I hope you all will listen to the new Menage A Tarot podcast “Tarot and Personal Boundaries”. I always learn from David and Kate. Talking with them always pushes back my horizons and makes me a better Tarot reader. For that I am personally very grateful.
In this episode of Menage A Tarot, we talk about where we draw the line in doing readings, what is in and out of bounds in our reading practice, issues with other readers and more. One topic that came up is local laws, and the “for entertainment only” disclaimer we so often see on Tarot and psychic sites.
On one hand, laws against “fortune telling” are as narrow-minded, fear-driven, superstitious nonsense as the fraudulent activity they aim to end. Crazy as it may seem, I actually support the legal prohibition against that kind “fortune telling” because it really is impossible to predict the future, whether it is for a fee or not. People who claim to make “100% accurate predictions” or claim to fix your love life really are, in my opinion, out to bilk money out of vulnerable people. They also ruin the public perception of intuitive work for those of us who want to help and read ethically.
I approach Tarot with much of the same ethics as those that guide Reiki, mainstream medicine, and any other health care. I believe Tarot is a healing art such as these: One just as valid and effective as any other form of spiritual guidance, stress reduction or mind-body healing. I don’t have the science to prove it other than individual anecdotes – but that doesn’t mean it isn’t true. The Higgs Boson has existed – valid, real, and true – since the beginning of the universe, but we haven’t had the hard scientific proof of the Higgs Boson’s existence until the CERN experiments a few years ago. Just because the hard science data hasn’t yet been compiled doesn’t mean the truth of a thing doesn’t yet exist. The validity of Tarot and intuitive work…their role as a valid choice in a healthy mind-body-spirituality balance…isn’t erased just because no one has taken the time or spent the resources to compile a scientifically acceptable study.
That being said, this seems like this is the perfect time to let you know just exactly how I approach Tarot readings. This is what I think an ethical Tarot practice should be like…but of course opinions vary.
Tarot readings / Tarot readers:
- Should be clear and kind – never frightening or intimidating.
- Can help you learn, grow spiritually, understand your situation, solve problems more creatively and make more productive decisions.
- Can not predict the future, fix your life, or read what other people feel, think or will do.
- Respect each individual’s spirituality, and does not require certain beliefs for the reading to “work”
- Give helpful suggestions, but never prescribe specific actions – such as regularly scheduled readings or special services the reader offers for additional cost
- Respects privacy, always
- Are not the place for medical or pregnancy questions. Those questions are for health professionals.
- Should have prices and business policies clearly stated in advance. Mine are HERE
- Should not discourage questions. Please ask a question at any point during a reading with me, or send a follow-up e-mail if we are working that way.
- Not every detail of a reading is a matter of ethics. Style and personality do have their place and impact your experience with a reader. Just because a reader has a flamboyant style and you prefer someone more down-to-earth does not mean the other psychic is unethical. The opposite is just as OK…sometimes a little glitz and glamour make a reading more fun! It is up to the sitter / learner to find the right reader-match for them and the kind of reading they want. Everyone is different, so we are lucky there are so many different personality styles in Tarot readers. That way we can all find a reader that is just-right for us.
- Just because a reader asks a set price for their work doesn’t mean they are unethical. Reading Tarot well takes time, practice and study. It may not have a formalized certificate, but reading Tarot is a learned skill, no different than an internship in counseling, becoming an ordained minister, learning to play a guitar, or vo-tech classes. You pay mechanics to fix your car. You pay to watch a movie or listen to a concert. You pay to have your hair cut. Why should having your cards read be any different? Psychics need to eat food and have a decent place to live the same as any other human being. If they are asking you to pay for something unreal or impossible that is fraud. If they are providing a service…even if it is “just” entertainment…that is still a legitimate creative service, no different than a musician, painter, author or actor.