I can’t remember the amount of times people have said that they just can’t read Court Cards, it’s always been a real problem for them, and so on.
So as you know I’m half way through a Beginners’ Tarot Course, and we’ve just had Lesson 6, which is all about the Courts. So I thought I’d leave this one open for everyone to view, unlike the other lessons which are for subscribers only. You can see the lesson page HERE, or just click on the picture above and be taken to the video directly. If you want to join next time, subscribe to my newsletter.
And don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel!
I read a few posts on how to make it as a Tarot pro recently (eg: on biddytarot.com HERE) and thought I would add to the discussion. So, even though I wouldn’t describe myself as having made it, here are some strategies that have worked for me so far:
Above everything else, keep on keeping on. Be the one who shows up, time after time, week after week. It’s a long way to the top so bring some Kendal Mint Cake.
Always be carrying a Tarot deck. You never know.
Eat, sleep, think Tarot. When other people are cruising around YouTube looking at Kittens Meeting Babies For The First Time videos, you are writing blog posts, reading Tarot books and shuffling your cards.
Start your own Meetup group, and / or be known locally as “The Tarot Card Reader”. Be a real flesh and blood person, go to flea markets and street parties and festivals, set up your booth and let people see you do your thing.
Have a well-designed business card, a banner for when you do shows, flyers etc. Invest in yourself and get the job done properly by hiring a graphic designer. Look like a pro, feel like a pro, be a pro, be seen as a pro, you get the picture.
Post regularly and frequently, no matter what. It doesn’t seem to matter which platform you use, choose the one that appeals to you most. If you can post every day, so much the better. But be consistent – see the first item on this list.
I have two websites, but I know some very successful Tarot readers who don’t have any website at all and just use social media. I think it’s best not to get hung up on your platform too much, and really, why go to the trouble and expense of a properly-designed and hosted site if you can get the techs at Facebook to do it for you? Learning how to do WordPress takes a lot of time, time you could be spending doing Tarot readings, writing your Tarot blockbuster or devising your sell-out Tarot course.
Be generous. If you want to be a Tarot card reader, read Tarot cards. If you want to obsess about your “worth”, pay Forbes to get you in one of their editorial spots – yes, that’s a thing. So if people want freebies and discounts give it to them. The more Tarot goodness there is in the world, the better, right? Also, goodwill counts for a lot.
Give extra value. For example, if you do a Skype reading, send screenshots with the card names and positions afterwards. Encourage clients to record and photograph everything. Encourage them to ask questions about the reading afterwards. Look like you actually enjoy the process of giving readings.
Anticipate no-shows from time to time. Not everyone is a superstar all the time.
Be clear about your limitations. Before I give a reading face to face to someone for the first time, I always get them to read THIS page, and confirm in an email that they’ve done it.
People want Tarot readings most often because they have some problem they can’t deal with in any other way. Be kind and give the best possible reading every time. See THIS page for details.
Make it easy for them. Check and recheck to make sure everything is as simple and clear as it can be: the reading, your fees, what to expect, how to pay, etc. Don’t use one paragraph when you can use a 3-word sentence.
Be a person of quality. There is always some joker who can give shoddy, half-arsed work with pour gramer and spelijng,. Use a spell-checker, read it over, then read it again aloud. If it doesn’t sound right, it isn’t. Take great photos, use a photo editor to write the card names / position names. Is your reading the best it could possibly be?
Where are you going to do the readings? Are you happy with a constant stream of strangers coming in and out of your house? How will your family / flat mates feel about that? Are you ok going to some stranger’s house? I’ve done that and left in a hurry and in fear for my life – really, no joke! If you’re giving a reading in a public space, for example a café, consider your client’s privacy. Believe me, all the people at neighbouring tables will want to listen in. If you hire a space, it might end up costing you a lot in space hire fees and in travel expenses to and from your destination. Where you are based determines where you can SAFELY give readings. I use a large family restaurant because you don’t have to book and you are guaranteed to get a table, you can just have one coffee without ordering a whole meal, the tables are in booths so my client gets privacy, and the staff doesn’t mind if you get paid for your Tarot services – that might be a problem with some café owners.
