“I'm not really sure how this works.”
This is often the first thing a client says to me when we meet for the first time. I get it. While I often joke that tarot is the “gateway drug” to unconventional spirituality, it can be intimidating to see a professional spiritual worker! Questions of “how this works” to even what kind of service to choose are landing in my inbox so frequently that I decided to write a guide to how one can get the most out of their time with a professional tarot reader, including how to choose the length of service, and what one can realistically expect. Of course, this is going to be biased towards my perspective, how I read, and what I offer, so please remember that you may have different experiences with different readers.
1. Be clear about why you are seeking a reading…but be open to whatever comes up.
I personally think we should always seek divination with purpose. However, that doesn’t mean it always has to be serious and solemn. While it is helpful when clients come in with specific areas of concern, such as career or relationship issues, I also love it when clients come in saying, “I just thought this sounded interesting and fun!” or “I feel like I’m at a crossroads” or “I just felt called to make this appointment.” These are all valid reasons to seek spiritual guidance.
That said, you’re going to get the most out of your tarot reading if you don’t try to dictate the specific messages that come up. If you come to a tarot reading wanting guidance on your love life, but your cards are hyper-focused on something going on at work, trust that information is likely coming up for a reason. I like to say that life is the ultimate long con. We never know how addressing one area in our life will open pathways in another. A more experienced reader will almost always be able to bring the reading back around to the client’s original question, but you’re going to get the most out of your experience if you can remember that – to cringey quote the Rolling Stones – you can’t always get what you want, but sometimes you get what you need.
2. You (usually) get what you pay for.
This statement has layers.
First off, let’s talk about what you get for the time you pay for. I will use my own services and how I read as an example.
If you have a targeted question, are seeking general guidance, or are not much of a talker, a 30-minute tarot reading is likely going to be plenty of time for you to have a great tarot reading. Thirty minutes also tends to be good for someone who has established rapport with me and is coming in for a “check in.” However, if you are on the chatty side, have multiple questions, or a messy situation you are wading through, you are going to get the best reading if you book an hour. If an hour-long tarot reading is not in your budget, you are going to get the most out of your 30-minute reading if you think through your questions ahead of time and plan to do more listening than talking.
Some of my clients are very introverted, have schedules that don’t match my availability, or have tight budgets. For these folks, I have an email reading option. When you are sitting together in spirit, you don’t need to be sitting together in a physical room…or even sitting together at the same time!
For email readings, the client sends some basic information about what they are seeking guidance on, and I send them a picture and audio recording of their reading. I have some clients who only work with me this way. The downside is that we can’t have a back-and-forth conversation, but the upside is that I can focus solely on what I perceive from the cards. I also offer seasonal email readings at the New Year, Valentines Day, and coming up soon – Samhain.
Lastly, you need to remember that experienced tarot readers charge more. Full stop. The reading you would have gotten from me in 2016 when I charged $1/minute just wasn’t as good as what you’re going to get from me in 2023, That said, if you encounter someone who hasn’t been reading for long and they are charging as much as someone with decades of experience, make sure you vet them by asking around and looking into their experience and education with the tarot. And please, for the love of all that is good and holy, never, ever, EVER respond to a reader that slips into your DMs on social media. Those are scammers. No reader worth their salt would do that.
3. “Can I record this?”
Sometimes, it’s hard to absorb everything that comes up in a reading. I personally allow folks to record their readings with me, as long as they promise to keep them for personal use (i.e. don’t share them publicly). Now, while I allow this, that doesn’t mean that all readers will. Remember to ask before recording and respect the boundaries of the reader you are sitting with. If the ability to record is important to you, ask prior to booking an appointment.
4. Do your work and wait before getting another appointment.
I saved the most important tip for last, my loves. When you have a really good tarot reading, it can be a rush. You feel seen. You get helpful insight and suggestions for your next moves in the world. You are ready to take on the world. Then reality sets in and you realize what those next moves will require. Perhaps it’s patience, uncomfortable work, and difficult conversations. I am so proud when I see my clients’ lives transform after they take the steps outlined in their readings. That transformation rarely happens overnight and it’s not without effort. Unfortunately, there are also folks who choose to skip the “taking action” part and opt to seek the high of another reading instead.
For me personally, I require that clients wait a minimum of two months in between tarot readings with me. Think of it this way, if we do a reading on how you can be most successful in the next three months and you come back for a reading in two weeks, how is that going to be helpful? It will likely just leave you feeling confused or it will just reiterate exactly what we talked about already. The only exception I make to this rule is if something dramatically changes in your life, you have a very targeted question that is different than what we already discussed, or you are seeking additional guidance after having a shitty reading from someone who left you feeling scared and disempowered…more on THAT topic another day.
That’s it for now, my friends! This is the first of a series I will be writing on how to get the most out of professional spiritual services. Keep an eye out for another post on mediumship sessions, which should be coming in a week or so.
If this inspired you to book an appointment with me, my schedule is open for September! If you like my writing style, you may enjoy my new Patreon, the Curiosity Coven, where I share quarterly blog posts and monthly collective tarot readings and mini-lessons on divination, spirit communication, and leading a magical life.