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PadmeRose 
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Is Tarot getting trendy?


Life got very busy and I stepped away from here for a bit, read for myself for the first time in weeks, after thinking a bit on tarot and wanting to hear your thoughts on the matter...

I got my first deck 16 years ago (at 13). Most of my tarot-related experience was "in the closet", meaning I didn't talk about it/ display it openly (outside of close friends and family) unless I was in the company of like-minded folks. Tarot didn't ever feel too "mainstream" where I'm from, or even in a broader sense- Outside of those who read for themselves, or others who took it more seriously, it either seemed something people saw as a novelty/ entertainment, totally foreign, something to scoff at, or downright sacriligious. Generally just a lot of misconceptions, probably born from story/movie portrayal of Tarot (I know that's been discussed here often).

So suddenly, it keeps popping up- in my newsfeed, instagram, fb, on blogs (unrelated to tarot etc) I read, etc. People (girls mostly) taking snapshots of their readings, or typically just a single card. Writing blogs about getting a deck. Offering readings on etsy or through fb. It seems like Tarot culture has suddenly shifted a little? What is this- why is it getting popular with the bohemian-gypsy-dreamcatcher trend? (Lol I am not saying I don't lean towards similar interests and styles, Or that it says something about you if you do, just trying to generalize to get my thoughts across)...

So has anyone else noticed this? Or are you 'new' to tarot from finding it due to exposure to it through social media and such? Is it a good thing? Is it a trend that's going to just pass when that "style" isn't in anymore. Lol I feel so old talking like this and I'm technically still in my 20's! In a way it seems 'good' because suddenly it seems like tarot isn't taboo in the mainstream indie culture anymore and seeing other's post and write about it makes me feel like less of a closet creature. But at the same time I always get mixed feelings when something I love gets really mainstream and watered down/ only embraced at a surface level.

Thoughts?
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Chiriku 
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Good topic.


In my opinion, post Golden Dawn-era, tarot has had at least two other swelling phases of popularity in the Western world-- the 70s, still fresh off of the Age of Aquarius of the prior few years, and the 90s (which was when I entered the world of tarot), which was when solitary witchcraft and neo-Celtic Paganism had their heyday in the mainstream teen world (with dozens of popular books, movies, and TV shows with witch, Pagan or Wiccan characters) and the commercialization of tarot came into full force with an explosion of hundreds of diverse new decks being published, many of them with related Celtic or neo-Pagan themes (Sacred Circle, the Arthurian decks, etc).

I did not enter the tarot world due to the latter cultural environment, but rather, out of interest in tarot as a reflection of the formal Western mystery schools and "The Occult" generally. However, I certainly benefited from the wealth and easily availability of decks in the 1990s that resulted in part due to the upsurge in Pagan, Wiccan, and Celtic-related spirituality.

As to the past couple of years...

I am not on social media so I have not experienced the current onslaught you have. However, I sensed something similar in the air with the marketing of a recently-released self-published deck, The Wild Unknown.

If you go to the discussion thread for that deck, over in Tarot Decks on this forum, you will find among the first few pages my posts in which I express some wariness over the marketing of that deck via fashion blogs and online shops (favoring the young, predominantly female "bohemienne" interested in fashion and related 'curios' to add a gloss of vintage or eclectic sensibility to her accessorizing), and via a (music) band called The Wild Unknown that attracts a similarly self-consciously "eclectic" young crowd.

The deck is a good one on its own merits but the marketing put me off and foretold of a new, 2012+ era of tarot in which the upsurge is due not to Age-of-Aquarius crazes or slick, teen-commercialized neo-Paganism, as in the 70s and 90s, respectively, but to a trendy "lifestyle" aesthetic (related to fashion and music choices but encompassing many aspects of life).

Ultimately, non-gaming tarot (which is the majority of tarot in the Anglophone world) only provides benefits commensurate with what the user puts into it. Those who stick with tarot year after year--even with the occasional hiatus, as many of us have taken--and give it due attention and energy will get a lot out of the enterprise and likely stick with tarot for many more years to come. That is all I need concern myself with.

That, and whether upsurges in trendiness of tarot equate to upsurges in intellectually or spiritually "lightweight" tarot decks, flooding the market to the point of foreclosing serious tarot creators' opportunities to publish decks. However, as we have seen following the 90s upsurge, those deck creators eventually find their way out into the marketplace, even if at a higher, self-published cost. We have only to wait and see.



.

Last edited by Chiriku; 06-03-2013 at 08:03. Reason: typo
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PadmeRose 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chiriku View Post
Good topic.


