I’m weighing in on the recent developments surrounding Doreen Virtue and her renounciation of Tarot despite never having taken an Angel or Fairy course and have never had an interest in her Ascended masters teachings. However, as a Tarot card reader and someone who understands the psychic torment experienced from a crisis of faith, I think that there are a few things I want to add to the discussion.
For those not familiar with Doreengate (as it is being called), Doreen Virtue (DV for short) is the author of several books and Tarot/Oracle decks featuring Angels, Fairies, and various enlightened beings who walked the earth during human history. Her courses offer certification (and therefore credibility) to anyone seeking to use her card decks for business purposes. People sought out her cards as they offered a very loving, safe and accepting medium for healing and guidance. Doreen has made herself and Hay House publishing millions of dollars from the sales of her books, decks, speaking engagements, and courses offered online. Doreen has recently denounced the Tarot as evil and has told her followers to throw her decks and books away. This, of course has created a spiritual firestorm in the Tarot community as many of her followers/supporters are now without their teacher and guru.
For me personally, I never was interested in her work and never bought anything she ever produced. Her cards and decks lacked the requisite “dark side” I actually believe is necessary for spiritual and personal growth. There was just no way that I could believe that there was only messages of light and love from whomever was running the universe. And let’s face it, even Doreen knows that the world seems to be going to hell in a handcart, which I suspect is why she has made her sudden conversion…there is a refuge found at the foot of the cross that appeals to our fears in these uncertain times. I can appreciate the comfort found in knowing there is a saviour willing to rescue me. I too have waffled…above and below the ecliptic…between Christianity and the Tarot…and always coming back to the Tarot for answers to the inner, boiling, questions. In fact, I’ve donated and sold many of the decks I’ve since re-acquired simply because I struggled with the guilt of Christ. I too judged and yet found my judgement profoundly unsatisfactory at the end of the day. I felt sanctimonious, and by all accounts I wasn’t authentic and I knew Jesus would be ashamed. Oddly enough, Tarot is helping me commune with the mind of God, and Buddhism is helping me be mindful in a way that never resonated with me from a Christian viewpoint.
I wanted to see what DV had to say about her newfound faith and so watched a video she had posted and later removed from her YouTube channel. The video left me with a bad (and all to familiar) taste in my mouth. For four years I blogged about a Canadian defrocked minister who took to using and abusing Native survivors of the Residential School System and Irish survivors of the Catholic run mother and baby homes. This man still claimed to serve as a member of the ‘clergy’ but also was known to tell his female supporters/victims that he was a practicing Druid priest. I studied this so-called saviour for years and came to wonder if there was a bit of charlatan in Doreen Virtue, and perhaps her ‘handlers’ at Hay House too, who turned their backs on the ethics of Tarot and advice giving.
Yuh. Sadly there are. Sadly there are a handful of people and organisations that prey on unsuspecting individuals who are simply searching for help. People and organisations that say they know when you’re going to die or how you can win the lottery or who will remove an evil curse… if only you’ll hand over $200. – Brigit of Biddy Tarot
(See a discussion of Tarot ethics here: https://www.biddytarot.com/the-ethics-of-tarot-reading/)
I’m not the only one looking deeper. Case in point is a petition and blog started by a woman who attended an Angels and the Afterlife conference Sept 22, 2012, hosted by Hay House authors and mediums including Doreen Virtue. This woman, who has an extensive and relevant education in the area of concern she raised with DV, has posted her correspondence to DV and others at Hay House. The subject of her concern was the advice given by DV to a mother with a suicidal son that clearly overlooked the potential harm to a vulnerable individual in clear need of real medical help. As far back as 2012 (according to the blog) DV had lost her ‘touch’ as a medium and on top of it was giving ‘Angelic’ advice instead of ethically sound psychological advice. Sending people to their doctors rather than selling a book on angelic healing is not profitable, plain and simple, and profits from Tarot Cards and ‘certification’ courses don’t flow as easily if your faith is in your shrink and not your ‘ascended master’.
Like my favourite defrocked priest trying to sell his version of a Sovereign Citizen Movement that landed several people in jail and in the psych-ward, DV it seems, has put real peoples lives at risk and has chosen to run from that responsibility. Oh, sure, she has put out YouTube videos explaining her ‘encounter’ with a Jesus-like figure (beware that even the devil himself masquerades as an angel of light) and that all who bought her cards and books should turn with her to her new-found faith and leave all that Tarot nonsense behind.
Problematic is the presence of her decks and books still occupying a substantial amount of bookstore shelves, and the Facebook groups and course pages that remain fully functional on the internet. It’s a confusing time for Tarot and Oracle practitioners and students of all kinds. Many savvy people have taken DV to task, privately requesting refunds for courses that have yet to be completed because their many, many questions remain unanswered. People like Lisa, who has asked very respectful questions of DV to clarify her stance on Angels, the ability to complete the Angelology course and DV’s comments about throwing the Angel cards away because they were ‘evil’. To which, Lisa (among others) has been kicked off various forums and group pages and even received a very unkind response to a refund request:
Reading the above, I felt the familiar pang of the correspondence I received from the ex-Minister, who took the same pitying and sanctimonious tone, clearly intended to diminish any intelligent and truth-seeking inquiry that is sought by people who spend their hard earned money in an effort to help themselves and others. I mean It’s not like Lisa was asking for a refund on the money sent to poor orphaned children in East Angola for Pete’s sake! I just hate that passive aggressive stance taken by so many ‘converts’ from other paths to “Christianity’.
Where Doreen went wrong? In my opinion, she forgot the little people. She forgot to say thank-you. She forgot to let ‘her people’ down easy. She forgot humility. She forgot to take the word “I” out of her vocabulary along with her judgement. She forgot that it’s rude to complain about your finances when you have 20 plus rescue animals (who she pimps out as part of a donation plea) to the very people she hurt and the same people whose dedicated collection of her materials kept her on the beautiful Hawaiian islands.
Yes, to summarize she forgot that simply talking about Light and Love without actually carrying your own ‘Sacred Heart” may indeed make you a Christian, but not a follower of Christ. And, I applaud those like Lisa who are standing in the spotlight calling bullshit where they see it, because charlatans and deceivers, no matter what their con-game, deserve to be seen for what they are so that all can find a place to lick their wounds and carry on trying to be good.
I suspect that many decks and books will find themselves into the circular files of many Tarot High Priestesses (oh hell ya you are!). My prayer is that whatever path they choose to embark on next they do so with more power, feeling more awake and alive to themselves, knowing that they are no longer defined by what one guru paints as the truth. May you all find that inner knowing and run with it…