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Tell me about your first paid reading!

Thread originally posted on the Aeclectic Tarot Forum on 16 Jan 2004, and now archived in the Forum Library.

Jypsie  16 Jan 2004 
I just wanted to share... =)
I feel so at peace... last night I did my first paid reading. OK, so it was only $5 and then I immediately went and spent it (on food) but it made me feel so much more confident!
I got home from work last night, and a friend of mine called me. He was at the mall talking to these girls and he had told them about me. And they told him they wanted to meet me and for me to read the cards for them. So I rushed to the mall, deck in hand, and proceeded to read for them, right there at the cash register at Spencer's. Not quite the atmosphere right? I thought it would rattle me. But I remembered the story Dorothy Morrison tells in Everyday Tarot Magic (if you haven't read that yet, you should... I liked it a lot) about her first paid reading experience and sucked it up and went with the flow. The cards cooperated, I didn't feel the urge to grab a book for help once, and was able to give them the answers they wanted!
Then I went home and performed the blessing ritual described in Morrison's book on my favorite deck... I haven't used them yet since, but I will tonight.
How did your first paid readings go? 

ros  16 Jan 2004 
I can't remember except for the first few I felt Guilty for taking the money. Then "put value on the things we value" I value the time I have spent to learn. Then I felt the we put out a lot of energy doing readings, so it got easier with both these thoughts. I know I do paid readings because I feel I do my best to council people with my knowing & they pay for our time also. It is like anything else, they will pay if they go to someone else. People will value your readings also if you are taking it seriously & by giving you anything they will not feel like they are using you.

Good Luck to you, there should be no stopping you now! 

velvetmirage  16 Jan 2004 
My first paid reading was an accidental surprise. I was at Tim Horton's having soup in a bread bowl (oh, that makes me hungry just thinking about it...) I had just bought the Whimsical Tarot and was looking and sorting through it, getting to know it a bit, when an older woman asked me if I read and if I would read for her. I said yes and the reading went really, really well (that deck is so much fun to read, it's really good for lighthearted readings). I didn't expect any money for it, but she gave me $10! I was quite surprised. Since then I've actually started to make a "career" out of reading, but that day was so cool. 

Logiatrix  16 Jan 2004 
Mine was at a local coffee shop, where I was hanging out with friends one night, just doing small readings for them as we chatted.
A woman about my age came by and asked me for a reading, which I thought was very cool (people just staring until I say, "What!?" unnerves me :D ), so I happily agreed to read for her.
I did a general reading, then a couple of smaller spreads on specific issues.
She was very receptive throughout the reading, and offered numerous times to pay me; I refused because I still felt like such a newbie, so it just didn't seem ethical to me.
I said, "Your payment to me is the invaluable experience you've given me by letting me read for you."
Then all my friends pounded on me when she left, for being such a kiss *** shmuck and not taking the money! :rolleyes:
Well, about ten minutes later, one of the coffee barristas came out to our table and gave me a twenty-dollar bill wrapped in a napkin.
The napkin said, "Thank you! Give your gift value."

Agathe  17 Jan 2004 
I took money for a reading once only. It was I think 2 years ago and I felt soooooo bad for taking the money afterwards. It was at my friend's house. I didn't feel comfortable at all and the person for whom I did the reading was eating something over my cards and crumbs of bread fell down sraight on my cards. I gave her a look but I don't think she got it. It was the most horrible experience I had when reading my cards :(. Then, for some reason, I didn't want to read cards for some time. I only hope that when I start doing it again, and I hope it will happen one day, I will be stronger to tell the people that they can keep their money but I will not continue the reading for them.

:( Agathe 

Diana  17 Jan 2004 
Jypsie: I am thrilled for you. And so pleased that you had the confidence to do this. Of course, it comes as no surprise to me that it went to smoothly. :)

I hope that you will have many more of these paid readings.

