Drawing Boundaries in Tarot Readings

I get a lot of questions about how to prepare for tarot readings from a reader’s perspective.

Readers are often concerned with protecting their energy by staying grounded. Or by shielding against a draining querent.

Boundaries in tarot readings go both ways, though, and it’s important to remember that our querents have boundaries, too.

But we might not always know what those boundaries are for each querent. Every individual will have a different comfort zone. And not all querents will be experienced with readings enough to know what they want from the experience.

People often come to tarot readings with an open mind. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that anything goes in a tarot reading.

Establishing some boundaries for your own conduct can go a long way in ensuring that querents have a great experience with you.

Here are a few boundaries I’m mindful of that you might find helpful, too.

Honesty and respect can co-exist.

Some tarot readers like to...

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Pricing Your Tarot Readings

"How much should I charge for a tarot reading?"

This is one of the first questions people often ask when they start to read tarot professionally.

Charging for a tarot reading is a big step: It is a move that can change people’s perception of you.

Someone who is willing to pay you for your time is more likely to see you as a skilled craftsperson. They are invested in what you’re doing because they have some skin in the game.

When a client isn’t paying for a service, they don’t have anything at stake. It can be the worst reading, or the best reading, but either way, they’ve got nothing to lose it ends up being a bad experience.

But there is a "but" here, which is this:

There is actually a time and place to read for free – and a way to make it feel like a fair exchange. And that’s when you’re in the learning phases as a tarot reader.

I didn’t charge a dime for my tarot readings for seven years, because I was gaining experience.

I did offer...

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My Top 3 Tarot Cards for Compassion

A few years ago, I was a tarot conference when a few readers started talking about gift certificates for tarot readings.

“Don’t buy your friend a reading when they’re celebrating a happy occasion – no one gets tarot readings when things are going well,” one of them said.

He was half-joking, half-serious.

And the more I thought about it, the more it made sense.

Gift certificates aside, it’s typical for people to seek out tarot readings when they are contemplating a dilemma.

Tarot helps people when they feel stuck in a rut or trapped in a tough situation. It helps when they are blocked around a decision, or when they feel unfocused about their overall direction in life.

Sure, some people book in for cosmic check-ins and general life updates, but by and far, I’ve noticed that most clients have specific reasons for buying tarot readings.

This is why tarot reading requires compassion. While it can be tempting sometimes to tell it like...

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I Wish I’d Known This Before I Started Reading Tarot for Others

When I started learning tarot, my goal was to be able to read tarot for other people.

I’d been getting all kinds of readings – palm, tarot, psychic, Akashic records – for years.

I had long been fascinated and awed by the way each reader seemed to hit on things that were so true and personal for me.

I cherished each of these experiences and wanted to be able to help others in the same way.

As soon as I could, I started reading tarot for friends and family, and eventually strangers. Over time, I built up my skills enough to feel confident charging for my readings.

When I first started my tarot business, I had certain visions of how it would all go. But I soon realized that, like many things in life, there are always surprises – and learning opportunities to grow from.

One of the things that I had to grasp was that tarot clients don’t necessarily think like tarot readers.

One of the biggest ah-a moments I had around this came up around tarot...

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Boundaries to set before reading tarot for others

A lot of tarot readers develop their skills with the goal of being able to give readings to others.

The idea of sitting down, shuffling your cards, and helping someone through the guidance of a tarot reading is a fulfilling dream.

But once you start reading for other people, you soon realize there’s a lot more to it than being a good card reader.

People skills, time management, and clear expectations are just a few of the ingredients that go into delivering a solid reading.

This is where boundaries become key. Whether you’re just reading casually for friends and family, or setting up shop as a professional reader, boundaries are needed at all levels of tarot reading.

Even low-key, low-pressure readings for friends need them, otherwise you can end up on call 24/7 with friends who want you to “just pull a quick card” for them. Or who want to ask questions that put you in an uncomfortable position within your social circle.

So what are some boundaries...

