How TikTok influenced the return of tarot 

7 Mins read

There has been a huge surge in interest in tarot in recent months, especially online where many individuals are now willing to take a chance on tarot readings on TikTok.

Tarot cards are used frequently to predict someone’s future health development, financial status, or their relationships with family members or partners. They are meant to be a medium for spiritual growth and cognitive insight, serving as a roadmap for your journey through life.

With their long history, there are many different methods that have developed over the years and throughout many centuries, this is a fascination that has a reputation for the unknown, wonder and seeking a side of divination.

Tarot reader holding up a card
Tarot cards are drawn and laid on a table during a reading [Unsplash: Petr Sidorov]

Sage Goddess is an example of the social media approach to the art: “Tarot reading is the practice of divining wisdom and guidance through a specific spread (or layout) of tarot cards. However, contrary to popular belief, the cards do not simply tell your fortune, and one does not have to be a psychic to give tarot readings,” they said.

“The cards are meant to provide insight into the innermost truths of your higher self. In other words, the cards provide an evolved awareness of what you already know deep within.” 

The way a tarot card reading is created is based on your own current situation, where the reader interprets the cards and supports your thoughts and views on it.

In many parts of Europe, the development and use of tarot cards was widespread in the early fourteenth century.

Stack of tarot cards
Stack of tarot cards [Unsplash: Viva Luna Studios

According to The Cut, tarot card decks come in a wide variety of designs but share a few commonalities among them all. Each deck is split into a major and minor arcana which are each represented by 78 cards, which are further split into two groupings.

The major arcana, which consists of two decks of 22 trump cards, is usually associated with greater effects and disclosures that are revealed during a reading. These sets of cards have no suits and instead are stand-alone, indicating key life events or changes that affect people in one’s life. 

The minor arcana, on the other hand, deals with more common and everyday subjects. The wands, swords, pentacles, and cups make up the four suits that these 56 cards are split into. A distinct aspect of life is represented by each suit. The wands stand for creativity and passion, swords for intelligence, pentacles for work and wealth, and cups for emotion.

Each suit is associated with a certain set of astrological elements, such as wands being associated with fire, swords with air, pentacles with earth, and cups with water.

The tarot readers are the most significant component of this phenomenon – it is understanding their pathway and how they go about connecting with you and making probable predictions for your current state or future. 

Tarot readers are extraordinary in being a cultural reset, that uses the cycle of life, which comprises various and diverse scenarios from many people. 

It has established such complex issues being understood in such a rapid, practicable, and one-of-a-kind manner, where tarot readers are enabling themselves as tackling general issues that affect many people’s personal lives. 

“Humans like comforting words, and we are often attracted to things that sound mystical, and tarot readers know how to ease their minds through mysterious tarot decks.” 

Mac Duong
Mac Duong [Courtesy of Mac Duong]

Mac Duong, a private tarot reader, has over five years of experience in this industry: “Tarot is now a global phenomenon, since there are more and more people interested in mystical forms of service, along with stuff like numerology or astrology blowing up all over YouTube and TikTok.”

As tarot cards are connected with witches, spirituality, and the supernatural, they are very enticing to the audience. Tarot readings are also in high demand right now, since so many people want direction or clarity into their present situation, whether they are positive or negative.

Duong explains: “humans like comforting words, and we are often attracted to things that sound mystical, and tarot readers know how to ease their minds through mysterious tarot decks.” 

Tarot readers now have the opportunity to take it upon themselves to make use of social media and broaden their audience because it has the ability to keep up with trends and what the audience wants to see.

“Social media’s algorithm is a smart thing, that’s why tarot reading has increased attention on social media more than ever,” Duong says. 

While tarot readings are often fun and intriguing, there is a dark side where many people’s mental health has been impacted.

Although tarot readings are a personal choice, there is debate over whether they can nonetheless be harmful to one’s mental health. Is it whether tarot reading should be treated sceptically or if it has a significant impact and should be discouraged?

“Tarots have increased attention because society as a whole has become impatient”.

