ev0king the Question: The Popularity of Tarot Decks

Welcome to the latest in our on-going column, ev0king the Question. Here, we invite regular ev0ke contributors and guests to share their thoughts on a particular question. Sometimes, it will be silly. Sometimes, it will be serious. Sometimes, a little bit of both.

Below, find this month’s question, and answers from Pagans and polytheists from a variety of backgrounds and traditions. Do you have thoughts of your own? If so, please feel free to share them below.

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The Question: What is your opinion of the increasing popularity of tarot and other oracle decks in mainstream and popular culture?

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Rebecca Buchanan is a regular contributor to ev0ke: witchcraft*paganism*lifestyle, and is the author of The Secret of the Sunken Temple.

Like so many elements of Paganism/polytheism, I love to see tarot and oracle decks in mainstream media, whether television series, films, comic books, or novels.

But I do heartily wish that the writers of these programs and books would do their homework. There are other decks out there (in the public domain) other than the Rider-Waite-Smith set. And tarot and oracle decks have nothing to do with summing demons or spirit possession. (Good grief.) And the person who reads the cards is very likely to not be a creepy old woman in a circus tent with a thick (fake) Eastern European accent.

How about some more realistic depictions of card readings, hm? Suburban moms sitting around a kitchen table while their kids play in the back yard. A firefighter sitting vigil in the station house reading for the rest of the crew. A guidance counselor at a high school looking for insight into a difficult student’s future.

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Ashley Nicole Hunter, founder and editor of ev0ke: witchcraft*paganism*lifestyle.

Popularity can only help us, especially when it comes to being able to easily acquire new decks and related goods. The more things enter the popular sphere, as well, the more people are likely to protect tarot and the people who practice it. Will some of the culture get watered down? Sure. But it’s a price worth paying if it keeps people safe and provides access to folks who never would have been able to get an affordable deck otherwise.