Spirituality has clinically proven and documented positive effects on mental health.
In a compilation of 326 studies, 79% found a link between wellbeing and happiness and people who self-explore and connect to the world around them on a spiritual level.
Tarot is one way to develop that connection.
Here’s how it can be used as an introspective tool to improve the spirit and mind.
Table of Contents
How Tarot Improves Your Mental Health, Spirituality, and Wellbeing
What is Tarot?
Tarot is a form of fortune telling that dates back to the 15th century. It uses a deck of 78 cards that depict different images from both the Major and Minor Arcana on each.
Every card has a unique meaning, and the order in which they are drawn can affect how they relate to an individual or situation.
Readings are conducted by someone who can understand and interpret the cards for you, but it is also possible to do a reading on yourself.
While getting accurate results does require you to focus and connect spiritually with the universe and ask a question, you don’t have to be psychic to use Tarot cards.
How Does it Work?
To do a Tarot reading, you will first shuffle and then draw cards from the deck. There are several different types of spreads you or a reader may use to interpret your results, and the number of cards you draw will depend on which arrangement is best.
Once you’ve chosen your cards, you can then begin understanding their meaning as it relates to your situation or question.
It’s important to note; Tarot cards aren’t designed to predict the future. Instead, they are a physical way to connect to the spiritual influences of the universe and better understand your situation. They can show you unknown aspects and give you suggested courses of action to achieving the things you want most.
Although, the process of conducting a reading is simple, although to get the full benefit you’ll need to take some steps before and during the process to stay connected to the universe and tap into your inner intuition.
These same preparation techniques can tap into your spirituality, and give you mental health benefits over time.
Tarot Reading Preparation Tips
There are a few tips you can employ to help you prepare and get the most out of your experience.
1. Draw Your Focus inward and Relax Your Mind
Before you shuffle the cards, take a deep breath, close your eyes, and draw your focus inward. Similar to meditation techniques, this process will help to clear your mind and open your connection to the possibilities in the universe.
This is a powerful way to access your spirituality regardless of what you believe and to simply allow your intuition to reach beyond what you know and into what more is out there.
2. Ask the Universe a Question
Tarot readings are most effective when they are focused on a specific question or topic. Think about what you hope to discover or better understand in your life, and focus on that query as the intention of your reading.
3. Maintain Your Focus
A tarot reading can be a fast process, but sometimes it takes time before you connect with the deck on a deeper level and your answers are drawn out. Once you open your eyes and begin shuffling and choosing the cards that will make up your spread, keep your mind quiet and calm and focus on your intention.
4. Keep an Open Mind When Translating Your Results
Every card in the tarot deck has a specific meaning, and some aspects of the card may resonate differently with you than they would with someone else. Whether you are interpreting your own spread or have a reader doing it for you, keep your mind open and curious so that you are better able to accept and understand the possibilities that lay before you.
Tarot and Self-Exploration
Understanding the nuances of our minds can be a powerful tool in improving mental health.
In fact, self-discovery techniques that help us to understand better who we are at the crux of our being are commonly used by psychologists. This practice allows us to make decisions based on that self-awareness, and as a result, live a more fulfilled in life.
Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to make the connection between who you are at the deepest level of your psyche, or on the spiritual plane. For many people, simply asking and answering the question “who am I?” gets them nowhere.
It could be that the question is too broad. Rather than develop a greater sense of self it leads us down a path of feeling like we could never fully understand all of the nuances that make up our psyche.
Tarot is a tool that can hone the focus of your self-exploration and produce some incredible results. Rather than asking an open-ended question with limitless answers, Tarot readings require you to focus your thoughts and intentions in a specific scenario.
As you draw the cards and place them in the spread, you will need to look inward to understand not only their meaning but also how that definition translates for you.
This process can open up thoughts and emotions that you may not realize are part of you, and help you to better understand your actions and circumstances because of them.
Furthermore, following a Tarot reading, you will have a stronger sense of self and purpose, as well as action steps to move words the life you desire. People who feel like they can achieve their desires are happier and more mentally stable than those who struggle to see the bigger picture and put together a plan to achieve their dreams.
3 Powerful Ways Tarot Can Boost Mental Health
Tarot can have several mental health benefits. Some of the most noteworthy are as follows:
1. Tarot Can Help You Develop a Daily Habit of Introspection
Introspection involves looking inward to better understand your beliefs, desires, actions, and yourself. For many people, this also includes connecting to a higher power, whether it be God, the universe, or another spiritual entity that offers guidance when you need it. Psychologists encourage spirituality among their patients and have seen that those who regularly connect with a transcendent being have less depressive symptoms than those who don’t.
