different example would be, the effects school has on mental health. When looking at cards, paying attention to cups ( emotional) and swords (knowledge) might help. Even not coming with a question in mind when pulling cards is fine because it leads to becoming more self-aware of the effect things around you have, and reflect.
THE PROCESS OF DOING A READING:
The first step after picking your tarot card set of choice is to do your first reading. There are many different layouts you can put your cards in depending on what you may want to know but doing a simple one card pull can give a forecast for the day/ month or answer a yes/no question. For this example, I have pulled the “The Tower” card. (description: A girl and boy both falling out of a tall tower that is lit on fire with only the trowns it was built on to fall onto. In the background, the sky is black fading into the red with clouds and lightning.)
"The Tower" card is often associated with the fairytale Rapunzel. Similar to the Disney film and the feeling of safety Rapunzel has at the start of the movie before Fin climbs up, the tower is often why this card is associated with change and getting out of one's comfort zone. Along with this shift, you may have changed beliefs that could even destroy one's foundation (also shown in the movie though Fin becomes a love interest and discovering mother Gothel as the villain, for hiding that Repunzle was a princess). However, these are suggested interpretations of the card, and using this knowledge you must apply how these suggestions relate to yourself to get an accurate reading. In my case, this card relates to my avoidance of a situation that would bring change.