Tarot Wisdom: The Choice to Be Happy is in Your Hands


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How many of the choices presented to us in life actually make us happy—not for a fleeting moment but bring to us real, deep happiness? Prevailing thought suggests that happiness is something that happens to us, as a result of something else…some grand achievement in life or in a relationship. What if we all were to acknowledge happiness not as a feeling that results from something else, but as a choice? 


“To be happy one must choose to be happy, not respond to a circumstance that now controls your happiness.” ~ Dr. Joyce Meyer


It’s true events can and will occur in our lives that shake our inner peace and rattle our happiness. These moments, to paraphrase the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow*, are the moments “into each life that some rain must fall.” How we choose to respond to that ‘rain’, that trying circumstance, is what determines whether or not we experience happiness. Even in times of great sorrow, “behind the clouds the sun is still shining” if we only we will have faith and choose to wait for it.


The Tarot offers rich symbolism and wisdom about the pursuit of happiness, and can help us to discern the difference between happiness that is real and deep, and what is fleeting and unfulfilling. Using a three-card draw, I inquired of the Tarot on the topic of “choosing to be happy”:


The first card that, literally, flew out of the deck and onto my reading table was the Five of Cups. In this card we see a cloaked figure looking miserably upon three spilled goblets, which represent emotion and regret. At further inspection of the card, we see that there are two cups that remain upright behind this desperately depressed person. The two upright cups represent our choice to change our perspective and find our happiness. All the person in the card need do is change their perspective.


Our mothers used to admonish us not to “cry over spilt milk,” which was another way of saying, wipe up your mess and move on in life. It sounds easy, but is hard to do if we hang onto regret. If you find yourself struggling with how to choose happiness, you might want to ask yourself the following questions:


  • What are you getting out of choosing to remain unhappy? Do you receive attention that you otherwise will not get? Is there any other “reinforcement” for not changing?
  • Does anyone else care deeply about how unhappy you are?
  • What would happen if you chose to be happy, despite any difficult circumstances that may exist?



I asked in earnest of the Tarot again, what else might one do to choose happiness, even in times of difficulty? The Sun card emerged from the deck. On this card, we see a happy baby riding in perfect balance on a horse without a saddle. Children are thought to be quite innocent in the way that they interact with and respond to their environment. Sometimes, all we need to be happy is to ‘just do it’ as a popular sports slogan claims. Here, I was thinking that the Tarot was going to get deep and complicated. Instead, it was offering a simple answer: Just Be Happy.


Other symbols on the card like the sunflower give us direction on how what it means to choose to be happy. Sunflowers lift their blooms toward the east at sunrise to maximize exposure to the sun’s warmth and healing rays. At the end of each day, each sunflower tracks to the west with their large blooms in an attempt to wave goodbye to each sunset. As morning light dawns, they again face to the east ever eager to greet the dawn. Like sunflowers, each of us can stretch to greet each new morning with the same hope in our hearts, that no matter what happens during that day, a ray of sunshine will sustain us until a new day dawns. Ask yourself the following questions to find out what may be preventing you from just being happy:


  • What affirmations can you recite to “reset yourself” like the sunflower to greet each new dawn with a happy heart?
  • Do you choose only to see and focus on what has ended (be it a relationship, a job, a beautiful day) rather than what can come with each new dawn?
  • How can you find more balance in your life, and more to be happy about?


The final card that I drew from the deck was the Three of Cups. In the card there are three figures dancing with full cups in their hands held high. The card suggests that to be happy one must share in another’s happiness, or create the atmosphere of “happy” together. Happiness then can be a state of mind that is chosen to express love for a fellow human being as they mark milestone moments in their lives. Birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, religious milestones, and even funerals all give us the opportunity to celebrate the life of another individual or a family.


On a personal note, I remember the song written by Mark Sanders and sung by LeeAnn Womack, a very famous country singer, entitled I Hope You Dance. I remembered this song well as it played on the top stations the year that my beloved grandmother died. Everywhere I went after her death the song played. In fact, I took it as a sign from my grandmother that she was telling me not only to “give the heavens above more than just a passing glance, but when I got a choice to sit it out or dance, that she wished I would dance.” The message was clear. Choose to be happy! If you are struggling to choose happiness, ask yourself the following questions:


  • Why am I choosing not to “dance” and share in the joy that surrounds me through my relationships with others?
  • How can I be happy for others, even if I am unhappy in the moment?
  • What changes am I willing to make to be happy now?


