You have been studying the Tarot for years, practised on family and friends, who all gave you encouraging feedback, and now you are thinking of going pro – advertising your services and charging for them.
You will meet people, you’ve never met before, and suddenly that is making you feel a little nervous. Will you do a good job? Will paying clients be happy with your readings?
When on the threshold of turning your hobby into a business, it is normal to feel a little insecure about your abilities; after all, reading tarot cards isn’t an exact science. It depends much on your intuition and how well you connect with your clients.
At times you can feel like a performer, especially when you do corporate events and parties. Indeed, my insurance company files my profession under “performing arts”, so it is no surprise that some Tarot readers can feel stage fright
Here are some common issues I have come across, and over time have found my personal solutions, most of which involve a simple mind shift and learning my lessons. Perhaps some of them you have experienced, too:
1. At Tarot parties / corporate events, peoples’ reactions to your readings are mixed. Some are happy, others are dismissive, perhaps even ridicule what you do. They then reveal that they are sceptics anyway. Negative reactions can be disheartening.
My experience: Tarot readings for entertainment purposes need to be approached differently from regular Tarot healing work you do with clients, who approach you for guidance. You need to realise that people at parties and large events want to have fun, they have had a few drinks and expect some good old-fashioned fortune-telling. The last thing they want to do is have a therapy session. In addition, when you read for many people at an event amidst music, laughter and banter, you can easily get distracted and lose concentration.
Suggestion: Public events get most Tarot Readers nervous, and it is perfectly normal NOT to get it right for every person. They all have different expectations, which you cannot always meet. Rather than getting flustered by the noise and amount of people, take your time to tune in to each individual; yes, some will see you for the fun, but others will have some serious questions. Learn to interpret the cards in a light-hearted and witty way to entertain the sceptics and fun-seekers. Don’t take any negative comments personally. Detach yourself from wanting to give the perfect reading to everyone. Make sure you drink plenty of water during the gig to stay hydrated, and really try to relax!
If you tend to be a somewhat shy and introvert person, then busy party events may not be ideal for you; instead, you could focus more on small house parties with up to six people, who are genuinely interested in Tarot and other esoteric services you can offer, such as Reiki, astrology charts, angel readings, palm reading etc. You may find these type of events more rewarding.
2. When you offer free readings, they flow beautifully. You can easily tune in, and the client is delighted. But when you charge for them, you tend to freeze up and get panicky.
My experience: The moment you charge for readings, it’s easy to feel the pressure of doing a good job for your client and offering value-for-money. Perhaps you need to shift some beliefs around the value of your work. You may even have fear of failure, worry about negative feedback or you feel like a fraud, questioning your authority to be in a position of guide, healer and illuminator.
Suggestion: Learn to acknowledge that you ARE worthy of getting paid for your services. Offer a full refund on email/phone readings, which have been paid for in advance, if they haven’t gone too well. Knowing in advance that the client can ask for a refund, can take the pressure off. Likewise, at face-to-face readings let the clients know they only need to pay you at the end of the session, if they are satisfied with the reading. That takes pressure off you, too.
You could also start by asking for a donation rather than payment; this can be ideal, if you want to build your confidence. Fellow card readers have had mixed experiences with this approach; people do like to get things for free and are reluctant to pay voluntarily, so don’t take a non-donation as negative! And when you do get a donation, you know that you’ve done an exceptional job.
Always remember the positive feedback you have received; it is proof that you can do it! Keep going despite your fears, and your confidence will grow.
3. Negative comments and feedback
They do crop up, especially at the beginning, when you lack experience. Make sure you take them on board and learn from them rather than getting depressed.
My experience: Negative feedback most often relates to not being specific in a reading. Perhaps the client wants you to mention names, places or the colour of their granny’s car. But there can be all sorts of reasons.
One complaint I received a long time ago was about the number of cards drawn; the reading was basically fine and I was accurate, but I only drew 3 cards! The client expected 10 cards to be drawn…Duh! My lesson learned: communicate with the client in advance about their expectations!
On another occasion, my reading really sucked; I just couldn’t connect with the client. It happens. I’m not perfect and have bad hair days like anybody else. At least I’m not in a job where I could kill someone with my imperfection. My lesson learned: take it with dignity, apologise and move on!
Suggestion: It’s all down to communication. Make sure your client knows in advance about the type of readings you offer. Find out what they expect to gain from the reading. By all means, let them know how many cards your will draw, and of course how long the reading will take. In time you will learn how to handle a reading and being in charge of it. But a good reading doesn’t solely depend on you; your client needs to cooperate too, so there is no point in completely blaming yourself or doubt your abilities.
Remember to ask your client early on, if the reading so far makes sense to them, so you know you are on the right track. If you find yourself in a position, where you can’t seem to get it right, it is best to bow out gracefully and terminate the reading to avoid wasting any more time trying too hard. Believe me, it only happens very rarely, so don’t get hung about it when it happens.
4. Reader’s Block
The cards are in front of you, the client is waiting expectantly for your reading, but you can’t make sense of the cards at all.
My experience: Once upon a time, four court cards and an Ace in a five-card spread lost me. On another occasion, I found it hard to focus on the reading due to my own personal circumstances at the time. But I did manage to save both readings.
Suggestion: Don’t panic! Take a deep breath. Focus on one card first rather than trying to see the whole picture immediately. You can also avoid confusion and overwhelm by turning over just one card at a time rather than revealing the whole spread in one go. This way you can interpret each card separately, and once all the cards are turned over, you can read the whole spread and story.
Make sure you aren’t preoccupied with your own personal issues that can inhibit your mental clarity. Take adequate time before the reading to relax and ground yourself. If you have some major things going on in your life, then perhaps it would be best not to do the reading. Don’t let your client down by trying to do a reading despite feeling physically unwell or emotionally not up to it.
Overall, it is important to learn from your mistakes and not get discouraged by challenges, which I believe keep us humble and our egos in check! But whatever you do, don’t let your inner blocks and nerves hold you back.
What kind of blocks did you have to overcome, and how did you do it? What current challenges are you facing? Please share your thoughts in the comment box below. Love to hear from you!
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