Can't share here about my first paid reading, because I have holes in my brain and I can't for the life of me remember when it was. But I do remember feeling good because I do believe that money has beautiful energy (the suit of Coins in the Tarot) and I just felt that it was "right" to receive something back for my troubles. 

TemperanceAngel  17 Jan 2004 
Oh gosh I remember mine so well, what a doosie.....
Tomorrow I with have my full energy to share and think I may find it very therapeutic as well :) XTAX 

Marion  17 Jan 2004 
I have only been paid for a reading once. And I was so shy to take money that in the end she just bought bought me a cappucino.
I was in the local metaphysical store in process of deciding to buy a new deck and chatting with the saleslady. They have paid readers at the store. I left the store and a small thin lady in what I would guess to be early 60's followed me. She said she had tried to get a reader appointment but they were booked and would I read for her? (she had overheard me chatting with the saleslady). She was, to put it mildly, tense. So we went for coffee, and the best I could manage was to let her pay for the coffees and I almost couldn't do that. I am sorry to report it didn't go that well. She was in that horrible situation, never worked, kids gone, hubby could care less and was somewhat emotionally abusive, would be poor and alone if she left him. Did the best I could. Queen of swords, 9 of swords, and not that well aspected either. :(

I still have not crossed that barrier for taking money because I don't trust my own skills enough to believe they are worth money. Hard to know how to get there though so many of you do it and it works well. Good to read the stories. 

Jypsie  17 Jan 2004 
I hate to hear you had such a bad experience. Don't be put off by someone else's ignorance is what I say! And hey, chin up! If it really went that bad and your querent was that disrespectful, you deserved the money just for having to put up with it, dear! LOL.

I too lack faith in my own skills sometimes. I have started reading for friends and family a lot, and that helps a lot with my confidence- when I can hit it right on target, especially. I did one last week though that totally shook me- I drew a complete mental blank and it would have been so easy for me to just give up right then and there. But I discovered my talent for Tarot completely, entirely on accident and now that I have it I'm gonna use it Gosh Darn it! Little side note- I discovered yesterday that my personal Talent card is the Magician (I never knew there was such a thing til I read Everyday Tarot Magic, as I mentioned above). Oooh, that helped my confidence a lot.

Everyone else-
see, now I feel like I should say something to everyone who has replied thus far! *sigh* Thank you all for your stories, they are inspiring me even more! I am so grateful for the encouragement I have found on the AT forum *GUSH* =) 

ros  17 Jan 2004 
Once you face your fears they disappear.

Good luck to you all, & let your fears disappear. If people disagree with your words let them study the cards!

Get Reading , move on down your path ! 

WolfyJames  17 Jan 2004 
I've never done a paid reading. My bestfriend told me years ago that I should give it a try, but I refused: I was just starting, I was using the book constantly for every card, I had no family members and friends to practice reading (except for my mother and bestfriend), and I didn't know anything about tarot, beside what was in the book that came with my tarot.

Now, I think I was right then to refuse to get paid, I was right to be embarassed by my newbieness and to refuse to have people pay for horrible and incomplete readings. I have evolved a lot since then, especially since I've been here (Aeclectic is a blessing!). I admit that now I'm not embarrassed anymore by the idea of getting paid. 

TemperanceAngel  17 Jan 2004 
I remember on the first day of my paid readings I worked in a shop in a little booth, it was very small.
A woman came for a reading because her friend wanted to, she wasn't that interested....
I put the cards down and thought to myself, 'How do I word this??'
I said to the woman, "There is something about your relationship that seems to be immoral?" (Instead of saying: your having an affair!)
The woman was shocked that the cards could say that.
She was a lovely person and her story was very sad.
Since that reading I have read for a lot of people who married the wrong person and stayed with them for up to 50 years, before being reunited with their 'true love.' Sometimes the true love is still in their marriage with the wrong person.
It taught me a lot, about how to approach a situation verbally. There is a big difference reading for friends or on the net to reading for a complete stranger with difficult circumstances.
I also learnt that people who are having an affair are not always lust-filled cheaters....
I find that clients seem to go in themes: situations, starsigns etc.
After this woman my clients over the next couple of weeks were all in 'immoral' relationships!

