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How to Make Money Reading Tarot Cards

Updated on March 13, 2017
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The author is a professional tarot reader with 17 years experience. She runs a successful website and tarot reading business.

Let me be open and honest right up front - not everyone can make money reading tarot cards. There are some non-negotiable qualities that every tarot reader must have or acquire. If you have these necessary qualities and are prepared to invest your time, you will be able to carve out a rewarding career reading tarot for profit.

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What is a Tarot Reading?

A tarot reading can be many things. It can clarify, advise, comfort, reassure, give a heads-up, inspire, offer a warning, instill confidence, point out options, explore spiritual beliefs, explain complex situations, illuminate motivation, tell you what you need to know, prepare you for the best… and the worst.

Tarot readings can also scare people silly, put unwanted thoughts in their heads, exploit their fears and be a totally negative experience.

A tarot reading usually takes place in person, though not always. The reader sits with his or her client and lays down a certain number of cards in a certain pattern. The reader then explains the cards and offers their interpretation to the client. Hopefully, the client is happy and satisfied so they pay up and leave. If they were impressed and found the experience useful, they will return for another reading in due course. If they were really, really impressed, they will extol your virtues to their friends and family.

Personal Qualities Necessary for Reading Tarot

To be able to make money reading tarot cards, you must have certain personal qualities:

Communication Skills

You need good, if not excellent, communication skills. If you can’t speak fluently and confidently, you won’t make it as a face-to-face tarot reader. However, if you have great writing skills but lack confidence with people, then you’ll be able to do readings via email and earn an income from tarot that way.

Empathy

This is really important. You have to be aware of how your client is feeling. You have to be able to handle emotional reactions calmly but with empathy. Some clients are overcome by the sheer experience of having someone listen to them. Tarot reading is as much about counseling as anything else.

Know Your Limitations

You might want to fix all your clients, put their world to rights, give them the solution to follow, but you can’t. Sometimes you can make suggestions based on your own experience, sometimes you have to let them go forth and make the same mistake over and over. All you can do is read the cards, and do your best.

Know the Tarot

Knowledge of your tools is ultra important. You have 78 of them and you should know them, understand them and be familiar with each and every card. You may be one of those people who can open a pack of cards for the first time and give an accurate intuitive or psychic reading right off the bat. That’s great and you just keep what you are doing. For the rest of us, we need to learn what the cards are and what they mean in the context of the client’s question and situation. I’m not going to go into detail here - that would require a whole book, but there are plenty of resources out there - books, websites and courses.

A Code of Ethics

Every reader must set his or her boundaries. A Code of Ethics is essential and should be displayed on your website or at your place of reading. For example, mine says that I will not knowingly read for anyone under the age of 18 except in exceptional circumstances. I will never offer medical advice for which I am not qualified. I will always keep my client’s information and reading confidential. You can devise your own.

Where to Read Tarot Cards for Money

You will have to do local research, meanwhile here are some suggestions:

  • Your own home. You will need to have a private room where you won’t be interrupted. A table or desk, chairs and a congenial atmosphere are always good. You don’t need to create a new-age, fortune-teller style of decor. It needs to be clean and fresh smelling. You must also be aware of the risks - make sure there’s always a family member at home unless you know the client personally.
  • At a cafe or bar. You’ll need to negotiate terms with the proprietor. They may suggest that you use a corner at their business for one or more days. They may even advertise for you - after all, your services will bring in more custom for them.
  • Fairs and festivals are good places to read tarot. You’ll have to book in advance and be aware of the terms and conditions.
  • At your client’s home. Make sure they can provide a quiet and private area where you won’t be disturbed.
  • Tarot parties. These tend to be less formal than one-to-one readings, although there still needs to be an element of privacy unless the client has asked that a friend be present. Maybe you can give the hostess a free reading to thank her for hosting the party? Tarot parties are great for hen nights and birthdays.
  • Skype readings are gaining popularity. The prospective client contacts you by whatever means - website or email. You agree a time. They pay up front and away you go.
  • YouTube. You could record a private video of the reading if you would prefer to carry it out in your own time. Again the client pays ahead of time. You record your reading and then give them the link to view it.
  • Via your own website . These are generally email, Skype or video readings. Client orders via PayPal or other payment agency. You contact them for further details, agree on the question, etc. Then you do the reading and email it to them.

