I received a great question on Instagram a little while back: “What’s your feeling on clients recording their tarot readings?”
The first tarot reading I had was in the late `90s at a psychic fair. The reader recorded it on cassette tape (hellooooo nostalgia) and I went back and listened to it several times in later years.
Because that was my first experience with a professional reader, I always just assumed everyone recorded their readings, too.
But I soon learned recordings are not universal among readers.
In fact, a tarot reader who I have had numerous readings from never recordings their readings – and they’ve been in the business for decades.
I’ve also learned there are pros and cons to recording your readings. And logistically, it’s not always a feasible offering.
So here are some thoughts and learnings on the subject:
“Do readers have to offer recordings?”
NOPE! It’s always up to the reader to make this service available. It is an extra, and can come at a cost for readers depending on your setup. Audio files are big and if you are reading full-time, you will probably need to invest in some online storage or hard drive if you intend to keep those recordings on file long-term.
“What if you don’t offer recordings, but the client wants to use their own recording device?”
Both parties need to be comfortable with the reading being recorded. If you as the reader are not comfortable with it, then say so.
I have read tarot at a couple of large, outdoor events where there are tons of passersby. At those events, querents have sat down while their friends pull out their phones to video the readings. In those cases, I refused to read until the recordings were stopped and the friends dispersed.
I don’t like reading with an audience, and I don’t consent to videos being made of my sessions that might end up on social media later. Not for any other reason than I want to be focused and free to get personal with a client if the reading requires it.
“What are the benefits of offering a recording?”
I have heard from many clients who have revisited their readings later and gleaned new insights that they didn’t catch later. Recordings are also a great way to prove your work:
Sometimes a reading might not feel very accurate or resonant to a client in the moment (it can also be a lot of information to take in at once), but down the road, when they play back their recording, they realize just how much truth that reading held for them.
“What are the setbacks?”
I have noticed that some clients – not all – are less focused in a reading when it’s being recorded. “I’ll just listen back to it later,” they’ll say, and then get distracted by other things – like questions about what each card means, or how I learned tarot.
I don’t mind talking or sharing that kind of information, but when we’re trying to get through a reading, it feels better to have the client present and focused on the messages they’re receiving.
You may be the kind of reader who wants people to be present and attentive in the moment – and that may be impacted by a recording device being present.
The setbacks are also the time involved. As I said earlier, audio files are big and they can take time to save and upload. Offering recordings does add a bit more admin work to the reader’s plate, as you’ll need to upload and email the files to clients.
This doesn’t sound too onerous on its own, but in busy times, it can add an extra task to your to-do list that you’ll need to account for – and if you have a lot of recordings to send, the time does add up.
“What about recordings at parties?”
If you’re doing events, I wouldn’t suggest offering a recording to your querents. They can record their own on their phones if they wish, assuming you consent to that, too.
It’s a lot to keep track of people’s contact information and adds a lot of extra work for you after the event. So my recommendation is that if you do offer recordings, it’s only for querents who are seeing you for quiet, one-on-one appointments – not for events or shops.
“Is note-taking a good alternative?”
Absolutely! I have had some clients who’ve declined my offer to record their reading because they preferred to just take notes and let the reading sink in from there.
Personally, I also prefer to take notes when I’m in the client’s seat, as I like reviewing my old journals and notebooks more than I do revisiting old digital files.
If you do offer recordings, I would recommend being clear that the recording is not for broadcast or publication – unless you’re okay with it being shared. These days, people share all kinds of things online. Even though a reading is largely about the client, a reader may not be comfortable broadcasting their process or work to a wider audience. Something else to consider.
At the end of the day, it’s up to you to allow for recordings or not. Personally, I go back and forth about whether it’s something I’ll continue to offer, for some of the setbacks outlined above.
Until next time,
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