Yeah, Tarot and Astrology Helped Me Cope With My AnxietyAnd my therapist fully supports it.
For as long as I can remember, my anxiety has made life harder than it had to be. Back in preschool, I remember hyperventilating when my parents were running late or if my cubby wasn’t organized. I felt like if I was perfect and proper at all times, I could live up to the high standards my older siblings set. They had lots of friends and got A’s in school, and when I couldn’t accomplish the same things, I felt like a failure. My family didn’t tell me otherwise.
I was also labeled the sensitive (and sorta goth) one. When my parents’ arguing shifted the vibe of my home, I’d start crying and withdraw from socializing. As a teenager, I contemplated the meaning of life in my alone time and debated it with my childhood therapist. Around the same time, I started to notice that my parents and siblings easily let go of their hurt feelings after an all-out argument, while I needed a hot minute (aka a lot of minutes) to feel something other than sad about it. My intense emotions consistently led to intense meltdowns.
Then, at some point in my angsty childhood, I started getting into astrology and the tarot. Suddenly I had a roadmap of sorts to learn more about what made me so me. For context, my parents, a Scorpio and a Pisces (IYKYK), often took me to a local shop called Past Times to buy crystals and incense, so they didn’t think I was weird for chugging the mystical Kool-Aid.
Still, it wasn’t until I was 27 that I really began to use astrology and tarot as mental fitness tools. At that point, I’d spend weeks at a time crying about my work frustrations and relationships with friends and romantic partners, and I was about to begin my Saturn return. (Again, IYKYK, but if you don’t, it’s an astrological transit that marks your entrance into adulthood, and it starts between the ages of 27 and 29). I completely immersed myself in learning to interpret tarot cards and exploring how my birth chart impacted my personality and the way I responded to conflict.
Through my education and help from an astrology mentor, I was able to become more aware of my emotions and uncovered parts of myself that had been repressed—like early childhood trauma—all of which I unpacked with my amazing psychoanalyst, Kristin Long, DPsa, RDT/BCT, LCAT, LP, who I started seeing around the same time.
Astrology made me feel stronger. Instead of hiding away from problematic situations, I began to figure out why I was triggered and how I could take action.
For the past 18-plus years, I’ve worked as a professional astrologer and tarot reader, helping my clients seek clarity about their relationship issues, mental struggles, life goals, and whatever else they need help wrapping their minds around—just like I did. Sure, astrology and tarot are not the same as mental health care, but these tools have helped me cope with many an anxiety spiral. And they might be worth adding to your mental health toolkit too.
How astrology fits into my mental health routine.
If this is a very new, very confusing concept for you, I get it! But here’s a little background. In my opinion, astrology can be a great way to help you cope with hard things, answer questions you’re spiraling about, or learn more about yourself. And it usually starts with your birth chart, which is a literal map of where the planets were in relation to the place you were born at the time of your birth. According to astrology, your birth chart can clue you in to emotional patterns and behaviors you might experience throughout your life.
Honestly, a birth chart is complicated, but an easy way to think about it is that each planet represents a certain aspect of your life, like your relationships (Venus), structure and routine (Saturn), communication (Mercury), conflict (Mars), and more. And the way a planet is positioned in relation to others within your chart can also represent aspects of your personality. To me, the birth chart is one tool that might give you some insight into why you think, feel, and act the way you do.
Plus, it turns out, my psychoanalyst totally supports me using astrology as a coping tool, especially since I find it so helpful. Because therapy is already meant to help you stay curious about who you are, exploring parts of yourself through astrology can help you further understand your place in the world, explains Dr. Long.
OK, now that we’ve covered birth charts, there’s another aspect of astrology that can be a vehicle of self-exploration. Enter, transits, which refer to the position of the planets in the sky right now and how that interacts with the planets in your birth chart.
