Despite being a spiritual person, I’d never had a tarot card reading done, partially because I was afraid to learn it was fake.
But when a fellow Falcon, 22-year-old education major Olivia Jones, said she was getting a reading done, I asked to join and finally see for myself.
That’s where Brianna Boehnlein, a 21-year-old student at BGSU majoring in psychology comes in. Boehnlein is a tarot reader who said she had an early interest in holistic and spiritual culture.
Tarot card reading, the practice of obtaining insight, divine knowledge and guidance on the past, present and future through specific cards from a practitioner, is similar to many other holistic and spiritual practices in the sense that many people don’t believe in its validity.
When we arrived at Boehnlein’s house for our tarot reading, Boehnlein gave us a disclaimer before she started.
“What I say doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to happen. It’s just a possible pathway with the energy going on,” Boehnlein said. “And that could be present energy, future energy or present energy. The future is never set.”
Th best way to describe the process of a tarot reading is the readee will draw three cards to represent their past, present and future. Subsequent cards drawn build upon and provide more detail about the initial thress messages.
While shuffling the purple cards to begin Jones’s reading, two fell out of the deck: “The Wheel of Fortune” and “Eight of Coins.”
Boehnlein explained that cards falling while shuffling doesn’t always happen, if cards do fall out of the deck, they’re meant for you. These cards are similar to “trump cards”, in a traditional card game, meaning they provide an “overarching message” for the rest of the cards.
Cards also can mean different things depending on where they fall, what direction they face and what cards they’re paired with. This means one card can mean many different things, depending on the person. It’s up to the practitioner to differentiate between the different meanings and help explain how they might apply to the readee.
Jones then chose three cards from the fanned deck to represent her past, present and future, which were respectively “The Magician,” an upside-down “Justice” and “The World.”
“The Magician” card signifies a position of power with knowledge. Those who’s present is represented by an upright “The Magician” card are in tune with their soul and are converting their spiritual ideas into real-world actions to achieve their goals. Boehnlein explained that “The Magician” is more of a masculine card to symbolize power when upright.
“You’re in your highest energy right now and you’re also in a position of power. And it’s interesting because “The Magician” is a provider of knowledge,” Boehnlein told Jones.
Boehnlein pointed out that Jones is also an education major and is currently student teaching, meaning that Jones really is in a position of power with knowledge.
“You’re aligned with your highest path. You’re not in the wrong career,” Boehnlein told Jones.
I thought to myself that the connection must be a coincidence. But the coincidences didn’t stop there.
Boehnlein continued reading Jones’s cards and the messages became more and more personal. The cards were discussing Jones’s family dynamic, specifically with the “Eight of Swords” card.
“I think there are things that your family doesn’t want you to know and don’t want you to fully realize,” Boehnlein said.
Jones looked taken aback for a second before expanding on how the message resonated with her.
“You know what’s crazy? My sisters so many times have said to me that there are so many things that you don’t know that we never want you to find out about,” Jones told Boehnlein.
“Look at how the eyes are covered up on both of these,” Boehnlein said, showing the “Eight of Swords” card and “Nine of Swords” card- both relating to her past.
I felt the hair on my arms raise.
“That’s fucking weird! That’s crazy,” Jones said.
“It was the cards, not me!” Boehnlein said.
Jones’s reading continued with many more “coincidences.”
I was surprised by how accurate Jones’s reading was, but still held a bit of reservation. Boehnlein and Jones are close friends, meaning they know a lot about each other’s lives, which could play into a tarot card reading being so accurate.
But while Boehnlein and I are familiar with each other through a mutual friend, I essentially was a stranger in her home. Boehnlein didn’t know the interworkings of my personal relationships or day-to-day life.
But I was excited to see what the cards held.
Boehnlein shuffled the cards again and I chose three cards.
For my present, I drew “The Magician” upside down, for my past, the “Nine of Wands” and for my present the “Eight of Swords.”
While upright, “The Magician” is a very positive card. Upside down, however, is the opposite.
“You’re not in your highest self right now, I’ll say that,” Boehnlein said, and pulled another card to build upon my present card.
“The Hanged Man” card was drawn.
“Again, this [“The Magician”] is a very masculine card. This feels like a trapping of masculine energy. That’s why I pulled that [The Hanged Man] card too, to confirm that,” Boehnlein said. “This is a toxic masculine energy that isn’t you but is an infestation. A pest-like situation.”
I was surprised yet again. I very recently got out of an abusive relationship with a narcissist who would not stop reaching out until he was eventually blocked. A “pest” if you will.
Bohnlein was not aware of that situation.
“These cards signify that you’re not in yourself right now. And there are outside forces and energies that are affecting that. You feel trapped by those; you’re hanged,” Boehnlein said.
Bohnelein mentioned that there seemed to be multiple toxic male energies affecting me. She pulled another card to expand on it.
The “Knight of Pentacles,” was drawn upside down. This card upside down signifies feeling stuck in a relationship. Bohnelein pointed out that the pentacles on the card symbolize material items.
“There’s an overarching, oppressive energy,” she said. “I’m getting you were getting talked over, and even if you tried to explain yourself, you wouldn’t be heard. And it’s weighing down on you.
At the same time, there are things you can’t let go of and feel stagnated by,” Bohnelein said, “Did you ever have material items held over your head in relationships?”
At this point in the reading, I started to cry.
As Boehnlein continued the reading, it got more and more personal, with more and more tears.
I’ve been having a very difficult time in life recently, and Bohnelein was able to pinpoint and explain where many of my anxieties are stemming from via the tarot cards. She was also able to give me guidance moving forward and explain what next steps I should take.
While I don’t feel comfortable fully sharing specific details about the rest of Boehnlein’s reading, I’m confident now in saying I fully believe in tarot card readings. I would recommend anyone who’s open to having one done doing it.
If you’re interested in having a tarot card reading done, you can visit Thumbtack, a website specifically designed to help people find local tarot readers near them.