Ethical Psychics and the Unbreakable Law (part 1)

A local “psychic and tarot card reader” was arrested for theft and fraud. Ha!…NO it wasn’t me.

But in a weird way the news pushed me toward something I was thinking about doing anyway. I’ve been thinking it is time to hit the pause button on “Tarotbytes IG” and “The Oracle’s Toolkit” back up and re-visit some of the foundation basics we’ve talked about over the years. I want to start at the beginning and post a back to back series summarizing and updating of all the stuff that has gone into creating the Modern Oracle style of Tarot readings. I want to synthesize all the things I’ve learned and refined since originally starting this blog on another platform way back in – what was it – 2003? I want to create a sort of master thesis on my Tarot philosophy. Given the news thing, the obvious place to start is with the question:


I have no idea what the arrest, theft charges and news coverage is going to do to the Tarot Community here. Are people going to think we are all criminals? Will we all be vilified by religious zealots emboldened by the political climate? Christian supremacy is a jazzy new term for very old prejudices, and it is, sadly, a real thing. Just ask the good people of Salem – or Charlottesville. I REALLY don’t want to wake up to torches, pitchforks and a carrot tied to my nose a la Monty Python. We might not want to face it, but this is a time of enormous division and fear in the United States. But I am still a big believer the First Amendment, our rights of free speech and our right to express spirituality as we see fit in spite of it all.

I have made ethics and professionalism the absolute cornerstone of my Tarot work from the beginning. I hope that writing about these ethics will do a couple of things. First, I hope it reassures you that, in the words of Richard Nixon, “I am not a crook.” I hope it reassures me that I won’t be a victim of religious bigotry combined with regressive blue laws. We will begin that exploration of ethics in more detail in part 2. I don’t know who said it, but I want this to be our main thought for this post:


If compassion is rebellion, my goal is to be Rebel Scum. What is the most compassionate way I can respond to an unethical tarot practitioner and a devoutly religious ‘victim’?

Compassion is apathy in the case of the people in the news. I don’t know any of the people involved, an it isn’t for me to say anything.  The psychic in question could be completely sincere, or  a total rip-off con man grifter thief for all I know.  The victim interviewed in the news made an uncomfortably big deal out of how religiously devout she is. The whole thing smells on both sides if you really want my opinion. Opinions to the side,  the most compassionate thing I can do for that piece of it is to trust the justice system to sort the whole mess out. Not my place to comment.

What is the compassionate thing to do about my fears of being made the object of suspicion or bigotry because of someone else’s dubious behavior? The thing for me to do is the exact same thing I would suggest for a client. Honor those feelings. Face them. Don’t sweep fear, anger or worry under the rug or sprinkle unicorn dust on them because society considers them to be ‘negative’ emotions. Truth is I resent the religious bigots out there. I resent the regressive, archaic laws against “fortune telling”. It pisses me off to see this wonderful tool for self-improvement abused.

But on the other hand, I take a great deal of comfort from my ACLU membership and the fact that


Hell, I don’t even know what that means, at least in official terms. I associate “fortune” with some sort of unavoidable fate, combined with predicting the future in a flat-earth, deeply Medieval way. A “fortune teller” as someone who predicts the future and tells you what your Shakespearean style”fortune” will be.

Here’s a newsflash for you. The earth is a sphere, you know, round. Double newsflash: Cause and effect exists. You create your fortune, fate and future by what you chose, say, do, and avoid. And for extra credit here is a third headline:


We’ll revisit that piece of it too.

Come back soon and well start with ethics. We’ll revisit just what, in my opinion, IS an ethical psychic. What, exactly, is professional conduct in a unregulated, highly subjective, artistic profession such as this?

In part 3 we’ll roll up our sleeves and get to the meat and potatoes of the whole fortune telling nonsense. I will rant, yet again, about how


I hope you’ll come back for what I hope will be an interesting discussion. Keep a weather eye on the horizon for the new posts, and caution…there be snarks in the waters ahead.

Until I see how all of this is going to shake down, the comments here on the website will be closed. I don’t want to risk any trolls wandering in and wreaking the energy of the place before I can get back to delete them. While the comments are closed, I’m happy to take legit questions at