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 you might want to have in place before reading tarot for others? Here are a few to start with:
Time management: What are your rules around punctuality for clients? How long are your readings, and what do you do to stick to your schedule? Set clear expectations about how long a querent can expect to sit with you, as well as what your expectations are regarding lateness and rescheduling.
Again, it might not feel like a big deal if you’re just reading for friends, but once you’re working at events or doing private appointments, schedules become really important. Staying on track tells your querents that you respect their time, and expect them to do the same for you.
The types of readings you do: It’s not always enough to just offer a reading.
What kind of tarot readings do you do? Do you guide, predict, advise?
Set some expectations about your work and help your querents determine what types of questions or topics might be most appropriate for them at that time. Otherwise, your readings can feel like “ask me anything” sessions, which is fine if that’s your tarot style. But if it’s not? Then tighten up the way you communicate about your work.
No-go questions. Every tarot reader has different boundaries and ethics about no-go questions – inquiries that are off the table in a reading. Making health diagnoses, for example, is one area that many readers draw a line at.
If you’re still building experience with tarot, you might not know yet what your no-go questions are. That’s okay: Give yourself time to figure it out.
Through experience, you will develop your own sense of what’s on and off the table for you. But don’t be afraid to suggest a different angle or approach if a question doesn’t feel appropriate, or if it’s out of your scope of work as a tarot reader.
Follow-up questions. Do you allow querents to contact you after a reading is over? Again, this is a personal decision, and it’s one that depends on your boundaries and preferences. If you are reading for friends and family who have your private number and are on all your social media networks, it might feel necessary to draw a line if someone keeps reaching out for more clarity.
If you are reading for paying clients, then it can help to let them know whether follow-up questions are included in the price, or whether there is an extra cost – that is if you are offering follow-ups at all. And if you are, you will need to be clear on how soon someone can expect a response from you, and whether there is a cut-off date for follow-ups after a reading.
Personally, I think it’s easier to leave a reading alone once it’s over. But this is something that some querents ask about, or may even expect if they’ve worked with other readers who allow for follow-ups.
It never hurts to clarify your own boundaries around these situations so that you can set clear expectations from the beginning.
Hope this helps.
Until next time,
p.s. Are you ready to deepen your path as a tarot reader? My book The Power of Tarot will help you develop your own tarot framework and philosophy. Get it here.