spirituality trending on tiktok with a girl holding tarot cards

Social Media Is Distorting the Meaning Behind Modern Spirituality

While things like tarot are trending on TikTok, many participants are overlooking the actual intent behind the spiritual practices.

Everyone loves to get their fortune told to them as some neat parlor trick that gives them an insight into their future. But people rarely understand how the readings actually work. With modern spirituality becoming trendy on TikTok and in pop culture at large, many people are misinformed about deep spirituality that should be respected. Whether it’s an oracle reading or using crystals for healing, engaging with spirituality is profoundly helpful but needs to be exercised with care.

Tarot readings have blown up all over YouTube and TikTok as fabulous entertainment for everyone to see. Of course, people are interested because the whole concept of divination has always been a guarded taboo. As an advocate, I love the simple fact of people recognizing that there is more to spirituality than just religion. My problem begins with the vast misrepresentation of what these spiritual tools are used for.

Tarot Cards Are Not Fortune Tellers

Everyone wants to know when they will fall in love or how rich they will be in the future. However, tarot will not and cannot tell you exactly what’s going to happen to you. This is because of one of the Earth’s greatest gifts: free will. Our autonomy over our every action alters the divined future that we are all ultimately bound to. However, many fear these tools because they feel as though they are enslaved to a future predicted by a random person.

Tarot readings merely identify the current energy that we all emit. Modern science has discovered that we are all composed of atoms and that our state of matter also depends on how these atoms vibrate together. It hasn’t discovered that, as human beings, we all emit energy to one another that can be received and interpreted through our intuition (or deep emotional state). Thus, tarot readers read your current energy and can tell you what is likely to occur if you continue to act with the same energy. Therefore, we should view tarot readings as signposts to show us where we are and where we are headed. Use your free will to guide you to your intended outcome. Tarot readings are definitely not something to be feared.

Religion Versus Spirituality

The stigma around this healing practice emerged from religious conflicts. Because religions are considered absolute by their followers, sometimes people believe there is no room for anything that isn’t explicitly listed in their holy book. Because people’s interpretations of religion have caused so many wars and so much pain, it would be hypocritical to see other forms of spirituality as something to avoid.

I think religion is a great way to teach humans the concept of a higher power and the latent abilities that lie within our beliefs. But I disagree with the notion that one should blindly follow books without thinking for themselves. People dislike the esoteric arts because they are so illogical. When a collective believes in something, individuals want to believe it too because they want to fit into the group. Thus, shaming anything contrary to religion comes naturally to some, although others can argue that religion can be illogical too.

That’s to say, I really do enjoy people collectively letting their curiosity guide them into the unknown worlds of spirituality. But like everything else, social media tends to distort the truth of the matter. Since fitting in is a part of human nature, many joined in just to ride the wave when it went trending on the popular apps. Then, we saw everyone rocking fake moldavite (a highly charged stone used for spiritual ascension) as if they were shamans in their own right. Just the same, tarot decks flew off the shelves at Amazon warehouses. Moreover, we had an influx of neophytes attempting to educate others on spiritual concepts they’ve known for a total of two hours. While this wasn’t the best thing for the spiritual community, the fact that we’ve been able to openly discuss esoterism is a plus.

Most prominently, we all need to become more selective about which trends we give energy to and how we involve ourselves with the world. Human nature exists in a paradoxical sense in that we are all individuals and yet all simultaneously connected. Recognizing a healthy balance between what you believe and what everyone else believes is imperative. As I said before, religion is an excellent introduction to believing without seeing, but I don’t think that we should cap our curiosities here. There is far too much in this world to debate and discover for yourself to simply disregard concepts we don’t understand. Because in the same way that rocks can’t heal your bloody wound, a book can’t immediately make your worries vanish into thin air. Both subjects rely solely on your beliefs and whether you decide to give a mundane object prominence in your inner world.

Be Open to Spirituality

So when you are beginning to strengthen your discernment of what you believe, allow yourself to be open to the possibilities of whatever piques your curiosity. When crafting the foundations of your beliefs, be sure to hold space for others’ beliefs, even if you don’t personally agree with them. This is because, no matter what, I feel that pondering the concept of a higher power is always concentrated on the core fundamentals of goodness for all.

Yes, we will all define what goodness means based on our own idiosyncrasies. But as long as you know that others’ beliefs help them as individuals and bind them to a community, then you should support them in their personal quest for inner understanding. We must do our due diligence to not allow a concept that is meant to bring us together further divide. That is because universal truths will never indeed be universal. There will always be someone who disagrees for reasons we cannot comprehend. Ever hear the term, “You can bring the horse to water, but you can’t make it drink?” Instead of starting a fight where it doesn’t belong, use that energy to further develop your beliefs and fortify yourself and your community of like-minded peers.

Michael Slade, University of Texas at San Antonio

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Michael Slade

University of Texas at San Antonio
Philosophy & Psychology

Hi everyone! My interests include spirituality, occultism, real estate and writing! My mission is to disseminate knowledge of self-love, mindfulness and optimism.

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