Declaring yourself a tarot reader and officially offering your services can be an exciting and nerve-wracking experience.
Some readers take a long time to come out of the “tarot closet,” as the saying goes, and there can be a number of reasons for that: Lack of support, fear of judgement, or living in a religious community top the list.
But putting your stake in the ground and making tarot a visible part of your life can still be a challenge even if you are supported through the process.
No matter what your beginnings in tarot look like, tarot is a path that will continue to challenge you to define, clarify and uphold your boundaries every step of the way.
It will also push you to realize that you can’t sustain a business off of your social network alone – even if you have friends and family who are eager and excited to support you.
In fact, those close, enthusiastic relationships can bring their own sets of challenges when you start building your profile as...
I get a lot of questions about how to prepare for tarot readings from a reader’s perspective.
Readers are often concerned with protecting their energy by staying grounded. Or by shielding against a draining querent.
Boundaries in tarot readings go both ways, though, and it’s important to remember that our querents have boundaries, too.
But we might not always know what those boundaries are for each querent. Every individual will have a different comfort zone. And not all querents will be experienced with readings enough to know what they want from the experience.
People often come to tarot readings with an open mind. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that anything goes in a tarot reading.
Establishing some boundaries for your own conduct can go a long way in ensuring that querents have a great experience with you.
Here are a few boundaries I’m mindful of that you might find helpful, too.
Honesty and respect can co-exist.
Some tarot readers like to...
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 do you when you’re reading tarot for someone, and they want you to just tell them what to do?
This can be a challenging situation for a tarot reader to be put in.
You might feel put on the spot, or pressured to provide an answer that’s not actually in the cards.
It can also be that your style of tarot reading does not fit such a prescriptive approach.
Many tarot readers aim to empower through tarot by encouraging querents to make their own decisions and take control over their lives – which is the opposite of telling them what they should or shouldn’t do.
Reading styles aside, there are fine lines to walk as a tarot reader when it comes to supporting your querents. Tarot readings don’t replace a querent’s personal responsibility over their own lives.
But if you’re perceived as someone who has all the answers, it’s easy for some querents to try to put that onus on you.
I’ve had tarot clients flat out admit that they want me to...
For simplicity’s sake, I am using “spirituality” throughout this post as an umbrella term to encompass a range of practices, tarot to astrology to religion and everything in between.
Someone asked me recently, “How do you deal with skeptics?”
I shrugged. “I don’t, really.”
I don’t, as in: I don’t argue with them, or try to change their minds.
But I also don’t let it get to me. I don’t own tarot, or other spiritual pursuits. I can defend my beliefs, but there is no threat to them just because someone doesn’t participate in the same things I do.
I also remind myself that skepticism is a belief system itself, too. So no matter where we are coming from, we must be mindful to cultivate acceptance of other viewpoints.
Meaning that I don’t expect everyone to think the way I do. Each of us has the right to choose the path and perspective that feels best.
Skepticism has a spectrum and comes in...
There’s a pervasive belief in the tarot community that you attract the friends, lovers, opportunities and clients you deserve.
The idea behind this is that there is a lesson for you: That everyone sent your way is a teacher. Which is fine if things are going great.
On the surface, it’s a way to make sense of your experiences and use them as learning opportunities for your own spiritual growth.
Beneath the surface, however, is an idea that can easily turn into martyrdom, people-pleasing, leaky boundaries, and toxic relationships.
It can feel like it’s your fault that you’re a magnet for problems. The Law of Attraction is working against you and you’d better start thinking more positive thoughts.
I first started noticing this belief when fellow tarot readers would share struggles they were having with clients. There is a massive issue with entitlement in this industry – people shamelessly shop around for free readings, demand discounts, and...
Sometimes the projects I take on keep me in knots.
Again and again, I questioned myself:
Is this wrong, or right?
Am I making a huge mistake?
Am I deluding myself?
Is this a complete waste of time, or does someone actually need to hear what I have to say?
This is the emotional rollercoaster that comes with talking about money.
And in spiritual work, money gets weird.
The roots can run deep and stem from a range of beliefs and feelings. Some spiritual practitioners, including tarot readers, feel guilty for charging for their work. They aim to help as many people as possible, burning themselves out in the pursuit of their labour of love rather than creating a fair exchange of energy.
It doesn’t help that in this industry, there are plenty of potential clients who are happy to take advantage of guilt-ridden, people-pleasing practitioners. Have you ever heard someone say that it’s wrong to charge for tarot readings because diviners have been “given a gift from...
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...
If you’ve spent any time at all following new age practitioners, you’ve likely heard the phrase, “Go with what resonates with you.”
This saying permeates new age spiritual culture of all kinds: It shows up in tarot workshops and healing sessions. You see it in books and hear it on YouTube channels.
It’s meant to be taken as guidance or advice to help a student or client figure out what their next step is. Sometimes, it’s given during times of confusion, as though to say, “Just go with what you feel.”
Confusion itself doesn’t get us very far, does it? When you’re not sure whether you’re coming or going, and you’re unclear as to whether you’re supposed to do this or that, things can go one of two ways:
You stay stuck and keep repeating the same old patterns, knowing you need to take different actions but you’re not sure what they are, or…
You act on emotion, impulse, or intuition and hope...
“How can I do better?”
This question is reverberating around the world right now.
Anti-racist actions and education have become bigger priorities in spiritual communities recently, including the tarot world.
As a result, I have seen a number of Black women make pleas through their social media accounts for people to stop contacting them by private messages to ask, “How can I help? What can I do? How can I be a better ally?”
For those who are not content creators or who are not public-facing in their work, it might come as a shock just how often boundaries get crossed online.
I don’t know what it’s like to get asked about anti-racism education, or how to support Black Lives Matter.
But I do know it’s a huge problem for tarot readers and astrologers to get contacted by people requesting free readings, feedback on their natal charts or tarot spreads, or advice on whether an ex is returning.
So I can only imagine what others deal with on...