“But you’re an atheist!”

I’ve been wanting to write this post for a few weeks now but just didn’t know exactly what I wanted to say. I still don’t know what I want to say, but at least it’ll get out there.

I’ll try to remember the exact scene and words but it was fairly quick and simple:

I was sitting in the living room doing tarot stuff, surrounded by books, decks, and doodles, while witching clips of Atheist Experience on YouTube. My boyfriend walks in and says something to the effect of “Aren’t you a hypocrite if you’re a spiritualist watching atheist videos?” (or maybe atheist was switched with spiritualist, but you get the idea)

(After writing this post I asked said BF if he remembers what he said. He claims he didn’t say “hypocrite” but something more like “odd combination”. I’ll concede that it was something of a mix of the two, but either way what was said basically was like him saying my beliefs were incompatible, in a way that kind of got under my skin and stuck with me)

Whoa there. Whoa. Hold. The. Phone.

I’ll skip past Obvious Problem #1 which is We’ve Been Together Nearly Five Years & It Sounds Like You Don’t Even Know Me because this isn’t a relationship blog.

Obvious Problem #2: I am an atheist. I pretty much have been all my life except for a few brief years when I was trying to be a Christian before I realized I was just faking it.

Obvious Problem #3: I am not a spiritualist. I like a lot of things that spiritualists and woo woo people like because it’s interesting as fuck to me, and fun. Not because I believe in them. I may have had “training” in things like aura reading, alternative healing, etc. But that doesn’t mean I put any stock in it. And on the rare occasion I do a reading for someone else I do it for the lulz or state that it’s not an actual fortune telling tool, it’s just to help them think about their problem.

Obvious Problem #3: One can actually be an atheist and an spiritualist. Or atheist and pagan (arguably of course), atheist and whoknowswhatelse. Atheism is simply a lack of belief in any deity. An atheist can believe in spirits and woo because those aren’t deity, it just happens to be less likely because skepticism appears to run deep in atheism.

It’s a rare day that someone calls me a hypocrite or anything negative along those lines. When it happens it (usually) shuts me down to think… am I really being a Insert Bad Thing Here? If I am, is it a problem to me? Yes? OK I’mma fix that right now.

But not in this scenario. I had to remind him him that tarot is a thinking tool for me. He seemed a bit surprised? I’m not sure what he was thinking at that point but he seemed to accept it and quietly left the room.

The point of all this is you can come from any walk of life, any belief, and use the tarot in one way or another.

Some people just collect the decks for their art or novelty. Some people just have one deck and use it for writing stories. Some people use it as a thinking tool. Some people use it to “predict the future”, and who knows what other things. These people are Christians, pagans, atheists, agnostics, preachers, doctors, writers, lovers, haters, etc.

I think that tarot can be beneficial to most people, if not everyone. Just because I don’t believe there is anything supernatural behind the cards doesn’t mean I’m a hypocrite for using them.

And I guess that’s all I’ve got to say about that.



One comment

  1. Yes, of course a spiritualist could be an atheists. But it would be incompatible the New Atheism movement, which emphasises scepticism. If one actually believed the spiritual traditions and practices were true despite science saying otherwise, then it would be hypocritical to practice New Atheism and lambaste other religions and their beliefs.

    But people love films, novels, and other creative works and behaviours, just because it’s not real it doesn’t mean it doesn’t invoke a very real sensation with our minds. So as long as you remember that it’s not ‘true’ or ‘moral’ because it makes you feel good, there is nothing wrong with enjoying ‘spiritual’ practices.


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