Floral essences, New Moon manifestations, moon dust morning smoothies, dry brushing, Himalayan salt lamps — I can totally get down with the natural wellness trends that are becoming more mainstream every year. One component of this alternate universe I’d yet to explore until this past week is the psychic realm. Mediums, clairvoyants and empaths are equal parts terrifying and fascinating to me. I want to know my future, but do I really want to know my future? I’d actually made a 30th birthday goal to get my Tarot cards read but chickened out. That is until now, three years later, when I found myself walking into the Aquarian Bookshop in Richmond, Virginia for my very first reading.

Hand with pendulum over tarot cards

The Aquarian Bookshop is a haven for all things cosmically cool: crystals, palo santo, intention candles, honey pots and ESP books. They also offer a whole host of classes and readings with a roster of everything from runes and angel cards to astrology and past-life readings.

I was shaking-in-my-Birks nervous when I arrived for my reading; I wasn’t sure what to expect. Was I going to end up emotionally exhausted and questioning my life choices? Was the Death card going to show up? (Spoiler alert: It did, but in a good way!) My worries were quickly extinguished when I met my reader, Barbara. With a soft voice, kind eyes and tie-dyed tunic, Barbara was exactly who you’d want reading your Tarot cards for the first time. She immediately put me at ease and my former anxiety turned into full-fledged anticipation. Let’s do this, Barbara!

We started with “a bit of numerology” (a Tarot card appetizer if you will), and Barbara informed me that, while 2015 was a time of emotional upheaval for me (check), 2016 would be about taking care of my body and 2017 is all about mental strength (“You are strong and you can do it.”). Cool.

Woman predicting future

Since I didn’t have a specific question that I wanted to have answered, we went with a general 12-year outlook reading. I shuffled the cards, cut the deck three times and Barbara laid out the 12 twelve cards face down. Month by month, she turned over a card and explained to me its inherent meaning. With each card came some personal insight which Barbara gained from her “guides,” whether it was about my career, relationships or even my upcoming travel plans. Some things came eerily close to the truth and others were more genera, but I never felt misunderstood with something totally off base.

Some cards were specifically loaded, according to Barbara. I got the Judgment card for this coming August. She was about to explain the card to me when she took a beat, closed her eyes and said, “Okay, wow, this is the first time my guides have told me to read this card in such a specific way, but they want me to tell you something,” to which I thought (but did not say), “I bet you say that to all the girls, Barbara.”

I left the bookshop feeling happily optimistic and light as a feather; truly, Barbara’s insight was a much-needed balm to some anxious thoughts I’d been having. While I’m skeptical about the clairvoyance aspect of the reading, I fully subscribe to its mental health benefits. It was a fun way to recenter my thoughts and goals, and I’d totally pay the $30 again just for the good vibes it brought me.

Would you ever get your Tarot cards read? Tweet us @BritandCo and let us know!

(Photos via Getty)