Your journey into professional tarot


My Opinion

I must admit when you said i know my cards sort of it made me cringe just a liddo not because of anything but it reminded me of a client i had recently who came to me from word of mouth and when reading was done he was taken a back stating he had gone to someone before me that gave him a chaotic reading, meaning they did not understand the cards and seen the death card-which was his first card i pulled out but he was told to be careful with a car accident "he was traumatized" as many of us drive. My point is you must become one with the cards, understand each and every single one of them before even proceeding to interpret as a whole/ with other cards. My teacher of initiation first told me long time ago, read study as much and also provided me with her personal notes in her spell book that through the years when she was learning she wrote...i did the opposite! lol she gave me my first deck and as my moon in aquarius self did not study books, her personal notes etc but every night i would meditate on one card at a time id study it listen to what it told me, what came to me and so forth. Once i got really comfortable with the cards which took me about 5 months i then began to study, research. I am a Sun Capricorn and Moon Aquarius i'm very practical but must feel free to do what feels right to me. In my opinion practice a little more before you charge always keeping in mind that words are power and when we speak about something we don't truly understand to someone whose life is the subject, can be altering and effective greatly. I hope this helps you a bit and ignites the passion within you to open your heart to the universe that is the tarot and allow it to flow and unfold before you. Light and Love


My Tarot path has been similar to many others. I started studying the Tarot in about 1992. Did my first reading for a "stranger" in 1993. I have continued studying and reading for people ever since (with a few hiatuses). I am still not asking for money for readings, but I have the luxury of having a fairly well-paying job which often allows me time to study and do short readings. I personally consider that my "payment" for these, otherwise free readings, is the experience that I gain from them.

I also agree that shorter readings for people is the way to go till you've built up your ability. An hour-long reading can be exhausting. For now, get the word out to any friends or family who are open to having readings, that you are available and the readings are free so that you can get the experience.

Another way to build your skill and stamina is to take your Tarot deck along when you're invited to a party or other similar fun gathering. I've done a lot of readings at parties, the positive and fun atmosphere makes readings flow pretty good for me. Keep the readings short, 3 to 5 cards, and you'll get a feel for what it's like to do a lot of readings for a lot of different people.

In the meantime, when you're doing an individual reading and if it's okay with your "client", write down a few notes. At the very least write down what cards came up so that you'll have something to refer to later on. Writing things down helps the learning process.

My personal plan/hope is that after I retire (probably in 5 more years or so), I'll be able to start doing readings for pay. At the very least have a "tip jar" out if I continue to do free readings.

[ETA] I just realized the original post was from 2009. I wonder how that original poster is doing with the Tarot?


[ETA] I just realized the original post was from 2009. I wonder how that original poster is doing with the Tarot?

Yeah, reprising the thread I'm curious, too. And about some of the people who contributed, who don't seem to be around any longer. :(

I thought I'd review my own comments to see how much I've changed in the inervening years, nd it's not a lot, really. I still believe it takes time - the going-past-of-raw-years, to get really good at this, and I still don't think it's fair on clients to go all professional on them if you're still having uncertain days or if you can't interpret every single card in the deck in any context.

I also remember how outraged I felt when I revisited a spiritual shop where I used to read a few times a week for several years, and they had a new reader sitting in the corner with a virginal, mint-condition deck, reading a book called "Tarot for Beginners" between clients, unknown to the shop owner who had taken them on in good faith and was charging top-dollar to the clients that they were learning on.

Who knows - maybe she was one of those instant tarot-geniuses - I know I certainly wasn't. But in the name of professionalism, shouldn't she at least take the time to study before taking on clients, rather than after?


I completely agree nisaba. Certainly, if I was paying for a reading and saw the Tarotist reading that book, I might just ask for a refund. More likely, I'd see the book first, and not pay for a reading.

As I've mentioned in other threads, I'm coming back from a hiatus of sorts. When I sit down to do a reading for someone, I let them know that I'm a "bit rusty", so the reading may not flow as smoothly or be as in-depth as I'd like. But I also make sure to tell them I'll do the best reading I can for them. But, I've been doing readings for friends and friends-of-friends ... and so far, they've all been very understanding. But, I'm sure not going to charge for a reading when there is even a slight likelihood that I'll flub it because I'm out of practice.


