3 truths about running a tarot business

A lot of people are surprised when I tell them I don’t spend all day reading tarot.

“Isn’t that your job?” they wonder.

But that question itself says a lot: Many people are used to thinking about work as a single job – one role or job title that you’re assigned.

When you’re self-employed as a tarot reader, you’re actually doing a lot more work than just reading for clients.

Being self-employed means making time to manage many moving parts along the way. There are administrative tasks, marketing efforts, and a lot of unexpected decisions to make on an ongoing basis.

There are also ups and downs, emotional rollercoasters, and imperfect days.

Here are three truths that you will have to accept if you are running a tarot business (or any other service-based business, for that matter.)

1. People will unsubscribe from your mailing lists and channels.

All of the big advice out there says to build a mailing list (which I recommend,...

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Pricing Your Tarot Readings

"How much should I charge for a tarot reading?"

This is one of the first questions people often ask when they start to read tarot professionally.

Charging for a tarot reading is a big step: It is a move that can change people’s perception of you.

Someone who is willing to pay you for your time is more likely to see you as a skilled craftsperson. They are invested in what you’re doing because they have some skin in the game.

When a client isn’t paying for a service, they don’t have anything at stake. It can be the worst reading, or the best reading, but either way, they’ve got nothing to lose it ends up being a bad experience.

But there is a "but" here, which is this:

There is actually a time and place to read for free – and a way to make it feel like a fair exchange. And that’s when you’re in the learning phases as a tarot reader.

I didn’t charge a dime for my tarot readings for seven years, because I was gaining experience.

I did offer...

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I Wish I’d Known This Before I Started Reading Tarot for Others

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...

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Boundaries to set before reading tarot for others

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...

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How to Stay Grounded as a Tarot Reader

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:

  • Staying humble and remembering that it’s not always about you;
  • Finding a balance between logic and spiritual belief or faith;
  • Developing sound judgment in decisions big and small; and
  • Maintaining good energetic boundaries, so as not to get swept up in other people’s emotions or priorities.

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...

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Why is it so hard for new tarot readers to get clients?

A few years ago, I was hired to teach a few private classes to someone who had just started reading tarot. She had bought her first deck a few months before she booked on for some lessons.

After our fourth lesson together, I got an email from her: “I forgot to ask you something in our class today,” she wrote. “How much do you think I should charge for my readings?”

I was surprised.

Our lessons at that point only totaled up to about four hours of study. This student had also only ever read tarot for herself.

Given what we’d covered in our classes so far, I knew she still had a lot to learn.

I wrote back an honest response, telling her it was way too soon to worry about charging for readings. “Focus on learning how to read tarot first,” I said.

Practice, practice, practice is always my mantra with new students.

This wasn’t the first instance I’ve had this question, and it wasn’t the last.

There are a lot of reasons why I...

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3 Ways to Build Trust as a Tarot Reader

When I decided to commit to becoming a tarot reader, there was one thing I really wasn’t expecting:

How much suspicion people have towards practitioners in this industry.

When I was growing up, my mom loved getting readings. She liked to host parties where she would hire a psychic to come over and do group readings.

My mom bought me my first reading – a palm reading – when I was around 10 years old. As I got into my teens, we would go to psychic fairs together.

It was fun! Those experiences also normalized the psychic industry for me.

But when I got into this business myself, I started to see another side to it that I hadn’t been exposed to growing up.

And one thing I’ve had to come to terms with is that there are a lot of people who are highly suspicious of this kind of work.

Even the most open-minded believers can be skeptical for a variety of reasons.

Which is why I feel it’s so important to take yourself seriously as a tarot reader by being...

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Why is money such a messy topic in the tarot community?

The spiritual community at large (including the tarot community) often has a poor relationship with money.

This isn’t a blanket statement, of course: There are always different ends of the spectrum in any situation.

But having been working in this industry for years now, I’ve heard and seen enough critiques of money to know that this problem is pervasive and ongoing.

I’ve even seen some practitioners who are running businesses of their own complain about having to pay for someone else’s course, training, or book.

You’d think business people would want to support each other, right? Apparently, that’s not always the case.

But why does this matter, and why am I bringing it up in my tarot newsletter?

Because tarot readers’ attitudes towards money can influence those they seek to support.

Whether you read professionally or just for fun and practice, the reality is that the people you read cards for have financial concerns.

Your querents might...

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How to keep tarot relevant in a modern world

Occultist Éliphas Lévi (1810 – 1875) wrote that tarot is “the most perfect tool” to understand life.

He believed that "an imprisoned person with no other book than the Tarot, if he knew how to use it, could in a few years acquire universal knowledge."

But whose knowledge would we be acquiring?

Human history is ever-changing, and tarot changes with it.

Tarot dates back to the 1400s, when it humbly began as a card game. It wasn’t until 1909 that the Rider-Waite-Smith deck made its debut.

This was the deck that popularized tarot into what we know it as today. Many of the decks that have been published since, along with the meanings that we associate with each card, have been inspired by the RWS.

But 1909 wasn’t that long ago in the grand scheme of things.

And yet despite its youth in comparison to other systems like astrology, tarot’s potential never ceases to amaze me. The cards work. I still have moments where I find the...

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One of my best pieces of advice for tarot readers

One of my best pieces of advice for tarot readers who want to read cards for other people is this:

Listen to your querents.

Like, really listen.

Listen to what is they want to know.

Listen to what they’re worried about.

Listen to what they have to teach you.

As tarot readers, we aim to step into the role of teacher, guide, or mentor. We want to be the ones leading querents to clarity and insight.

But our querents are our teachers, too.

No matter our experience level with tarot, people bring all kinds of questions to tarot readings – questions that you might have never imagined you’d have to answer.

And you can soon realize that as much as people are similar, we are also all on different paths. Eventually, you will have querents whose life experiences are vastly different from your own.

These moments can be challenging, and exciting, for us as tarot readers. They are challenging because they push us to stretch our own language and interpretations of our tarot decks. You are...

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