Sam Holstein

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Why You Should Give Up Astrology, Crystal Work, and Reading Tarot Cards

Crystal work, astrology, and tarot are growing more popular every day. It’s not uncommon to meet people who wear crystals for mystical purposes, and it’s normal to hear people talking about astrological signs. “Oh, she’s such a Gemini.” We’ve all met someone who offered to give us a tarot reading after a breakup or career disappointment.

Some people use them as religious rituals, while others use them as non-religious methods of introspection. Either way, they seem harmless on the surface. It doesn’t hurt anyone to wear an amethyst necklace, right?

Except, it does hurt someone. It hurts you. Devoting your time and mental energy to these practices keeps you from devoting them to finding real solutions to your problems.

How New-Age Spirituality Kept Me In Chains

Crystals, tarot cards, and astrology were an important part of my life for years. Whenever I faced a challenge or couldn’t figure out my next move in life, I did a ritual, read some cards, and reflected on the results. I had a box in my room with crystals, dried spices and herbs, sandalwood, charcoal briquettes, and even a tiny cauldron for spells and rituals. Some of you reading this article are familiar with what I’m talking about.

For years, I also remained stuck in life. Perpetually broke, repeatedly miserable, painfully brokenhearted, and facing the same problems over and over despite investing a lot of time and energy into solving them.

All those years spent reading tarot cards to make relationship decisions are years I didn’t study how to have good relationships and practice communication skills. All those years I used crystals to keep bad energy away are years I didn’t learn how to effectively manage anxiety and depression. All those years I studied read natal charts are years I didn’t learn about how early childhood conditions affect your adult mental health. And all those lost years added up years of unnecessary suffering.

It’s not as if my life never got better. My life went through good phases. Problems would seem to be solved for a year or two. But inevitably, something would happen — that’s life — and I’d end up where I started, except with two fewer years left to look forward to. That’s not to say all my problems were purely caused by my fascination with pretty rocks, but my emotional reliance on divination certainly didn’t make things any better.

You may be the kind of person who enjoys wearing crystals and doing tarot card readings. You may find these rituals soothing, or you may tell yourself they are a useful introspective tool. If your sole purpose is to soothe your own distress, then I suppose it’s an effective solution for your problems…

…but be honest with yourself. You’re not doing these rituals solely for relaxation or introspection. You’re hoping for a breakthrough insight or divine guidance. You’re hoping for the key piece of the puzzle that will solve everything for you. You don’t want to suffer the same problems over and over anymore.

And all you’re doing is wasting your time.

None of us want to remain stuck in the same place for years at a time. But the only way we move forward in life is by finding effective solutions for our problems. Effective solutions aren’t buried in the arcane meanings of the Rider-Waite deck (which, by the way, was invented as a party game), they are found in books like Attached and The Simple Path to Wealth, in problem-solving conversations with loved ones, and in therapy.

This isn’t about religion. There are many ways to honor gods and spirits, and not all of them require new-age divination. What I’m saying is that tarot cards, casting stones, and reading signs are not effective treatments for… anything, really. If you spend your time on these rituals instead of studying proven methods for solving your problems, it’s not surprising you still have problems.

Somewhere inside you, you already know this. Or you at least suspect it. All those years I spent doing rituals, a part of me wondered whether this bullshit was really working. But I believed in the power of faith, so I kept it up, even when the same problems cropped up time and time again. I’m writing this article so you don’t have to waste as many years as I did.

Don’t Believe Me? Try an Experiment

Give up your rituals for thirty days. Put your crystals away and stop paying attention to what phase the moon is in. Spend all the time you would be doing rituals reading relevant books, articles, or in therapy instead.

While you’re doing this, take notes about your life. Do your problems get easier or more difficult to deal with? At the end of the thirty days, do you feel more or less prepared to solve your problems than you did before? Do things get better or worse?

Imagine knowing whether you should stay with or leave your partner because you already know what you need to know, instead of having to read tarot about your love future. You won’t have to do crystal work to keep negative energy away because you’ll be an expert at managing your life so depression and anxiety never take hold in the first place. And astrology won’t matter to you because you’ll know how to understand people based on their words and actions. Your life will be peaceful and happy because you’ll have the skills you need, not because you did the right rituals in the right way.

You don’t have to live that life if you don’t want to. It’s your life. But if you want a life like that, you have to get ruthlessly honest with yourself about what does and doesn’t solve your problems. It’s not enough for you to try hard and hope for the best. You need to do what works, not retreat back to your safety blanket.

Many people won’t like this message. They’re too attached to their rituals. At that point, their rituals are making their lives better, the same way a safety blanket or obsessive routine makes life better. You can be brave and let go of your rituals, but expect to be uncomfortable before healthier coping mechanisms take their place.

But if you’re on the fence about your rituals, take the next step and let them go. Move toward truly effective solutions for your problems. You’ll be thankful you did.

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