Divinatory Snobbery

Not the most pleasant of topics perhaps but today is the Ides of March… Let’s talk about snobbery within the divination community!

Yesterday, I came across a FB group post by a person who is quite well-known in divinatory circles. It was about how people who claim to read the Lenormand intuitively make him cringe. One the most highly respected and famous authors on the cartomantic scene chimed in on the comments thread to say, ‘Yes, it makes me cringe when people claim to read the Lenormand intuitively.’ 

Thankfully, someone a bit more tolerant had already made a comment along the lines of ‘live and let live’ and ‘why the need to judge others?’ To which I simply replied ‘Amen,’ before leaving this group, which is one of the biggest (if not THE biggest) Lenormand communities on Facebook.

The true definition of a snob is one who craves for what separates men rather than for what unites them.
― John Buchan

I had a think about what I wished I’d said on the comments thread before I left the group and posted the following comment on my own Facebook page an hour later. The whole Mercury Rx chart ruler thingy often leads to these kind of delayed responses:

Saying that you can’t read the Lenormand intuitively is like saying you can’t play an instrument without lessons – Maybe YOU can’t but that doesn’t mean the same applies to everyone else. There are plenty of oracular and musical geniuses out there.

I’m certainly not that level of genius myself but I have been blessed with knowing a few people like that. The woman who could spend a couple of weeks in a country and then be fluent in the native language is one… The guy who could pick up any instrument and not just play it but play it well is another.

Then, this morning, I wake up to the following comment on my Doreen Virtue-related post from last week:

“Doreen and her fan girls make me want to vomit. She also possesses the most annoying voice on the planet as well as shilling metaphysics light. Her whole career has been spent scamming new age idiots out of their money. Unicorn tarot? Saints tarot? Fluffy bunny tarot? None of them come close to a true, esoteric experience. She is a shit lord who is in it for the money. Maybe if we’re real lucky we can buy her new and revised edition of the secret in six months from now. Give it a rest, your fangirl bullshit is nauseating.”

You can read my reply by clicking HERE and scrolling down to the comments.

It’s making me realise that all this hatred and snobbery in the Tarot and divinatory community is something we really need to address, so I’m doing just that, though I have been accused of snobbery myself for the work I’ve done to raise the ethical and professional standards of Tarot readers.

None of the work I have done has been hate-filled, yet the retorts have often been deeply hurtful because they have been an attack on me as a person, rather than counter arguments for what I have laid out as ethical guidelines with the best interest of the client as my only agenda. Mostly though, I think those kind of comments speak of the deep insecurity some people feel… and perhaps a case of ‘Oops, I guess the shoe fit!’ when people feel called out on practises that really do nothing the help the client (psychic spying and reading repeatedly on the same question, for instance).

The other form of divinatory snobbery I shall most likely have to tackle in the near future is the kind that is prevalent in the Norse Pagan and Odinistic circles. You see, I have a mind to take on the runes without being encumbered by my own Norse pre-Christian spiritual heritage. Can you imagine the backlash if they read the following thoughts I shared not long ago:

“The runes are calling me again but it is different this time… I no longer feel a need to associate the runes with the faith of my pre-Christian viking ancestors. Part of the reason for this was realising that almost all the remaining rune stones from around 1,000 years are actually Christian. Also, my middle name, Frideborg ties in with it all… I was born on her saint’s day – Frideborg was the first known Swedish female to convert to Christianity.

I have studied the runes for years but after a few weeks of intensive study in the viking tradition, I always start feeling clogged and murky… I mean no disrespect but I do believe the Old Gods were retired for a reason. What you will see when I start writing about the runes is not cultural or spiritual appropriation. This is MY heritage and I intend to take the runes to the next evolutionary level.”

Yes, I’m choosing to think, discern and feel for myself when it comes to the usefulness and practical application of the runes rather than rely on books which really only hold very vague clues about how the runes were used in the past. I firmly believe that just as you don’t have to adhere to a certain faith to read the Tarot cards, you don’t when it comes to the runes.

The hatred that came the way of Ralph Blum for his work with ‘The Healing Runes’ will most likely come my way too once I start sharing what I am learning from working with the runes intuitively. So be it.