Whether you use Tarot to connect to your spirituality or to connect with yourself on a profoundly introspective level, this daily practice can bring mental clarity and ease anxiety and depression.
2. Tarot Encourages You to Use (and Trust) Your Own Intuition
Those who battle mental health issues like depression often question their thoughts, emotions, and actions. Are they normal? Are they healthy? Am I just being paranoid?
When you do a Tarot reading, you’re forced to look past feelings of self-doubt and draw your focus inward to understand how your results resonate with what you truly believe and feel.
Some practitioners believe that your intuition is just like any muscle; it gets stronger the more it’s used. By using Tarot regularly to help connect you to that little voice inside you may find that it gets louder and stronger, and you have more confidence in the direction it guides you.
3. Tarot can Encourage Meditation and Help Improve Technique
Meditation is clinically proven to ease psychological stresses like depression, anxiety, and pain.
Researchers believe that people who tend to focus on problems and allow their thoughts to become distracted experience anxiety as a result of giving these negative emotions too much power. Through meditation, you can control your inner monologue and change those unproductive worries into a solution-based process.
While doing a daily Tarot reading isn’t meditation on its own, it can lend itself to the beneficial practice nicely.
Before you begin, take time to focus and center your thoughts to get the most accurate results. Following your reading, use the knowledge you gained to plan your next steps.
During each of these times, it’s both possible and beneficial to use the opportunity to meditate and hone your focus.
Together, these two practices could help connect to your spirituality and be powerful tools to manage depression and anxiety and lead to overall better mental health.
Developing a Daily Practice
We’ve all heard the expression that suggests it takes 21 days to form a new habit. While that was a widely accepted fact back in the 1950’s, recent research suggests the real number is actually closer to two months.
Incorporating time to do a Tarot card reading daily, as well as the introspection and meditation needed to get the biggest mental health boost, will take a bit of time.
Here are ways to get started, and to make your new habit stick.
1. Schedule the Time
Ensure you have enough time in your day to properly prepare for, execute, and interpret your tarot card reading. For some people, this could be 15 minutes. Others might need to devote an hour. Begin by determining when is the best time for you to clear your mind and your schedule for the activity, and then put it in your planner or calendar.
2. Set a Reminder
Life can get away from us at times, but making the new habit you’re trying to develop a priority is one of the most significant steps to success. Set a reminder on your phone or computer five minutes before your scheduled time for a reading so that you can wrap up your project and get settled.
3. Eliminate Excuses
To reap the maximum rewards, connecting with yourself daily needs to become part of your routine.
Take steps to eliminate excuses and distractions to ensure that you take the time you’ve scheduled for the purpose of this self-improvement activity. After all, what is more important than your mental health?
How to Get Started
If you plan to make Tarot part of your daily routine, you should seriously consider investing in a deck of your own. While you can always use a reader in person or online, many people find the act of shuffling and selecting the cards to be one of the most essential and therapeutic parts of the process.
To do the reading yourself daily, ensure that you follow our preparation tips above for accurate and beneficial results. In addition to these best practices, here are the other things you’ll need to do to get started.
1. Select Cards that Speak to You and Get Comfortable With Them
There are hundreds of Tarot card options to choose from.
Take the time to browse different designs and choose one that resonates with you. Some have colorful depictions, while others may take a gothic, contemporary, or whimsical approach.
You can even hire an artist to create a custom deck for you based on your preferences.
Once you have the cards in hand, get used to using them. Practice shuffling, sorting and dealing them to get a feel for how they move.
The motion of shuffling cards can be a soothing task and is another step that may also reduce anxiety.
2. Invest in a Good Book or App
Once you have your cards, you’ll then need resources to help you read them.
Look for a book or app that offers information on various Tarot spreads, how to do them, and which options are best for different scenarios.
Also, you’ll want access to an in-depth analysis of each of the cards in the deck and all of the possible meanings and implications based on where they fall in your spread.
Over time you will learn the meaning of the cards and may come to rely on these tools less frequently, but it’s always a good idea to have a source you trust to help you discern the meaning and understand how it relates to your particular question.
3. Learn by Doing
There is no “wrong way” to do a Tarot reading.
While there will undoubtedly be a learning curve as you ingrain the process into your daily self-exploration, you won’t do any harm if you do something incorrectly or out of order.
The best way to develop this daily habit that can not only help you see the path before you clearly, but can boost your mental health in the process, is just to do it.
They say, “practice makes perfect,” and in this case, practice leads to endless possibilities.