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...
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...
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...
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:
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...
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 -...
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 –...
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...
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...
I’ve shared this story a lot before, so if you’ve heard it already, I hope you’ll humour me for a moment.
When I got my first tarot deck, I had very skewed expectations about what would happen when I opened up that card pack.
I had (wrongly) assumed that as soon as I flipped over a few cards, I’d somehow know exactly what they were telling me.
Even though I had no idea what exactly I was hoping to find out. Nor did I consider what kind of messages tarot might even give me.
I had a vague idea that I’d get a glimpse of the future. But I was also in high school at the time, keeping a relatively routine schedule between going to a co-op in the morning, classes in the afternoon, and a part-time job after school.
What kind of big reveal was I hoping for? I had no idea. My life was pretty predictable at the time.
But I wasn’t questioning myself at the time, or thinking much about the how or why of tarot.
And unfortunately, the pressure I’d put on...
One of the most common questions people have about reading tarot is, “How do I connect to the energy of the person I’m reading for?”
From my experience, there’s nothing special you need to do when you’re reading cards for someone else. Your tarot deck contains all kinds of answers and information.
Knowing how to read your cards is what’s important. You don’t need to psychically reach into your sitter for answers that are already present in a reading.
If you were doing a purely psychic reading, however, without any divinatory tools involved, the answer might be different.
But if your aim is to read cards, then that’s where your focus should be whenever you are interpreting a message.
When you are giving a reading, you don’t need to “connect” to someone else’s energy as though you’re hooking into them – all you need to is a listening ear and a willingness to communicate. Just like any other...