On the topic of choosing happiness, the Tarot had asserted through The Five of Cups that happiness is a matter of perspective. With the Sun Card, we find that happiness is an action as well as an emotion. We can choose to “just do it” like the Nike slogan. Finally, in the Three of Cups we are shown that we have the capacity to share our choice of happiness with others through dance and celebration. Happy is a choice. I wish all of you perspective, the gift of taking action in your lives, and the ability to dance even if you have tears in your eyes.


* The Rainy Day by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Author Bio


For more than 30 years, Psychic/Medium Karen Hollis has used her abilities to help her clients acquire wisdom from Spirit, reveal their soul lessons and understand how karmic patterns manifest in their life choices. Her private readings are highly regarded for their accuracy, integrity, and compassion. Karen teaches seminars and has worked with law enforcement to locate missing persons both in the United States and Canada. 


Karen has been featured on Discovery Channel’s “A Haunting,” and the television show “Paranormal Survivor”. As the lead psychic/medium investigator with Ghosts of New England Research Society (G.O.N.E.R.S.), Karen is “the bridge between evidence and explanation.”

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Comment by Karen Hollis on July 15, 2015 at 9:29am

Hi Shelly,

Thank you for getting back to me. I am heading to Denver, CO to teach a workshop and won't be home to CT until 7/24. Thank you for using the edited bio on the article that you last published. 

Shelly, I am frustrated because in my previous career I was in publishing overseeing The Knot in NYC for many years (6 magazines and websites), and I really do try to understand where you are coming from. Om has guidelines, and I understand that and am trying to follow them. 

Articles need to be 1200 words or less. I sent you a book review entitled: "Review:  A Psychic Mortician Gives a Behind-the-Scenes Look at Laying the Dead to Rest" My understanding is that book reviews have different guidelines than articles, unless I am wrong. Either way your guidelines say MAXIMUM of 1200 words. See below:


Article submissions are subject to length restrictions:

Title: maximum 60 characters.

Article: maximum of 1,200 words.

Author Bio: 400 characters – approximately 60 words.

Currently, I do not have the time right now to be re-writing articles for OM. In fact, after they are written I actually PAY to have them gone over by professional editors to make sure that the quality is there for OM. These are free lance folks who I trust. One of these editors was Karen Rider who you recently had a problem with. I can only assume that I am not being published due to whatever issue you had with her and not me. I have found Karen Rider to be a true professional and she would NEVER presume to try to submit something as an ADVERTORIAL instead of an article, in my opinion, and experience. Either way, your issue is with Karen Rider and NOT with me. I would appreciate our professional relationship not be confused with hers. 

Here is what Liane wrote about my submission work in an email below. If you no longer value my submissions please let me know and I will stop submitting to your magazine, but please STOP sending me the canned guidelines over and over in response to my inquiries about my admissions not being published. If you would like to speak with me personally you are welcome to call my cell phone at 860-883-9680.

Shelly, I really do feel that you are punishing me for my association with Karen Rider. 

Below is what Liane thinks of me and I have high regard for her opinion. I appreciate you and the job you are doing, but we need to work out our working relationship. I feel confusion at OM and as a writer, a lack of support and understanding that all of our time is very valuable. 

Thank you. Karen

On Sep 18, 2014, at 12:42 PM, Liane Buck a href="mailto:liane@humanityhealing.net">liane@humanityhealing.net> wrote:

Hi Karen,

 You know, I truly LOVE Karen Hollis' work.  One of her articles, why the dead do not cross to the light is one of our best performing articles, among the top 100, which is huge, as we have more than 7000 articles published, very impressive. Her article alone has been read more than 50K times. The quality of her work is undeniable.
About the reviews, we need to give some thoughts to that, as I would like it a lot, this is actually the way we make money nowadays. But we certainly can find a common ground or a way that will be good for both.
 But rest assure, any contribution from Karen that she wishes to give to us, will be very much well accepted and cherished. now, having said that, if you can guarantee she will give me at least one article a month, I will be glad to place her among our Spotlight writers right away.

Comment by Karen Hollis on July 10, 2015 at 6:53am

Hi Shelly,

Recently, Liane was asking where my articles were as she had not seen me published in OM for a awhile and she wanted me as a featured columnist. In response, I sent over 4 articles to catch up due to my hectic filming schedule with "A Haunting." I am just wondering if you are going to be publishing any of those on Om. I know "The Choice To Be Happy" was sent for consideration, but I have not seen any inclusion in the magazine. If my articles are not going to be used, I need to use my time in a more efficient manner. Feel free to speak with Liane on this.  I value Om and you, and I am just asking if you want me to continue to contribute to the community? Thanks, Karen H.

Comment by Karen Hollis on June 10, 2015 at 4:36pm

Thanks, Shelly!

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