Goodbye Facebook, Hello Patreon!

goodbye facebook hello patreonSocial media has undergone massive change over recent months.

It’s all about monetising the platforms for shareholders and making the algorithm work in such a way that without paying for adverts, a lot of creative work offered for free is no longer seen.

For me as a creative person running my small spiritual biz it has been quite a frustrating development.

I kept asking myself how can I make my free offerings more visible, so people can benefit from them?

While I was experimenting I noticed that the algorithm likes it, when I post more and more.

For me that means information overload and quantity over quality, which in the long term is unsustainable and in the end doesn’t help the people I want to reach and serve.

So, I have stuck to my own rules and only post, when I feel it is truly useful for my clients and followers.

This has resulted not only in a reduction of reach but also in a reduction of people’s attention span and interest.

There is so much fantastic information out there for free on all the social media platforms that it can be hard to keep up with it, so more and more people simply switch off.

I wholeheartedly believe that less is more.

Why trailing through all the social media jungle when you can have useful and inspirational resources and guidance in just one place?

A place where no algorithms dictate what you can see and control your viewing experience with silly adverts thrown into the mix?

Patreon has been around for a while, but I have just now taken the plunge and created my space on that wonderful platform.

I really like the idea of Patreon, which is based on the medieval system of arts patronage, in which royalty would sponsor artists, philosophers and scholars.

This contemporary interpretation of patronage and sponsorship provides an opportunity for anyone to support content they love on a monthly basis.

Patreon isn’t free, but it means that creators and patrons alike are treated as human beings and not commodities.

Many people expect to get everything for free nowadays, and a certain amount of free is certainly perfectly okay.

But free comes at a price.

For creators, this can be a draining experience. ten of wands cosmic faery tarot

For consumers this means less quality content and more bombardment of advertising.

I’ve seen many inspirational creators burn out while trying to keep up with algorithms, and how do adverts popping up in the middle of youtube videos work for you?

It is time for all of us to question free platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and consider how we consume information on the internet.

If you are enjoying quality content that you find helpful on your spiritual journey, how would you feel about contributing towards it with just $1 a month?

If that monthly $1 subscription would offer you access without adverts and you never miss anything.

If that $1 can give you a multiple return in additional bonus content, generous discounts on products and services, even freebies that are totally unsustainable to provide for free.

This isn’t about making money; it’s about taking back control and building a sustainable foundation for me as a creator in return for just a tiny contribution.

I feel it is time to make a difference and kiss those free social media platforms and their manipulations goodbye and focus on getting back to basics – a fair and healthy exchange.

At the same time, accessing my offerings becomes more efficient and straightforward.

No longer will you need to search my social media sites and get lost along the way.

You can even choose to receive notification when new content has been posted.

On that note, I invite you to support me on Patreon. Your sponsorship would make a huge difference and would be so much appreciated.

The more patrons I have, the more I can offer in return.

I look forward to welcoming you as a patron, and if you have any comments or questions, please don’t hesitate to post them in the comment box below.

Warmest wishes,

Christiane

 

Going Pro: Overcoming the Madness of GDPR and HTTPS

the madness of gdpr and httpsIf you are running a business website or blog, then you will have come across the latest internet craze shaking up the virtual world.

First, we had to come to terms with spending extra money on SSL certificates, so Google would still pay us some attention.

When Google announced this move back in 2017, I lived in denial until now, last minute before my website would be condemned as ‘not secure’ and tossed into the ether’s garbage bin.

As if that wasn’t enough, the European Union has come along with the new general data protection regulation (GDPR).

Again, after a long period of denial and confusion, the whole internet world has gone bonkers in recent weeks flooding their subscribers with compliance and new opt-in emails.

We can all learn from the EU how to create an email spam virus.



But hey, I understand the reasons behind those new rules and regulations, so now you can check out my updated privacy policy and enjoy the cookie notice discretely placed at the bottom of my website, which you need to accept, otherwise it will stay there and irritate you for as long as you are browsing my virtual space.

Sorry about that, but they made me do it! Laughing

For a Piscean creative like me it has all been a bit of a fluster cluster, so the only way to calm myself down was to escape into the real world of gardening, socialising, art journaling and paper crafting.

