In the tumultuous span of the pandemic and an attached string of troubles, new-age spirituality finds the perfect time to re-establish itself. Over the past three years, many youth have abandoned religion and moved over to spirituality as a form of faith, as religion did not adhere to modern values and beliefs anymore.
A new wave of spiritual frontmen have emerged on platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok: tarot readers and astrology experts who do daily collective or pick a card readings for their audience, influencers telling stories about how they manifested their success following the guides of the same.
Set against the background of a dark, dystopian, and saturated world, content of this spiritual nature stands out as a beam of light, promising to be personalized and precise.
25-year-old Namitha Murali, from Bangalore, says, “We live in this space where so much is happening in the world, where it is a necessity to have an opinion on anything and everything. Individuals who are not yet adults but cannot be categorised as kids as well get into this confused state of mind where they don’t know what to support, what to believe, or how to make of all the newness thrown at them. In a confusing world, astrology tells them how to be and who to be.”
Her answer seems to suggest the reminiscent confusion, after the pandemic indefinitely halted an important and transitional period for most youth entering and navigating adulthood, and compelled them to face troubles of a new kind that they had never been equipped for.
Speaking to the most detailed aspects of a person’s life, these mediums are not as superficial as they are perceived by most. There are complex systems and mythologies built on centuries of study, developed over time by different cultural practices. While the practices face continuous scrutiny from cynics due to the way they are portrayed on the internet, infused with modern psychology and fraudulent practitioners profiting off of the trend, many people find solace and courage in letting go of their troubles to the bigger purpose and believing that cycles will come full circle.
Srishti, 23, from Delhi, holds her stance: “Spirituality and faith are entirely personal experiences, and to ask anyone to adhere to the same rituals, fantasy, or escapism is erasing the difference instead of embracing it.”
She encourages that if someone finds comfort and calm in the way stars’ alignments affect their lives and uses that as a way to make sense of the chaotic state of the universe, then they should have the space to practice it without the fear of judgement and shame.
The fraction of those caught in between logic and faith also find their place within the community and carve out the ways they can indulge healthily. Among the abundance of content and techniques providing knowledge about the subject, they select the one that resonates most personally. This allows them to indulge more consciously, focusing on one exercise and deeply immersing themselves in its understanding.
Parika, 22, from Delhi, states, “I engage with tarot because I have a strong belief in their potential for guidance. It has always helped me somehow. But I only approach them as tools for insight. I don’t let it blindly dictate my actions and behaviour. When I consult tarot cards, it is to receive guidance and a message that provides mental clarity. I take it as advice, and then I decide what to do with it. I think it’s very important for everyone to strike that balance and use these practices as tools for personal growth and self-reflection rather than as absolute authorities.”
This kind of moderation prompts a more wholesome and satisfactory experience instead of taking in everything from the jumbled sea of information that is provided to us on the internet, according to her. “From my experience, that only leads to more confusion than clarity,” she firmly states.
For those in difficult times, they provide hope, affirmation, and validation. For those aspiring, they provide motivation and methods. The movement is a much-needed change for the times, and as with any other fast propelling trend, the only caution would be not to overdo it.