I Popped My Tarot-Card-Reading Cherry

Dec 12, 2022

I grew up in a religious household, split religion, but religious nonetheless. My mother is a Christian and my father is a Catholic; however, my father doesn’t practice religion or attend church. My mother, on the other hand, regularly goes to her church and instilled that practice in us growing up. Now as adults, her children have the will to go or come as they choose.

Growing up, I was told I should pray before bed, and give thanks for the food at our table, things I’m totally not against. I think it’s important to be grateful and thankful for the things we have in life. But with these customs and practices, we were also unconsciously taught to steer away from things that weren’t “godly” like black or white magic, idols, and anything that gives power to anything other than the holy spirit as I knew it to be. So without much thought, I grew up very skeptical of unknown things that claimed to know anything about my life, my future, my past, and so forth, including tarot cards. 

I’m nearly 30 years old. And I know this may come as a shocker to most, but I had never had my cards read, until very recently. The truth is, the possibility or event was never presented to me until now. No friends I knew practiced it and the people I have met that spoke about practicing it never offered the opportunity to have my cards read in those short-lived moments. And so, recently during a morning after a sleepover with friends, when one of us popped out her tarot cards and started going around the room reading cards, I initially felt weary. 

Usually, I jump at the idea of exploring the unknown. Actually, I thrive from it. Jumping into new and challenging situations is something that feeds my soul. But when it was my turn and I had the choice to accept or dismiss the opportunity to have my own cards read, I hesitated. 

If you have a great group of friends, this hesitation will be met with understanding, patience, and reassurance. I had a great group of friends with me this day and they met my skepticism with just that: patience, understanding, and reassurance. So I put on my big girl pants and sat on that inflatable mattress we had spread out on the living room floor where we spent the night after an evening of celebration. I wrapped myself with a blanket, shuffled the cards that were before me, and accepted my fate. It sounds so dramatic but internally I was scared! I don’t know why I just was. 

After the first shuffle, I carefully selected the two questions I wanted to be answered and my friend started laying the cards down before me. But there was a problem. It wasn’t working. I don’t know much about tarot card reading, but I guess there has to be an energy or flow to the cards as they are set down and that energy just wasn’t happening. I’m not sure if it was too contradicting or what the case was, but it just wasn’t working. So we went back to the drawing board. I shuffled again, reasked the questions again with deeper focus and she laid them down, again. 

Again, it did not work. Now I knew something was up. Not with the cards, but with me. I just felt it. This was a tumultuous time in my life. I was freshly mourning while not being willing to accept and let go. I was nearing the end of my postgraduate studies program with little to no view of my next step beyond that. I was living in limbo, emotional and physical limbo. The mental image of my life was not reflected in the reality of what I was living every day. It was chaos.

Let’s try a third time. I reshuffled the cards, and now I was directed to only think of one question, not two. So I did that. She laid the cards before me. It wasn’t perfect, but it worked. Some may say it barely worked. 

My cards read something along the lines of I am to be mourning, will have someone watching me, success in my career, and something about money, nothing great just something about it. I can’t recall. In shorter words, the two questions I initially asked weren’t working because they were so distinct (money and love) and they weren’t existing together. Where there was one, there wasn’t the other. The love I was hanging on to for dear life wasn’t to be a part of my next journey where I was to explore more of what my career path has to offer. And what happened next, I did not expect. 

I cried. I just cried in front of everyone. Im not a public crier. I struggle to cry in general, actually. But the brick-sized ball that was building up in my throat demanded to be let out and it wasn’t taking no for an answer. I nearly balled. Because for the first time in years of hanging on, I realized that I can’t force anything. Life doesn’t work that way. I’m not saying I fully believed or took the tarot card reading at full face value, but it ignited a realization I somehow already knew but was doing everything in my willpower to avoid. I couldn’t force anything, or anyone, to be or act or do what I needed them to do. All I could do is let go, and do what was in my willpower and ability to do what will benefit me. For once, I needed to accept doing what benefits me and only me. No one was going to do that for me. No one was going to put me before their own needs. I needed to do that myself. Because if not me, then who? No one. That’s not anyone else’s job and it was about time I took responsibility for my own life. And restore my own ability to let go of what doesn’t serve me and be strong, for me. No matter the pain it brings and the unhappiness it realizes at the moment, I needed to have vision. 

And vision was had. I’m still realizing that vision. It’s still a work in progress. But it’s in progress. And that’s all I can hold on to at the moment. Progress.  

So, no I don’t believe in tarot card readings but I also don’t not believe. I believe that it is whatever you need it to be. Next time I’m presented with the opportunity to have my cards read, I’ll say yes. Why? Because why not? We give power to anything we want to give power to. To words, to actions, to cards. And I don’t think it’s  as taboo as I was taught to think it was. We shouldn’t live with fear. We should live with wonder and how can you explore wonder if you don’t wander into unknown territories. So wander away, and get your cards read. Go get your energy read. Explore, unpack and experience. You’ll be fine wherever you land. It won’t be far from where you already knew you were. 



Natalie Amezcua

Natalie (she/her/hers) is a humane educator and solutionary writer living in Los Angeles.


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Natalie is the author of sonatsays – blog. She is a solutionary thinker, dog mom, writer, and advocate for animal protection, environmental conservation, and human rights. Natalie has recently moved to her hometown of Los Angeles after living in Asia for several years to welcome a new chapter.



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