Run. Do Not Walk. From the Tarot Snob.

Ahh yes, the Tarot Snob (TM).

I was in Namaste Bookshop yesterday (Union Square in NYC if anyone’s interested) looking for a new deck.  Namaste has probably the hugest stock/variety of decks I’ve ever seen in person, and honestly, just browsing makes my day.  So many pretty decks…

And lo and behold, while I’m standing there, minding my own business, browsing the decks, this older gentlemen approaches me and tells me not to buy the deck I’m holding.

JJ: “Why not?”

Him: “Ah, most of these decks are crap.  Totally bogus.  The Voyager deck, terrible.  These novelty decks, awful.  If you’re a serious Tarot reader you should really only use Rider Waite.”

JJ: “Oh, well, I think–”

Him: “I’ve been reading Tarot since 1973–”

Simon Cowell is bored

Oh really?  Well, this doesn’t sound like the beginning of a long, self-absorbed, annoying story at all.  Please go on.

Him: “And I studied with {this guru} and {that mystic} and my deck came from {insert bogus pedigree here}.  Etc, etc, blah, blah, (insert ten minutes of a socially tortured J.J.).”

JJ: “Well that’s cool.”

Him: “How do you read Tarot?”

Holy crap!  He wants to know something about another human being!  There is hope!

JJ: “Well I usually start with a really short interview, y’know, get a feeling for their question and that usually determines the spread for me–”

Him: “Terrible idea.  You can’t do that.”

Ron is like what

…this motherf*cker’s telling me how to read my Tarot.

I’ll spare you the rest of this painful interaction, but basically he went on and on about all the best ways to read Tarot, the best ways to choose cards from a deck, the best way to to do everything.  Which of course he knew.  Since he’d been reading since 1973, before my parents even knew the other existed.

Is it just me, or does this stuff ONLY happen in “hobby” shops?  (Hobby’s not the right word, but I’m talking stores that sell things that not everyone has to buy.)  This would NEVER happen in like JCPenny (“You can’t buy that skirt, that skirt is atrocious, you should only buy A-line skirts because–).  But get me into a Tarot shop or a Comic book shop and suddenly everyone with some “cred” is out to wield their authority.

Tarot Snobs are actually the worst.  They’re people who are convinced that their way to read is the only way to read.  They’ll look at you condescendingly for using a themed deck, or for using a self-made spread, or even for saying “Tarot is fun!”.  I’m sorry, sir – but like it or not, whatever spiritual path you’re trying to set me on isn’t my cup of tea, and the fact that you’re trying to push it on me is only annoying me further.

Also, you’re ruining my day at Namaste. No one ruins my day at Namaste. NO ONE.

And you know what?  I WILL buy the deck I’m holding. So you can just…

deal with it


6 thoughts on “Run. Do Not Walk. From the Tarot Snob.

  1. Yeah… I just tune those sorts out. Tarot should reflect your personality. Different decks have different messages and tones that suit certain readers.

    Personally I hate the Rider Waite deck. The flat primary colors make my inner artist scream. So, I’m calling the purists out. There is nothing special about this deck. It’s popular simply because it was the first deck to include images. That’s all.

    • I get super bored with Rider Waite. And I love unique artistic interpretations of Tarot cards. So to tell me to only use Rider Waite is like, “I see you enjoy Tarot. I’d like you to stop enjoying Tarot now. Right now. Immediately. BE BORED DAMMIT.”

  2. Ugh…that sounds awful! This makes me feel better about being in a small town where Tarot readers are hard to come by…though it does get lonesome from time to time!

    • Yeah, I realize that living in NYC means I have more access to Tarot people, good and bad. But if you’re thirsting for personal Tarot connections there’s always the internet! (where real friendships are formed.)

  3. I’ve never encountered someone like that. Had to laugh how you described this snob
    I do like The Rider Waiter a lot, but I do like other decks just as much.
    I wonder what he would have said if you told him you used an intuitive approach 😀

    • I have absolutely nothing against Rider Waite – I actually usually prefer decks based off that imagery. But…it does kinda…bore me sometimes. SorryNotSorry.

      Oh, anything about “intuition” would have probably sent him reeling. There was no way I was even approaching the “life coaching” thing.

      I actually told him I wanted a new deck so I could do scans for my blog and he was like “what? What’s a blog?” Uggghhhh 1973 tarot snoooobbbb….

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