I have even resurrected my Manifesting Change Empowerment cards (oh the irony) and made a YouTube video about them:

Watch the video for download info and light entertainment distraction, or go directly to my freebies page and find the link there.

That’s also the place, where you can now subscribe to my GDPR compliant Cosmic Newsletter <wink>.

So here I am, feeling like the Nine of Wands – exhausted but still standing!

Warmest wishes,

Christiane

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3 Mistakes to Avoid as a Tarot Reader

mistakes to avoid as a tarot readerWhen you begin and progress on your journey as a professional Tarot reader, you may look for advice and inspiration from your peers, usually found on their websites and in online networking groups.

Although it is helpful and enjoyable to engage with your fellow readers, I have noticed over the years that there tends to be a herd mentality, which can have the unfortunate effect of self-brainwashing.

I do understand that when you start as a professional, you are looking for all the help you can find to get yourself established, but at one point it is important to find your own way and think your own thoughts.

From that herd mentality and the resulting self-brainwashing, try to avoid the following three mistakes:

1. Being judgemental and presumptuous

Many tarot readers claim they are non-judgemental and objective, but are they really?

When readers announce in their blog posts that they refuse to read on repeat questions, or they “have to” rephrase some of their clients’ questions, then in fact this sounds pretty much judgemental. They seem to judge their clients’ situation based on these issues.

And when you read about their reasons why, then it seems that most of them are based on assumptions and speculations, such as the client obviously hasn’t moved on, or why are they asking me such a self-restrictive fortune-telling question? I can teach them how to do better...

When one tarot reader complained about clients requesting several readings from various readers about the same issue, it sounded like that client almost committed a criminal offence.

Of course the reader refused to do the reading, and I will probably get shot by the tarot ethics police when I admit that I have no problem submitting my reading when asked and getting paid for it, too.

Why? I hear you ask. Well, because every client has the right to spend their money on what they want. They can invest it in a huge DVD collection, or they can ask several readers for advice on how to handle and deal with a situation.

Everyone is entitled to second opinions, which doesn’t necessarily mean that they feed a habit or live in denial. And being in denial is nothing to feel ashamed or bad about. Denial is often part of the grieving process.

If I hadn’t asked another doctor for a second opinion many years ago, I would have been dead today.

When you need help resolving an issue, you may ask several people for their advice. In the end, you evaluate and make up your own mind. What’s wrong with that?

Not every client in this position is a tarot junkie.

The antidote to being judgmental and presumptuous is unconditional open-mindedness and acknowledgement that anything is possible. Avoid generalisation. Treat each client as an individual with their own unique issues.

2. Being a copy cat

When you are in awe of fellow tarot readers’ fabulous websites and blogs, it can be tempting to emulate them and inadvertently ending up being a bit of a clone.

How many unboxing videos are there on YouTube now? Who has time to watch them all? Are you sure you want to spend / waste time adding to that pile?

How many thousands of websites are out there offering tarot readings? How is yours standing out to get noticed? It doesn’t help to copy another website’s colour scheme or stock photos.

It’s even worse copying their products or services, such as courses and ebooks.

Last year I noticed that a big name in the tarot business had copied the concept of my Tarot Moon Journal, which I first published in 2012.

My creation was given a different title and a once-over in corporate colours, but I know mine is the original and best, like all original ideas usually are.

The antidote to being a copy cat is to find your own style, your true and authentic voice and create unique offerings with your personal touch.

3. Following the Tarot herd

  • you don’t need to have a huge tarot deck collection
  • you don’t need to join the latest social media platform, because other tarot readers do (what on earth is Periscope?)
  • you don’t need to condemn a fellow tarot reader solely based on accusations from another tarot reader. Tarot readers can be highly strung at times. Best to avoid this kind of drama – and judgement! Be fair and kind rather than part of a tarot mob.
  • only because one reader claims that they don’t read reversals doesn’t mean you shouldn’t either. Whatever works best for you really counts.
  • contrary to popular opinion, you can still use Tarot for fortune-telling, if that’s what you want to do
  • you don’t need to be constantly on social media. Switch off to think for yourself and generate your best ideas
  • you don’t need tarot certification
  • you don’t need to bombard the world with masses of tarot deck reviews, complicated spreads and tarotscopes. Instead, why not create a Best of… list linking to your favourites you found on other people’s blogs? Better than rehashing what is already out there.
  • you don’t need to call yourself a healer only because it seems like the new buzz job title for tarot readers
  • not all third party readings are equal. Some of them are okay to do, others are not. Avoid putting them all into one bucket. Consider each one carefully and see how far you want to go with it.

