8 Signs You're Ready to Read Tarot Cards Professionally
Imagine being able to use your intuition to help people with their most challenging concerns and questions. Wouldn't it be wonderful to help yourself and others find answers and direction in life? Perhaps ditching that day job, working from home or in a designated space to receive your Tarot clients.
Speaking as a professional Tarot reader, I can testify that it is wonderful! Although, it can be tough at times. Like any job, there are challenges, with both beautiful days and ugly ones. I started reading professionally before I was probably ready to so—and although that was years ago and the journey has been truly amazing, I’d like to offer some tips if you are thinking about making Tarot reading a profession.
Here are eight ways to tell whether you're ready to take on clients.
1) You know the Tarot card meanings.
Obvious, right? Kinda. It's more than just knowing the meanings; you must be able to easily read each card—even those pesky court cards!—without hesitation or looking in a book. You'll have to learn the nuances of meaning for each card, in different placements, in relation to different topics. Over time, your intuition and experience will grow, and your unique relationship to the cards will blossom.
2) You rarely draw a blank when doing a reading.
Hey, sometimes even the best of us are stumped to make a connection between cards, or we might use a card the wrong way. It will happen, but before you start reading professionally, you should be beyond the point where it happens often. You need to have your own techniques and strategies in place that you can implement when those blanks do occur, and you’ve got a client on the phone or sitting across from you.
3) You need to have at least three spreads that you can comfortably work with.
It isn’t enough to just be familiar with the Celtic Cross. I speak from experience; that spread isn’t appropriate for every situation. You should have a number of spreads in your Tarot portfolio—from involved layouts for longer readings and complex questions, to short, three-card spreads for a 15-minute reading (having Yes/No spreads up your sleeve is ideal!). And you need to know what spread will be appropriate in the moment as the session is just beginning.
4) You must be able to draw out a story with the cards.
Rattling off the meaning of each card without threading them together is not a reading—it’s a laundry list! The true art of Tarot is when the reader takes all the cards, in all their positions, and tells the story of the layout in relation to the question. The magic is where your intuition and practice with the cards come together to help your client understand the broader scope of their question. This is true for all spreads, no exceptions!
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5) You know how to do an entire reading.
Again, seems obvious, right? But even the most skilled Tarot reader can forget that a reading begins the moment your prospective client visits your website or makes contact with you. If you’re going to do this professionally, you need to have your own means of enrolling clients and engaging their initial questions. Then there's the reading. How do you greet your clients? Do you make them comfortable? Get to the heart of their issue? And after you read the cards, how do you wrap up a session? Keep in touch? Answer follow-up questions? If your client is leaving upset, how do you work with that? Being a professional Tarot reader is a business and the most successful readers treat it as such.
6) You know what kind of Tarot reader you are.
This means understanding your fundamental relationship to the cards. What kind of readings do you like to give? Maybe you’re very good at reading for complex issues or maybe you excel at the quick and dirty read. You might have a personal philosophy about Tarot that others don’t—do you believe in fate, or free will, or a combination? Do you want to deal with certain topics, like pregnancy, illness, or death? To attract the type of clients that are a good fit for you, you must play on your personal strengths as a reader.
7) You have strategies for difficult and disappointed clients.
As hard as we try, and as much as we want to please our clients, troubled people will pass through your practice. Tarot readers attract some upset folks at times, and also a fair share of skeptics who get a kick out of proving somebody wrong. You might also get someone who’s invested in hearing a certain answer. If they don’t get that answer, they may take it out on you! You must have your own methods of staying calm and diffusing situations if you have a volatile person sitting across from you. It won’t happen often, but you have to be ready to deal with it.
8) You practice with strangers.
Making the leap from reading for your friends and family to people you aren't familiar with is a critical one if you want to go professional. Find a way to offer free readings, offer your services at street fairs or cafes, volunteer to read for people who come through the house—anything to get more face time with people you haven't met. It will only help you! You'll get to know people’s questions and reactions, identify what type of reader you are (or aren’t), and aid you in developing confidence and intuition.
Reading Tarot professionally is rewarding in ways I can’t express in words, and if you follow the tips above, you'll build the confidence to be a great reader who is paid well for their time. The very last tip I can give is to absolutely, invest in professional readings from others. You will learn a lot about reading styles, your own preferences, and ways of interacting with clients.
Originally posted on Keen.com
Lead photo courtesy of Twenty20