Tarot and Socioeconomic Class (Reflection)

31. Rockwell, Norman - The Fortune Teller

I came across the following video via Bennebell Ween’s (Holistic Tarot) blog. Thorn Mooney shares her experience on her observations of what sort of questions she is asked. She, by her observations, noticed a dynamic between questions asked online versus in person at a shop she works at.

Thorn distinguishes between practical/real world matters vs the metaphysical and self-actualization (self-knowing). Thorn see’s this dynamic in her practice. The questions she receives online relate to the latter. Self-knowing, spiritual matters that are not pressing or important to your survival. In contrast the people who she reads for in person at the shop have questions relating to issues that have a pressing sense of the importance of living and dealing with the everyday life. Child custody, health insurance, terminal illness and other gritty matters.

Thorn ties these concerns to socioeconomic class. Generally speaking, people who have the luxury of having their basic needs met and are not worried about their basic survival, would be more likely to ask questions about self-knowing, shadow work, spiritual development and so forth.  People who are on the low rung of the socioeconomic class, people who struggle to live would ask questions relating to matters that impact their existence. Such matters are not on your priorities of things to worry about.  It appears the what can be inferred here is that poor people go to fortune tellers and rich people get metaphysical.

It makes sense and I think historically it has some backing. Today there is tarot, thousands of years ago there were oracles. What sort of questions did people ask the Gods?  There are about 1,400 tables from oracle of Dodona which range from the sixth century to the third century BCE. Questions were posed so they could be answered in a “yes” or “no” reply.

  • One man asks, is it better for me to take a wife or not? (get married or stay single).
  • Will my wife bare any offspring?
  • Is the child my wife is carrying mine? (Oh Maurry we need you)
  • Would it be profitable to keep sheep?
  • Which god should I sacrifice to to regain health in my eyes?

These questions are asked probably (most likely) by common folk. They are questions tied to their basic existence. Should I marry? Will my wife give me kids? Is this child mine? Will my health get better? Money, love and health. Same today, same in the ancient world.

We live in a modern world where for the developed nations of the world most people are living relatively ok. We do have the luxury now of asking spiritual questions, working on the shadow and getting to know thy self. It is not a priority of all well off people. This does not mean that well to do people are not interested in knowing the future. I think everyone wants to know the future, rich or poor. The rich want to hold on to what they have so they will be the first to ask about financial risks and financial outcomes just as much as a poor person. So the idea of poor seek fortune tellers and the rich don’t a false conclusion.  But people who are busy working and supporting a family, I think, are more concerned with the practical gritty issues.

The take away from this is simply an observation of people, their position in society and their concerns. Look at your life, reflect on your position and what are your concerns? What are the concerns of your clients?




The recipient of Tarosophist of the Year 2011, Angelo Nasios is a rising voice in the tarot community. Angelo is known for his popular YouTube channel in which he produces educational tarot videos. Tarot: Unlocking the Arcana, Angelo’s first book will be released by Schiffer Publishing.

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