Here's What Tarot Cards Really Do To Your Brain

Have you ever had your tarot cards read? Tarot, like astrology, numerology, and palmistry, is an often-used form of divination, but it's a frequently misunderstood one. Each card has its own particular meaning, but these have more to do with tapping into the subconscious and using imagery that is meaningful to all of us rather than attempting to harness supernatural forces (via PscyhCentral). And yes, there are cards where the symbols seem to portend death and disaster, but they may mean nothing more than significant changes ahead or decisions needing to be made.

Audrey Hope, who is not only a certified addiction and trauma therapist but also an expert on all things spiritual, is actually a fan of tarot cards if they're used the right way. She calls them "a portal, a gateway, [or] a key to unlock the unconscious," and explains that they can be used to help us find answers to our problems by "enter[ing] the deeper language of the soul, where intuition, higher guidance and messages reside."

Tarot cards can be beneficial as long as you don't over-rely on them

Hope says tarot cards can promote mental health since a reading " inspires belief [in] a higher spirituality" and "helps individuals place their hopes and wants to a higher power," which is something that can help to relieve stress. She goes so far as to say that "tarot opens up the door to the our subconscious and lets us [k]now that with deeper connection to each other... we can survive intensity and pain. "

Nevertheless, Hope warns that there can be a downside to relying too heavily on tarot readings. She cautions: "When consulting with a tarot reader it is important to remember how easily one who is seeking help or guidance can fall deep into a dependency." She says we should all try to "live in the pillar of self-esteem" rather than "bow[ing] down to a teacher, a psychic, a religion, a philosophy or a doctrine," saying we should never lose sight of our own authentic selves no matter what insights a skilled tarot reader — or the cards themselves — may be seeming to impart.