This entry will be a little different from my others, still educational, but less talking about the practice of tarot and more discussing the tarot community and some of the trends that I’ve seen come up which are unhealthy, as well as a few pet peeves.
I like Tarot Tube, I like tarot facebook groups, discords, all sorts of tarot type stuff. The fact is that I have been practicing tarot since my early teens. That’s … well a couple of decades now…. yikes. Moving right along, my mum always supported my path and spiritual interests, tarot included, and she even bought me my first deck. It was a basic learning deck, based off the Rider-Waite Smith deck, with a decent guidebook. I printed out key words and taped them to the back of the cards so I could better learn the meanings. I lost that deck at some point (probably moving house). When I was 18 and had my first real job, I ordered 2 decks for myself, The Witchy Tarot (now the Teen Witch Tarot) and The Gothic Vampire Tarot (now out of print). It felt pretty special having these decks (and I still have them). After the birth of my daughter (2019) I bought another deck, The Housewives Tarot, and my husband gave my my first oracle deck, Crystal Medicine, so my little collection doubled.
And then I started to participate in the community. And here’s where things got a bit crazy for me. I watched some videos about peoples collections, and those collections were huge! I also watched some haul videos and I couldn’t believe how many decks people were buying all at once. It was all about decks. But getting real depth videos about practice was almost impossible. Decks, decks, decks. The pressure to buy new decks to feel like my practice had value was enormous. And I did buy some new decks (I now have 13), but if you average that out, that’s not bad, it’s not even a deck a year. I’m also going to give one of my decks to a friend because I really don’t like it, but it will be fine as a first deck.
So there is this massive pressure to have a big collection, then you add to that deck snobbery. I didn’t realise that there could be tarot elitism (and keep in mind I come from an equestrian background). People will judge you, not just on how many decks you own, but which decks you own. Double yikes. Now I will admit, I won’t have anything Doreen Virtue in my collection, and that angel decks just don’t float my goat, but the judgement over owning decks like The Light Seer and The Wild Unknown is completely ridiculous.
Then there are the reading videos. Some I like, some I don’t. I never open the Pick A Card type videos, they aren’t my thing and why would I invest time in watching someone do something I can do myself? But I will address some predicative readings I’ve watched about cold cases and missing people. Well. I’ll do a short little vent about ethics. There is something messed up if you upload a video that can be viewed publicly and talk about a 4 year old girl getting her throat slit (and other things), then DON’T RETRACT YOUR STATEMENTS OR APOLOGISE after the child has been found alive and well. When you make horrific statements and claims about cold cases that have no way of being disproven, and lets be honest here, claiming that Madeleine McCann was involved in human sacrifice is disgusting. As someone who is a reader, who does get message from spirit from time to time, who sits in the realm of predicative tarot, there needs to be a clear line in the sand. If you genuinely think you’ve got some useful information, you need to know what to do with that information, and you can usually give a tip to the police and they will investigate it. But making up stories for hits, likes and views is foul play in my book. When Cleo Smith went missing the online witch/tarot communities went a little crazy, especially in Australia. People claiming that they could sense her (barely though!) and she was lost in the scrub, or that the mother was involved and had sold her, or that she had wandered off and got lost. I’ll be honest, I asked spirit for information and I was told (very clearly) to butt out and that the situation was in hand. What I hadn’t realised is that there are a whole group of people who, in the least, believe they are helping when they aren’t, and in the worst, genuinely use a terrible situation to make money. Absolute frauds.
My issue is that I learned very quickly that there is a very superficial world of tarot, controlled by aesthetics, and there are people who claim to be authentic but are complete frauds. Believe it or not, you can learn from both the good and the bad. I still watch unboxings and flip throughs of decks I may want to buy so I don’t get disappointed. I don’t judge my proficiency at tarot by the number of decks I have, nor which ones I use all the time. I don’t feel guilty for buying decks, like The Supernatural Tarot, simply for being a fan of the show. That reader I was talking about earlier (Cleo Smith) well, because of her I now use astrology dice in my practice. You really can get good from the downright terrible. A lot of these videos, including witchcraft and more general divination videos, also highlighted the depth of my knowledge. That I do, in fact, know a lot more than I give myself credit for.
So, my advice? Just enjoy it! Enjoy your tarot journey, buy the decks you like, watch or don’t watch the videos! And most importantly; your value as a reader isn’t the same as the value of your collection.