By Biba Adams (@BibatheDiva)
A new year is just around the corner. Do you feel tempted to get a peek into what it may bring? You might one of the millions of people who read their horoscope regularly, but is a tarot reading right for you? Tarot readings are growing among millennials who turn to the cards (and the stars) for guidance. “I think more and more people are looking for answers,” says astrologer, The Water Bearer, “People are choosing to learn more from different types of spirituality.”
Since the mid-18th century, tarot cards have been used for divination. Like most cards, tarot began as a card game and is still played as one in France and Italy. The deck is similar to that of a pack of playing cards. There are 4 suits: wands, pentacles, swords, and cups. Tarot decks also feature 22 face cards without suits called The Major Arcana which are supposed to reveal greater secrets. The most popular tarot deck is the Rider-Waite deck which has been in existence since 1910.
The word divination derives from the latin word divinare which means “to foresee or to be inspired by a god.” Divination is considered an “occult art.” The word occult is from the Latin word occultus which means “hidden or secret.” Occult art is considered a way to gain knowledge from that which is hidden to most people. But for most people who enjoy occult art or divination it is simply a means to study the supernatural.
In the Black community, the occult art is typically shunned. Occult art is viewed as “dark art,” and often linked to evil or satanic beliefs. However, as spirituality continues to evolve, and people learn more about the historic nature of the occult, it is becoming understood that even ancient African civilizations practiced some form of divination. Even in America, African American women often practiced divination using cards, palms, and tea leaves.
Most people know their horoscope sign and according to a 2009 poll, more than a quarter of Americans believe in astrology. The same study shows that women are more likely to believe in astrology in men which accounts for why horoscopes are found in most women’s magazines.
Tarot and horoscopes are not the same, but they are often used together. Not all astrologers are psychic, and not all tarot readers use the signs in their practice. Tarot reading is, in fact, a very personal thing. The best readings are those that are done by one reader for one person.
One tarot reader (@strictly_4_my_witches) comments, “People turn to tarot because they want answers. But, really because they want confirmation. 80% of my readings end with the client saying, ‘Ok. I knew that. I just wanted to be sure.’”
Tarot readers and astrologers are some of the most popular of online content creators. From The Quietest Revolution who has over 80K subscribers on YouTube to the @TheTrapWitch who is an Atlanta-based occultist with over 30K followers on Instagram. Love and Light Tarot @loveandlighttarot is another favorite whose popular YouTube channel boasts 38K subscribers.
The Water Bearer, @thewaterbearers.tea, a New York based dancer and astrologist, is building his brand doing daily tarot card pulls and astrology forecasts. “The questions that I get most during readings are about love,” he says, “I think that’s what people crave the most. Relationships. We want to know most about how we relate to others.” He explains that the same idea relates to the second most frequent question—about money. “People ask career questions because they are seeking a deeper purpose. We all want money, but even more, we want to do work that makes us happy.”
YouTube requires astrologers and tarot readers to list their channels as “Entertainment/Games,” because while many believe in divination–there are no guarantees. In the end, whether tarot readings (or even astrology) is for you remains a personal choice. If you are interested in trying a personal reading, check out any of the amazing readers listed in this article.