Osher  18 Jan 2004 
I learnt to read Tarot properly in a centre in London. As part of our course we would be introduced to paying clients. The clients paid a reduced rate, because we were students.

I can't remember much about the clients, fairly standard readings, except one man who didn't ask about love, but got straight to the point, and asked if he would have sex! Well, that was direct at least. 

Agathe  18 Jan 2004 
Originally posted by Jypsie
I hate to hear you had such a bad experience. Don't be put off by someone else's ignorance is what I say! And hey, chin up! If it really went that bad and your querent was that disrespectful, you deserved the money just for having to put up with it, dear! LOL.

Thanks so much Jypsie :).


sagitarian  19 Jan 2004 
Honestly, when I started, I decided to get mass experience by going down to the local deny's, hanging out half the night with my tarot cards out, and doing readings for free, but accepting tips. So my "first" paid reading, I honestly don't remember (it was 10 yrs ago or so). However, it was about 8 months ago or so that I started working as a professional reader at a metaphysical shop in my area. I do remember that I felt very odd, and even "bad" for accepting money for a reading. I've been doing readings for free for 10 yrs. It took some time to get used to the idea, but now I'm fine with it. I think what made me even more nervous then my first paid reading was reading for the store owner in my interview for the job...THAT was nerve wrecking! :) 

Jypsie  19 Jan 2004 
The thought of reading for a shop owner for an "interview" scares the hell out of me. There's a new metaphysical shop down the road from me now and I have been going in there a lot lately. The other day I went to go get some stuff for a spell and I wound up sitting down with the shop owner for a little while and talking about what our beliefs are about karma, psychics, magic, God(s), etc and I got really nervous when i told him I wanted to go professional with my Tarot readings that he might ask me to do a reading for him. Fortunately, he didn't, but i was quaking in my shoes for a minute. I will eventually ask him if he wants a Tarot reader in his store, but right now the shop's so new I just wanna wait it out and see how their business goes. I just try to patronize it a lot to help out, I'll spend more money in there than is really neccessary because I really appreciate the "ballsiness" of someone trying to do a business like that in our town! 

TemperanceAngel  19 Jan 2004 
Hi Jypsie,
Most shops want you to do a reading for the owner or staff first, that way they know your style etc. Most of the time it is not to see if you can read or not, but how you read :)
It is a bit daunting, but imagine how good you will feel once you conquer that fear :D Pretty damn good, I would think :)

Jypsie  19 Jan 2004 
=D You're probably right, TA.
I'm a chicken. 

Jen  26 Jan 2004 
Originally posted by sagitarian
Honestly, when I started, I decided to get mass experience by going down to the local deny's, hanging out half the night with my tarot cards out, and doing readings for free, but accepting tips.

Sagitarian - What an idea! I've never thought of this. Did many people approach you? 

MeeWah  26 Jan 2004 
I was always serious about reading & decided my time & ability have value. Started charging $1 - $1.50 per reading for the readings I was doing at my desk during breaks & lunch when I worked for a prominent Wall Street firm.

I noted that folks seemed to take me more seriously when I charged, though I am sure some were taken aback, even offended. I knew they would have paid far more if they went to anyone else. Dinna know of any readers other than there were readers at The Gypsy Tea Room, across the street from the main library in Manhattan. (Since fortune-telling per se was not legal, one had to purchase an order of tea & cookies whilst one sat with a reader/wait staff.) Back then, I used a regular deck of playing cards or Zolar's Astrological & Tarot Deck. 

Alissa  26 Jan 2004 
Originally posted by Jen
Sagitarian - What an idea! I've never thought of this. Did many people approach you?
As a witness to many said events, speaking in behalf of my real life little sister, I can say, without a doubt, yes. They sure do.