The antidote to following the tarot herd is critical thinking, discernment and realising that less is more. Take a step back, observe and evaluate without worrying about your peers’ acceptance or rejection. It’s the age-old dilemma of fitting in versus standing out.

Deep down you are wise, clever and intelligent enough to avoid these three mistakes as a Tarot reader once you put your mind to it.

Yes, I have made some of the mistakes listed here, learned my lessons and began to focus on my own imagination, new interests and experiences outside the tarot world that have inspired me to create the crazy cosmic enlightening stuff on offer here on my website.

What about you?

Warmest wishes,

Christiane

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Going Pro: Why You Should Answer the Same Question Again

answer the same question again
The Cosmic Faery Tarot

Quite a while ago, I came across a discussion in an online tarot forum about querents asking the same question again and again, especially with regards to relationship issues such as breakups.

Many tarot readers were adamant that they refuse such repeat requests, as the querent has apparently “not moved on yet”.

I didn’t want to get into an argument, so I refrained from admitting that I was totally fine with that.

The simple reason is that I don’t assume anything, when I get a reading request.

Relationships can be full of drama, and I trust that my readings will reflect these issues and make the querent aware.

Relationships can be on and off. People meet, get together, split up, get back together again… and this can carry on for a while.

Yes, you may not think this is healthy, but it is not down to us to pass judgement and then refuse to help someone, who needs guidance.

Energies around the querent change despite the same question being asked, and this will usually be picked up by the cards you draw.

You may be answering the same question differently every time, even if there are just a few adjustments.

Usually after the third time of asking the same question, I offer the querent a quick phone consultation to establish what is going on in their life.

These conversations have always revealed the bigger picture of their situation and also how accurate my readings had been in the past relating to the issue.

Emotional turmoil can take some time to come to terms with. In that situation the querent may need reassurance, encouragement, a new insight or perspective.

The last thing I want to do is take the moral high ground and turn them away for asking the same question yet again. I see it as my job to support them with compassion and an open mind.

Is he/she coming back to me? Sometimes they do!

Life is not black and white.

We cannot expect love to follow a straight forward pattern or even make it so, because it is not always straight forward.

We cannot base our answers solely on our experiences or that of people we know. This is where we can get it badly wrong as professional readers, if we are not careful.

Only because my friend got back together with her husband after a two-year separation, that doesn’t mean everyone else will, or nobody else will ever get back together with their ex.

If they made the right decision is a different matter.

What counts is how you answer the question. How much you empower your client.

For some it is hard to move on, for others there is still unfinished business. And then there are those, who are being played with, who are confused and try to make sense of an ongoing saga.

They need someone, who can see the bigger picture from far, far away. Someone, who patiently answers their repeat questions, knowing that at one point it will create a positive shift in the querent’s mind.

It is all down to your judgement without prejudice to make the right decision when faced with repeat questions.

Warmest wishes,

Christiane

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Going Pro: Why You Should Avoid Posting Mainstream Tarot Images On Your Blog

ace of swords tarot of quotes
Cosmic Faery Tarot

If you are a professional Tarot reader hosting your own website, then you are probably aware of the usual copyright and fair use regulations, which you need to adhere to, so you won’t find yourself getting sued.

However, you might not be aware that most of the mainstream publishers of tarot and oracle decks, such as US Games, Lo Scarabeo and Llewellyn, expect you to pay them a licence fee, if you are monetising your blog, i.e. charging for readings or getting paid for other products and services.

This is important for you to bear in mind, if you regularly blog about decks (reviews, unboxing videos etc.), demonstrating spreads, posting tutorials or simply just post an image on your Instagram.

Perhaps you are thinking that this is covered under the fair use policy, but you need to realise that this is open to interpretation, especially if you are a professional using your website as your business hub.

Before you get yourself into a tangle and wonder, if you are a copyright criminal by posting a card of the day, here’s something very simple you can do:

Avoid posting mainstream tarot images on your blog and social media.

