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Going Pro

This post was written by Barbara Moore
on December 21, 2010 | Comments (8)

I don’t know this for sure, but I imagine that most people who learn tarot think about reading professionally. Reading tarot is certainly an option as a career. But it isn’t for everyone. And, most professional readers will tell you, it is not as glamorous as you’d imagine.

Amber K and Azraiel Arynn K’s book, Heart of Tarot, is primarily a primer on adapting Gestalt techniques to tarot reading. However, there are several chapters devoted to the issues of reading professionally. The authors begin this section suggesting first that the reader examine her motivations and, second, consider whether or not she has the necessary skills, such as:

  • Am I really, really skilled at reading the Tarot? Do I consistently have people asking for readings, and are they always pleased with the results?
  • Do I  have the stamina and concentration to do several readings a day without getting bored or losing focus?
  • Can I do an excellent reading even if I am tired, or hungry, or in a bad mood?
  • Do I like people a lot—almost any kind of people? Can I work with a wide variety of clients, from grouchy skeptics to desperate jilted lovers to helping innocents who want a guru to guide their lives?
  • Do I have enough wisdom, eloquence, and charisma to leave every client with a feeling of hope and determination, no matter how difficult their problems?
  • Am I able to empower the client to find their own answers and make their own decisions, even if I am sure I know what they should do in a given situation? Do I have the ability to sit on my own opinions and help them find their own path?
  • Can I survive on a minimal income until my practice is established, and a modest but erratic income even if everything goes well? (This is not for people who love the security of a regular paycheck, good medical benefits, and a company supported pension plan. And unless you live in Hollywood and manage to become a “Card Reader to the Stars,” don’t look for significant money.)
  • Do I have the skills of a business manager and a sales person, to handle advertising, promotion, and record-keeping, especially if I am working solo instead of with an established business?

What do you think of these required skills? Do you agree with this list? What would you change or add or take away?

Reader Comments

Written By Frances
on December 21st, 2010 @ 10:38 am

Love this article! However, I have an issue with this: “•Can I do an excellent reading even if I am tired, or hungry, or in a bad mood?”.

Reason why? Well, if you’re tired, hungry or in a bad mood you’re not grounded, and that’s the FIRST thing you have to make sure you are before a reading. Besides, who wants to get a reading from someone who’ll yawning, stomach growling, grouchy person???!! 🙂 So, even though I agree with all the other skills, I’m not so sure about this one.

Written By Peej
on December 21st, 2010 @ 11:11 am

Good article, but seriously where is the editing? I would expect so much more from Llewellyn than an article with words left out and misspellings (ex: “Card Reader to the Start”).

Written By Alice Jones
on December 21st, 2010 @ 11:14 am

I would be careful about the client always being pleased with the results one. Sometimes they do not want to hear the truth. As long as i know i have given them the information they need to empower themselves, then i am happy with the reading.

Written By Nedre
on December 21st, 2010 @ 11:51 am

Sometimes we make this look easy.This isn’t only about being able to read the cards but also being able to be a good listener and not being judgemental.Also to be able to report abuse..Sometimes helping people also means giving of yourself and time…having information for people to direct them to.Being able to read at parties where your clients are back to back and giving each one the attention they desire and being as fresh and alert with your first client as you are with your last.Being a entertainer,counselor..As for money, mine goes back into my web site,business cards,tarot decks,advertising,and more learning..No one knows everything about tarot.It is a on going learning experince .You can’t have a ego in this business.Not all readings are bubble gum readings…If you are starting out I would start with family and friends…Do free readings like this for a while and keep a journel…before jumping into the professional aspect of Tarot.. Oracle decks might be better suited for some people also…Tarot to me is rewarding,my gift of giving back,alot of hard work,learning, dedication and responsibility which I love and keeps me grounded of being who I’am.

Written By Barbara Moore
on December 21st, 2010 @ 5:40 pm

Yikes, Peej. You are right. That was horrid. I’ve made corrections and vow to be more careful in the future.

Written By Anita Perez
on December 24th, 2010 @ 2:36 pm

I have to say, that after many years of giving professional readings, I’ve changed my perspective many times. I’ve started and stopped and started again. Sometimes I feel forced to withdraw, just to give myself an opportunity to clear myself of all the leftover emotional issues that are brought to the table. Some of my best and most accurate readings have left the client snarling and angry- only to have them return weeks or months later to confess the stunning truth and their state of denial or disbelief at the time. This has occurred no matter how tactfully and compassionately the information was conveyed. In my experience, truth is one of the LAST things some people want to hear, even if delivered gently and kindly. It’s a tough road to travel, but it can also be incredibly rewarding. When it’s good, it’s terrific. You can really do great things for a client, and lighten their burdens tremendously.
My biggest issue has been shielding myself, and staying detached. It’s hard for me to keep from getting way too involved, which is why I periodically feel impelled to stop and take a long break to clear myself. I am always drawn back into it, though. Old clients and other readers keep asking until I give in and start again. The gift insists on being active and useful. It’s a calling that won’t be denied.

Written By Fern
on December 27th, 2010 @ 5:31 pm

I’d suggest that instead of asking:

“Can I do an excellent reading even if I am tired, or hungry, or in a bad mood?”

it would be better to ask something like,

“Do I have the self-awareness to know when I am in the right space to do readings? Am I able to work around times when I may be tired, ill, ungrounded, or otherwise unfit to do readings, and to be honest about this with myself?”

We are all human and experience times when we are not on top of our game. Going pro does not require perfection, just the ability to know ourselves and know when to say “no” (or “later”) to a reading request.


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