I've been on more than one Dennys excursion with my sister. All it takes is a person sitting across from you, enrapt, possibly in tears, and tremendously grateful at the reading's end, to generate more business. People take notice. Interested or skeptical, some more may approach.

It can draw the right kinda crowd, esp. when done late at night, weekends are great, preferably in the smoking area.

A buzz will spread, "Did you just get a reading from her? Was it any good? It's for donation, really?" This can keep a handful of people trickling up to you for a good hour or more.

I've seen my sister give a couple of readings outside a coffeeshop on Mill Avenue (for you Tempe, AZ knowlegable people) that lasted almost 3 hours. One more would walk up, while my sister and querent were sitting on the sidewalk.... Then two more, who both wanted readings.... More stop and listen, then pass down the sidewalk. Another stops, listens and stays in line.

Remember to keep it donation only when practicing on other people's property, such as a business. You can ask their permission beforehand, or you can do like my sis and I, and just do it.

Umbrae said, "It's easier to ask for forgiveness than it is permission." Sage counsel there. And, you can always pack up and go if the store owner gets angry or demands you leave. Another protective measure for reading at large is to become a Reverend. 

Imagemaker  26 Jan 2004 
I didn't get paid (or ask) but as for reading in a restaurant, this just happened to me on Friday.

A friend and I had lunch in a large seafood restaurant and I did a reading for her after the plates were cleared. Our waitress came back with the check and asked me to do a reading for her, then and there.

I said ok, but figured it better be quick or the cards would say "you're losing your job!" She did a fast shuffle of my pocket Rider-Waite as I said, "think of an issue you want to know about and cut the cards."

She did. I laid out 4 (issue plus 3 advice cards).
Issue -- 9 of wands
2 -- Hanged Man
3 -- Queen of Swords
4 -- Chariot

Going completely on "say it fast and trust," I said, "you're tired of this fight and are wounded."

Then I took a deep breath and launched into: "To get back in control and move forward, you need to see it from a completely different perspective, perhaps choose to sacrifice what you wanted. You have the power to decide how you look at it."

With 2 majors, I figured the issue was pretty significant. I hoped she was the Queen.

She nodded like she got something out of it, looked thoughtful, thanked me a lot, and got back to her job. I wondered if the issue was "should I keep working here?"

Eeek, I really hoped that reading was sensible. Comments, anyone? (I apologize to the moderator. I know this isn't the spread thread!) 

Jen  27 Jan 2004 
You know Imagemaker, I read your post yesterday and now I'm reading it again - and I just realized I had dream last night about laying out some cards in the way you mentioned above. Then I decided to lay out 2 more to line them up, 3 on the top row, 3 on the bottom. In the dream, the person next to me asked me why I wanted to use 6 cards instead of 4 and I said, "So I can line them up and see if there are any correlations between them".

In my dream the deck I was using had solid white backrounds - but what's interesting is that in this deck the minor cards were smaller in size than the majors, so the cards were hard to line up - I remember thinking, "Why did the author of this deck do this??" Then I went up to 8 cards and decided to take the tops (the flower part) of some fake flowers that were really large and place them at certain points where the cards met. Then I was thinking how pretty it looked and that I wanted to take a picture. :D

I think your interp was good. Reading on the fly can't be easy. It must have made good sense to her. With most people, if a reading doesn't fit, they'll either tell you or have a really confused look on their face. :) 

Imagemaker  27 Jan 2004 
Thanks, Jen! I felt pressured, both in awkward location, her waitress-rush, and not having a clue what her background or situation was. That's when I take a "trust leap" and just let the words come out.

Interesting dream you had. I always feel like I'm trying to make the minors fit into the reading :-) The majors are clear, then the minors add so many layers of interpretation and yes, they're about the "little stuff."

That's why I usually only draw a few cards for any question. 

sagitarian  28 Jan 2004 
Originally posted by Jen
Sagitarian - What an idea! I've never thought of this. Did many people approach you?

sorry to get back to this so late...smiles shyly...

