Written In The Stars: Soul Searching Made Easy

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by Meghan Abbott, Contributing Writer

Do you roll your eyes at the thought of astrology but secretly read your horoscope anyway? Does the thought of getting the Death card in a tarot spread fill you with fear? New Age philosophies and the occult get a bad rap because of their historical misunderstanding as something strange or evil. In reality, however, people have been trying to divine their future since the beginning of time. Human beings have always looked for answers about their world, from Vikings using rune stones to Ancient Romans looking for messages in grains and entrails.

Throughout the years, people have gained deep understanding, comfort and excitement through divination, and it is no different today. Whether or not you truly believe, it is always fun to try. Are you new to the metaphysical world? Push away that inner skeptic and let us get you caught up.

Pick a Card, Any Card

Tarot cards are the most notorious fortune-telling tool, dating back to the 15th century. Let’s cover the basics. There are 78 cards, each with a specific meaning. ‘Major Arcana’ refers to 22 of these cards which serve as the major players, the trump cards if you will. They carry much more weight than the remaining 56 cards, the ‘Minor Arcana.’ The Minor Arcana are then separated by four suits: Wands, Swords, Cups and Pentacles. Each suit relates to a different area of life. For example, Wands typically revolve around creativity, energy, ideas and careers, while Swords are conflicts, action and change. Cups refer to emotions, love and relationship; and Pentacles deal with practical matters such as money, health and the material world.

To make matters more complicated, cards in different positions mean different things. Sometimes, people read reversals as opposite meanings, and the cards’ meanings can vary based upon combinations that appear. It is not an easy study, but if you want to get a reading done, find a local, reputable psychic. You can even check Yelp reviews!

Additionally, there are some “frightening” trump cards that cause unnecessary fear, such as Death or the Devil. In Tarot, however, it is highly unlikely that these cards ever mean what you assume. For example, the death card typically signifies an ending (and, in turn, a rebirth). This may refer to a relationship or an activity/ interest and usually implies self-awareness. Similarly, the Devil card may look scary, but it actually represents materialism, lust or obsession with power or money. The cards exist to provide insight, not to scare you.

Many misconceptions such as these exist about the ways cards work. Another common error is believing that the forecast your spread provides is definite. Rather, the cards’ outcome is based upon the path you are currently on; meaning, if you were to make a sudden, unpredictable change, you probably would not see the same results. If you get a bad outcome, it may be a warning to change your actions. The results are not set in stone, and you are not doomed to your fate.

You are Such A Gemini

There is evidence that astrology has been practiced since the second millennium BC. Western astrology claims that you will have certain personality traits based upon the movements and position of planets during the time of your birth. There are 12 signs, and almost everyone knows their Sun Sign (A.K.A. the zodiac sign you read about in your horoscope in the newspaper). This is based on the position of the sun when you were born.

However, Sun Sign astrology is a watered-down version and represents only one-twelfth of your entire birth chart. If you know the time and location of your birth, you can access your entire birth chart, which will reveal the placement of all the planets. There are plenty of free websites online that will generate a chart for you with these details.

Start by looking at your Sun Sign, Moon Sign and Rising Sign. Each will reveal a different facet of your personality. The Sun Sign, for example, paints a basic, well-rounded picture of you and describes essential qualities. However, the Moon Sign will reveal your inner self, the face you do not normally show to the world. It is based on your inner feelings and how you respond inwardly to different situations. Your Rising Sign, also called your Ascendant Sign, refers to your outward personality, or how people may see you.

For example, my Sun Sign is a Libra, indicating that I am charming, laid-back, indecisive and a lover of harmony and beautiful things. However, my Moon is in Pisces, revealing that I am actually quite reserved, intuitive and romantic, with a vivid imagination. My Rising Sign is in Scorpio, described as having a lot of “presence,” or being hard to ignore. With Scorpio as my ascendant, I can come off determined and powerful, but also quite intimidating.

Try it out for yourself! Skeptic or believer, there is a little fun in these traditions for everyone.

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