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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
What is the point of reading tarot?
Whenever I explain to someone that I believe the future is yet to be created, a question predictably follows:
"Then what’s the point of reading tarot?"
I get where the question is coming from: So many people assume tarot is all about future-telling.
So explain that I read tarot because the cards are a tapestry of possibility. A reading gives you the chance to draw a map of your potential.
I read tarot because it lays out the ideas, thoughts, and feelings that are bouncing around within your head and heart and allows you to get a clearer perspective on what it all means.
I read tarot because it’s an opportunity to sit down with yourself and ask, "What do I really want to make happen right now?"
I read tarot because it gives you the freedom to be yourself by validating your feelings, instincts, and ideas.
There’s a reason why I don’t believe that the future is neatly mapped out for you: If it was, why would you need to make any...
Sometimes reading tarot can feel frustrating.
You might get cards that don’t seem to fit the question, or see something you didn’t expect to come up.
And readings can also feel like they’re just not hitting the right points to feel productive.
When I got my first tarot reading in the late `90s, I was amazed at how helpful it was.
And I held onto a lot of the information I received that day. It became important to me, and
gave me hope for the future.
Which is what I set out to do when I started reading tarot for others.
I do this work to help other people, first and foremost.
And I’m sure you do, too.
Over the years, I’ve seen what tarot can do for people: I’ve had clients who’ve made huge life changes, grown more confident, and gotten clearer about who they are and where they’re going.
But not every tarot reading goes that way.
Sometimes you might not always feel a reading went as deep, or was as productive as you’d hoped.
There are some...
It’s not always easy to dedicate yourself to something like tarot.
One of the hardest things for me to reconcile on this path is how dismissive skeptics and non-believers can be towards anything they perceive as too “out there,” too esoteric, or too spiritual.
Some people genuinely love to hate on anything they see as “woo,” including tarot.
No matter how many ways you try to explain that tarot is about so much more than a gimmicky parlor trick, there are some people out there who just don’t want to hear it.
I’ve written before about my thoughts on skeptics. The short version is that I don’t feel it’s my role to convert anyone. I’m not interested in telling people what they should or shouldn’t believe in, and I don’t get caught up in any ideas that everyone has to like the same things I do.
What I do wish I could change, however, is the pervasive assumption that anyone who is interested in tarot (or related...
Tarot is an interesting tool because whatever we take into ourselves – our influences, beliefs, experiences, and knowledge – can become a new lens through which to filter the cards.
No matter how many outside ideas you learn about tarot…
No matter how many different tarot meanings you try to take in…
No matter how many different approaches you take here…
Every reading you do will go through you own point of view.
And that is something that is built through all kinds of experiences and perspectives.
Our experiences give each of us a unique vantage point from which we stand. If you read tarot, or you’re learning how, it helps to reflect on your personal advantages and how they might influence your readings, or allow you to connect with querents.
It can be influenced by different jobs you’ve had:
Work gives us all kinds of skills. Many jobs help with people skills, and if you want to read for others, then it helps to be open and...