We need to talk about money
I, like I guess many professional readers, have received some rather nasty messages about charging for my "gift"
I have also seen numerous posts about charging for Tarot readings, so I thought I'd share my thoughts on the matter.
Tarot reading is a gift from "spirit" and you should not charge.
Deep breath, because I have a lot to say.
It is not a gift. My Tarot reading skills are the result of years and years of reading, learning, teaching and practicing Tarot. Like anything worthwhile it has taken practice to develop my skill. Maybe I am naturally intuitive, more likely I am a natural geek and love studying. But I do not have spirit given gifts that I share, I have skills learnt through hard work.
I live in a physical body. I have needs- for housing, food, clothing, just like you. To suggest that as my "gift" is spiritual I don't need financial recompense is a little odd. As even if my gift was from spirit, my body has needs that must be met.
A fair exchange. Aside from my needs, let's look at yours.
If I give you a completely free reading, with nothing in return (and reading for feedback, practice, a review, an exchange, or barter all offer me something in return) then there is no fair exchange.
And if there is no fair exchange, then I argue, there is no respect.
And if you don't respect me, then my reading is of no value to you.
So why are you asking me?
"Why are you charging when I can just get a free reading elsewhere?"
Yes, I have been asked this, several times.
Clearly I simply invite the person involved to go and get a free reading elsewhere.
When to start charging, and how much.
I am not in favor of regulation of something as individual as Tarot reading, so I am glad we have the freedom to do what we think is right.
Before you charge think carefully;
Do you know each card in depth? If you are charging as a tarot reader, you should be able to read Tarot.
Have you considered how you will handle questions that don't fit with your world view?
Please be very aware of your own personal shadow, and do not offer to read for someone if you can not be objective.
If you have an issue with a particular race, religion, sexual orientation, or issue (people having or wanting affairs is a common one) then I believe the only thing to do is to recommend they go elsewhere.
If you can not offer an objective reading, then you should not be reading for them.
(I will not read for anyone looking to stay in physically abusive relationship. I will read to help you leave, but not if staying is on your list of options)
How will you handle someone who is utterly desperate, and could be a danger to themselves, or others?
As yet this has not happened to me in a clear way yet. I have read for people I think were very depressed, and I will always suggest they seek medical help, or the help of an alternative health practitioner if they prefer.
A Tarot reading can be a great help in times of difficulties, but there are many other people who are more experienced in health than me, and I am quick to recommend health care professionals if I have any worries.
Have you considered that a stranger might make life changing decisions based upon your reading?
I know a lot of readers talk about guidance, empowering a client, not offering predictions.
But this is the readers point of view, the client may be desperate for a crutch, a quick answer, someone to tell them what to do.
They may be looking for a clear answer, even if you are reading to help empower them.
They may see clear answers, even if you aren't offering them, so consider how you word you readings.
Every Tarot reader will have their own ethics on this one, if you are uncertain then don't read!
I like to do a reading flow, where I do several mini readings , and I am looking for an answer to be repeated before I communicate with the client.
I think the most effective way to deal with this issue is to be self aware of your ethics, and have the boundaries to say "no" when you are uncertain.
Remember their life is not your responsibility
I have read for some clients who are in really desperate situations, it can be hard to not try and "fix" or "rescue" them, but I do not want to play the role of rescuer, which will in time create the role of victim.
I have read for clients where the cards gave very, very clear advice (often about a difficult relationship), the client has come back, ignored every word of the reading. And now wants another reading.
I am not here to make decisions or judgement about a client. I am here to read cards, how they use that information is really their responsibility.
How much to charge?
I have great boundaries so I know well enough to say "go ask someone else" I have massive issues with money, and am aware I under charge for the service I offer.
So I suggest you ask someone else about charging.
Some readers like to consider the value of the reading to the client, rather than time spent.
Others look around to get a feel for what other readers are offering.
I do like to be affordable, I have built up a list of regular clients & love that I can do regular readings and feel that I am getting to know people.
Maybe that is why in my readings tarot reading always comes up as the ace of cups, not ace of pentacles.
As a final thought
Being a Tarot reader is a wonderful job, I love the buzz from reading the cards, the connections with the people I read for & the flexibility of the work.
However, it is a massive responsibility, and however much you tell clients "it is only for guidance" i think it is important to remember not every client will get that.
As for time put into my "Tarot business" hours, upon hours & hours. I have a feeling that anyone who is working to build up a Tarot business is putting in more hours than is reasonable.
No one would do this just for money, it is a wonderful job, but not a "get quick rich scheme". If money is your main motive I imagine there are much easier ways to make it.
(And if you are still tempted to read Tarot for money, then I wish you the best of luck. And will give you the best advice I can- it is not simply a gift, nor even a skill, but practice that will help you become an excellent Tarot reader & business skills that will help you make money)