Zoe Denton is an English sophomore and the views expressed in this piece don’t necessarily reflect those of Mustang News.
In an era where trends come as quickly as they go, I have found myself wondering –– do these trends know no bounds? Is anything off limits?
My question remains unanswered as spirituality takes its turn in the limelight. It is a way of life that has grown in popularity, and even I have to admit to being sucked into it.
Spirituality can mean a lot of different things, depending on who you ask. It is commonly associated with items such as tarot cards, evil eyes and crystals, all having grown in popularity recently.
These aspects, along with angel numbers, manifesting and affirmations, have gained more attention with the aid of social media platforms such as Tik Tok. The platform has even created filters that will virtually pull tarot cards for you.
Even Cal Poly has an, albeit unaffiliated, affirmations account called @calpolyaffirmations that posts funny affirmations such as “I will not get the Poly Plague.” These, alongside manifestations, are commonly considered pseudoscience, however, many members of Generation Z are resonating with these beliefs.
Is this becoming a trend because this generation is trying to control a future that has time and time again proven to be out of our hands?
Regardless of why spirituality is currently trending, there could be negative consequences that most aren’t considering.
Until about a month ago, I didn’t see any problems with this growing popularity. After all, I found manifesting to be a great way to figure out what some of my life goals are. However, I soon stumbled upon an account that reprimanded people for picking and choosing what aspects of this way of life they liked and ignoring the rest.
Spirituality is complex and those who have not educated themselves on proper practices could be acting disrespectfully by appropriating religions and cultures. A lot of spiritual practices are ancient traditions that stem from a plethora of religions and cultures that aren’t necessarily tied to the people currently practicing them.
Since different religions are tied into modern spirituality, it can be difficult to pay the proper respects to the creators of these practices.
For instance, the evil eye, though it is weaved into many religions, is a symbol in Judaism. The ying yang symbol has its origins in Taoism and karma is originally a part of Hinduism.
Additional problems stem from brands using this trend to profit, without caring about or understanding the religious and cultural roots of the practices. One of the main brands that comes to mind is Urban Outfitters which mass produces many trending symbols and objects, including Tarot cards, thus perpetuating the ignorance around them.
This has made me question the ethics of pulling what you resonate with from multiple religions into a modge podge of what you believe in.
Due to Generation Z’s dislike of labels and large establishments, it makes sense that this current trend has become popular with us. Instead of favoring religions with established leaders and more specific ways of life, many people are turning to a more ambiguous lifestyle: ‘spirituality.’
Discovering more about the universe is a necessary and enlightening part of growing up, but it should be a road driven with caution. I strongly urge anyone reading this who has any interest in spirituality to deeply research the practices they are considering and the roots of each.
When popularity begins to decrease, many people will move on to another trend. This could potentially hurt those in the spiritual community who do not view this as a trend and intend to keep these practices up for the extent of their life.
However, a number of members of the spiritual community have expressed their happiness that their beliefs are getting so much attention and, in their view, are glad that people are getting more connected to the universe.
Regardless, people of all walks of life should be respected and their community should not be used by large brands for profit or as a TikTok trend.