While Quinton Capretta does not follow any particular religious or spiritual system, he believes that reading astrological signs and tarot cards can map out someone’s life, and can empower people in the same way religion does.
“(The cards are) not a plan, so you do with them what you will. I’ve always been taught that you have a sense of free will and choice in whatever it is you do,” Capretta said. “But both of these systems give an individual the ability to think that they have control over what’s around them.”
A deck of tarot cards consists of 78 different cards, each possessing a unique allegorical representation, according to Merriam-Webster. After selecting a set number of cards – typically three each for your past, present and future – a psychic reader can interpret of the cards for fortune- telling purposes.
For some Chapman students, astrological signs and tarot card readings are a way to explore their own concept of spirituality. While opinions on the legitimacy of these methods vary, students have found benefits, such as serenity and guidance, through in these mediums.
Like religion, Capretta said that having faith in psychic readings can be a positive or negative experience for anyone.
“It’s hard for me to say whether it’s a waste of time or not,” Capretta said. “If I asked you, ‘Do people get a tremendous benefit from believing in Christianity?’ many people would say yes. But some people might feel very bad about the choices they make in respect to their belief system, and it would constantly leave them second guessing. So it’s up to the individual.”
For Jane Gore, a junior integrated educational studies major, tarot cards are a way to observe how fate and introspection intersect with spirituality.
“It’s intriguing to think about how fate could play out in the cards, and I think it’s spiritual within itself for a person to say, ‘I’m looking for these answers’ when selecting the cards,” Gore said.
People can learn how to trust themselves by both interpreting and having their tarot cards read, Gore said.
“It’s very personal,” Gore said. “It’s all about understanding yourself, so that when you read, you can trust in what you’re doing. Intuition and trusting in yourself play an essential role in that, and for me, that is a big part of spirituality.”
Sonya, who did not want to provide her last name, is a psychic reader from the Witch Next Door, a “magickal” supplies and clothing shop in Anaheim that offers psychic readings. She received her first deck of tarot cards from her grandmother when she was 11 years old, she said. Sonya views her ability to interpret tarot cards as a result of inner spiritual work. She said that she meditates, eats healthy and exercises to get in the right mindset, which can make her readings more accurate.
“My spirituality is everything,” Sonya said. “I don’t have a day where I don’t do meditation. It keeps me balanced, and it keeps me more empathetic (toward) people. I meditate now, not to just give a person a reading, but to give them advice. I can tell them that bad things are happening, but that doesn’t help if I can’t tell them how to avoid it, so meditation is much more important than my knowing how to read these cards.”
For Annie Acosta, a freshman business administration major, reading horoscopes through her natal birth chart allows her to unearth truths about herself. A natal birth chart is an astrological chart taken from the exact time of an individual’s birth that analyzes the positions of the planets in relation to the astrological houses, according to Self Growth.
“Whether you believe in astrology or not, there is always something you can find out about yourself by reading your natal chart and seeing what you do resonate with,” Acosta said.
Acosta, who identifies as a progressive Christian still seeking her exact spiritual views, said that religion and astrology can co-exist.
“My spiritual beliefs and my reading of natal charts can go together,” Acosta said. “I don’t treat this as a religion. It’s more of a pseudoscience.”