8 (Likely) Reasons Tarot is More Popular in the Philippines Than Ever
Oct 26, 2023   •   Tim Henares
8List.ph is published by ID8, Inc.
Oct 26, 2023   •   Tim Henares
Over the years, tarot cards have become more and more acceptable in Philippine society. Whether people are true believers in it or just casual fans of soothsaying and fortune-telling, Tarot has gained enough of a foothold in the country so much that it will even have an international convention this October 28 by our friends over at Mysterium.
So what exactly is the appeal of this? Let’s find out.
First, let’s talk about the biggest reason Tarot used to be so underground: The Philippines, a predominantly Catholic country, has stigmatized the occult for so long that tarot has had a hard time catching on. Sure, some practitioners got recognition, but they were always relegated to sideshows and mostly scoffed at until they made their annual predictions for the New Year.
It didn’t help that they kept predicting someone young would get pregnant and someone beloved would die as if these things were such rarities that it would be impossible for them to happen within 365 days.
Compare that to today, where the stigma has mostly worn off. Tarot is mainly considered harmless by the average Christian, while the overzealous religious are now just as fringe as Tarot once was.
Love him or hate him, practitioners like Hanz Cua have brought fortune telling to new mainstream heights, and with it, Tarot is along for the ride. Then, think about how many celebrities could casually reveal in an interview that Tarot is a hobby of theirs. The lack of taboo surrounding the topic has allowed it to become cool without being considered dangerous.
As a side note, anyone who’s both into magic and Tarot would have tons of stories to tell you about how stigma can still exist even in the here and now, but we’ve broken a lot of that down over the years.
The best practitioners of Tarot are raconteurs. They can tell stories like nobody else, and the cards are merely a platform for them to work their wonder. It’s marvelous seeing a true expert at work when it comes to this.
Tarot also says so much about people who practice it and those who are fans of it. It’s not a substitute for therapy but offers some form of fellowship, communication, and openness that helps. The relationship between a patron and a Tarot reader might seem very casual, but over an extended period, a level of connection exists only between them.
Have you ever tried to learn how to do a Tarot? It’s actually fun, and it’s fascinating!
Despite being a firm non-believer in the occult, what responsible Tarot practitioners do has been nothing short of admirable. The best among them know what they’re talking about and act less like fortune tellers and more like very adept life coaches who use different buzzwords. When you look at what they achieve, it seems amazing that they’re only using a bunch of cards to get there.
Remember that “no substitute for therapy” bit? Well, Tarot is often a fellowship. And in that fellowship, people are fundamentally changed for the better. The thing with Tarot is it’s easy to predict good or bad luck and leave it at that. To look at what may or may not lie ahead and to connect it back to you and your life? That’s a different story.
We’ve had them over before, so we know Mysterium has always been about professionalizing Tarot to make it accessible to everyone. In that regard, their convention this October 28 is precisely a celebration of that: A radically different yet insightful way to connect with yourself, other people, and, ultimately, the universe.
And no matter what you believe, isn’t that a worthwhile pursuit?
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