The world has been a chaotic shitshow for quite some time, and especially last year. Seeking comfort and answers in the magic that is tarot has been one of the few things keeping me afloat for the past year or so, but lately I’ve found myself straying away from the tarot community on youtube. Most readings these days haven’t been resonating that much but above all I’ve noticed that I’ve been hearing the same recycled messages over and over again, and it’s bringing out my inner skeptic to be frank.
“There’s an offer coming your way. Third party situations. Someone from your past may be coming back, they want a second chance with you. This person is thinking about you and they may be at a distance, you two may not be talking right now.”
Those are some of the most common phrases I hear when watching general readings and I know this because I’ve watched way more than I care to admit at this point. To me, it feels like many tarot readers have figured out the formula and tactics that get them more views which translates for more popularity and money, and that trick is to focus on love while often invoking anxiety/excitement/anticipation in viewers by mentioning past relationships and/or 3rd party situations.
But because tarot is a topic that I’m not completely well-versed on (yet), I decided to reach out to Amber J. Finney, aka Brown Girl Alchemy, one of my favorite and most trusted tarot readers for her thoughts on love & tarot to get more insight from the other side (pun intended heHEE). Something we’ve both noticed is that divine guidance within love is a very common request when it comes to personal tarot readings. “Most readers would agree that love and career are always going to be top two topics that everyone is most curious about. It seems like the two things we have most control of, yet what we need most guidance from because we don’t trust ourselves.”
I remember watching one of my favorite tarot readers Lisette—aka High Vibrations— for a June reading for Capricorns last year and she briefly talked about what got her into tarot in the first place: love.
“I dated someone that, this was an extremely intelligent person. … This person was perfect, from what I thought. I thought that they were perfect for me. I had this list I made when I was little of every quality I want in a man to marry, he had everything. So he said, ‘Lisette stop smoking'.’ I stopped smoking. He said, ‘Lisette stop going out so late’, I stopped going out so late. He said, ‘Lisette eat healthier’, I ate healthier. ‘Lisette, this tarot shit is bullshit. Let it go.’ So I let it go. So that person just up and left my life and I thought it was the most painful thing in the world for me. This is something where I lost my appetite, my desire to get out of bed in the morning, and what happened? I turned back to tarot on youtube because I felt like I was in a place where I just wanted guidance. And the truth was it wasn’t so much guidance that I wanted, I just wanted to see if he was coming back. That was the only thing I was truly looking for.”
She went on to mention how it can become a problem when you’re watching too many different tarot videos at once in an attempt to get guidance on your situation because everyone reads differently and receives/gives different messages so it can become a headache and get confusing. It’s always best to find 1-2 people that you really connect with and stick to them rather than watching a bunch of videos and hearing 10 different things a month because that will drive you crazy.
In Lisette’s case, she wanted to see if the man she loved would ever reciprocate her feelings and effort and blossom into a new relationship, and a lot of us have been there. Ever since I began watching tarot videos last year, it’s been an eye-opener for me on how many people’s lives revolve so heavily around love to the point where it’s unhealthy. People are so desperate for love that they use tarot to justify emotional abuse and toxicity while using narratives like having a soulmate or twin flame, because they’d rather there be a bigger justification for the tough times in love they’ve experienced rather than objectively seeing their situation for what it is and beginning the process of letting go of that person and the situation.
When we don’t get the answers that we want in a tarot reading, we ignore our intuition and ultimately what might be best for us. “It’s funny because people want concrete answers and guidance but aren’t necessarily accepting of the truth. Even when they receive the truth there’s often denial or they’re asking for more clarity or get another reading to be told the exact same thing.” When I first started watching tarot readings, I went through this stage of denial often. I would watch a reading that didn’t give me the answers and outcome that I wanted, so I kept watching different videos until I heard what I wanted to hear, which sort of defeats the purpose of tarot readings. This denial usually leads one to twist and reshape the interpretation of the cards to fit the favorable outcome of their love life instead of accepting the reality of their situation or at least an alternate truth/outcome.
The result of this is viewers romanticizing toxic situations when constantly being told that their past is coming back and that they want a second chance, or that someone they love is at a distance and is figuring out how to give a love offer or express themselves. It begins to sound like excuses for emotional unavailablility/immaturity and telling people what they want to hear so that they’ll continue to return to said channel for updates on their love life. When reading the comments on these videos, there’s always a ton of stories about people cross-watching for their lover/ex while in the same breath saying something along the lines of, “They cheated and did me dirty, we haven’t talked in 6 months! I’m moving on!” Are you really moving on sis? Why are you watching love readings and cross-watching if you’re completely single? Denial.
Or I’ll see other comments like, “Me and my Virgo have been on and off for years, he says he loves me but he always does things to hurt me and we work through it each time but it’s so tiring. Having a twin flame is exhausting!” It’s a lot of excuses and romanticization in the name of tarot and spirituality really. People will continue to further latch onto their toxic/uninterested lover, labeling them as their soulmate or twin flame because the two just can’t seem to be on the same page and have a tumultuous relationship.