Personally, I have just quit this voluntary marketing position I held with the mainstream publishers for years promoting their decks, while all I get in return is threats of court action, because I am making a living as a Tarot reader.

I am sick of arrogant publishers, who defend their copyright very aggressively, antagonising their customers (a lot of them professional tarot readers!) along the way.



The solution is beautifully simple:

Collaborate with self-published artists, who love the opportunity to have their decks promoted while their images enhance and prettify your blog posts.

I don’t need to go into detail about how tarot blogs and social media have led to a considerable increase in deck sales, yet these publishers want us to pay for “product placements”.

What the big publishers seem to forget:

Professional readers, who have been in the business for years, run well-known blogs and have a big subscriber list, are influencers.

How many tarot or oracle decks have you bought, which were recommended by your favourite blogs or Facebook pages?

Here’s an idea:

It is time for Tarot readers to demand payment from the publishers to feature their decks on their websites. 

After all, it’s advertising!

If publishers wanted to run a TV commercial, they’d have to pay for it, so if I did a YouTube video review about one of their decks and demonstrate how well it works in a reading, then I want to get paid for it, too Cool

Perhaps you think I’m crazy, but as you know we sometimes need to let go of outdated attitudes and beliefs, the traditional thought process that says “it’s always been this way”.

To be honest, payment for me doesn’t necessarily mean money; a little gratitude would be enough, and – lo and behold! – a surprise gesture of a free tarot deck as a token of appreciation would send me over the moon.

But no, instead I have court action threats looming over my head in the form of the publishers’ “terms”. Not nice!

Heck, I don’t need to promote their decks. Instead I collaborate with people, who value my support and in return support me – win / win !

So, ditch those mainstream decks from your blog and start supporting self-published indie artists.

In my next post, I will introduce you to my Top 10 self-published tarot decks I love using on my website and social media.

Warmest wishes,

Christiane

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Going Pro: How To Say No To Giving Free Tarot Readings

how to say no to free tarot readings
Six of Pentacles, Morgan Greer Tarot

When you first start out as a professional Tarot reader, it can be tempting to offer free readings to attract clients, hoping they will pay for your services in the future.

Perhaps you even get requests for free readings via your website, and you feel inclined to help.

Or your friends keep asking you for free readings, and you feel taken for granted or your skills aren’t valued.

But offering free readings won’t pay your bills and rarely attract clients that are prepared to pay you for a reading later.

And only because you are a caring soul, doesn’t mean you can let people take advantage of you and turn your business venture into a charity.

I know there are some odd folk out there (sadly some fellow readers), who regard professional readers charging for their services with disdain.

They come up with lame excuses, such as you should offer your “gift” for free, however, these people are most likely financially supported in other ways, so they don’t need to charge for readings to make a living.

I also feel that people with such strong opinions are very judgemental, and it is best to avoid any discussion with them about this topic, as it is a waste of your time and energy.

Remember, what is most important is that you look after yourself and your business success, which includes being able to make a living as a Tarot Reader and feel good about receiving in exchange for giving.

So, how to say no to giving free Tarot readings with grace and in a kind, professional manner when you are asked?

First, you don’t have to apologize when you say no, and the only explanation you may want to give is that you do this work professionally and not as a hobby.

If you have a website, you can say:

  1. I’m not offering any free readings at the moment, but you can sign up to my newsletter to receive special offers and discounts in the future.
  2. I don’t do free readings, but fees for my email readings start at just £10.00, so there is something for every budget. Take a look at my readings page for more info.
  3. I currently offer a free mini reading, if you buy one of my ebooks (or other products you are selling)
  4. I currently offer a free one-card follow-up reading with every email reading you purchase.
  5. I don’t offer free readings, but check out my FB / Instagram for my daily/weekly readings I post there.
  6. I can offer you a free reading, if you agree that I can use it on my blog to share with my readers (your name will not be published!)
  7. I’m currently offer free readings on my FB page / blog using a brand new deck I bought, and I need to try it out before I use it for paid readings. All you need to give in return is your honest feedback.
  8. I’m currently running a Tarot reading giveaway on my blog, which you can enter by leaving a comment. There will be one winner, and perhaps you’ll be the lucky one 😉
  9. I don’t do free readings, but I can offer you a (%) discount on readings over £15.
  10. Have you thought about buying a deck and learning to do your own readings? You can find lots of free resources on my website to get you started with learning the Tarot.

