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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Drawing Boundaries in Tarot Readings

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...

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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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What to Say When You Need to Go Out on a Limb in a Tarot Reading

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...

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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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How much advice should a tarot reader give to their querents?

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...

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How to identify your personal power (and know it when you see it)

At my last day job, I worked with a woman who would sometimes pause our conversations and say, "I know it’s off-topic, but can I talk about your tattoos for a second?"

"Sure," I would say. I’ve been getting tattooed for over 20 years. People often have questions.

One day, my colleague finally told me why she was so curious about them. "I really want to get the name of my son tattooed right here," she said, pointing to a spot on her wrist. "But I’m afraid it will hold me back if I ever want to move up in my career."

"It sounds like you’re making decisions for people you haven’t even met yet," I said. "And maybe you never will. Who knows where you’ll be working, or who you’ll be working with? They might not mind."

Though I could relate to her worries. After all, this story isn’t really about tattoos.

It’s about the ways fear of judgement and lack of acceptance erodes joy, confidence, and self-expression.

It’s about the ways we...

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