Tuesday, 2 July 2013

What You Should Know Before Becoming A Tarot Reader

The Road To Becoming A Tarot Reader

These few years, Tarot took me on a journey that involved immersing myself in various courses related to Tarot, Numerology and Astrology.  I had also the privilege of learning from some of the most experienced in their field and amongst them, some have become my mentors who were and still are critical to my growth as a Tarot reader.  

As my journey evolved and I ventured into doing more Tarot coaching work, my Tarot world opened another dimension of new knowledge that I never got in my Tarot books and courses.  While I had so much rich information about Tarot interpretations, Tarot spreads, numerological and astrological correspondences with Tarot, the one thing that I never quite got from my Tarot mentors, books and courses was what I needed to know before I became a Tarot reader.

So this blog post is dedicated to my protégés who had put that question to me recently.

What You Should Know Before Becoming A Professional Tarot Reader

1)  There Will Be Skepticism From Others:
“Where did you park your broom?’, “Is it black magic?” I was often asked these questions which might be offensive at first but I had become accustomed to them.  Just remember, skepticism is often a result of lack of understanding of what you do.   It happens in every career choice one might make.  When I was managing digital marketing, someone asked me if I was in IT.  As a Tarot reader, you will face the same questions.  The one I hated most was, “Are you a Fortune Teller?”  No we are not.  It did not help that the lack of professionalism of some “quack” Tarot readers in the past had given genuine Tarot readers like us, a bad name.

After months of emotional turmoil when people questioned what I did, true to my Public Relations training, I crafted a “holding statement” to explain my passion to them by saying “ Like the many talents and unique gifts the Universe might have given you, I was given a gift to help people who are opened to asking for my help.”
Like me, in time, you would no longer be bothered by the skepticism, particularly because you would have built a lot more confidence in your skills through the years.

2)  You Will Be Skeptical About Yourself:
What is worse than facing skepticism from others, is facing skepticism from within you.  Have you had moments when your rational mind come in the way of your intuition and you ask, “What science is this?”  I used to ask myself this question quite often at the start of my journey.  You would need to remember that a healthy dose of skepticism is really okay. As you spend more time practicing your readings, you will be more confident with your skills.  Do not let anyone talk you out of the fact that you can grow the depth of your intuition.  Really, you can.  It is through a good mix of consistent practice, calming your mind and focusedness that you tune better to your inner consciousness.
3)  You Will Encounter  Different And Sometimes Extreme Opinions:
Different Tarot readers have different styles of reading.  Some might use a Significator card, some might not.  Some might combine it with astrological or numerological significance, some might not.  Along with the different styles of reading Tarot, there are also different interpretations to a single card.  It all depends on the question, the client you connect with and what your intuition tells you.  My advice is to go with your gut and be prepared that one day, with the same Tarot spread, to the same question, another reader, might interpret it differently.  Ultimately Tarot offers the client options with which he or she makes choices to influence his or her own outcome.  There is no right or wrong interpretation to a card.

I remembered that when I contributed an article about a Tarot Spread I created for a reading, a reader of that article started a string of comments beneath that article arrogantly pushing his point that I might be off the mark with my reading and that it should have been interpreted in a different way.  That behavior does not bother me now, and I hope it should not bother you if you encountered the same.  You will definitely meet Tarot Nazis along your path from time to time.  Personally, I feel that these Tarot Nazis lack the humility and grace of a true Tarot reader. 

However, in a normal day to day life, I am sure you do come across different types of people.  I had personally encountered a “Beef Bourguignon Nazi” who claimed my Beef Bourguignon was not authentically French enough.  Honestly, it was only a bloody beef stew.  How difficult can it be to whip up a beef stew?!  I comforted myself then in the knowledge that extreme views come from one with an empty soul.
4)  You Might Need To Make A Stand About Getting Certified Or Not:
Closely tied to the last point, you might be thinking of raising the bar on your Tarot reading skills by getting yourself certified.  I got myself certified with the Tarot Certification Board of America.  However that was a choice I made to treat it as a personal challenge.  Whether you get yourself certified or not, that is not important.  Your purpose as a Tarot reader, your experience, and the practice you put into sharpening your skills do matter. 

A few months ago, as I was actively involved in a Tarot community forum, a fellow Tarot reader took issue with me about certification.  She said, “Who cares about certification?  I have got 30 years of Tarot reading experience under my belt, it is better than any certification one might have.”  I defended my certification as a personal choice.