You see, here’s the thing: Just because someone is gifted in the use of a divinatory tool or even ‘psychic’ doesn’t mean they are necessarily spiritual or aligned with the Highest Good of All. There are many fragile egos out there – people who feel they have to prove their worth and that their only way of doing so is through being right about whatever they claim to be their area of expertise.

When people are secure in their own being, practice and professionalism, they don’t have time to go around hating and cringing at practises that are different to their own. They use their energy for the Highest Good instead. To use discernment about what is for the highest good for our clients when it comes to ethical practices is not a form of snobbery, nor is it snobbery to warn seekers of the charlatans that parade as psychics and card readers but who are really only out there to take as much money off people as possible.

I wrote this article because I would like to see more tolerance when it comes to the stuff that works differently for different people. Let’s not sweat the small stuff as a community. There is no need to feel insecure if someone is having success with using a divinatory tool differently to how you use it!

Let us use that energy instead, to guard our borders against the wolves in sheep’s clothing, the charlatans of the world of divination and psychic readings.


Love and Blessings,

Lisa Frideborg

Comments 18

  1. This was really nice to read. I had a go round with someone in a tarot group because they said anyone who tells a client that their reading is for entertainment purposes only is someone who is just saying that to cover up that they don’t know how to read tarot. I told him that where I was I was legally REQUIRED to tell people that, and he told me I was full of it and that no such law existed. It got pretty ugly and I actually left the group over it. It amazes me sometimes how the people who claim to be so open and spiritual/enlightened can be some of the biggest snobs!

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      Sorry to hear you had a bad experience in a Tarot group. Spirituality and the Tarot can go hand in hand but it doesn’t always happen that way…

  2. Hi Lisa, I know this is a old post but your comment about “I do believe the Old Gods were retired for a reason” really intrigues me. Is there any chance you might be able to elaborate on this please? I’d be most interested. Many thanks 🙂

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      There are many, complex reasons and I didn’t go into them because of that – Enough stuff there for another very long article. But I would like to ask you in return, How do you feel about blood sacrifices? They were commonly practised among my Norse ancestors… I imagine that many of them – when faced with an alternative – might choose to get out of those kind of practices.

      1. Many thanks for your reply. I hadn’t even thought of that obvious reason! A good thing indeed that the practice of appeasing the gods with blood was discontinued!

  3. I don’t really understand the pure hate some people build up for methods that are not to their own liking. What’s the point? They’re not forced to do it, so why even care? I personally really don’t like Doreen Virtue and the products she sells, but why would that make me want to convince everyone else to boycott her too? lol The fact that someone else adores her decks, courses and books has nothing to do with my life and my spiritual practice. I think the social media and internet era has created people who compulsively feel the need to spew out their opinions at all times. It’s like I see on YouTube people commenting “That deck is stupid and lame, I hate it” etc etc and all I’m thinking is “Then why did you click on the video where someone praises the deck for 30 minutes?!”. It makes no sense and I don’t see why someone would waste their energy like that. :-/