YES i did (as my sister Alissa had stated). And they really did line up too. Before I knew it, I would be at whatever location (Denny's, mill ave, etc) for 3-6 hrs doing nothing but readings. In all the years I did this, I only had one incident when the manager came up and said, "I'm sorry, but we can't allow that here" (oddly enough, it was a denny's that I did this at on a regular basis, the manager was new). I politely asked him why, and he said "It's not really up to me, but according to the rules, there is not to be any card games in the restuarant". I shrugged my shoulders and said ok and packed them all up. A few nights later, went back to the same place, a different manager was there, asked if it was cool if we played cards, and he said "sure, I don't care".

Alissa did make an interesting point though, don't know if you smoke or not (I do, bad habit, I know) but it is a better turn out if you go into the smoking section, and especially on weekends. I went later at night (around 8pm or after) and sometimes stayed doing readings until 1, 2, 3 in the morning. Sometimes waitresses/waiters get interested, the night crowd on weekend nights, people of all ages come. I almost always take my cards with me too if I'm going to a friends party, and read for free. It's a great way to get a lot of practice, and some people will really want to give you something for it. I've been given rings, necklaces, stones, pictures, all kinds of things for doing readings. I tried to keep them all over the years, but after moving so many times, I think I lost just about all of them (unfortunately). I really try to value what they give me b/c they felt it was valuable to them, and gave something of value back (if that makes any sense). If you have any more questions or anything, feel free to page me or reply again, or start another thread or something. Hope this has helped, again, sorry for the long delay in getting back to you on that, and thanks Alissa for replying more promptly. 

Star Spirit  28 Jan 2004 
That sounds wonderful, sagitarian. Too bad you lost them all! :D

This thread makes me want to do in-person readings real bad. Unfortunately I'll have to wait until I move to a busier location. 

Jen  28 Jan 2004 
Thanks for sharing. When you read at Denny's what kind of spreads did you do? Were they mostly three card ones or did it vary? 

sagitarian  28 Jan 2004 
Originally posted by Jen
Thanks for sharing. When you read at Denny's what kind of spreads did you do? Were they mostly three card ones or did it vary?

No, it was a variation of the celtic cross, it's a 12 card reading at least. But if you do decide to do this, do what you feel comfortable with, i'm sure that some of them were 3 card readings, but mostly it was a celtic cross spread. I don't feel I know enough from just 3 cards, so if it's worth me doing a reading for, I do a full on reading. 

starsongs  29 Jan 2004 
I've had issues with taking money for readings like many of you said you have had. More recently, I've been able to accept payment, and understand this often makes the person you are reading for feel better as well...more of an energy exchange..

The first paid readings I did were at a local art fair in a beautiful park called Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park. It was in October...crisp clear air and trees painted with autumns' colors

I was participating with an artists group I'm a part of; we had a booth. I asked all particpating if it was OK with them if I did readings...they all said yes...Also asked the persons in charge of the event...they said yes...

and so I set up a card table behind our booth-space...which was right in a woodsy section of the park...under wonderful shade trees....and put up a sign in the booth..Tarot Readings, $5..with an arrow pointing around back...

The sign was rather small...I was putting myself out there but a part of me still was hoping no one would see the sign..LOL..several people suggested the sign should be larger; it was easy to miss...little did they know..hehe

Duing the course of the weekend festival I did quite a few readings, using the Ancestral Path Tarot. It was wonderful experience in a glorious setting. The people i read for gave great feedback, and sent their family and friends... that weekend I got over the fear of reading "live for strangers" as well...although I still prefer to read from a distance...

and do e-mail readings on occasion...

I've enjoyed reading all of your experiences as well... and seeing many common threads running through them...


lark  29 Jan 2004 
My Spirit Guide told me in a dream it was time to read for money.

