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Not So Virtue-ous: The Online Uproar About Doreen Virtue

So the big scoop in the tarot world last week is eclipse-related: eclipses are known for shaking things up and sudden about-faces. In true big-ass eclipse fashion, Doreen Virtue, known primarily for her Angel Oracles and tarot decks, very publicly DENOUNCED tarot this week (she also denounced fairies, mermaids, goddesses, etc.).

A little background information: Whenever a card reader says that they are a Certified Angel Card Reader, this is likely to mean that they studied through one of Doreen Virtue’s online courses, gaining more advance training in how to read the Angel Cards.

As for me, I’m not an Angel Card reader. I’ve just never been drawn to those kinds of decks (these are the ones I am drawn to). I’m not saying that I don’t believe in angelic energy or symbolism… in fact there have been many times I have seen such symbols and connected with them in my tarot work, namely seeing much Archangel Michael energy in the Swords suit of Ciro Marchetti’s Legacy of the Divine tarot deck.

Going on the record here: Doreen Virtue’s work has never spoken to me personally. This is not to say that the people that DO follow her work, buy her decks, or study with her online, aren’t getting something meaningful or profound: to each their own. But me? Meh. Not a fan.

So, back to the big news: there’s the reason why Doreen Virtue is doing this: she believes that psychic prediction (and any tools used for doing so, like tarot or cartomancy) is against the Bible and Christianity’s teachings. She basically said that Jesus came to her and said for her to stop doing tarot- and prediction-related ANYTHING. As a result, there has been a scramble from her publisher at her request to remove or distance herself from the very things that made her so popular in the first place.

OK and whoooo boy. Let’s unpack that. There are MANY christian psychics out there… the first one that springs to mind is Echo Bodine, author of A Small, Still Voice, who talks at length about Christianity’s stance on psychics and predictions and prophesy in her books. There’s also much Christian iconography and symbolism in the Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot (the Judgment card immediately springs to mind).

This announcement really doesn’t affect me (as I said above, never really been a fan of Virtue’s). What I’m truly concerned about is the people that DO get something out of her work. Why? Because to these people, Virtue’s denouncement of the things that she created and that spoke to people is the equivalent of the Tower card of the tarot: a colossal blow to everything that people considered near and dear to them.

But here’s the good part of this “Tower” situation—What I believe this all comes down to is those people that DO do angel card readings or whatever the fuck the artist formerly known as Doreen Virtue espoused need to start looking at THEMSELVES as their own authority, rather than trusting in another’s changing opinion/perspective on the tarot or oracles or predictions. One person’s crisis of faith has now potentially tainted so much of work that gave greater meaning to others. Because essentially, the Tower card is not a bad card: once the shit hits the fan and everything comes crashing on, what is rebuilt in its place is often much stronger than before.

Once you release something into the public, it’s true that piece is no longer yours. Your name may be attached to it, but the meaning that others give to your work is their own. I hope followers of Virtue keep this in mind going forward. Don’t place faith in the guru-figure. Place faith in yourself and what works for you.


Recommended Reading:

Mixed Virtue by Christiana Gaudet

Doreen Virtue Denounces Tarot + Other Eclipse Musings




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DISCUSS: Are you a follower of Virtue, or an angel card reader, or impacted by this eclipse revelation? Let’s talk about it in the Comments section below.

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© Hilary Parry Haggerty | Tarot by Hilary

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