In my opinion, post Golden Dawn-era, tarot has had at least two other swelling phases of popularity in the Western world-- the 70s, still fresh off of the Age of Aquarius of the prior few years, and the 90s (which was when I entered the world of tarot), which was when solitary witchcraft and neo-Celtic Paganism had their heydey in the mainstream teen world (with dozens of popular books, movies, and TV shows with witch, Pagan or Wiccan characters) and the commercialization of tarot came into full force with an explosion of hundreds of diverse new decks being published, many of them with related Celtic or neo-Pagan themes (Sacred Circle, the Arthurian decks, etc).
Chiriku, what an eloquent response! My sentiments exactly pretty much, just expressed in far greater detail and depth

I agree about the two other rises in popularity of Tarot- I was not saying that this is an utterly unique event... And I know it happens with all sorts of concepts and practices in our culture all the time.

And I wasn't calling out the Wild Unknown deck, but when I do see these posts, plogs, etc- they are either about the Wild Unknown or RWS. I stumbled across the Wild Unknown deck shortly after it came out and was smitten- I have particular art style preferences and a lot of modern decks just don't appeal to me visually. I also think the artist and her lifestyle is pretty awesome, and nothing is wrong with marketing- I mean, you can get other decks at big box stores as it is! However, yes, the way it was marketed/ who it was marketed to was kind off different and successful in the sense that now I am seeing a lot of people who I feel would not have shown interest in tarot- let alone be socially displaying their interest/practice of it- doing so now, with this trend.
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Chiriku 
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Very interesting, PadmeRose. With your sharing of your experiences with social media and blogs (and plogs? Is that a typo or is that some other form of online communication about which I'm woefully out of the loop?), you have confirmed that niggling little suspicion that assailed me the first time I clicked over to the Wild Unknown's website and links to their partner shops.

The deck must be a runaway bestseller if it is reaching a host of people whose interests have heretofore never included the esoteric, occult or spiritual.

However, even if they hadn't come along, someone else likely would have. How do all trends begin? There is a hollow or pocket in the zeitgeist and someone just happens to be there at the right place and time, filling the void in a way that overflows it and spreads far and wide.
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Glass Owl 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PadmeRose View Post
So suddenly, it keeps popping up- in my newsfeed, instagram, fb, on blogs (unrelated to tarot etc) I read, etc. People (girls mostly) taking snapshots of their readings, or typically just a single card. Writing blogs about getting a deck. Offering readings on etsy or through fb. It seems like Tarot culture has suddenly shifted a little? [...]In a way it seems 'good' because suddenly it seems like tarot isn't taboo in the mainstream indie culture anymore and seeing other's post and write about it makes me feel like less of a closet creature. But at the same time I always get mixed feelings when something I love gets really mainstream and watered down/ only embraced at a surface level.
I'm actually love seeing Tarot turning up more and more on social media networks. I think it gives many the chance to learn a bit about Tarot and "get their feet wet" if they want, all from the comforts of their computer or smart phone. I remember only learning about Tarot in 1991 after seeing one lonely Rider Waite deck at a book store. I think I would have fallen in love with Tarot faster (and not given it up so quickly) if I would have been able to find some tarot buddies on the net, learn about the other decks out there, and tap into the wealth of knowledge about Tarot that is on the net now. But back then not as many people had the access to the net and I was one of them. Smart phones and laptops make it possible to share information so quickly and easily on the internet.

Plus, I think that the more people are exposed to it and see others using Tarot, the more it becomes something less frightening or taboo. So, no, I don't worry that the more people share and talk about it, that it waters Tarot down. I think it just makes things so much richer and allows Tarot to grow and evolve as well as those that share in those experiences.

Last edited by Glass Owl; 06-03-2013 at 07:04.
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Lotus Padma 
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It's kind of like tattoos - what used to be seen as "racy" or socially unacceptable is suddenly very out there.

I, for one, am very glad for the fresh acceptance of the Tarot, as I never did hide it (or my tatts, for that matter) and was frequently - and sternly - both judged and admonished for both. I think, myself, that this broader-minded view of things is to be highly recommended...after all, I cannot see what the problem is in owning Tarot cards, or knowing how to use them...?

I never did understand all the hush around them. Unless it is connected with the old Medieval "Burn her! She's a witch!" attitude. And if that is the case, then surely, *surely* it is time for that mentality to be shelved! Overdue, even. By a few centuries.