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How to Stay Grounded as a Tarot Reader

What does it mean to stay grounded when you’re reading tarot? (Or engaging in any other spiritual practice, for that matter.)

Like many things, the answer will depend on who you ask.

For me, groundedness can encompass many things:

  • Staying humble and remembering that it’s not always about you;
  • Finding a balance between logic and spiritual belief or faith;
  • Developing sound judgment in decisions big and small; and
  • Maintaining good energetic boundaries, so as not to get swept up in other people’s emotions or priorities.

Groundedness isn’t something only tarot readers should care about: It’s something everyone can benefit from cultivating in their lives.

But when you’re reading tarot for others, groundedness becomes particularly important. Because sometimes, you might have a querent who is struggling to stay present themselves. Or who needs some help discerning what’s true, and what’s not.

It’s so easy to get carried away with a...

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Things that made me a better tarot reader (and a better person)

A lot of people talk about tarot through the filter of it being a "gift." Which implies there is some kind of raw, natural talent or ability inherent within a tarot reader from birth.

While raw talent is real, I see the same way I do music, writing, art, carpentry... any kind of skill, really.

Which is that it is a skill, and even raw talent benefits from some practice, polish, and knowledge of the canon in which it resides.

When I reflect of my own path as a tarot reader, I also have to acknowledge that a lot of what it took for me to get this far with it happened through a willingness to work on myself.

People skills are a big part of tarot reading.

I've met a lot of people in this world who claim psychic ability and strong intuition, but when you sit down to talk to them they have terrible listening skills, or say things that rub the wrong way.

Being honest with yourself, keeping your ego in check, and reflecting on beliefs or behaviours that aren't serving you - or others -...

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My thoughts on manifestation (and what I do to make things happen)

Tarot reading brings a lot of ambitious clients to the table.

A common reason people turn to tarot readers is to gain insight into their goals. People’s dreams hinge on questions like:

“How can I help my business succeed this year?”
“How can I build my creative practice?”
“How can I become financially independent?”

And sometimes, these conversations can lead into questions about manifestation. Tarot clients wonder exactly what they should be doing holistically to achieve their dreams:

Should they be performing a certain ritual?
Or using affirmations?
Or visualizing their ideal outcome?
Changing their vibration?

There’s a lot of talk out there about manifestation. And like anything else in the New Age space, there are a lot of opinions, ideas, and contradictions to be found on the subject.

The word manifest also has several definitions. In spiritual contexts, it is often used as a verb, meaning to make something manifest –...

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What I focus on when things feel bleak

I haven’t been writing very much about current events or politics in the last while.

Occasionally I have shared thoughts about world issues in my newsletter, or on my social media. But on a whole, my weekly messages here are intended to be about tarot in some capacity.

And sometimes, I wonder if this gives the impression that I’m not noticing what’s going on, or what’s happening out there.

But of course I am.

We are in some tough times, and have been for a while.

And I know that it can be hard to know what to focus on, and what to think some days.

Whenever I start to feel disappointed in the world, or when I start to lose hope for the Earth, I remind myself of how creative and inspiring people can be, too.

Our world is so much more than just one thing: It is never all bad, because there are far too many iterations and possibilities unfolding simultaneously.

When I find my thoughts wandering too far into despair, I think of all the amazing art that...

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What to Say When You Need to Go Out on a Limb in a Tarot Reading

Have you ever been in the middle of a tarot reading when, suddenly, an unexpected message pops into your head?

Or maybe you’ve been trying to answer a question, but the reply the cards are offering feels like a slight detour. It is an answer – even an acceptable one – but you’re not quite sure how it fits with the querent’s situation.

It's not uncommon to feel compelled to deliver a certain message that, to you as the reader, might feel a bit odd or unusual. Not because it’s irrelevant to the sitter (ideally, it should still relate to the context of the reading), but because you’re not sure how fits into the context of your querent’s life.

Tarot readers often have a limited view and understanding of their querents’ situations. Unless you’re reading for someone you know very well, you don’t have much to go on when it comes to the background of a question that’s been posed.

You also won’t necessarily...

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