Spirituality aids self-improvement

Sofia Cole, co-features editor

Inspecting the spread of colorful tarot cards laid meticulously in front of her, junior Sarah Carr begins to analyze the position, meaning, and surroundings of each card, giving her the guidance to understand her life and how to move forward positively. From tarot readings in the courtyard, to horoscopes on TikTok ForYou pages, spirituality has an overwhelming presence at South. 

Tarot is a 78 card system that allows one to explore a question about themself, sophomore Boden Williams explained. One draws cards to help them reflect on possible answers, interpreting the meaning of the cards in relation to the proposed question. 

“Anyone can pick up a pack of tarot cards, draw cards and get the same meaning as someone else,” Williams said. “But it’s through your intuition as to how you [apply it to] your life.”

Aside from tarot readings, Carr explores spirituality through meditation, crystals, and journaling. 

Whether it is receiving tarot readings from others or reading cards for herself, Carr believes spirituality is something she can always look toward for guidance.

“No matter what [tarot] card you pull, it is going to give you advice or hindsight on a situation, and I think [those things that are] really important to be aware of,” Carr said.

Carr emphasized the importance of understanding the world around her on a deeper level, claiming this bolsters self-growth and healing.

“[Spirituality] helps [me] gain perspective on different situations and promotes being self-aware,” Carr said. “It helps me with my relationships and gaining insight from major life events.”

Senior Shreya Ruia, Co-Founder and President of Yoga and Mindfulness Club, sees mindfulness as a good starting point for exploring spirituality. In Yoga and Mindfulness Club,  meditation and yoga exercises are practiced to help with stress and health, Ruia explained.

“[Yoga and Mindfulness Club is] dedicated to bringing wellness and positivity to [South],” Ruia said. “We teach members how to use meditation methods and gratitude practices to reduce anxiety.”

Through various wellness methods including meditation, journaling, gratitude practices, and manifestation, Ruia believes mindfulness has made a noticeable impact in reducing anxiety in her life.

“Especially as [a] high [schooler], I think it is very important to develop healthy coping mechanisms, and mindfulness is a great way to calm down,” Ruia said.

Health Teacher Laura Duffy contends the reduction in anxiety mindfulness can have for students. Duffy teaches mindfulness in class and practices it independently, and she sees mindfulness as a useful tool for students wishing to lessen stress and stay in the present moment. 

“[My definition of spirituality is letting] the universe take care of [things],” Duffy said. “Then I can [stop] worrying about solving everybody else’s problems, focus on mine, and let things play out.”

In the halls of South, Williams offers tarot and astrology readings to students through his small business, TarotByBobo, providing words of universal wisdom about the future and achievement of his clients’ goals. He said that he has made friends through spirituality and connected with people on a deeper level. While giving someone a tarot reading, Williams sees a new perspective on what people are going through, he explained.

“I started this business for fun, but also to learn from others,” Williams said. “It lets me appreciate and learn so much about others’ perspectives.”

While going through his day to day life, Williams described that among other benefits, he has an increased sense of gratitude since starting his spirituality journey.

“I’m grateful for everything,” Williams said. “A lot of my friends aren’t like that and are always complaining, but I embrace the world. There’s so much to offer and I feel like everything’s so beautiful. [When I have] a hard day, my head [will] clear and [then] I’m grateful for everything.”

Sophomore Maria Leonovich, a business partner of Williams’s, studies astrology and offers birth chart analyses for friends, clients, and herself. From looking at a person’s birth time and place, she offers insight on how one can better their life or solve a problem they are facing using their reading. 

“[Astrology] helps me [better] understand who I am, as well as [better] understand others,” Leonovich said. “It helps me look into my life and see [the potential in] relationships with myself and others.” 

Leonovich highlighted that people should keep an open mind and not feel inclined to judge any form of spirituality or where people are in their journey. She emphasized that tarot and astrology readings are not a scam, and that she and Williams genuinely want to help people. 

“We’ve helped a lot of people with their problems, especially [Williams’s] clients,” Leonovich said. “I think people should be more open-minded to other people’s practices.”