I have a spirit Guide his name is Entwi Demala. (I don't know what that means)
I have met him in dreams and meditation many times.
He is a huge tall black man. He wears robes of orange, reds and yellows. The ends of the robes flare like flames.
He carries a staff with things tied to the top.
Always different things. Mostly things from nature shells, stones, skulls, plants ect...

He comes to me in dreams when he has something to tell me.
This particular dream led me to work at the Spirit Fair where I read for money now.

In my dream he came to my house with his Grandfather.
Entwi Demala was dressed in a beautiful suit, so was his Grandfather and his Grandfather carried a cane.
Entwi asked if I would do a reading for his Grandfather and I said yes.
I sat down at the coffee table and read the cards.
After the reading I stood up and went to my kitchen sink and started to wash the dishes.
Entwi came and stood next to me.

He said, "You need to ask for money now."
I said "NO this is a gift, I don't want any money."
Entwi Demala just started to laugh and pointed down at the counter top.
Sitting on the counter was a glass if water with ice cubes floating in it.
Frozen into the ice was money, and the ice cubes were gently swirling around in a circle in the glass.

That was the end of the dream.
I though about it alot after that.
I knew he was telling me that my talent was valuable.
That I should thaw out my opinion about taking money and the money would flow in to me.
But how.
And where.

A few weeks later we were in a city right outside of where we live and I saw a sign for a Spirit Fair.
We stopped and I went in.
I walk around among the readers and talked to a few.
I was particularly drawn to one young man. (And not just because he was cute!)
But, I didn't get a reading. I left.
I went shopping but I couldn't concentrate I knew I had to go back and get a reading from that young man.

So I did.
We talked after the reading and I told him I read too, we had a very nice conversation about tarot, and I went home.

A week later he called me.
And asked me if I would be interested in coming in for an interview.
He said he had never done this before, but he felt like he was being pushed to get me a table at the Fair.
If I was interested he would talk to the owner.
But he had to call me one way or another because he couldn't rest untill he did. (Entwi Demala can be very persuasive)
So I went for the interview, read for the owner, and got a job.
And the rest of the story is me reading at the Spirit Fair for money most weekends.
Guess I got those dollar bills out of the ice cubes after all.
Thank you Entwi! 

Jypsie  29 Jan 2004 
I'm getting over my fear. i've started doing readings kinda "on the fly" or out of nowhere for people. I was talking to my sister the other day and she was reading something for a minute, I just pulled out my cards and laid out a 12-card yin-yang (found on for my sister's relationship. She didn't know what I was doing, really. Then I looked up at her and said, "why are you so scared he will leave you?" I pointed out to her the cards I had drawn and told her what I had asked of the cards. On his side, I had drawn a 10 of Cups, the Empress, and the 2 of Cups. "He loves you very much and sees you as someone he can definately commit to in the long-term." All her cards showed fear of deception, being on guard. She didn't ask for the reading, but in just a glance at the cards, it led to an extended discussion and exploration of her relationship and the reading was very fruitful for the both of us. I feel now more comfortable interpreting with my intuition, not needing a book or reference.
Maybe my own ice will thaw soon... =) 

sagitarian  29 Jan 2004 
that is so awesome Jypsie! Hugs you tight. Congratulations! I'm so glad you feel you can leave the books on the side now, taking what you've learned with you internally, and reading with both the knowledge you've gained, as well as your intuition. I'm so glad the reading came out so well between you and your sister (I know my best readings are done with my sister)! 

Jypsie  29 Jan 2004 
Originally posted by sagitarian
that is so awesome Jypsie! Hugs you tight. Congratulations! I'm so glad you feel you can leave the books on the side now, taking what you've learned with you internally, and reading with both the knowledge you've gained, as well as your intuition. I'm so glad the reading came out so well between you and your sister (I know my best readings are done with my sister)!