This misconception and constant conflation between twin flames and soulmates skews the true nature and purpose of these relationships, leading people to recklessly romanticize the wrong things. It’s even worse when the average person doesn’t know what a healthy relationship looks like because manipulation and abuse has been so normalized. “From what I perceive online, most people definitely romanticize and have a deceptive way of embellishing soulmate and twin flame relationships. Because there’s this fiery, passionate tone to these connections everyone tends to immediately attach it to romantic relationships,” Amber says. Many people tend to forget that soulmate & twin flame connections aren’t exclusively romantic, but most people assign these labels to the person they’re in love with the most when their soulmate could simply be their best friend or even a sibling.
But even if you believe your significant other is a soulmate or twin flame, it’s still not an indicator that you’re meant to be together which is another thing most people conveniently forget. “What it simply means is that before your incarnation your souls made an agreement with each other to experience this physical realm together for different purposes.”
These days I personally try not to put much emphasis on whether or not someone I’m dealing with is a soulmate/TF because it causes premature and unhealthy attachment on my end, based off of a fantasy and projections. I do consider some of my closest friends to be my soulmates but I’m still a little weary on the concept of having a twin flame because of the aforementioned reasons. With that being said, I did ask Amber what her thoughts were on soulmates and twin flames, and what their purposes are since many conflate the two and use them interchangeably. Though I don’t personally believe much in twin flames and soulmates, I definitely respect that others believe in it but only when used accurately, which is something Amber and I both agree on.
The journey that leads to tarot is often a familiar one that usually begins with being in a toxic or one-sided relationship. The viewer is usually stuck in a rocky dynamic that involves constant banter, inconsistency, uneven reciprocity, and even cheating sometimes. This dynamic however, is what tarot readers will sometimes refer to as some sort of divine cycle/relationship, karmic relationship, or soul tie/contract. It essentially becomes the romanticization of toxic love and relationships, leading the viewer to believe that there is hope in their love situation and that maybe things were meant to be this rocky so that they and their lover can come out on top together, but that isn’t always the case.
“I believe that twin flame connections are more intense than soulmate connections. Twin flames are literally called twin flames because you two are mirrors of each other. I feel that twin flame relationships are less physical and geared towards consciousness and the metaphysical. As your soul’s counterpart, your twin flame is literally you. The union isn’t for shallow purposes, the two spirits are to joined together to ascend the collective in their divine purposes or missions; in one way or another, your purposes intersect. You can be introduced to your twin flame but may not even realize it because you have not done the healing work. Therefore, you only see the negative reflections of yourself and are completely turned off because you aren’t in a space to accept that you possess those same qualities and heal those parts of yourself.
Your soulmate is different because the connection is a little less intense and more self-centered. Our soulmates can be family members, friends, etc. Our soulmate team teaches us lessons and the dynamic provides room for personal growth, reflection, accountability and healing. I think a lot of people use these terms and a very few percentage of the world use them in the correct context. The twin flame union can definitely take lifetimes, and the soul mate connection is often misrepresented as toxic. You can have multiple soulmates, but only one twin flame.“
Exercising discernment when it comes to identifying these counterparts and how you want to move forward is where I believe our intuition comes into play and becomes a huge driving force in how we navigate our relationships because often times, we ignore it. But unfortunately I’ve noticed some tarot readers subtly encourage that also.
“A lot of us are looking for readers, practitioners, etc. to provide direct insight, but a lot of the guidance can be found within. There are so many of us that have unique gifts and insight, so this isn’t to say that you shouldn’t get readings, but to encourage everyone to dig a little deeper within and see what you come up with first.”
Using tarot to find answers and guidance for situations can be tricky sometimes because aside from people often lying to themselves, some truth lies in the fact that not all tarot readers are always genuine, just like any other field or practice. There are tarot readers who give you the truth and tell you things you may not want to hear but there are also plenty of other tarot readers who will sugarcoat everything and give viewers false hope, especially when it comes to an ex or past love. Telling viewers that this person might be coming back is the easiest way to prey on their desperate, weak mental state because then the viewer will feel as though they need to keep watching their videos each time they upload in order to see what happens next. The viewer feels helpless and tarot has become a last resort of sorts, their only guidance. At this point, the viewers have put their complete trust in the tarot reader. Why else would they distrust someone who’s gifted enough to use divination and communicate with Spirit, guiding strangers for free?
Of course the main aspect of using divination is using your intuition, and trusting that instinct is one that takes time and needs to be built. Amber is a unique and gifted soul that has honed her craft and continues to do so to guide others in their journeys through tarot and oracle readings. She’s used gifts of clairaudience in conjunction with other spiritual and magical practices to help others along their path to finding their purpose, and I’m not saying all of this because she’s a friend either. Aside from reading her regular tweets where she deciphers and helps guide her followers through astrological transits like new moons and full moons and general tarot readings for the day, I’ve had the pleasure of getting a tarot and oracle reading from her that were well worth the money. In each reading she’s encouraged me to do things like meditate with certain energies and become more in-tune with the energies detected in my readings, encouraging me to further use my intuition to attract the blessings and vibrations that I want.
