Ah, before I launch into this ted talk, I wanted to share a thing that’s been on my mind lately. Last summer I went on a small social-distanced trip to the beach with a friend and along the way I saw a huge sign that said something like: ”This is tough. You’re doing really well.” If you get nothing else from this, I am passing that message on to you. This is tough. We are doing really well.
Let's talk about my obsession with YouTube tarot readers. (Do not) Type your sun sign into YouTube, get your moon and rising signs if you want to really go off, and be ready to have your recommendations changed forever.
I arrived at YouTube tarot readings in my early thirties, confused, questioning, and struggling. My mind was a tennis ball going back and forth between confusion about love and confusion about money. I'm 37 as of Jan 6 (yes 🎉), which means I have been looking up tarot readers on YouTube for you do the math. And I have no shame.
I went in already open to ideas about spirit guides, guardians, angels and astrological concepts such as rahu and ketu, and with my birth chart handy. Oh yes, and I accepted the idea someone on a screen who doesn’t know me from a can of paint can accurately read my situation.
The person on the screen can't be speaking directly to me, obviously, they're speaking to hundreds, maybe thousands of people. But every once in a while the odds land in your favour because everything they say seems to resonate.
Now I realize a lot of the content is the same stuff repeated over and over again. And there is a mix of nonsense thrown in.
It's like spiritual ASMR therapy. Sure, these are "general" readings, for "entertainment" purposes and all that. But these disclaimers are like accepting terms and conditions, please.
Once the whispers and shuffling and cleansing is complete, the cards are laid out with the promise of an answer; clarity and peace. Hopefully. If not, just scroll down to the suggestions because there was (and is) always another tarot reader whose message could be the answer.
And the one thing I noticed about these other readings: the diversity. A 'YouTube tarot reader type' does not exist. There are the young readers, old, every race and with every type of style you could imagine.
What do you want, just astrology? There's Barbara Goldsmith, Kelley Rosano, Lada Duncheva.
Coffee ground readings? How about stones? Check out Cognitive Universe.
There's Rune Scopes.
Charmed Intuition Tarot, who uses charms. Think lucky, but not edible.
Shonetta's Divine Tarot does spirit guide readings.
QueenCup channels messages and she's from Scarborough.
My og Sal at Eat Read Love, WaterBaby Tarot by Bomispirit, Tarot by Bronx, The Quietest Revolution, She Doo, Ray of Light Tarot, Rich Lopp, Spiritual OG, Heidi Symoens, Natalie of Bay of Fundy Fortunes, 4 Your Inner Voice, Jai Michelle Swords Tarot, ALI's Tarot, Halo Moon Tarot, Universal Intuition, Ariel Gatoga, Ramblin Mike's Tarot, Little Girl Lost Tarot, The Birthday Gift, Star Lourdess Tarot / Hope for Humanity, High Vibrations, CancerMoons Tarot. The list goes on, but we have other things to do. And these are just some of the readers who just speak English.
As with anything, there is also a dark side and I found it. It is the Internet. Content is still king. This is just as true for people who claim they are channeling messages from the Universe as it is for whatever corner of the world you're into. The marketing objective is the same: send the audience down a funnel to watching more videos, or purchasing a reading, subscribing, commenting, engaging, clicking, liking, sharing.
No matter how many videos I watched, I never seemed to find what I was looking for. This is how I discovered a dangerous spiral. I was fed the same messages over and over again, and yes, "entertainment", but I still wanted answers.
I learned what it meant to ‘cross watch', for example. More dangerous than it sounds: in addition to watching videos for your signs, if you know the birthday of the person you’re concerned about (which I did, because we all do) you watch videos for them too.
Then there's the audience. Tyler from his popular, eponymous channel does live sessions, that could last an hour or more, where they translate messages for each sign one after the other. Live chatters, while waiting for their sign reading, can shout out to the reader, other viewers, the "notification gang", or send in a donation with their thanks. Sometimes the reader will shout out viewers, especially the ones who leave a funny or infuriating comment, or make a donation. Tyler, in particular, is kind of legendary for clapping back at people who would dare to disagree with what he says.
Aside from the drama, what’s more obvious is the number of real people out there looking for connection and support.
In the comments and chats viewers share their personal experiences and get advice from others who are going through—or have gone through—similar situations; common confusions and disappointments.
Every once in a while, a triumph, a commitment, a declaration to never go back. The comment section becomes a snapshot of other people’s epiphanies and realizations. It is a brief look at the moment when someone felt like they were able to move on with their lives, a moment that conveys hope. What is unseen or misunderstand can become clear. Change is possible. The bad times won’t last forever.
When you know a YouTube video isn't going to be relevant in a week, I think it is a little easier to share your temporary truth in a comment section or live chat. At least there you can find some support from others who know what it's like to be you… Astrologically.
Until next time, friends.
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