YAY! =D 

celeste  29 Jan 2004 
This issue has started to really bug me. I love reading for people and am obsessed with tarot . I have been reading for free for people at work and for friends and only one person has ever paid me right away without asking "What do I owe you"? or "Do I owe you anything?"thereby putting me on the defensive and saying"Oh no nothing". I feel shy asking for money or an exchange of something else but lately I am starting to feel very resentful and taken totally for granted.
Last week a co-worker said to me "So when are you going to read for me again?" I agreed to do it today and use part of my break to do it-I didn't have to-I work close to home and usually go home on my lunch hour instead. She didn't show up. Finally, I tracked her down and said "What happened to you?"
She said"Oh, I forgot". I said "Well, If you buy me lunch I'll give you a big reading over the lunch hour instead of going home for the rest of it."

There was a palpable silence.

Seeing as she was too cheap to pay me I said again " I will do it tommorrow,but you better show up or forget it".
I was mad.
She quickly agreed and promised to remember this time.

I don't want to take advantage of anybody financially, thats why I was doing it for free,because these people were my friends and I did it out of caring for them and also because I enjoy it.
But I am beginning to think that people don't really value it unless they have to pay for it in some fashion.

I am still not comfoprtable asking for money for doing something that interests me and that I enjoy but the resentment is taking a toll on me. 

MeeWah  29 Jan 2004 
Celeste: 'Tis a fact that most folks do not value what they do not work for in some way or have to offer something in return. The opportunistic will take advantage of what they see as "free", though not all are necessarily opportunistic.

Ye may be serious about reading, but that may not be conveyed succinctly when ye make the self "too available". That the person "forgot" could be construed as not taking your time & your efforts seriously.

When ye offered to do a reading in exchange for lunch, it was not an unreasonable request. Ye were also empowering yourself & letting the would-be querent know how ye feel about yourself, your time &/or your efforts. In backtracking, ye set the self up to be taken advantage of again--although 'tis understood why ye may have felt between a rock & a hard place.

As this is bothering ye & will continue to, ye will need to set some kind of boundaries or limits but only ye can make that decision. Otherwise it will tend to impact the pleasure ye receive from reading let alone affect the reading process itself & the results.

What matters is what ye see as valuable--your time, your ability &/or what ye offer. Those who respect ye as a person, for who ye are, will understand where ye are coming from. After all, they would not look to acquire any other type of service for free. 

celeste  29 Jan 2004 
Your right MeeWah and I thank you for your reply.

I somehow have to get past the awkwardness of asking for payment.

This weekend I plan to print up some business cards and post notices of my services in the community. Somehow I think it will be easier (I hope) to read for strangers in terms of setting prices for what I am now certified to do.

At work if someone brings it up that they want a reading I am going to try to screw up the courage to say "I do this as a business now. If you would like a reading we can discuss the terms and you can think about it and get back to me".

How does that sound?

I'm not very good at the business end of this :( 

Jypsie  29 Jan 2004 
Celeste, you should read Professional Tarot by Christine Jette. I am reading it right now, and it is very helpful! I am also thinking about having business cards made soon, to give to strangers who I wind up talking to about Tarot, etc. 

sagitarian  29 Jan 2004 
GREAT idea Jypsie. I'll have to look into that book. 

sagitarian  29 Jan 2004 
Originally posted by celeste
At work if someone brings it up that they want a reading I am going to try to screw up the courage to say "I do this as a business now. If you would like a reading we can discuss the terms and you can think about it and get back to me".

How does that sound?

I'm not very good at the business end of this :(

yes, that would work (and congrats on you for considering this too!). You could also mention the price that you charge, saying I do this as a buisness now, I charge $1/min, 10 mins minimum,(which is how our shop does it) or you can charge a flat rate ($10, 20, 30 or more depending on what you feel is right).