In a "profession" where there are no established standards or credentials, anyone can present themselves as an expert to the credulous. It's a case of the one-eyed man being king in the land of the blind. When I read for new clients, I always ask first whether they've had readings before. This helps me position the reading according to their ability to absorb the information without too much "Tarot 101" hand-holding. I stay alert for any signs of puzzlement and zero in on those points of interpretation until the clouds part and comprehension shines through. I guess you could say I work as much "with" as "for" the client, so it becomes a coaching event more than a dispensation of timeless wisdom. Even after decades, I still take the stance that I'm going to learn something new about client/card interaction every time I read, and that the reading is a "mutual voyage of discovery."

I still occasionally read beginner's books to see what the entry-level state-of-the-art is for modern neophytes (and because I'm a "sponge" for anything tarot-related). But it seems to be shockingly bad form to do it in a public-reading venue where one is presented as even a nominal authority on the subject. (I once had a doctor pull out a college textbook in front of me to validate a diagnosis.) If, on the other hand, entertainment is the goal rather than enlightenment, it may not be something that makes much of an impression on the casual observer.


Hey there Barleywine! I agree about the mutual "voyage of discovery". Every time I do a reading for someone, I learn more about Tarot and how it portrays and fits in with our daily lives.

I have also gotten in the habit, with new clients, of asking whether or not they've had a Tarot reading before. It does save on the blank stares a little bit if I explain my process beforehand. :D


I have so many questions about what steps I should be taking to become a good tarot reader. I don't know if I would quit my day-job and go 100% pro, but I'd like to do some readings on the side as a supplemental income. I just don't know quite how to get from point A to point B.

I started studying Tarot back in February after my first in-depth face-to-face reading. I was totally fascinated with it. I have a Grail deck and a mini-Nova deck, neither of which I use. My main deck is the Gilded. I know my cards...sort of. I've read the book(s), know the general meanings/energies of the cards but my understanding of some them feels very shallow or flat. Only one or two keywords comes to mind when they come up in a spread and I know that they could represent so much more than I currently understand of them. The Court cards are also a problem for me. There seems to be so many ways to interpret them and Í can't seem to get a grasp on them in my head.

I don't have much support for my hobby. One of the reasons I'd like to make a little money with it is because it would immediately cause my hubby to take it more seriously (He's my King of Pentacles!). I'm really feeling my lack of experience and I don't really have much feedback to go on other than what I can glean from AT (which has been of immense help!).

I'm sure you have all found yourselves in a similar situation, where you feel your growth as a reader was stuck. What did you do to break through your glass ceiling? How did you get past your lack of confidence? How did you deepen your readings? How did you survive those readings where nothing came to you? This is why I'm afraid to offer hour-long readings! I worry that I'll just run out of things to say.

I'm interested to hear your story. Tell me how you started, the difficulties you experienced (and still face?), your triumphs and tragedies, the things you learned the hard way, and the things you worried about that turned out to be nothing at all. What helped you become a better reader? Books? A coach/instructor? Reading for friends? Reading for strangers? What worked for you and what didn't?

I'm looking forward to hearing from everyone.


I'm still learning how to work as professional reader. the difficult thing that i face is how! no one will teach you how to talk , and work your reading..

there are lots things that i experienced,

like, someone ask you for a reading, then there are many questions here,

can you read the timing for the marriage with x. then i got reading said that there will not be x.

she say, oh, no, it doesn't resonate to me, because we are talking about marriage, I'm going to meet his parents,

what do you mean i need to be careful?

some people is like they want to hear what the way it is.

people who keep asking the same questions with different reader,

i even saw a question asking , a reader told me that he will not be my marriage partner, so can i take it as he will not be my marriage partner only currently?,


It seems really arrogant to me for someone to think that they can charge for readings as a professional when they've been studying less than a year. I've done some FREE readings for one friend as practice, but she knew up front I was practicing even though my readings were accurate for her. I even told her I was still using books to help me and she was happy with that. I know we need to practice by reading, but practice is what it is, it's not professional and surely nobody should be charged for practice sessions.

I can't study the cards as much as I'd like due to graduate school but I do do a lot of readings for myself and my friend. Most people I know think that tarot is evil so I don't have a lot of people to practice on as far as that goes. My Master's degree is taking three years of extensive study, I shouldn't expect any less from tarot. It's not something one can learn overnight.

I don't think people are being snobby about it, it's just that you can't pretend to be a professional when you are not. Well, I guess you can but you'll be found out eventually and make a lot of people look bad along with you. I'm not a pro so I have nothing to lose but it just simply is common sense that if you've been studying for less than a year, you're not ready.