When Arthur Edward Waite had his now classic RWS deck painted by Pamela Colman Smith, he had no idea it would become the most popular deck in the world.
October 2 marked the birthday of the famous occultist. Over the years, the art of card reading has evolved from one-on-one readings to phone readings and even video calling sessions. But when the pandemic struck in 2020, one medium helped this craft not only survive but thrive – social media.
Dee Norman, based in the United States, has been reading tarot for over 30 years. According to her, reading online was initially seen as more of a curiosity than something to be taken seriously. “But as technology improved, customers were willing to trust virtual readings more. Since the pandemic hit, there has been a marked increase in the number of people looking for virtual readings. People are willing to look at the camera for video playback instead of phone calls. I think the trend is fantastic because video improves the connection between the reader and the client and helps develop a collaborative atmosphere, ”she says.
Akshata Khanolkar, an astute reader from Mumbai, echoes similar thoughts. “Initially, people doubted that reading online would have the same impact as personal reading… By experiencing online reading, their perspective changed. It’s also easier for some people to come back for quick / short reads anytime if they feel like it for follow-up questions.
While Instagram and Facebook were the main social media platforms where researchers and readers gathered, a new player, Clubhouse, became a popular space. Clubs dedicated to tarot readings and studies are multiplying by the dozen.
“I created the Occult Observatory Club at Clubhouse. The creation of my club allowed me to schedule regular rooms to provide reading examples, discuss the history of tarot and oracle games and the creation of games, ”Norman shares.
Tarot readers had to improve their game because, like other businesses, they too had to rely heavily on the digital presence to survive.
Antara Dalvi has been reading tarot for 13 years and runs a popular holistic healing business in Thane. Her main social media tool has been Facebook and she was surprised to receive a huge response.
“During the pandemic, only social networks connected me to the world. It gave me the opportunity to be seen everywhere and created a solid platform for me. I have had people connecting to me for tarot readings and healing sessions from all over the world. And there was a lot of trust people had in me, even though we never knew each other. I also received my fees in advance for my tarot and healing sessions, ”says Dalvi.
She adds that a deeper connection to social media has changed not only her readings, but herself as a person as well. “Social media made me more confident and helped me organize tarot readings and sessions for over 400-500 people. I am grateful for this platform because it has also helped me grow as an individual and at a soul level as well, ”adds Dalvi.
Social media has helped tarot readers increase their income and has also been a hassle-free way to promote themselves. Instagram reels, stories and posts have been a big help for Khanolkar. “Creative WhatsApp status messages every day kept people curious. Understand that people take time to decide whether to come to you or not. Consistency is the key to keeping your audience hooked. A real cry from an influential celebrity helped a lot of people, ”says Khanolkar.
Norman has also increased his Insta activity. “I increased my presence and activity on Instagram by posting more regularly and increasing the variety of posts (eg I made my first story reels and posts). I also participated in Instagram lives by doing sample readings, ”she says.
Social media has also helped many deck builders share their vision and art, and even attract funding.
Although Norman didn’t create a tarot deck, she successfully launched her Lenormand deck (another form of fortune telling) on Instagram. “Emblemata Lenormand, a deck I released this year, would never have seen the light of day without new publishing technology, access to DIY tools and social media.”
Scroll down any of your social media and you will come across advertisements from “psychic tarot readers”.
Instagram and Clubhouse have been favorites with readers and their customers. So, the next time you are stressed out by a query, or if you want some clarification on a situation, you can contact any reader around the world and get divine guidance.
Tarot decks are no longer whitewashed
Very few people are aware of this, but there has been a storm in the online tarot community for quite some time. Since tarot became such a worldwide practice, it has amazed and upset many readers that almost no tarot deck in the RWS system (except the classic Morgan Greer from the 70s) features people of other races. . The Black Lives Matter movement also turned the tide for tarot makers. Decks like the Light Seers Tarot have gained immense popularity. Norman believes that the depiction of people of color in tarot card art was long overdue. “It’s absolutely exciting to see all of the new decks available. Now that independent deck publishing is possible, we are seeing some wonderful decks that would never have been picked up by mainstream publishers,” said Norman.
“Independent Editing allows more diverse voices to be heard and decks from a variety of perspectives to emerge. All the new decks breathe new life into the tradition, ”she adds.
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Posted on: Sunday 03 October 2021, 7:00 am IST