Hi, Tarot Bumblebees,
Tarot Gatekeeping is a tactic that people use to exclude people from the community or make them feel like they aren’t real Tarot readers. Gatekeeping is, unfortunately, part of a lot of organizations. Ego gets in the way, especially when something becomes popular so people feel the need to flex their ‘I’m special’ muscles. I hate gatekeeping, it doesn’t serve anyone, and it just basically shows who is narrow-minded in a community. It does a disservice to the people in it, and it’s just a load of crap.
Any statement that makes you feel like you don’t or can’t belong in the tarot community just as you are is complete nonsense. Identify it for what it is; It’s a bunch of gatekeeping bullshit, and you don’t have to pay it any mind. I’m going to give you some examples of what you may hear in tarot groups, forums, YouTube, etc that is gatekeeping.
Gatekeeping statement – You need to have hereditary links to someone who has read the tarot to be a real tarot reader.
No, Stacy, you don’t. That’s just you trying to make people feel like shit while you attempt to elevate your status.
Gatekeeping statement – You need to be certified as a Tarot reader to be a real Tarot reader.
No, you really don’t. You can be self-taught. You could do one class at a local shop. Being certified doesn’t make you a fantastic reader. Being a fantastic reader takes more than a class and a certificate, believe me. Yes, I know I offer and teach tarot certification, but I never ever force it on anyone or discount someone as a reader if they haven’t done any classes.
Gatekeeping statement – You can’t use a second-hand deck or a deck you bought yourself; it won’t work.
I wish this “you can’t buy your own deck” bullshit would just DIE IN THE FIRES OF HADES. Buy your own deck or use a second-hand one. I do recommend that you cleanse it first, but again, that’s 100% up to you.
Gatekeeping statement – you have to be a witch to read the tarot. If you aren’t, the language simply won’t work for you, and your readings won’t make sense.
I can’t even with this statement, so I’m just going to say it’s bullshit and leave it at that.
You all weighed in with the gatekeeping you’ve seen in the Tarot community. Here are a few of your submissions:
- I’ve noticed this about myself and other experienced tarot readers, esp on Fb groups. We can be pretty snide and snippy with newbies when they ask whether drawing The Devil, The Tower, and the 3 of Swords for a relationship reading is a good thing. We all had to learn, and I’m sure many of us started our path with similar questions – I definitely did! This comes across as gatekeep-y to me.
- Warning people not to read for themselves because they will never get past their ego to get a clear message. Another one I’ve heard is you shouldn’t read during Mercury Rx because the cards won’t be clear (pro-hint: you’re the reader, the cards are as clear as you are)
- You HAVE to store, cleanse, and charge your decks. This is a personal preference – just like everyone’s spiritual beliefs and practices are personal.
- You shouldn’t do more than one reading a week because you’ll stress out your decks.
- If you use the guidebook, you’re not a real tarot reader…I will say that generally if you’re going to do paid readings for a client, it’s not considered professional to need to use the book for those, and I think that’s reasonable. But for everyone else, who cares if you read by the book?!?! It doesn’t matter, and the readings are still valid.
- You should only use your tarot cards in one sacred space and nowhere else.
- Be careful with Tarot; it is considered part of a closed practice in some religions.
- Tarot is only for predicting or reading the future, and you’re doing it wrong if you use them for anything else.
When you spot gatekeeping happening in the tarot community, if you can, encourage the person that is trying to be kept out to keep going. Encourage the person who is trying but is instead being shut out. It is rarely worth your time to take on the person who is gatekeeping as they are probably very set in their ways if they are trying that nonsense in the first place.
The Tarot community thrives when we have readers from all walks of life that read the cards in all sorts of ways bring their magic to the tarot. Shine on my lovely ones and enjoy your tarot and your magical practice.