Lesson 12 – Giving Tarot Readings
In this lesson I will discuss:
- Guidelines for giving readings
- Tarot spread to use for readings with others
- Developing a Client Base
- How much should you charge?
Embracing the art and joy of Tarot will enable you to reflect on your own life events, as well as using the cards to help others. I believe that once you begin working with the cards you will never want to let go of them!
Whether you are just looking to read the cards for your own pleasure and with friends, or you wish to develop an income from your readings, this lesson will give you some basic guidelines for performing readings.
Some Basic Guidelines for Giving Tarot Readings “Cartomancy”
In the previous two lessons you learned a few different spreads – you can continue to study and add further spreads if you wish, making your reading technique unique to you.
We also touched on the way you can choose to work with the querant (the person you are reading for) – there are no hard and fast rules here. You can find your own way of asking the querant to shuffle and pick their cards.
Here are a few examples which you are free to use ‘as is’ or modify to your own preferences:-
A) Give the cards to the querant and ask them to shuffle them (remember you may use parts of the deck or the whole deck, as we covered in the lessons about spreads).
Let them shuffle the cards for as long as they wish, and then ask them to cut the deck into 3 sections, placing them on the table in front of you.
Ask them to pick one of the 3 sections, remove the 2 they don’t want and fan the cards from the querants chosen pack on the table in front of you.
Finally, ask them to pick the number of cards you require for their first spread. You can repeat this process for each spread you wish to use for the session.
B) Use the same technique as A) but this time just fan the entire deck when they have finished shuffling.
C) Again use the same technique as A) and when the querant has chosen on of the 3 packs, just start pulling the cards from the top of that pack, rather than fanning them and asking the querant to pick the cards.
D) Just make up your own way of selecting the cards – whatever you think is most appropriate. There is no right or wrong way to do this.
Of course before you even get to this stage, you need to find a way to relax your querant and prepare them for the reading ahead.
As I mentioned in the lesson 10, I tend to give them a 3-4 minute summary of my own Tarot philosophy. I also ask them not to tell me anything, as I don’t want to be influenced when I do their first spread.
An idea for divine protection and guidance
A friend of mine who is a professional tarot reader in a Voodoo shop in New Orleans, likes to spend a few minutes meditating with her clients. She closes her eyes, and asks the client to do the same. Then she calls for a divine blessing over the reading. She then asks for the spirit guides to step forward and assist as well. You may like to do something like this as well.
Tarot Spread to Use with Clients
If you take this approach you can use the Celtic Cross, a great general spread, to get a feeling for their current circumstances, concerns and focus.
I then perform 2-3 additional spreads to further develop the picture of events, before I ask if they would like to ask the cards any specific questions.
For specific questions, I tend to use the 3 card spread – influences from the past, advice, outcome – to help find a solution to their problem or an answer.
My readings generally last about one hour if I am using a spread such as the Celtic cross, although I can do one-spread readings or shorter readings of half an hour, however, my clients seem to get more value from spending the full hour with me for a face to face reading.
Obviously, you need to decide what duration of time you feel comfortable with – some people prefer to deliver their readings very quickly – say within 20 minutes – whilst others are happy to spend several hours with a client. Everyone is different, and it depends on the purpose of the reading.
Again, give yourself enough practice with your friends and you will soon develop your own ‘way’ or ‘style’.
If you are planning to become a professional tarot reader, and earn an income from the cards, here are a few extra guidelines which may help you.
Developing a Client Base
Undoubtedly the best way to begin to develop a client base when you are starting out is by word of mouth – ask your friends and family to help by referring people to you. Perhaps you can offer to do the first reading for free, so that they can see whether they can relate to you, or maybe you could give your friend a free reading if she recommends someone else who will pay!
As your confidence grows, you may consider advertising locally. Begin by researching who is already offering Tarot readings in your area, how are they advertising and what are they charging? This will give you an idea of your ‘competition’ and give you a sense of where you would like to pitch yourself.
Public events such as psychic fairs can be another good way to increase your public exposure, and if you or a friend has the internet skills you could always begin your own website – although this is by no means as easy as it may at first seem!!!
How much should you charge?
Well that is totally up to you. How much do you feel your service is worth? People are unlikely to want to pay more than you personally feel your readings are worth! You may begin your ‘tarot career’ charging very little or nothing for your readings, and gradually increase your price as your skill, confidence and the demand for your services increase.
Advice from Savannah of Black Witch Coven:
Until your readings are specific and focused, do not charge more than the average hourly wage from the city or country you live. “Padding” the reading with additional irrelevant conversation and guess work is fine if you are doing the reading for friends, but not if you have a paying client expecting a clear and concise reading. Once you can share the information from the cards without the need to “pad” time, raise your price to whatever you like.
To determine how much you should charge, ask yourself “how busy with readings do I want to be?” If you want a single client each day, and you offer a clear and concise reading, then ask maybe $150 for the hour. However, if you want to make tarot readings your full time job, then lower the price to $60 per hour and see how many clients book your service. As you expand your business, becoming more popular, then raise your prices.
As a final note, be careful that reading the cards does not become a chore or an unwelcome commitment that you don’t enjoy. I believe a good tarot reader should always work from the heart and from integrity – there is a responsibility that comes with reading the cards for others, embrace it willingly and with love.
Welcome the gift of Tarot and make it a special addition to your life in whatever way feels natural and right for you.
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Resources & Links:
Tarot Card Meanings & Readings – external website