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  4. You nailed it Lisa, once again! 😀 <3 Funny, I have a Gemini Rising with Mercury retrograde in my chart and delay happens to me too, to the degree I think too much about something I want to say, but it is so long sometimes, I most of the time lose interest in replying at all, but yesterday I read one of my favorite non-esoteric business blogs from Ramit Sethi (who earns 8 figures now and was featured in Fortune Magazine next to Warren Buffet years ago). I follow this guy because he really gets me thinking about how we define and choose our experiences. When he speaks of a rich life, he is clear about this, and tells people it is okay to desire big things for yourself, and in essence is often a more effective way to make a positive impact for others, even the world. Well, his blog post this week called out people who were lying about what motivates them, things like "providing uplifting opportunities for others," when what they really wanted to say was "have a million dollars in the bank," or "impress all my friends with how great my life is." I have no problem with people meeting their personal goals of security and love, and the freedom to do so if no harm happens for others – but to me, this was NOT motivational. Besides not giving a rat's rear end for what ANYONE thinks about me and their illusion of my so-called accomplishments, I had to admit there were dozens of people who felt this blog post was reason enough to pour out all of their selfish motives that in many cases were clearly not tempered with also uplifting any other aspect of our world. If this alone was a representation of our world, I would demand to leave this place at once! 😀 However, I know that it is easy to jump to conclusions about how the world works through a slice of the Internet (and Ramit has a big slice!). Normally, I blip right out but I instead decided to leave a toned-down but still pretty scathing comment! I have just thought Ramit who in my view vibrates pretty high for being such a big deal, had somewhat dissapointed me by stooping to the proverbial lowest common denominator! However, after I left the comment, I felt better about what motivates me. In looking deeper at other people's comments, I wasn't alone. So maybe Ramit did all of us a favor by getting us to dig deep in our values, and in hindsight can thank him for that service! 😀 NOW, how does this tie in here? I have noticed people can do this very thing with what they view as spiritual ability, not something tangible like money (or sex, etc). And, it is easier due to spirit's very nature of intangibility for people to misrepresent this to themselves and then attempt acceptance in groups so they can then have the false self-esteem they seek. They want to think they are different and yet be accepted in the group of outcasts they are working so hard with gaining acceptance! If they spent even half of that effort working on themselves as well as their craft, we wouldn't ever SEE these kinds of verbal diarrhea out there! I guess I am feeling long-winded as of late, maybe it's time to write for myself 😀 Thank you once again for your fearless trailblazing that is so needed in our community and our world! 🙂 <3

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      Thanks, Lisa – never heard of Ramit, so will look him up! Digging deep into what we truly value is SO very Venus Rx. Money never motivated me. If it did, I wouldn’t be a Tarot reader haha! 🙂 <3

  5. I agree that it is tolerance for otherness that is lacking. Too easy to lash out over the internet without regard for consequences. I appreciate your willingness to speak about it. In the US this negativity has been hanging in the atmosphere for way too long. Perhaps it’s come up for healing. I hope so! Blessed Be

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      Thanks Barbara, actually this makes sense with the Sun and Chiron being conjunct right about now as well as Venus being retrograde… We need to cherish each other and learn to self-validate rather than seek validation through us-them paradigms <3

  6. Interesting post Lisa. I do think it’s awfully sad that people have to behave that way. I’ve always read intuitively and if and when I learn Lenormand, I’ll use my intuition there too!

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      Thanks, Sandra and good for you! I’d much rather have a reading from someone like you than from someone who might as well be replaced by a bot,

  7. Postscript: Every reader of Lenormand reads intuitively. As in astrology, combinations of cards are always interpretations, and although I personally prefer to be guided by traditional meanings, I’m open to the fact that in a particular reading, whatever message needs to come through should be allowed to come through.

  8. Thank you for offering this perspective. I completely agree with you. Unfortunately, even “new” or “new-old” forms of spirituality are as liable to develop a sort of orthodoxy among followers as are the better-known, larger religions. As you mention, this development is frequently rooted in people’s individual power needs (often those who feel disempowered are in danger of striving for power where and when they can, without realizing it). The need to build and then grasp onto an objective truth can turn people away from a deeper wisdom, which is that most spiritual truths are, by their nature, subjective. Even among Christians, for example, one statement of faith — such as “Jesus loves everyone” — can mean something very different to two different people, although they say the same words.

    I believe that when someone engages with a card reader (or astrologer, or psychic), it’s important for them to understand that the magic isn’t in the cards themselves, and there isn’t a set of hard-and-fast rules about interpreting them. The magic happens between the querent and the reader, *via* the cards. This is about an interpretive relationship, which is why a reading is really an improv moment — a dance — in which spirit/Spirit inspires both parties, and the reading is a working-out of how the cards can be read for that querent, in that moment. As we know, the moment itself is super-important. Which is why it’s so vital that there be a good fit between the two humans involved.

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      Thanks for your comment with postscript, mindsi. I see we are on the same page here. And of course you are right about even the traditional Lenormand reader reading intuitively – otherwise a robot would do a better job!

  9. Thank you for this. I read Lenormand and Kipper intuitively. I turn to books if I need extra context. I use these decks to communicate with the Divine. Sometimes the standard definitions are not appropriate.

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