“People can believe in whatever they want to, as long as it does not harm, we can see that young people recently are approaching tarot as a form of healing and counselling, so yeah, tarot does affect their well-being, but they even use it as a way to improve their well-being and mental health,” Duong told us.

Hannah [Courtesy of Hannah]

Hannah, an astrologist and a psychic tarot reader, explains that “tarot readings have been around for so long that it wouldn’t be considered a phenomenon. It is becoming more accepted as a tool for everyday life.”

In a society where many seek validation where it is quick and easy “therapeutic advice or guidance”, it almost becomes a method of opportunity that is in high demand, as people look for techniques that are highly convenient and not very time-consuming.

“Tarots have increased attention because society as a whole has become impatient. They need to know what is going to happen, which completely disregards what tarot is truly about.”

These examples of tarot reader’s scenarios are typical of what people look to ask for because tarots are primarily used for relationships and future prospects. They provide insight into how strong a relationship or connection is, whether it has potential, or whether all the hard work in a career is paying off.

However, as Hannah explains, “it should be used as a tool to gain perspective on your life and how to move accordingly, and not necessarily about whether or not your person of interest loves you.”

With Hannah doing tarot readings, gaining an understanding of whether she felt it could be harmful to mental health or not. She says, “tarot can 100% affect people’s mental well-being, especially when it comes to general readings. Often people tend to find the answer they are looking for, and that can be detrimental.”

Every tarot reader has their own way of method and techniques: “I will cleanse my space and tools, with palo santo and incense, I will clear my head and channel into my client’s energy. Sometimes, it is a very heavy reading, a lot of painful things will come up for people, and I remain as honest as I can and as compassionate as possible,” Hannah explained.

“I love being a tarot reader, I am able to help those who are turned off by therapy or religion and being able to hear that I gave them the validation they needed is so rewarding.”

While understanding the perspective of tarots and their roles as a tarot reader, there are mixed opinions as a whole. With people who currently take part in it or have done so previously, some will perceive it to be fun, and some have felt it affects their mental well-being. Those who have experienced it as an addiction (as it takes up time and money), have seen it to have no clear effects or outcomes, which has become a source of concern.

Receiving the majority of responses on tarots from an anonymous forum where participants can express themselves in the most unfiltered and genuine way possible. This gives them the chance to talk about their experiences with a tarot reading, without having to reveal their experiences to everyone, as many people find it difficult or embarrassing to delve deeply into a subject where judgement might be passed.

“I started tarot readings when one of my friends would send me these videos from TikTok. At first, I found them interesting and it wasn’t something that I felt was really that deep or even related to me, but as I started coming across them a lot from my for you page, I felt like it was some sign or message, and started to obsess like crazy.”

“When you go through a breakup after a long-term relationship, you try to look for answers in the stupidest ways. I didn’t think tarot readings were stupid at the time, but looking at it now, I was overdoing it with ‘this could be the reason’ or ‘maybe it was because of that’, which now I think I shouldn’t of let it consume me.”

“I won’t lie, tarot readings are addictive, mainly the astrological readings.”

“Tarot reading and fortune telling, in general, is forbidden in my religion, but I did it anyway because I was curious, but it really started to affect me mentally when I started to use it as a constant reliance of when something wasn’t going my way or how I think it should… Probably should have asked god instead of a tarot reader lol.”

“I really don’t recommend tarot readings… I think it’s glamorised a bit much and I feel it can affect your mental health if you take what the tarot says at face value.”

“Tarot readers know what they’re doing. They take advantage of people in situations that may be vulnerable. I have never done tarot readings and I never will.”

“A few months I was in a situation, went to a tarot reader. I’d become obsessed. She was telling me so many potential scenarios that would happen to me and honestly I was loving it, because it was what I wanted to happen. BUT, it did not. I wouldn’t say it made me become a certain way, but I was disappointed to say the least.”

It is clear to see that tarots are enjoying a resurgence. In this generation, especially young people, they are looking and take part in things that are trending and widespread; however, it is understood that it is not for everyone, but this has not stopped the perception of tarots not being an extraordinary phenomena.

Featured image by Maya Makovskaya on Unsplash
Edited by Alexandra Andronache

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