Are you taking a lot of cues and tarot lessons from social media?
If so, you’re not alone: Tarot’s popularity continues to explode online.
It used to be very hard to find like-minded fans of all things esoteric. Now, all you have to do is hop online and gain instant access to tarot readers from all around the world.
There are so many tarot accounts to check out. And a lot of them post similar content:
These can all be fun ways to engage with tarot online.
And they have certainly helped some tarot readers build their social media followings.
But throughout the last year, I noticed some questions coming up in my tarot classes that I hadn’t heard before:
"How do I read tarot for each zodiac sign?"
"Does it matter if I don’t know a lot about someone’s Sun sign before I read for them?"
"When I’m reading tarot for someone, should I just pull one card, or more?"
Whenever I asked why these questions were coming up, it always led back to the same place: "A YouTube channel I watch always reads tarot for zodiac signs, so I thought I should learn how, too." Or, "A tarot reader on Instagram always reads just one card."
The pervasiveness and popularity of this type of tarot content seems to be changing how students of the tarot assume readings are supposed to go.
The students who ask me these questions are really wondering: "Do I need to do these things, too? Is this how people read tarot? Do I need to learn how to read in these ways?"
The answer is no.
First, I’m not a big fan of parroting whatever is happening on social media in general. What works for one person might not work for you, and following someone else’s lead can get in the way of finding your own path.
There’s also a big difference between giving someone a personal, intimate tarot reading, versus creating a post on social media.
That’s not to say that collective readings and tarotscopes don’t hold some kind of meaning – they certainly can.
But whenever we’re allowing online culture to influence us (and or our tarot practices), we need to consider the purpose behind whatever we’re looking at.
The purpose behind tarotscopes or collective readings is to speak to connect with a broader audience.
Social media content also serves to build an audience or community around a certain account, and tarot readers might share this type of content as a way to offer a sample of their reading skills.
But when you’re sitting down to read for a querent in a private, personal setting, you need to be able to do things that a general tarot reading on social media can’t do.
And unless you’re actively using astrology in your practice, you won’t be speaking to a querent’s Sun sign.
Some of the things we see on social media aren’t always the best representations of tarot. Instead, they can end up distracting budding tarot readers into focusing on techniques or approaches that won’t give them the kinds of skills they need if they want to read for others.
So what should you focus on instead?
If you’re new to tarot, or still finding your way on this path, remember to diversify your influences.
Don’t let social media be your only teacher (it’s a pretty random curriculum out here).
And don’t feel that just because it seems like "everyone" is doing tarot a certain way that that’s the only way to build a practice.
Hope this helps.
Until next time,
p.s. Need more help getting started with tarot? I’ve put together a handy tarot starter guide that walks you through everything I wish I’d known when I was a new to tarot. Get it here.