Not everyone wants to read tarot at a professional level.
It’s more than okay for tarot to be a hobby, an interest, and a personal outlet.
But it’s also okay to want to read tarot for other people, and even build a business out of it.
One of the reasons why I talk so much about reading tarot for others is because I meet so many people with a deep desire to do just that.
There is something about tarot that attracts compassionate helpers. We see the potential that tarot has when it comes to bringing clarity to a problem, opening up new perspectives, and holding space for meaningful conversation.
A lot of us want to use tarot to do something good in the world.
But there are differences between reading tarot personally versus professionally. Pulling out tarot cards for fun with friends comes with different expectations than reading for a paying client.
Those expectations don’t just happen on the client’s side. You, as a tarot reader, have to put new expectations...
Every so often I close my calendar and take time off from one-on-one readings. This gives me breathing room in my practice, and I come back clearer about how I want to use tarot when I am working with clients.
Recently, after taking a longer hiatus than usual, I got clearer than ever about what my work aims to do - which is not to entertain, but to inform, guide and support.
I know that depending on where you live, a reader may be required by law to say that tarot is for “entertainment purposes only.” Which is something we may need to say for optics, but does not necessarily align with a personal truth.
I used to do a lot of tarot parties and had awesome experiences that way, but also had some terrible ones where people really did expect me to be the entertainment for the night.
Some people want their tarot readers to be entertaining. They want the esoteric to provide recreation, not reality.
But that’s not all that my work is about, and I know the same goes...
Boundaries are a big part of your success as a tarot reader
There are TONS of things I could say about boundaries (and will in subsequent posts) but today I will focus on three main ones that I think are key for professional tarot readers:
Stick to your schedule. Time management is really important in appointment-based work. It doesn’t matter if you do tarot full-time or on the side. Your time is valuable no matter what, and clients should respect it.
That means following the start and end times of appointments and adhering to rescheduling and cancellation policies.
It also means that as readers, we need to be reliable and be able to stick to our commitments, too. If a reader is always late, their clients will not be motivated to show up on time, either.
You don’t have to share everything about yourself. Openness and authenticity are valuable in this line of work, but you don’t have to be an open book to your clients.
Sometimes I have had clients ask about things...
I was reading an interview with a celebrated occult writer last year and was surprised when he admitted that he almost only reads esoteric books.
When I’m scrolling through my social media feed, I often stop to look at posts about what people in the tarot community are reading. And usually those updates feature books about tarot, divination, spirituality, or magic.
When you’re passionate about something, you tend to gravitate towards it. And I spend my fair share of time reading about tarot, too.
Sometimes my tarot students have confessed that they feel pressured to read every single thing they can about tarot – even if it’s at the expense of making time to explore other interests or give their intellects a break by changing the topic.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with setting out to gain a substantial level of knowledge – in fact, I encourage it. Tarot, spirituality, and the occult are lifelong paths on which we are always learning....
People talk about tools like tarot and other esoteric practices as though they are shortcuts or hacks that will accelerate their paths to success.
Which is why I always feel so boring in that broken-record-kind-of-way when I say that learning tarot doesn’t come with any shortcuts.
To get good at tarot, it takes practice, commitment, and consistency.
Like anything else, if you keep showing up for it, put in the time, and push yourself to improve, things will change.
Which is what happened to one of my students last year, Nat. In early 2020, she sent me an email worried that her progress was slow: “I don’t think I’m very good at this.”
I told her to keep practicing, keep going.
I know that’s the key, because when I was in Nat’s position, I hit walls, too. And I have had to embrace the same learning curves in tarot as everyone else.
So I know how much can change with practice and consistent effort.
And now, a little over a year later, Nat is...
Work and relationship readings are a tarot reader's bread and butter.
If you want to read tarot for a living, you’re going to end up doing a lot of readings on these two topics.
These are the two most common topics that clients want to explore in their readings. It doesn’t matter whether you, the reader, like it or not. If you want to serve your clients and help them sort out their lives, you need to meet them where they’re at.
And often, that means walking through them through decisions about their careers and love lives.
As much as we might, as tarot readers, get excited about getting deep on spiritual explorations in our work, some clients aren’t quite ready for that - or may feel they have more pressing matters to work through first.
Reading on work and relationships for other people means:
Being aware of the responsibility that comes with these discussions;
Being clear and confident in how to handle tricky questions and when to reframe them to better...
Twin Flames are a divisive topic.
But first: What are twin flames, anyway?
The idea suggests that twin flames come from a single soul that split into two. In this Vanity Fair article, the researcher was only able to trace the term to 1886.
It sounds similar to soulmates, but the beliefs around twin flames seem to drive more conflict – or even encourage it within relationships as a pathway to spiritual growth. Turmoil, pain, and on-again-off-again affection are considered signatures to the twin flame journey.
There are plenty of twin flame gurus, cults, communities, and coaches out there to help guide people to their twin flames, and through the subsequent ups and downs of these relationships.
And it’s a lucrative corner of the spiritual industry.
I don’t want to get too far into the explanation of twin flames as that’s not the purpose of this piece, so I’ll stop there with the intention of expanding on these thoughts more in the future.
What I wanted to...
When I first started reading tarot for other people, I was actually surprised at how many wanted to know about love.
I thought I would be answering different types of questions about spiritual journeys and personal transformations.
But I quickly realized how important relationships are to people, and how much is at stake when we are talking about love, commitment, loyalty and companionship.
Some of the hardest questions I’ve had to answer as a tarot reader had to do with relationships.
They can be really complicated. Especially if the people involved are cycling through a range of emotions: One day they’re on, another they’re off.
Divining a clear answer about a relationship is not always easy to pin down when the people in question can’t be pinned down in the first place.
Another challenge can arise when clients are impatient about the answer: They feel like they’ve already been waiting “long enough” for love and they don’t want to...
The other day I got an email from one of my students:
“Liz, I’ve heard you say that you don’t need to be psychic to read tarot. And I don’t disagree, because I don’t consider myself psychic and I’ve definitely been improving in my readings lately because I’ve been following your instructions on how to actually read my cards. But at what point does tarot become an intuitive practice, too? I keep expecting my intuition to kick in, but I don’t know how or when that will happen.”
I love this question, because it highlights the mainstream context of tarot – that it is a psychic tool – and opposes it against the reality of cartomancy – that you need to learn to read the cards if you want to make them talk.
I also consider “psychic” to be a loaded word. Not because I have anything against it, but because the mainstream perceptions – the Hollywood stereotypes of psychic ability – has created...
When I ask people why they want to read tarot, the Number One reason I hear is, “I want to develop my intuition.”
So many of us want to experience trust and alignment within ourselves, and the universe. And tarot can be an amazing way to open up to that.
But there is a lot of confusion about intuition and psychic ability out there. These are concepts that we need to develop with discernment, responsibility, and groundedness if we really want to embrace them in our lives.
This goes for whether you read tarot or not – intuition is not reliant on divination.
There is no shortage of psychic advice out there in cyberspace these days. Take a scroll on Instagram and you’ll likely come across posts encouraging you to trust your psychic skills and cut off those “low-vibe” friends. Or memes that remind you that your intuition is never wrong.
But – and this a big but – the problem with that is that it’s really easy to confuse other...