For better or worse, transits never stop, which I’ve actually found to be a helpful mental health reminder. Even if you’re struggling with a period of big feelings or just feeling totally lost in life at one moment, your mood or circumstances are bound to change as the planets keep making their way through the sky.
When I’ve felt my worst, remembering that these transits come and go gives me hope that things can get better. Whether Mercury is retrograding or you’re in your Saturn return, knowing who you are at your core via your birth chart can help you understand the best ways to deal with tough times.
Due to my mercurial mind (I’m a Gemini), I’m always looking into why people act the way we do (including myself) and working to find solutions that get to the root of an issue. Astrology helps me do that while also reminding me to look for patterns in my behavior or responses to challenges in my life.
For example, I’ve learned that I was born during a full moon, which, according to my study of astrology, makes me really focused on my relationships. And that full moon was in Sagittarius, which is thought to indicate that I forgive and forget too easily, something people might take advantage of. Also, with a ton of planets in mutable signs, or signs that mark the end of a season (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces), my birth chart suggests that I tend to take on the emotions of others, which can obviously add to my anxiety.
All of this astrological reflection has also taught me that I could benefit from more self-confidence and less people-pleasing (thanks, lunar conjunction with Neptune). And I can use that info to change how I relate to the world—or not!
From my experience, it can also help us empathize with others since it’s a great reminder that everyone is going through their own thing—astrologically or otherwise. Remembering that each person’s birth chart comes with a unique set of circumstances and challenges makes it easier for me to not take things so personally.
Now, let’s talk about tarot.
If you’re not familiar, tarot is a spiritual practice where you ask a question and draw a card (or as many as you want) from a tarot deck for insight. The cards have different symbols and pictures to represent complex ideas, and you can interpret them however you feel makes the most sense to you.
Therapeutic tarot readings are a little like finding meaning in inkblots. While each card has a basic interpretation, you can take away whatever you want from it. In addition to my sessions with Dr. Long, who encourages me to practice any type of self-help that isn’t hurting anyone or myself, pulling tarot cards has enabled me to navigate life a little more easily.
In my experience, tarot is an awesome tool for dealing with anxiety or worries about the future. Since pulling a card can give you a little insight on how to approach a problem or explain what’s really at play, they’re my go-to whenever I need a fresh perspective.
For instance, I recently had an issue with someone in my family belittling me. Their comments made me feel so insecure, so I asked the tarot how I could improve this relationship. I ended up pulling the Magician (a card of communication), Death (which symbolizes change and transformation in the tarot), and the Star (a promising new beginning). For me, all of that translated to changing the way I communicated with this person. That sparked an idea to write an email explaining how I felt—something I might not have considered before. With the help of my therapist, I sent them something that felt good to me and they responded in a positive way.
I also like to do a daily tarot pull to soothe my ever-present anxiety. By asking what obstacles I might face today and how I can overcome them, I know where to focus my energy, which takes the edge off of my tendency to overthink everything.
Back in my Saturn return days, I was really struggling to deal with my boss, who would call at all hours of the day to berate me or vent about her problems. So one time when I was pulling tarot cards with coworkers for fun, I ended up choosing the Emperor (boundaries), the Hierophant (education and learning), and the High Priestess (trusting your intuition). My takeaway: I needed to get better about setting boundaries and leaning into my spiritual core. So I did.
How to use astrology and tarot for your mental fitness.
If you’re interested, one easy place to start is pulling a card every morning before school or work to reflect on how to navigate the energy of the day. Or you can spend some time looking into the astrological aspects of your birth chart to learn more about the patterns, challenges, and circumstances that are unique to you.
Pretty soon you might notice that transits and moods come and go, but it’s more important to focus on the way you handle them. IMO, we are all multitudes of planets and feelings (I’m a professional astrologer and tarot reader after all), so if you’re going through a tough time, be present and know that the energy will pass soon.
Wondermind does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Any information published on this website or by this brand is not intended as a replacement for medical advice. Always consult a qualified health or mental health professional with any questions or concerns about your mental health.