Where Not to Read Tarot

Anywhere that you haven’t permission. Note that some states and countries ban any kind of fortune telling activity.

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What to Charge for a Tarot Reading

Now this is something I can’t really help you with. I see readers charging anything from free to three figures for an hour’s consultation. I’m in the UK, so I base my charges on an acceptable hourly rate. I don’t overcharge, neither do I undercharge. I like to leave the client with the feeling that she has gained insight and knowledge for a reasonable fee.

Again, you will have to research your locality or have a look at what other people are charging online.

If I were doing quickie readings at a charity event, I’d charge $1/£1 per card. If I am doing a longer face-to-face reading, I charge $20/£20 for half an hour.

The Author

The author has been a professional tarot reader since 2000. Using her tarot name, Troi, she runs a successful website at tarot-study.info, and was a founding member of the Tarot Association of the British Isles (TABI). Currently she writes tarot articles for several websites.

Other Considerations when Reading Tarot for Profit

Don’t forget your tarot reading practice is a business. You must declare your earnings and comply with your own state/country’s legal requirements.

It is not necessary to have formal qualifications for reading tarot cards. However, if you complete a course and obtain a certificate from a reputable organization, so much the better. Also think about a general counseling qualification, which will help you a lot in your work.

Good luck and happy tarot reading.

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    • ShyeAnne profile image

      ShyeAnne 2 months ago from Deep Bay, British Columbia, Canada

      Informative and easy to read. It also gives me some insight if I decide to try my hand at reading cards for others!

    • theraggededge profile image
      Author

      Bev 2 months ago from Wales

      Thanks, ShyeAnn... and you should go for it. I'm sure your insights would help a lot of people.

    • Joanna Pilatowicz profile image

      Joanna Pilatowicz 2 months ago from Germany

      Thank you for this article. It can give people insight of how that really works. There is nothing wrong with reading Tarot and it is good to learn, study, practice. I was however, quite a number of times reached by clients who another reader told really bad things. I would like to therefore add a bit to ethic list you pointed out already.

      Some people who want reading are very receptive. I rather read for skeptic ;) . we take responsibility for it what we tell from cards.

      So I would add to it a few things: cards are not telling that one particular future will happen for sure. It shows usually the stronger tendency in a current moment. Person may be able to change it, work on it, etc. Also I am reluctant in saying I predict future, so I always advice to check on the information I shared.

      And last I spontaneously remember ;). Skilled reader will know when people are projecting on cards own fears. That may happen and it is very important to not read all that what cards may show then. So before making money on it, please experiment on self ;) and friends.

    • theraggededge profile image
      Author

      Bev 2 months ago from Wales

      Thank you, Joanna. You make some really helpful points.

    • SakinaNasir53 profile image

      Sakina Nasir 2 months ago from Kuwait

      Great hub Bev! :) Tarot reading has always intrigued me. Sounds mysterious.

    • theraggededge profile image
      Author

      Bev 2 months ago from Wales

      Thanks Sakina. It's a very elegant system that reflects our lives. X

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 2 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Your advice for tarot readers sounds excellent. Thanks for sharing it, Bev.

    • Joanna Pilatowicz profile image

      Joanna Pilatowicz 2 months ago from Germany

      All best to you Bev!

      And guys! Choose wisely your deck of cards! Let it support your growth!

    • theraggededge profile image
      Author

      Bev 2 months ago from Wales

      Thanks, JoannaP and AliciaC xx

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