I was thinking about this recently. There are so many types of readers, offering such a diverse range of services. What are the common denominators?
What should a professional Tarot reader be? (by which I mean someone charging for their readings)
I mean, not literally obviously. But if you are charging- online, face to face, wherever or how ever I think you need to be transparent.
What are your charges, and what can the client expect in return? (and when if online)
How do you read? Can your client ask questions, do you predict, are you a medium, psychic, or psychological reader?
Even if this is in the first few moments chat at a face to face reading, or a carefully listed policy on your website- I think all clients have the right to know what to expect before the reading starts.
And no hidden extra’s. Ever. Offering to book another appointment or pointing out a workshop that might interest is one thing. But using our “hidden power” to suggest a client will deeply regret not paying out for the curse removal or special crystal to bring good luck is seriously bad practice.
Reading Tarot for other people is a tremendous responsibility. Even if we have written on our foreheads “your life is your responsibility not mine” some clients won’t get it.
I have had to coach traumatised clients because other tarot readers made them believe bad things were going to happen. I’ve seen it all from a child deaths predicted (that never happened) to dark mutterings of curses.
I honestly believe that at the end of a tarot reading a client should feel helped. That might mean comforted, inspired, guided, empowered, enlightened. But always helped.
Clients will often book a Tarot reading when they are desperate. It can be difficult to judge how desperate a client is, and if a tarot reading is the most helpful course of action.
If you are a professional I strongly advice you to have a plan of action ready in case you believe some one to be a threat to themselves, or others.
If I believe a client is not in a state to understand or focus on the reading I may sit and work through some breathing exercises with them. Or consciously choose cards to build a mandala with them- helping them to better express themselves and connect with how they are feeling.
I may well suggest other therapists, their Dr, or helplines and charities. I may, if needed, consider contacting their family or professionals myself.
It is my job to judge if they are in a position to handle the complex nature of a tarot reading, and to subtly alter what I offer to best suit their needs.
We hold a persons deepest hopes and fears in our hands when we read tarot for them.
We suggest an understanding that is out of this world, a depth of knowledge that is unordinary. How easy it is to become complacent- with a sense of being right.
Perhaps the cards can never be wrong. But humans certainly can. You can express the cards incorrectly. Your client can interpret your words wrongly.
Always remember there is room for error. Plenty of room for error.
I believe a Tarot reader can only offer their guidance humbly, gently, with an open heart.
Never forcing their reading on a client as a truth that is written in concrete.
It is never our job to diagnose, bully, shame, demand, judge or rescue.
It is tempting to see advice in the cards and to want my client to move on, understand, feel powerful.
The ultimate boundary is that I am an honoured guest in my client’s life for that brief window of time.
My client is the one who has to live their life, and live the consequences of their decisions.
I’ve left this to last because it bugs me more than anything.
If you are charging money for tarot reading- then I do think it is essential that you have a good, deep and complex understanding of every card in the tarot deck you are using.