“What do I need to consider about going professional as a tarot reader?” This is a question I’ve been asked several times recently. I’m still green in this endeavor – I’ve only been reading professionally for six months! It still feels weird to refer to myself as a “professional”, but I’m trying to get comfortable owning that label.
I am not going to put on airs and act like I’m more experienced than I am. But since people are asking, and it is a topic I enjoy talking about, I’ve put together four tips I’d offer anyone who is thinking about taking the plunge into going pro as a tarot reader. This is my honest perspective from where I am on my personal journey. I hope it helps!
1. Develop confidence in your abilities.
The very first thing to consider is how confident you are in your tarot abilities. Do your readings tend to flow smoothly or do you often go blank? Have you become adept at tying the cards together to form the overarching story of a reading?
This doesn’t mean you need to be perfect. I’ve heard people who have been reading for decades say they still get nervous sometimes! There’s ALWAYS more to learn about tarot. However, you need a solid baseline level of confidence in order to venture into reading professionally.
It is easy to under or over estimate your own abilities as a tarot reader. Actively requesting feedback from your querents is super useful in this respect. If you’re consistently getting positive feedback, this is a great indication that you have what it takes to ‘go pro.’
2. Define what “professional” means to you.
When it comes to tarot, there’s not a universal definition of ‘professional.’ Sure, you can take courses, join associations and earn certificates. But unlike other disciplines such as teaching and nursing, there’s not an overarching organization governing who can practice in the field.
This means you get to define what being a ‘professional’ reader means for you. Maybe it simply means you have a high level of confidence in your craft. It could mean starting a side business while you work a day job. You might decide that being a professional means studying business and devoting to making tarot your full time work. Or maybe it’s something else entirely!
It’s okay to take baby steps. Going professional doesn’t have to mean quitting your job and diving in to self-employment (which is, ahem, what I did). It’s important to move at a pace that feels good to you, but it’s also important to push yourself out of your comfort zone. Whatever you decide, remember that you’re a professional tarot reader because you say you are. It’s as simple as that!
3. Get clear on your reading style and ethics.
When you go pro you’ll need to convey your reading style to others. If you’ve been reading tarot for a while, you probably have a good idea of what kind of reader you are. For example, are you nurturing or no-nonsense? Do you specialize in certain topics (relationships, spirituality, career, etc)? Are your readings predictive or advice-driven? The more clear you are on your style, the better!
I strongly encourage you to write up your own code of ethics. If you’re not sure where your boundaries are, you will be flummoxed the first time someone asks you for a reading on a subject you’re not comfortable with. You can check out my personal code of ethics to give you some ideas, but I’m not saying my ethics are the one true way! You can uphold whatever ethics call to you. The important thing is identifying them and sticking to them.
To me, upholding a code of ethics is one of the true marks of a professional reader. Being a tarot reader is a big responsibility. People will tell you things they can’t talk to anyone else about, people will trust you to offer advice about their deepest issues. You want to be an ethical, trustworthy reader who helps bring tarot into a more positive light in the world at large.
4. Remember your big ‘Why.’
This might be the most important advice I have. Choosing to be a professional tarot reader is not for the faint of heart! Sometimes you’ll get funny looks when you meet new people and tell them what you do. Sometimes your mind will go blank in the middle of a reading. Sometimes you’ll struggle to find clients. When things get rough for me, remembering why I do what I do is essential. This keeps me optimistic and centered.
When I decided to go pro, I asked my cards what I most needed to know and I drew the Six of Cups. Staying in a good emotional space is crucial. Be generous and kind. Come from a place of pure, good intentions. Open your heart. Always remember that your readings are a gift to the world.
Regardless of what happens on your path as a tarot professional, by giving readings with compassion and empathy you are making the world a better place. Always remember that.
PS: If you’d like to have a one-on-one talk with me, I’d be happy to answer your personal questions and offer individual advice on your road to becoming a tarot professional. You can purchase a Skype session with me on my readings page and we can discuss your unique situation. We can do this as an actual tarot reading, or just a conversation. Whichever you prefer.
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