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Traffic jams, computer glare, kids, work, and a thousand other stresses wear us down daily. The mundane modern world can burn, but we can look to our magical past to help calm the fire. The Tarot offers a way to relax that is convenient and immediately effective, and healthy for mind, body, and spirit. Learning simple techniques for using the cards to reduce stress can take the edge off, bringing serenity, inspiration, and mental strength when it is most needed.
When we're stressed, we need an outlet for our emotions. Without relaxation techniques to release frustration, our loved ones often become the "default outlets" for our anxiety, as stress can cause us to lash out in sudden anger. This problem has a simple solution, and stress-induced quarrels can be prevented. Before tempers boil over, those tense feelings can be released into a Tarot card, relieving stress and reducing irritability.
When you're feeling stressed, take a minute to look through your deck and find the card that best corresponds to your emotion. If you're feeling angry, you might choose the Ace of Swords. If you feel impatient, the Seven of Pentacles would perhaps be an appropriate selection. If you feel misunderstood, you might pick out the Five of Swords. Base your choice on your current feelings, and the card you select will be effective.
Gaze at the card and allow your emotions to pour into it. Once you feel you have "vented" all you can, take several slow, deep breaths. Now blow on the surface of the card to send stress flying.
Another way to beat stress with the Tarot brings inspiration through the power of visualization. Get out of that rut by meditating on a card that represents something you wish to attract to your life. For instance, if you want happiness, you could select the Sun card. For love, the Ace of Cups is a good choice.
Look at the card and visualize yourself amidst the imagery. For example, if you've picked The Star card, picture yourself kneeling by the waterside; feel the mud on your knees and hear the sound of the water spilling from your pitchers. Now let the card's energy flow into your body. Consciously absorb the feelings symbolized by the card. This exercise in positive visualization can inspire you, reducing stress and transforming your life with the magic of the Tarot.
Keeping our minds sharp and alert is another important element of stress reduction. Falling into the same old thinking patterns again and again can bring the stress of boredom, and we need mental exercise and excitement in order to have the strength and vitality to readily come up with fresh solutions to daily problems.
Brainstorming with Tarot cards is a great mental exercise that can improve your brain's ability to fight stress. Choose a card that appeals to you, and contemplate the card's mysteries. Press yourself to think of many possible interpretations for the card. Think of what the card could mean to different people; think of how the card's meaning would vary in different situations. You will improve your Tarot reading skills, and you will also sharpen your thinking skills, making it easier to find ways around stress-inducing dilemmas.
Short of moving to the remote mountains of Nepal to live the hermit's life, there is no way to completely eliminate the stress of the modern world. With these handy Tarot techniques, however, relaxing is easy. Before you let stress etch another wrinkle on your beautiful face, pull out your cards and calm your nerves with the Tarot's amazing power.
Melanie Marquis is the founder of the United Witches global coven and the organizer of Denver Pagans. She has written for Circle, Pentacle, and the American Tarot Association. Melanie's books include Llewellyn's Little Book ...