September 05, 2016

Ask Me Anything: Is Tarot mainstream?


In my digital travels, I met a person who posed the following questions:
Is tarot mainstream? Does tarot need to be mainstream? Is there work to be done to make tarot mainstream? The second is about tarot and education. Should anyone who wants to know about tarot have access to knowledge? Should anyone teaching tarot accept anyone as a student? Is tarot truly for everyone?
Is Tarot mainstream?
  • Tarot is thoroughly mainstream. It has saturated public awareness and while it's still not - and may never be - considered a respectable profession, it's not the social pariah that it once was. I mean, how much "scare" factor does Tarot really have if you can buy a Tarot deck at almost any chain bookstore?
Does Tarot need to be mainstream?
  • Tarot doesn't "need" anything. It's thriving, and is being actively shaped by mainstreamed readers, marginalized readers, and everybody in between. Tarot has become so syncretic and open to interpretation that it's now totally plastic. Well, the popular forms remain dominant, but there's no 
Should anyone who wants to know about tarot have access to knowledge?
  • Don't equate Tarot with Christianity. There's no need to proselytize for the Tarot God. Those who wish to claim power for themselves and apply lesser magic to their own ends will find their way to fortune-telling one way or another. 
Should anyone teaching tarot accept anyone as a student?
  • Again, don't equate Tarot with Christianity: there's absolutely no sacred duty to raise up the next generation of readers or to "keep a divine flame lit." The fact is, some students are total assholes, and some people who presume themselves to be teachers are utter crap.
Is tarot truly for everyone?
  • Again, don't mistake Tarot with Christianity. There's zero mandate for everyone to learn Tarot. Who's it for? It's for anyone who's strong enough to learn it. If you're not strong enough to apply yourself to the goal of becoming an accomplished fortune-teller, then Tarot isn't for you.

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Freedom of Expression =/= Freedom from Consequences.