A new generation of tarot readers is emerging on social media and modern witch; author and internet success Harmony Nice reminds us how to tarot safely online
Words: Elena Richards
Over the past year, tarot has taken over the social media world. People have turned to Instagram, TikTok and their witchy trends as a form of entertainment, education and escapism. The rise of interaction and intrigue in #Witchtok and #Tarot suggests a whole new shift in the collective’s interests and curiosities, the meaning of escapism for the average social media consumer and a whole new identity for the witch.
Take away tarot taboo
Used as an umbrella term, #Witchtok consists of hundreds of thousands of videos where witches share their knowledge and experience on topics such as crystals, astrology, alchemy and tarot. To date, #Witchtok has racked up a whopping 7.16 billion views on TikTok. #Manifestation has 9.5 billion, and #Tarot a whopping 11.4 billion. #Tarot on Instagram has nearly 14 million posts.
TikTok (like Instagram), is based around an algorithm that dictates that a person’s most interacted with subjects will be the most common type of video to appear on a user’s ‘For you page’ (FYP). However, the algorithm will place random content on an FYP to see how the individual user interacts with it. So, even if you have never interacted with #Tarot, it is likely that a video will make an appearance on your FYP, inviting a wondering wave of people willing to learn more about the world of ancient practices and beliefs. Those that may have seen these subjects as taboo in the past are now getting involved and an exciting new generation of tarot readers is emerging.
If a video is without hashtags, it means it is more random, as the algorithm cannot assume the content’s genre. The Witchtok community might not see this as a coincidence, but as a sign… The appearance of ‘sign’ videos is further engaging users in the world of Witchtok – as users see it as a sign from the Universe or a higher power to engage.
Heed Harmony’s advice
Modern witch and writer Harmony Nice has been a part of the online community for some years. With a following of 754k on YouTube and 369k on Instagram, she praises the online community for where it has taken her to today and for making Wicca and Tarot more accessible and tolerated than it ever has been. However, she warns of the potential for people to lose touch with their intuition and their own abilities by relying on online tarot content and believing everything they see and read.
She says, “Nowadays anything we want for our Wicca journeys can be sourced easily and quickly. However, sometimes social media can affect people’s journeys negatively. I think there’s a real positivity that comes from the internet, but I also think some people use the internet as a personal diary or therapist, which can be detrimental to their energy. There is so much energy and so many different types of intentions online and people need to realise that when they use the internet for tarot, it can be a vessel to access anybody and their energy.
Find your tarot connection
“I think there’s always been a fascination with tarot. People are drawn to mystery and a lot of people get taken in, asking questions like ‘why does this feel so real?’
“When I was younger, I just knew that there was something beyond what we perceive and see around us. Tarot is a very approachable, a nice entry point into spirituality because it’s almost all about looking inside yourself and finding that deep connection between yourself and what you can’t perceive around you.
Trust your intuition
“Be wary of what you take on board, don’t always trust it and take it as fact. You don’t know people’s intentions; you don’t know what they’re going through at that time and what energy they’re carrying. Tarot can definitely work online, but I do think there is a traditional element being taken away.
“Whenever I’ve watched a collective reading or a ‘pick a card’ reading I feel like they’ve been pretty accurate, but I do also think there is a massive real-life element missing. Tarot on TikTok has its place in a good way, but you must learn to listen to yourself first and foremost over anything. Tarot is one of the many things on the internet that is losing touch with its origins.
“With regards to the algorithm, I think people rely on the answers to what’s going on in their life from a random video. If that brings you comfort that’s fine, but you also need to make your mind up for yourself.
Advance your tarot practice
“I think what helped me heal was getting off the internet, taking my tarot cards out into nature, cleansing them and reading them. Speaking to people about them in real life, face to face, grew my skills and helped my healing.
“I truly believe that no matter where this internet thing is going, it has a purpose. Tarot reading on the internet is not a bad thing. It’s creative and can be a very positive place. People just need to respect and understand how it works, trust their instinct and not take everything they’re fed as fact. Without the internet, I wouldn’t have gotten where I am today. These platforms are welcoming people into the world of witchcraft and tarot; it’s educating and that’s an amazing thing.
“There are some things you can only learn from experience, living as a Wiccan every day. The internet, used correctly, can be an incredible tool to help us with our practices and, it’s a huge part of our society, so why not embrace it? There are so many incredible Wiccans, witches and pagans behind this movement so do seek out the writers, the YouTubers and the platforms we use to share our journeys with the world as witches and Wiccans.
“I hope that budding tarot readers learn to begin with themselves, with the energy that is around them. They can use their deck for whatever their personal intention is, to either find some answers, do some inner work or find inner peace.”
Get into tarot TikTok
Check out the videos from these influencers on TikTok who are reading tarot for the next generation of baby witches
Meet the tarot insta-fluencers
Here are 5 tarot readers who’ve taken to the cards on Instagram:
Harmony Nice is a YouTuber and author from Norfolk who communicates with other practitioners, educates newcomers and generates a discussion about wicca, magick and spirituality. Find The Harmony Tarot: A deck for growth and healing (£16.99, Rider) and Wicca: A Modern Guide to Witchcraft & Magick (£12.99, Orion Spring) via waterstones.com. Follow Harmony on YouTube, Harmony Nice or on Instagram @harmonybeatrix. Harmony will be donating 5% of net personal proceeds from her Tarot to rapecrisis.org.uk