But I’ve noticed when watching some general tarot readings on youtube is that readers don’t always encourage viewers to trust themselves and use their intuition during the reading, it feels like they want viewers to take their word as law which creates a bit of an imbalance between the reader and viewer, as well as between the viewer and themselves. They become dependent on the reader for their interpretations and don’t learn to trust themselves in the long-run. Readers may sometimes use 3rd party situations and “secrets” to create worry and anxiety, creating a codependency between the reader + viewer because obviously the viewer doesn’t know what’s going on on the other side of their relationship, so they will use the tarot reader to be that medium of communication to keep up with whoever they’re thinking about at the time. But as quiet as it’s kept, 3rd party situations don’t only mean cheating. It could be family, work, or even someone who’s preoccupied with themselves and stuck in their own head. Similarly, a secret (take the moon card for example), also doesn’t have to mean cheating or a bad kind of secrecy/mystery. It could be someone who’s afraid of being vulnerable or is just fearful/confused when it comes to love. But most readers will not clarify that and will leave you to wonder instead, more than likely jumping to conclusions with the worst case scenarios and it’s worrisome.
This tactic is a sure-fire way to get views from subscribers and guarantee consistent returns with video segments such as “how do they feel?” “what’s going on what the ex?” “who’s coming back?” and extended readings on Vimeo since people often use tarot to “spy” on their exes, crushes, someone they’re talking to, etc. Teasing at the return of a past lover is a guarantee to peak someone’s interest and get their hopes up because haven’t we all wanted to go back to the good old days, even just once? This is especially true for viewers who are dealing with a love interest who ghosted or are emotionally unavailable. Quite frankly these video segments annoy me because it’s simply not healthy. It’s very reductive to me because it enables people to spy on and worry about people that they have no business worrying about, keeping them trapped in a cycle and unable to move on from that situation to heal and let in new blessings. When one door closes another one opens!
Checking on the past and practically reliving the past is not healthy in my opinion, unless you’re simply looking back on your journey to see the progress you’ve made which is something Amber has encouraged me to do durning a personal tarot reading I had with her. Skepticism with anything spiritually related is valid and is why you should not only always learn to trust yourself, but you should also know what to look for in those you seek spiritual services and advice from, take it from Amber herself. “You should always be aware of readers that don’t encourage you to activate your intuition, psychic abilities, etc. because they’re relying on a relationship where you depend on them, exclusively. It’s clear in these exchanges that you’re being preyed on.”
People often seek outside sources and validation for guidance, especially within religion and spirituality because there is comfort in knowing that a power that’s bigger than you is able to guide you and see what you cannot. “Social media has made it crystal clear to me that the majority of us find comfort in having someone to look up to or provide answers to them.” says Amber. There is something reassuring about the fact that there is a force so grand and powerful that it has the ability to rearrange and create our futures if we simply ask and follow through with it accordingly. But it is only a useful practice for the collective if we use it wisely to further ourselves and foster growth, not as a means to enable unhealthy behaviors.
Toxic relationships are not a soulmate connection, period. Spirituality has got a lot of us fucked up and is keeping us trapped in unhealthy cycles because we think that’s what god or the universe wants for us. What do you want for yourself? I do believe that what for us is there and the universe has a plan for all of us but we are also beings with free will, and I really don’t think the universe wants you to suffer with someone that doesn’t even respect or care for you, you feel me? It’s one thing to be in a bad relationship then end it and learn your lesson, but it’s another to stay there while knowing all the facts because you’re hoping for this person to change and give you your happily ever after. The rising popularity of tarot reading has brought upon the enabling of co-dependency in relationships and situations that don’t serve us, we opt for hurting ourselves while trying to follow the script that we think has been written out for us from above, forgetting that we have the power to change our course and sometimes the outcome.
We have a responsibility to ourselves to use tarot and other forms of divination wisely and as needed, not every time you feel confused and need to make a decision. Learning how to trust ourselves and our intuition is an art that’s hard to master but it definitely can’t happen if you’re depending on other people to make decisions for you and tell you the outcome of everything.
We often try to make sense of the nonsensical, events and situations that have taken place in our lives that leave us with damage that can feel irreparable at times. “Why and how could this happen to ME? What did I do to deserve this?” We always want to feel deserving of something but never when it’s a bad thing. We believe there’s a reason for everything, so there must be a reason behind all the bad things in life. A good reason. Sometimes we make up reasons and excuses that’s borderline romanticization, trying to find reason in things that just happen because we can’t fathom the idea of life doing what it does best, which is living. I have found, however, that reframing these situations as a lesson to learn from helps to alleviate the hurt and minimize the damage done but that doesn’t always work for everything and that’s okay.
The journey of life includes pain and unfavorable situations and outcomes, it’s absolutely inevitable. As cliche as it sounds, what matters is how you handle those situations, what lessons you take from them, and how you move forward with those lessons and your experience. Just because the best outcome for you is something you know you need but don’t want, doesn’t mean that it’s bad. Sometimes there’s hidden glory in the things we fear the most, but you won’t find out until you push forward and take that next step.