A few people have asked me my thoughts about tarot certification programs in recent months.
This conversation can get quite heated in the tarot community.
I have shared thoughts before about certification here, and still feel the same way by and large. To sum up some of my earlier thoughts, my main reason for being wary of “certification” is that there are so many ways to read tarot, and different systems and correspondences.
While I have come to sense that tarot card meanings tend to be shared knowledge among readers, tarot techniques stand apart from that – and are not universal.
Some readers will swear by the esoteric correspondences of the Golden Dawn and teach that you must use astrology, Kabbalah and more to truly read tarot.
Others, like myself, will tell you to leave all that stuff to the side and just focus on the cards.
Some tarot readers focus on intuitive and psychic development, others don’t.
And then there’s the question of what happens if someone reads Tarot de Marseille instead of a Rider Waite Smith-style deck.
So you see how there can be a lot of questions about whose tarot wins out if we’re to make it something certifiable in the first place.
Certifications are important in other industries. If you’re getting an invasive cosmetic procedure, for example, you’d most definitely want to see a certificate to prove the person taking care of you knows what they’re doing.
But there are governing bodies that oversee some lines of work, and others are completely unregulated.
Tarot falls into the latter category, and that makes it hard to put a stamp of approval on one tarot reader and not others – because many of us are self-taught, and many self-made tarot readers are considered pioneers in this practice.
On one hand, thought, I do see the appeal of getting a certificate after completing a program or class. It’s nice to have something to show for your work.
On the other hand, it’s a bit of a different story to “certify” someone as a tarot reader. That’s the distinction I make:
A certificate of completion is different than an endorsement.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, as one of the most common questions I get from prospective tarot students is whether I can give them a certificate at the end of the class.
If getting a certificate to show the work you’ve put into a course is something important to you, then I can absolutely understand that.
Which is one of the reasons I’ve started to include certificates of completion in my courses. I can confirm whether someone finished one of my courses. I can teach my tarot methods and congratulate readers when they reach the end of their studies with me.
But no one needs my personal stamp of approval to read tarot. Because at the end of the day, you have to validate yourself, too.
I really mean that.
Even if I did tell someone they were “ready” to go further with tarot, whatever that may mean, it wouldn’t hold weight if that individual didn’t personally feel confident, prepared or passionate about taking that next step with tarot.
Those are all things we each have to decide for ourselves, in conjunction with any trainings or classes we’re making use of.
“Is there a division between certified and non-certified readers?”
I have certificates from tarot and astrology trainings I’ve done. I don’t know where some of those papers have even gone to, though. I’ve never considered or called myself a certified anything.
But I know other readers who do.
I don’t see us as divided or different.
I have also taken lots of classes that really moved me forward as a reader – like, I’m talking game-changing lessons here. Yet I have nothing physical to prove that I took them except a PayPal receipt.
However, I do have skills and experiences from those classes that continue to show up in my work on a daily basis.
What I think is more important to focus on is whether you’re learning something useful from a class.
And that your work speaks for itself when the time comes to show what you’re capable of.
I have never had a client ask if I am certified to read tarot, but many ask how I learned. It’s okay to be self-taught, and it’s okay to have teachers.
How you get there and what you learn depends on YOU more than anything. I have seen people take classes left and right but never take the time to apply what they learn. They might have certificates to show for their studies, but no skills to back them up.
And I’ve seen people who are self-taught all the way through who have raving, loyal clients.
As I said already: At the end of the day, you need to be able to validate yourself as a tarot reader or diviner.
If you see a class out there that can teach you something you don’t know, or there’s a teacher you feel called to learn from, cool. But follow that path only if you think it will help you improve, not because you feel you need a certain stamp of approval to be a tarot reader.
Let your tarot ability develop as it needs to. Apply what you learn as you see fit. Readers get better with time and experience, and that’s something only you can give to yourself 💜
Until next time,
p.s. Ready to give powerful tarot readings – right from the beginning? Join my free masterclass today to find out how: