22 Signs You Are A Professional Tarot Reader

22 signs you are a professional tarot reader
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 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,


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The Magickal Ingredients of a Tarot Email Reading

professional tarot readings by emailAs a professional Tarot reader I have written nearly a thousand email readings, and as a Mentor for TABI have worked with many readers to help them hone their email reading skills.

I think I’ve seen it all: the good, the bad and the ugly.

Writing a quality Tarot email reading sounds easy, but it does require some special ingredients to make it worth the money you wish to charge.

If you are an aspiring Tarot professional, here are some tips on which magickal ingredients you need to add to make your readings stand out from the amateurs:

1. The Essence of a Reading

The three essential components of an email reading are encouragement, reassurance and inspiration.

When you write up your reading, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Have I encouraged the querent to think for themselves, face and overcome their fears or take action?
  • Have I reassured the querent without giving false hope? Have I aimed to boost their confidence?
  • Have I inspired the querent to embrace change, to move forward and to take responsibility for their lives?

2. Positivity

Being positive doesn’t mean avoiding reality or the truth. If a relationship is over, it’s over.

But even bad news can be conveyed with a sense of hope and optimism. Talk about the new beginnings and opportunities ahead. Always end a reading about a painful issue on an upbeat note.

3. Keep it simple

How often have I seen über-long, confusing sentences, irrelevant card descriptions and repeating messages?

Yes, we’re talking sentence structure and occasionally losing the plot. Nobody wants to read Ulysses-style sentences, but when you are in the flow of writing the reading, it can easily happen.

For clarity’s sake, less is often more. Avoid duplications and unnecessary waffle.

Ask yourself:

Have I made my point clearly and succinctly?
Have I answered the querent’s question or been too vague?
Is the information easy to understand?

4. Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation

For some Tarot readers spelling has proven to be a major hurdle in delivering professional email readings. This also applies to grammar and punctuation.

If you have issues with this, you will need to brush up your writing skills seriously. Nothing is worse than charging for a reading riddled with typos, over-usage of apostrophes and grammatical errors.

5. Compassion, Empathy and Objectivity

Tarot readers are by nature sensitive souls. When a querent contacts me for a reading, I can often sense the turmoil going on when reading their question, and I wish I could give them a proper big hug.

But it is important for a professional reader to combine compassion and empathy with objectivity and a certain level of detachment.

On behalf of the querent, you are looking at the bigger picture and connecting the dots without judgement and without dragging your own personal issues into the reading.

Make sure the reading is about the querent and not about you.

Many years ago, a well-meaning Tarot reader wrote in a reading “My mother always used to say to me…” 

Trust me, this is inappropriate, and your querent doesn’t want to know what your mother said.

Don’t include your personal experience in a professional reading, even when you sympathize or even identify with the querent.

To sum it all up, writing a professional Tarot email reading with a magickal touch isn’t as easy as it first seems. It’s a skill that needs to be developed.

That doesn’t mean I’m infallible. Far from it. Over the years, my readings have evolved, and yes, the odd typos and grammar howlers sneaked in on some occasions.

And with hindsight I felt some readings weren’t good enough in some way. That’s because I’m human and not a Tarot app…

What’s important though is to put the effort in to add all those magickal ingredients to your readings to make them the best they can be for your querents. This way you build your reputation as a truly professional reader.

Warmest wishes,


PS: Would you like some help with your email readings? Need feedback and advice? Learn more…

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Going Pro: Why I Don’t Call Myself A Healer

why I don't call myself a healer
Because Eric loves music, so it helped him cope with the loss of his son.

Amongst professional Tarot readers there are a few self-proclaimed job titles floating around mainly to describe more accurately the type of readings they provide.

Some of them I quite like, e.g. spiritual life coach, others I find a little unsettling, and one of them is Healer.

First of all I want to express my deepest respect for some of my colleagues, who call themselves Healer, as I am familiar with their work, and I know that vulnerable people, who come to them for guidance will be in good hands.

And already here’s the thing: vulnerable people in a difficult situation will have raised expectations from someone, who calls themselves Healer.

They’ll be thinking oh I’m going to this person and they will heal me… not realising that the only person, who can heal them is themselves.


I don’t want to deny that as a Tarot reader I can help people heal.

I am happy to say that I facilitate healing with the right guidance and the client willing to put their own effort into their healing process.

So rather than calling myself a Healer, I prefer the job title Healing Assistant.

For me, Healing Assistant is less ego driven and suits my Hermit personality.

Describing myself as a Healing Assistant makes it – hopefully – clear that I am not the kind of person, who lays hands on you and – abracadabra – you are healed.

Instead, I am here helping you recognise your own power, make the right choices and take action to heal yourself.

This brings me to another point:

What exactly is a Healer? 