You see, it takes all sorts to make this world.  So when you do make a stand about whether or not you want to get certified, please ensure you approach it with humility and grace.
5)  You Will Need To Be Generous With Your Time:
As a Tarot student, be prepared to put in the hours to improve your Tarot reading skills and to build your confidence level.  It is no use sitting at home just learning to interpret Tarot cards on your own without anyone to practice it on.  I would strongly recommend that you volunteer as a Free Tarot Reader within a Tarot community as it offers you the opportunity to practice your reading skills in exchange for feedback.  To volunteer your time and skills, do visit Tarot websites like www.biddytarot.com or www.freetarot.us
6)  You Might Need To Learn To Say No When Necessary:
As a Tarot reader, you will often encounter friends and family who might ask you for a reading.  That would be a good opportunity to practice your skills.  So be generous with your time when it allows you more opportunities to practice your reading. 

However, where you might want to draw the line is when you are faced with a needy querant, who might call you at odd hours to ask for an “urgent” reading.  Perhaps a querant might insist that you provide a reading that could unwittingly cross the line of professionalism and code of ethics, like a reading on legal issues, or a reading about the thoughts of a third party. 

You might also meet querants who could bring a lot of negative energy into your space and provide you with nasty feedback because they did not like the messages that the Tarot cards had unveiled at that time.   Sometimes, these querants might ask you to do additional readings in the hope of forcing the cards to unveil more positive messages.  We all know, Tarot cards do not work that way.

For such scenarios, do learn to say no.  You should not do a reading for a querant who pushes you beyond your level of comfort.

7) You Might Feel Uncomfortable About Charging For A Reading Even When You Are Ready:
When you have finally decided to “go pro”, do decide on a reasonable amount you would want to charge for your readings and go ahead to do it.  Like any professional skill, you might want to charge for a reading because you have put in so much time and effort into serving your client. 

When you have made a decision to do so, I would urge you to not feel uncomfortable about charging for a reading.  I was uncomfortable for a long time and kept offering free face-to-face readings to strangers who had heard about my Tarot reading skills via word of mouth.  In time, I learnt that when they paid me for  a Tarot reading session, it was like a fair exchange of energy because I had put in a tremendous amount of spiritual and emotional energy into each readings.

8)  You Might Feel Exhausted From Time To Time
Be realistic.  When you work in a regular corporate job, you could get burnt out from time to time due to the corporate stress and work load.  Tarot reading is no different because of the amount of spiritual and emotional energy spent on each reading. 
When you do get exhausted, take a step back from all the readings you are currently doing and spend some time meditating and grounding yourself.  I do that before and after every Tarot reading now, so that I can recharge myself for the next client.  I can attest to the difference it makes to my readings.

A Message From A Muse

This list of things you should know before becoming a Tarot reader is by no means exhaustive.  I am sure fellow professional Tarot readers could add even more useful insights.  However, I thought the most useful insight might come from Tarot itself, so I shuffled and picked one card to find out what additional advice I could offer to aspiring Tarot readers.

I picked the Page of Cups from my Morgan Greer Tarot deck created by Bill Greer and Lloyd Morgan. 

Typically, the Page of Cups represents the beginning of a creative project.  The image on this deck depicts a boy holding a cup and talking to a fish inside it.  The fish is a symbol of his inner consciousness and it’s appearance depicts the flash of inspiration the Page got from his inner consciousness.

The Page of Cups is an advice to aspiring Tarot readers to listen to your inner consciousness and give free reign to your creative spirit.  It encourages you to be creative in your spiritual journey.  Just as there are many styles of reading the Tarot, there are also many ways to bring Tarot to the people who matter – the querants who come to you for your help and support.

The Page of Cups represents youthful pursuit of spiritual knowledge.  You will find that there is so much more out there to learn, even when you have 30 years of Tarot reading experience under your belt.
The Page of Cups encourages you to trust your intuition.  You are given the gift of intuition for a purpose, so nurture it and use it well. 

Most of all, like the Page of Cups, do enjoy your spiritual journey and be enriched by the lifetime of bountiful experiences it will bring.

About The Writer:

The writer of this blog post is a marketeer by trade, and a tarot card reader by accident. She obtained a Certified Professional Tarot Reader qualification from the Tarot Certification Board of America (TCBA) and is also a certified numerologist.  She currently runs a Tarot consultancy called Sun Goddess Tarot, based in Singapore. A member of the American Tarot Association (ATA) and the Tarot Association of the British Isles (TABI), she is also endorsed as a reader for the Free Tarot Network and is a mentor for the ATA.   She can be contacted at www.facebook.com/SunGoddessTarot or www.sungoddesstarot.com

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