As you can see, sometimes it is okay to say yes, as long as you receive something else in return that is of equal value to you.

Learn to feel good about receiving money for the work you do. Remember you are worth being paid for your skills and the time and effort you invested into developing them.

Warmest wishes,

Christiane

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22 Signs You Are A Professional Tarot Reader

leadership cosmic journaling oracle
Cosmic Journaling Oracle

There are many Tarot readers out there advertising and charging for their services, but are they true professionals?

If you are thinking of starting your own Tarot business, you can use this checklist based on the Major Arcana to find out what it takes to be a professional Tarot Reader:

0. The Fool

You never assume anything and treat each reading like a blank sheet of paper. You know nothing about your client, looks can be deceiving, and you are open to all possibilities.

1. The Magician

Before you carry out the reading, you communicate clearly with your client about how much you charge and the type of reading you provide.

2. The High Priestess

When interpreting the cards, you trust your intuition. You listen carefully to what your client has to say and observe body language. You may even have had some formal training in counselling.

3. The Empress

You nurture your clients by making them feel comfortable and giving them your full attention and compassion.

4. The Emperor

You are clear about your boundaries and stay in control of the reading. You are not pressured into answering questions you feel uncomfortable about, e.g. financial advice, pregnancy, medical conditions etc.

5. The Hierophant

Rather than being set in your ways, you are open to learning more and enhance your skills. You may be familiar with the cards, but there is always something new to discover. You enjoy using different decks, read new books and articles on Tarot to avoid stagnation.

6. The Lovers

You strive to encourage your clients to make their own choices based on love and knowledge.

7. The Chariot

Difficult readings can be a challenge, but you persevere and do the best you can. Most of the time you will succeed. Occasionally, you will need to bow out gracefully. Learn from it and move on.

8. Strength

You empower your clients with gentle guidance and kindness.

9. The Hermit

You take regular breaks to renew your energy and declutter your mind. Never do readings when pre-occupied with your own personal issues, and keep all information shared by your client as strictly confidential.



10. The Wheel of Fortune

You remind your client that nothing is set in stone, and luck can change at any moment, especially when “big” questions are asked, such as “Will I ever find my soulmate / twin flame, get married and have children?”

11. Justice

Make sure you are “legal”. Register with the tax office as self-employed and arrange public liability insurance cover, if you work in public places or offer readings at your home. It is also useful to list some basic Terms & Conditions that cover issues such as refunds, cancellations etc.

12. The Hanged Man

You offer your clients different perspectives on their issue, so they can move forward rather than live in denial or ignorance.

13. Death

When this card comes up in a reading, you won’t be telling your client that s/he (or a loved one) is about to die.

healing cosmic journaling oracle
Cosmic Journaling Oracle

14. Temperance

You aim to offer readings that are healing, based on a balanced mix of offering choices, illuminating what is hidden, highlighting opportunities and exploring future possibilities.

15. The Devil

You avoid being tempted to manipulate your client into making decisions or choices you think are right for them.

16. The Tower

Rather than letting negative feedback destroy your confidence and trust in your abilities, you use it to learn and grow. Be objective: was the client ready for your message? Did they resist change? Or were you trying to dazzle them with some dubious statements or predictions you “saw” in the cards?

17. The Star

Your highest intention is to give hope and offer inspiration to your clients even at the darkest of times. Occasionally, you will encounter very sad and tragic stories, and you will have to draw on your innate ability to be a guiding light towards healing, renewal and a new purpose.

18. The Moon

You help your clients face and overcome their insecurities and fears.

19. The Sun

You aim to raise your client’s confidence and optimism.

20. Judgement

Never judge your client or people that come up in a reading. Remember you only hear one side of the story.

change cosmic journaling oracle
Cosmic Journaling Oracle

21. The World

You have come a long way, have found your niche and established a reputation. But you also know it is time to expand your horizons and take your skills and experience to the next level. New networks, ideas and projects will offer you new opportunities for growth and fulfilment.

Where are you on your journey? I’d love to hear from you.

Warmest wishes,

Christiane

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