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From Religion to Tarot: How I Woke Up

Author’s Note: I feel it is extremely important for me to give a back story in order for everyone who reads this to fully receive the message I am attempting to convey. It’s lengthy, for one. Secondly, I don’t mean to offend or discredit any religion or way of life. This is only MY story. Now, with that being said…Enjoy.

I grew up being spoon fed religion. My mother’s side of the family is full on Jewish. When I was young, my grandma would take my brother and I to Temple, youth group on Wednesday nights as well as Hebrew lessons. We celebrated Hanukkah and Passover and I enjoyed it when I was younger, but I truly understood none of it.

My father, on the other hand, was raised Lutheran. My parents divorced when I was five and my father began taking my brother and I with him to church on Sunday's. It was like my grandmother (God rest her soul) and my father were playing tug of war and my brother and I were the flag in the middle.

In December of 2008, when I was 12, my grandmother passed away suddenly. That same month, we had unknowingly celebrated our last Jewish holiday. My mother was never very religious and things just weren’t the same without my grandma around.

At the age of 14, I moved in with my father, step-mom and step-sisters for one year. It was around this time of my life that Catholicism started to be pushed further and further down my throat. At first, everything was wonderful. I loved my new life. The only thing I hated was feeling I was trapped in religion. Even at a young age, I hated the thought of religious confinement. Truthfully, I hated going to church and at the time I was going to a Catholic school. Even when I was younger, I said prayers at bedtime but I never knew what it felt like to really believe that God was there. Did I even believe he existed at all?

In the time I spent living with my dad, I was greatly depressed. I was living in small town, where everyone and their cat knew your business. My father and step-mother saw me as a “rebel” and I spent a good seven out of the twelve months I was there “grounded”, cut off from communication from the friends that my parents didn’t approve of. At the time, I had not yet experienced the Universe knowingly, but I realize now that I had some karmic ties to be cut. I was young when I first felt true pain. I felt like a prisoner in a place that felt nothing like home. At age fourteen, I can fully say that I knew what it felt like to want to be dead, which terrified me. So, when the school year ended, I finally packed my bags (in reality they had been packed for weeks) and moved back home to my mom. Now, you may be wondering where I am going with this. Well, when I moved back home, that is about the time when my spiritual journey of awakening began. Now, I say that light heartedly, but truthfully - it was beyond painful. Not all of it, by any means, but most of it.

I was being pulled and guided by the Universe without even knowing or realizing it. I was also releasing, again, many, many karmic ties to past lives. I felt as though I was drowning. Bad thing after bad thing happened to me. At the time, I couldn’t understand what I’d done to deserve it. In hindsight, I realize it was for the better - there were things that needed to occur in order for me to move forward in my journey. I won’t go into details, because this story isn’t about the bad. It’s about finding the good. Alright, onwards.

It was when I was about 15 when I began to see 11:11 on the clock every single night. Like I said, at the time, I had absolutely no idea what was going on. I just made a wish, because that’s what you were supposed to do. In hindsight, I know that seeing 11:11 means that a portal of manifestation has been blown wide open. A little numerology lesson: When we see 11:11, our thoughts are wildly manifesting into reality. The repeating number one is also the first sequence that many people see, and it’s even been termed the “Code of Activation.” It is a key to unlock the subconscious mind, reminding us that we are spiritual beings having a physical experience, rather than the other way around. Looking back, this is HUGE! Like wow, I was waking up and I had absolutely no idea. I was also really, really into astrology. However, I was fixated on my and everyone else’s sun signs without any real knowledge of a full birth chart. That comes later.

Now, fast forward: I’m 16, and I have a boyfriend (who is actually still my boyfriend now… all of those “I wish for love”’s at 11:11 seriously paid off!). About a year later, we start dabbling in drugs. I was so young! Seventeen and I had tripped off of LSD about seven times total. I was also smoking marijuana everyday and drinking all of the time while trying to keep up with schoolwork. LSD was, for lack of better words, insane. I began to realize that there was so much more to life and humanity… like I was on the verge of something huge.... as though there was a word on the tip of my tongue but I couldn’t quite pinpoint it. I’m not advocating LSD. I know I was literally blowing my Third Eye Chakra wide open, which is potentially, seriously dangerous, but I am saying that for MY journey, it was something I needed to experience. It was also something I grew out of. I’m really flying through this because the good stuff starts to happen around my senior year of high school and beyond.