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PadmeRose 
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Talking


Thanks for engaging in this convo everyone. I also was not trying to say it was a negative thing, that is why I wanted to have a conversation about it

I do agree that exposure and acceptance on a wider scale is a positive thing. I mainly see it being used as a self-reflection tool by the folks I am refering to, and on one hand it gives me this slightly giddy feeling like, oh I feel more comfortable being casual and upfront about my tarot use if its becoming a popular conversation, but on the other, probably more egoic hand, its like having your most favorite, personally meaningful song used on a a commercial or something. I know its not mine. I know the more people who find it increases the chance of it contributing positively to their life. It's kind of like the mixed feeling I get when I see meditation and yoga used in ads, and pictures my social media friends post of themselves meditating all sexy-like lol.

I do agree about the right place/right time factor too, the success of that particular deck may have been totally unforseen by it's creator, who knows! And no, plog Is not a thing, it was my crappy phone typing

Last edited by PadmeRose; 06-03-2013 at 07:34.
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tarotbear 
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Unhappy "Let us hope this lunacy is just a trend"


Quote:
Originally Posted by Chiriku View Post
Ultimately, non-gaming tarot (which is the majority of tarot in the Anglophone world) only provides benefits commensurate with what the user puts into it. Those who stick with tarot year after year--even with the occasional hiatus, as many of us have taken--and give it due attention and energy will get a lot out of the enterprise and likely stick with tarot for many more years to come. That is all I need concern myself with.

That, and whether upsurges in trendiness of tarot equate to upsurges in intellectually or spiritually "lightweight" tarot decks, flooding the market to the point of foreclosing serious tarot creators' opportunities to publish decks. However, as we have seen following the 90s upsurge, those deck creators eventually find their way out into the marketplace, even if at a higher, self-published cost. We have only to wait and see.
When I see 'the latest thing' being pushed on young teenage girls, I always suspect that give them 2 or 3 years and at least 4 more 'the latest things' will have come along and replaced it. {How I wish something would come along and replace all those 'Teen Witch' tarot decks! YUCK!} The serious will be here next year; the trendy will have bought those 'marked' Tarot cards and other tack-o accoutrements and once all their friends have been through their schtick once, they will find the next thing to spend Daddy's money on.

Right now it's VERY trendy to say you are bi-sexual or (hate this term) 'Metrosexual.' It's trendy for straight men to say that they are 'Bears' (yes, str8 men can be bears) even though the term is strictly gay male subculture. Princes come, Princes go; an hour of pomp and show, and over the Sands of Time they go ....

So, does that mean that Tarot comes back every 20-25 years or so?
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PadmeRose 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glass Owl View Post
Plus, I think that the more people are exposed to it and see others using Tarot, the more it becomes something less frightening or taboo. So, no, I don't worry that the more people share and talk about it, that it waters Tarot down. I think it just makes things so much richer and allows Tarot to grow and evolve as well as those that share in those experiences.

Well put! I completely agree with the evolution bit- I feel that preserving things in their traditional form is important to an extent, but so is allowing to grow and adapt.

Where I live is weird. it is, in general, very "conservative", so things like Tarot get looked down apon or simply regarded as silly/ ignorant/ etc. However, I get stopped and complimented on my tattoos and hair by some of the most conservative looking people. I think people in general are being exposed to more and becoming more curious, and more confident to approach others about things. Progress!
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PadmeRose 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarotbear View Post
When I see 'the latest thing' being pushed on young teenage girls, I always suspect that give them 2 or 3 years and at least 4 more 'the latest things' will have come along and replaced it. {How I wish something would come along and replace all those 'Teen Witch' tarot decks! YUCK!} The serious will be here next year; the trendy will have bought those 'marked' Tarot cards and other tack-o accoutrements and once all their friends have been through their schtick once, they will find the next thing to spend Daddy's money on.

Right now it's VERY trendy to say you are bi-sexual or (hate this term) 'Metrosexual.' It's trendy for straight men to say that they are 'Bears' (yes, str8 men can be bears) even though the term is strictly gay male subculture. Princes come, Princes go; an hour of pomp and show, and over the Sands of Time they go ....

So, does that mean that Tarot comes back every 20-25 years or so?
You reminded me of when all my friends in highschool loved Ani Difranco and were suddenly identifying themselves as Bi. I'm pretty sure not a one of them do now, lol...

I suppose all in all it's a good thing- I probably got exposed to tarot due to one of it's rises in the 90's, and if that had not happened I probably wouldn't have been using it all this time! I suppose the two positives are- some will stick with it and delve deeper into the tarot culture, and others, due to more exposure, will be more open. I wouldn't mind if more people were interested in getting readings

I also don't quite get the "gypsy" label thats trendy (and often goes hand in hand with the tarot thing)... So many blogs, indie brands, self-labeling social media ladies... YOu are a gypsy because...? You wear certain clothes, have some crystals and a dream catcher, and go to concert festivals in the summer? Ok.

Ugh. Judgy me. Forgive me!
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