Search the internet and you come across “faith” healers, “powerful” spiritual healers, “gifted” healers, “natural born” healers, “African” healers, healers who claim they can cure cancer, etc.

Healer as a profession isn’t legally regulated, and anyone can call themselves a Healer. Needless to say that this attracts charlatans and con-people.

Another reason why I couldn’t possibly call myself a Healer. I just don’t want to toss myself into that murky soup of various types of dodgy, obscure and unregulated healers, who make all sorts of claims.

But yes, from the positive feedback I receive for my readings and teaching, I can safely say that I help people heal themselves, and that Tarot can be a powerful therapeutic tool, when people are open to it and use it pro-actively.

Mary K. Greer once said “I’m the midwife of the soul.” Perhaps a somewhat poetic description of what she does, but it explains her work as facilitating personal growth and transformation.

James Ricklef once said “I’m not a fortune-teller, I’m a fortune-helper”, which I actually really like.

So here you are, dear Reader. I am not a Healer, but I can help you heal. I can be one of the stepping stones on your healing journey, and it is you who takes those steps.

And there will be others, who will help you too. Most of all, you are your own Healer.

“As my sufferings mounted I soon realized that there were two ways in which I could respond to my situation – either to react with bitterness or seek to transform the suffering into a creative force. I decided to follow the latter course.” Martin Luther King Jr.

“You have the power to heal your life, and you need to know that. We think so often that we are helpless, but we’re not. We always have the power of our minds…Claim and consciously use your power.” Louise L. Hay

Warmest wishes,


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Going Pro: Third Party Readings

the lovers tarot sharman caselli third party readings
The Lovers (Detail), Sharman Caselli Tarot Deck (c) 2008 Connections Book Publishing Ltd.

One of those ethical dilemmas Tarot readers have to grapple with are third party readings.

There are different kinds of third party readings; some are subtle mainly found in relationship readings, others are more blatant, where the question doesn’t relate to the person requesting the reading at all.

One of those blatant third party questions I once got was How is my sister, and is her husband treating her well?

The lady, who asked was from the Asian community, and although I can only guess why she asked about her sister, it may have related to an arranged marriage.

I can completely sympathise with the querent; of course she wants to know how her sister is and if she’s okay, but I have explained already in this post that it is difficult to connect with third parties in a reading, and often as a result the messages from the Tarot can be confusing, unclear or even wrong.

Still, who wouldn’t want to put the querent’s mind at rest, reassuring her that all is well and her sister is happy.

But then I’d be guessing, at worst lying (what should I say, if I drew the Tower, Death or any other such card?).

Whatever I’d say about her sister couldn’t be validated, whereas a reading for the querent directly can be. That’s another reason why third party readings such as this example are risky and should be avoided.

Most questions Tarot readers get asked are about love and relationships.

Will he come back to me?

How does he feel about me?

What are his long-term intentions?

Is he cheating on me? 

are all questions focusing on someone other than the client, yet when it comes to a relationship it takes two to make it work (or not).

How many relationship spreads include positions such as What person A brings to the relationship/what person B brings to the relationship (and person B not being present during the reading).

Person B’s strengths, weaknesses and whatnot are analysed and dissected in a reading, while that person is absent; it’s very much talking behind someone’s back, judging them and making choices about the relationship without them, all based on a reading.

In my time as a professional Tarot reader I have noticed that questions about other people, especially in relationship readings, are deep down about the client.

When we examine in a reading what the other person is bringing to the relationship, I always point out that the answer is likely to be the perception of the querent.

For example, the Hanged Man is drawn in that position. Rather than saying “it seems like your boyfriend doesn’t want to commit or wants to take your relationship further”, I’d ask “do you feel your relationship isn’t going anywhere?”, “Are there circumstances that prevent you from moving forward together?”

Here you can see the difference between a third party (first answer) and a client-focused (second answer) reading. The latter can be validated by client and offers more scope to explore the bigger picture.

And yet, we still take the other person into account by looking at the relationship as a whole but from the client’s perspective.

Whereas blatant third party readings should be avoided, relationship readings that take into account both parties (where one of them is absent) can be explored by focusing on the feelings and perceptions of the client in relation to their partner.

This way we don’t guess the other person’s intentions, and perhaps we can also help the client figure out for themselves how the other person is feeling.

How do you feel about third party readings? How do you answer them? Have you been using relationship spreads that include questions about the other – absent – person? 

I’d love to hear from you.

Warmest wishes,


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How To Survive and Thrive as a Phone Psychic

how to survive and thrive as a phone psychicThe most straightforward way to turn your Tarot hobby into a paid occupation is by becoming a phone reader for one of those numerous online psychic phone companies.

The advantage is that you don’t have to build your own website to promote your services, and these companies invest a lot into marketing, so your chances of earning a regular income are good.