I started taking anti-depressants during my senior year at high school. I thought what I was experiencing (awakening) was full-blown depression. Then, one of the biggest miracles of my life thus far occurred on April 24th, 2014. I received a full ride to college. I would have never furthered my education without it, simply because I wouldn’t have been able to afford it. I had always wanted to be a writer, and creative writing called out to my soul (it wasn’t until my Junior year of college that I finally switched to a Creative Writing track. I wanted to have a “practical” job for some reason). What better way to help me achieve my dreams than offer me a means to do so: a miracle from the Universe! All along, my guides were with me, looking out for me. At times, I feel as though, maybe, my grandmother could be one of those guides.

Skipping a bit ahead, spring of my freshman year of college, I realized that my anti-depressant was having an adverse effect on me. I would take my pill and less than thirty minutes later I would be having intense, suicidal thoughts. Luckily, I was able to realize what was going on, and began to wean myself from my anti-depressants. (AUTHORS NOTE: If you’re thinking about going off of your pills, speak to your doctor. Do NOT go cold turkey from your anti-depressants or ANY psychoactive drug you may be taking. The side effects are dangerous, as your body and mind becomes fully addicted to these drugs).

When I stopped taking anti-depressants, I had been stripped raw. The year prior to this, I was in a toxic living situation. I finally got out and stopped drinking alcohol (an almost every night occurrence). I lost a lot of friends. I was truly lonely, isolating myself at the same time. I was only eighteen. At the time I felt so old, but in reality, I still knew nothing.

Now, at what point did I transition from a Sort-of-Awake-Adolescent to a More-Awake-Yet-Fully-Aware-Spiritual-Being, you may ask? Well, I first discovered crystals. Then numerology started entering my life more and more. The Universe was begging me to recognize its existence. It was basically telling me, “Come out, Cari! We know you’re in there!” Repeating numbers were showing themselves to me more than ever before. I then learned about the energy system that runs through our bodies: our chakras. Meditation also aided in my awakening, as did yoga. These things presented themselves to me at the right times.

Today, my favorite way to connect with my personal power as well as the Universe is through tarot. I’d always had a really strong intuition, so when I discovered tarot. I realized that my “psychic” or clairvoyant powers were powerful and continue to get more powerful. Energy is such a strong thing; it's in the essence of EVERYTHING and it's all around us. I love using tarot to connect with people through our energies.

Coming full circle, I think the contrast of religion in my life has truly been for the better. I realize now that all religion spawns from the need to understand the Divine in this world, and I really do think it’s beautiful. I, myself, have sort have developed my own religion that has no bounds. As I grow, I add more and more knowledge to my personal beliefs. They are ever changing, as am I. Religion helped me realize that I had these personal truths inside me the entire time. Religion also helped me come to terms with the inevitable end that we all face: death. I used to be terrified to die, but now, I believe that when we die, we wake up on the other side, able to reflect on the lifetime we just endured, as we get ready to set off on a new journey to be reincarnated (again). I believe that, only once we have truly reached our soul's purpose, we can finally transcend into Nirvana.

My soul has been through a lot in this lifetime and I'm still very young. Through it all, I have evolved graciously and am still evolving. Like the lotus, I bloomed from muddy water. I am still a student, but I hope my story has at least shed some light or inspired another to break free from the confides of what they perceived as absolute.

Remember: nothing is absolute. You are allowed to change. In fact, if you haven’t changed in a while, I encourage you to open a book or dig deep inside for answers. Don’t allow your journey to come to a halt: if you feel you have learned it all then you STILL have more to learn. Remember: there is no hurry. Go at your own pace. Stay positive. If you're reading this (and seriously, I thank you for reading to the end), you've probably already taken baby steps and you will eventually remember why your soul chose this dimension and time-space to come to. Take the waves as they come. Things only happen as they are meant to and WHEN they are meant to happen.

Remember that you hold the power to manifest your life. If you are uncomfortable, in any aspect, you have the power to make necessary changes. Do not ever underestimate the power of manifestation. If you want something bad enough, all you need to do is ask the Universe. Use your voice, and tell the Universe you are open to receiving any blessings that may come your way. Remember that energy is in EVERYTHING, and it doesn't lie. If you have a bad feeling, TRUST it. You are probably right. Most importantly, remember to just be here, now.