On the side, I charge somewhere between 20-30 dollars. You can also offer to be available for parties, or if you know a friend throwing a party, say that you will be willing to do readings at the party, let him/her know what you need (a private, quite room, or a table in a corner, or a table set up facing a certain direction, what have you). Also let them know how much you will be charging. The way I do it is, (if I don't know the person well) I charge the host $20 to be there, the host recieves a free reading, and then I charge $20 per reading, 5 readings minimum. That way, I am covered with my gas, and I am guaranteed to make $100. Or you can charge $10 per reading, minimum 10 readings. In any case, just some ideas for you Celeste, if nothing else, things to consider if it ever comes up. Definitely make business cards though for your tarot readings! 

Jen  30 Jan 2004 
I think your ideas are right on. I've never had a friend take advantage of my readings - but if that ever started to happen I know I would start resenting reading for them too and probably dread it.

I'm learning as well, that it's important to set boundries of all kinds for this type of work. 

celeste  30 Jan 2004 
Thanks for al your comments and support. I was thinking of getting that book Professional Tarot (after I pay for the new deck and other book I recently ordered-lol).

I have some ideas what I would charge and its not outrageous either. Iv'e also considered advertising for parties too.

I think even if someone offered me a coffee at work to read for them, I would take that in trade-I'm not doing this to get rich.

The other day when my co-worker didn't show up, another one saw I had my cards and asked me so I read for her but I didn't feel angry or used as she had just given me a whole bag of clothes that fit me and I could use a couple of weeks ago.

So I think the idea of some equitable exchange has to go on-even if its not neccessarily money from those who know you. 

Imagemaker  30 Jan 2004 
Celeste, you bring up a key point for me in defining "friend"--those few (not my Significant Other) who are in a true, supportive exchange of energy and ideas with me, vs those friends who are more than acquaintances in our knowledge of each other, yet who seem rather defensive, subservient, or aggressive about our ongoing relationship.

The equal-energy partners are treasured! 

celeste  30 Jan 2004 
I agree.

I read for the first person who asked me today( the one who didn't show up yesterday.
She asked me for 3 yes/no question spreads-which I did for her on my break.
If this had been a stranger I would have charged them (or wanted to charge them ) $ 15(-1 dollar per card/5 cards in a spread ).
I told her I was starting a tarot business on the side and
she seemed to have wised up from yesterday and offered me clothes-(that I haven't recieved yet)I'm skinny and everyone gives me thier good-quality clothes that they can't fit into anymore,which is fine with me. (I exchange clothes with them too).

Also, a department head from another department overheard that I read cards today and asked for a reading after work. I said sure but didn't specify an amount. I think after the reading when she asks the inevitable question"How much do I owe you"? I will
say "What ever you think the reading was worth". She knows that I plan to make it a business as do several of my colleagues who know that I do this but because it isn't an "official" business as yet I hesitate to set down a $ figure especially as I said before, with co-workers.
Maybe I'm just a coward or afraid they won't like me anymore or something like that but I guess as long as I'm getting something in return(not neccesarily money) I can live with that for now. 

MeeWah  30 Jan 2004 
I keep business cards in my purse; occasionally carry them in a pocket. When someone expresses an interest, I just hand out a card & say, "Call me."

At my workplace during breaks I occasionally do mini-readings for co-workers; either with a small spread or based on their birthdate & Year Cards. I do not charge for this for a few reasons.

1. Even when I am not on company time, I prefer to avoid any hint of solicitation or personal gain on company premises.

2. This is a sort of "public service". Provides an introduction to what Tarot is. Many folks still have an ignorant view of card readings due to those who have given readers a negative reputation.

3. This advertises what I do & folks also get to know me as other than the trouble-shooter.

4. It helps weed out the riff-raff from those who could be potential clients. 

celeste  31 Jan 2004 
Those sound like good ideas. Mini readings are a good idea as I find there really is not enough time on awork break to explore some of the issues the tarot brings up.It sounds like you have it all in perspective.

I have to get to work printing those cards up! 

The Tell me about your first paid reading! thread was originally posted on 16 Jan 2004 in the Talking Tarot board, and is now archived in the Forum Library. Read the threads in Talking Tarot, or read more archived threads.

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