Assuming you have passed the ‘psychic phone test’ (reputable companies have a vetting system to ensure they hire quality people), here are some tips on how to survive and thrive as a phone psychic, once you are listed on their site and available to take calls:

1. Most companies offer free minutes to their callers, usually between 2 – 5 minutes at the beginning of the call. Be prepared that many hang up within that time period.

Don’t take this personally. It’s not you. People just try to get some free advice. You will need to grow a thick skin.

The trick is to open up the conversation in such a way that makes them listen a bit longer. More on that later…

2. The best time to work on the phone is evening and weekends. If you only log on while your kids are at school, then you are unlikely to make a reasonable living. It also really helps, if you are a night owl and enjoy evening work.

3. Be prepared to answer any question, including if boy is cheating on girl etc., but ensure you abide by the company’s rules (most don’t want you to answer questions on pregnancy, health, financial and legal matters).

Avoid replying with “I don’t answer this kind of question”, if you merely don’t like the question. But you can learn to answer any question in a way you feel comfortable with and without making your caller feel bad about themselves.

4. Don’t expect your callers to ask for empowering readings. Most of them really just want straight fortune-telling answers. Think about how you can give them what they want without losing your integrity.

5. Be prepared for rude callers, especially when you don’t give them the answers they want to hear.

Again, don’t take this personally. Keep growing that thick skin.

6. It is best to ask your caller for a specific question, so you can give targeted and useful answers. General readings, such as “what’s in store for me over the next six months”, are impossible to complete within 2 – 5 minutes.

Also, if someone is asking for a general reading, they tend to phone for fun and are likely to hang up within the free minutes period.

7. When you get questions about timing, such as “when will I find true love?”, offer a time scale depending on the cards you’ve drawn rather than being too specific.

Be prepared for your caller to reply to your answer with “but another psychic told me it would be next week!”

Think in advance how you would handle this call. Some callers do phone many different psychics for the same question over and over again, but you don’t know that, when they call you.

8. I mentioned before you need to develop the skill to keep callers on the phone a little longer than their free minutes allowance to make money, but don’t be tempted to waste their time by shuffling your deck for a minute after they’ve asked you a question.

Instead, have your deck already shuffled and a card laid in front of you, so you can think in advance what answers this card may offer to your caller (this can help you avoid reader’s block).

Give as much helpful and useful information as possible. Engage your caller with a question or encourage feedback.

When you have a lot to say, your caller is more likely to listen, if they can resonate. This is where your knowledge of the Tarot comes in handy Laughing

9. Ensure you talk clearly at a steady pace. You may want to tame your regional accent to ensure callers from different parts of the country / world can follow you.

10. It is normal to be nervous when you first start working on a psychic phone line. You’ll make some mistakes, experience reader’s block and perhaps get disheartened by unfriendly callers.

The trick is to persevere and learn from what goes wrong. Keep pushing yourself, and it will get easier in time.

Also consider some professional phone coaching. One session can help you accelerate your skills and become more confident by working on specific issues you are trying to resolve.

I worked on psychic phone lines in the past and experienced the good, the bad, the ugly, the bizarre and the ridiculous.

I made mistakes, but I also learned to be diplomatic, tactful and assertive (despite abuse) and about taking a gamble with certain answers.

Nowadays I no longer do phone readings, because evening and weekend work just doesn’t suit me, and I spend more time mentoring and doing email readings.

If you would like to practice and enhance your phone reading skills, book a session with me. I’ll be your best and worst caller on the phone to challenge and help you, offering you more specific advice, tips and tricks along the way to become a successful phone reader.

Learn how to handle those difficult calls, take advantage of my experience and learn from my mistakes, so you don’t have to make the same.

Warmest wishes,


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Going Pro: Do You Need Tarot Qualifications?

tarot certificationThere have been many discussions about “certification” in the tarot community.

Some readers feel that an official looking tarot qualification in form of a pretty certificate reflects their knowledge and skills and makes them look more professional.

Other readers don’t see it necessary to pay a lot of money for a “qualification” that no client is particularly interested in.

Here are my thoughts on this:

1. A certificate doesn’t tell anyone how good you are as a reader.

2. But it can be a great confidence booster giving you a sense of achievement.

3. You may have gained a lot of theoretical knowledge by having completed an expensive long-term tarot course, but applying it is a different matter.

4. It’s practical experience that will help you grow and develop as a reader.

5. Reading the Tarot for clients isn’t just about Tarot; you also need people skills.

Consider getting a qualification in counselling or coaching rather than trying to obtain an official looking tarot certificate. There are lots of online courses on offer for interactive learning.

6. Some knowledge in psychology is also useful. Get an overview either by reading books, such as Understand Psychology, and again learn more by enrolling on courses, if this topic intrigues you.