Think about how much you might be able to charge as a reader, and how much you need to live on. Think about how you might feel giving two or more Tarot readings every single day, going to fairs and meeting clients, especially in the evenings and at weekends when most people have free time. Can you see how the above scenario does not necessarily add up to a comfortable way of life with enough time for socialising? So if you love Tarot and want to make it your job, you need to find a way to get paid enough money to live on with hours that suit you. You could write Tarot books, offer online classes, sell Tarot decks, crystals, etc. or spend a few years making a Tarot deck. Basically, do the maths, be realistic. How are you going to make it work in reality? How do the Big Guns do it? They have affiliate schemes, advertisements on their sites, Tarot decks, books… there are many, many ways of making money with Tarot. But just giving Tarot readings only might not be your highway to a fun and viable way of life, at least not without thought, planning, and a lot of time.
Use the Tarot as a business tool. Do readings for yourself and use the Tarot to create an excellent business plan. What are your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats? Should you advertise? If so, where? The Tarot is your business partner, so why not give it a say in how the business is being run?
Anticipate to flatline for a couple of years or more. Yes, I said years. Bridget Esselmont advises to be looking at 10 years minimum before you can start to make it into a realistic income. Look at her site, see how she has worked to make it just right for her.
If you really love Tarot, you’ll be the one who makes it because for you, being a clear channel for the Tarot and getting Tarot goodness out into the world is the most important thing, right?
Turns out the Death card does actually mean death sometimes. This is something new for me and I’m very uncomfortable about it. It’s hard enough explaining to people who are scared of the Tarot that the Tarot is not bad or evil, and the Death card means letting go, not necessarily actual death.
That being said, I can’t imagine my life without Tarot, my darling dearest friend.
If you worry about the empirical science behind prayer and Healing, because you feel the need to prove to narrow-minded reductionists that this stuff WORKS, beyond what you already know because you have seen it work with your own eyes and done it with your own hands, then by all means read this book. Read it, memorise it, and spout the figures and double-blind, gold-standard reproduceable tests, that prove scientifically what you knew all along, because for some people, your experience and your word are not good enough. They need it on paper, because if it’s not printed on paper then it has no validity.
Jam-packed with case study after case study of “miracle” cures, ruminating the possible role of quantum mechanics in Healing and prayer, this is a roll-call of men in white coats with clip-boards scratching their heads over inexplicable cures that somehow defy current scientific “fact”. What this book doesn’t tell you is how to do the healing, which Healing Words to actually use. It’s hinted at, skirted around and vaguely suggested in the most woolly terms. But no actual words, as such.
If you’re looking for a real manual on Healing, read Barbara Brennan’s Hands of Light.
I’ve been studying Buddhism for about 25 years, and I’ve been studying Zen for about 15 years. As a healer, I’m very interested in subtle energies and I’m constantly looking for ways to deepen my practice.
For me, deepening my practice means entering more fully into the flow of my life, surrendering and relinquishing control to my Spirit Guides, finding or even just recognising streams of energy. Definitely, progressively allowing myself to trust more is a big part of my ongoing practice. It’s like learning to un-tense muscles, easing myself into my potential.
Lorin Roche’s Radiance Sutras (Sounds True, Boulder, CO, 2014), a translation of the Bhairava Tantra, opens the mind to the path of liberation in the same way as the Dogen Zenji’s poetry or the Heart Sutra. As the Sandōkai says: “Seekers of the Truth, Do not waste your days and nights in idleness”. Read this book.
If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know that I’m a very big fan of the Gallery of Magick. This group of people publishes books on magic that are simple to use and effective. So it was with great pleasure that I bought this latest publication, Archangels of Magick. I’ve had it for a month now to test-drive it before giving my verdict.
As you’d expect from a GoM book, it strays a little on the wordy side but the rituals are very well explained, and easy to follow if you prepare and take care. Their efficacy is, well, really staggering.
You could buy and use this book without any previous knowledge or experience of magic or ritual magic, and all of their books are transformative.
With the warmest thanks for another excellent title.
If you haven’t been to Joy Vernon’s Completely Joyous Tarot and Reiki blog, I suggest you do that soon. She has a great subscription feature called Blog Hop where you can see the best of the Tarot blogs she follows. Here’s hoping that one day Star Tarot may also be on the list, although I think the blogs she follows actually do a lot of commenting and postulating (yes, I really said that) on aspects of Tarot, whereas I just offer springboards; at least, that’s the way I think of it.
Anyway, I loved the Chaldean Decan diagram because it’s sooo much easier to read than mine – not difficult – and what pretty colours. The link to John Allen’s site is broken, though.