7. It isn’t necessary to have a tarot qualification as the industry isn’t regulated in this way.

8. Instead, join a tarot organisation that offers training and professional development including guidelines on tarot ethics. This is also the place, where you can meet and network with fellow tarot enthusiasts for help and advice. Check out TABI.

9. When choosing a certified tarot course, make sure that content is focused on practice rather than an overload of theory and elaborate jargon.

10. It’s not an official tarot certificate that endorses you; it’s how you engage with people and also related work, interests and knowledge that add to your qualification as a reader.

Perhaps you have worked in a medical / helping profession or teaching capacity. You may have extensive knowledge on crystals, herbs, reiki, healing, angels and/or astrology, which you can combine with Tarot, adding to the value of your readings.

11. Ongoing training and study is also a vital part of your qualification, but an official certificate isn’t always necessary. Consider participating in self-study groups or work with a mentor on a 1-2-1 basis, both of which will contribute to your true skills as a reader.

12. A certificate (or even a diploma!) doesn’t mean you can handle calls on a psychic phone line. Any theory won’t save you from having to learn the hard way. Instead, practice, practice, practice.

13. Still wanting to frame a pretty tarot certificate? No need to spend a fortune; TABI offers courses and endorsement in return for a small annual membership fee (£10).

Other relevant organisations include the American Tarot Association and the Australian Tarot Guild.

14. While official tarot qualifications may indicate a certain level of knowledge, they are no guarantee to draw in clients, if you want to make a living as a Tarot Reader.

Don’t be tempted to choose a tarot course only because it offers certification. Contents and quality of its delivery is more important.

Last but not least, before you rush out to become a “qualified” tarot reader, remind yourself what first drew you to the Tarot. Was it

  • the mystery, magic and wonder?
  • the forbidden with that connection to witchcraft and the occult?
  • the unknown and exploration of the unexplained?

How can you possibly package all that up into a sanitised tarot “certificate”? What next? Tarot readings that comply with Din ISO 9001 quality control? Will the title “Grandmaster of Tarot” not create unrealistic expectations?

What do clients, who come for readings, really want? That you can present a certificate, or perhaps they would prefer to think you have some kind of psychic gift?

What are your thoughts on tarot qualifications? I’d love to hear from you!

Warmest wishes,


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Going Pro: Why You Cannot Help Everyone

you cannot help everyone
Image: Bohemian Gothic Tarot, 1st Edition, (c) Magic Realist Press 2010

“But what if a reading didn’t seem to be helpful to a client?”

My students keep asking me this question, as they are anxious to deliver accurate readings with a big dash of wow-factor Smile

I have written about this kind of insecurity before, but here I pick up on people’s intricate nature, and my answer is as follows:

You cannot help everyone. Even the most qualified and capable psychologists, doctors and counsellors experience limitations to their knowledge and skills.

For example, cognitive therapy is supposed to help people overcome phobias and depression. It’s a useful therapeutic tool, but doesn’t always work.

It’s not because you lack knowledge or skill per se; it’s because we deal with the complicated workings of the psyche. What goes on in a client’s mind is complex, and it’s not always possible to untangle the web in one or two sessions. Sometimes even 20 sessions won’t help.

When certain issues are deeply ingrained, it can take years for someone to unravel and overcome them.

It’s not your job as a Tarot reader to do this for your client in one sitting; you offer them guidance, but it’s up to them to be determined to make a change and take action.

Remember that clients sometimes have unrealistic expectations of Tarot readings; they hope for them to be like a magic wand, providing the answer to all their questions and taking all their problems away.

Your job as a Tarot reader is to offer insight by making empowering suggestions based on the cards drawn; your client has to do the work afterwards. Not you.

But it is only natural that as a compassionate and empathic soul you want to help your client resolve their issues, so it sucks when sometimes it just doesn’t work out that way.

When this happens, ask yourself, if it was down to you, e.g. did you communicate clearly, was there a misunderstanding, or did your client have unrealistic expectations?

Here are some tips to help you limit these situations:

1. Be clear and realistic about what you can achieve with your readings.

2. Set your boundaries. In advance of the reading, communicate clearly what you can and cannot do.

3. Ask the client what they are hoping to get out of the reading.

4. Be aware that not every question can be answered in one sitting.

Trying to answer “big” questions, such as “I want to change career, but don’t know what I could do” are hardly ever resolved with one reading, and your client is likely to walk away still pondering. That’s normal.

Sometimes a reading is just a stepping stone on a long journey, but in most cases each stepping stone is useful, even if the client isn’t aware of it at the time or doesn’t openly appreciate it.

And with experience and acquired wisdom you will learn to handle those big questions, offering glimpses of illumination before you even look at the cards, but knowing full well that your client still has a long way to go when they leave you:

“I’ve just turned 40. Is this it? What do I do with the rest of my life?

Warmest wishes,


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