Some people believe we should offer our services free of charge and if you are one of them I present a very strong argument against this option.
Tarot readers are vocational workers, we either fall under the spell of the intrigue of divination or we are compelled to be of service. Whichever path we come from, the outcome is always the same. We spend hours, days, months and sometimes years absorbed by a path that is equally rewarding and challenging. It’s a lonely journey for many unless they learn as part of a development circle (if you are lucky enough to find one) enrol on a physical course (yes, that’s right! with real people) or are sensible enough to start an e-course with a friend. All cost money. Once we have gained sufficient experience and are proficient in the language of Tarot we give up our most precious asset – our Time! I have yet to meet a sensible person who works for free and wishes the fairies would settle their bills.
So, it is right, just and reasonable that we must charge for our time. After all, we are using a skill that has taken a great investment both in hours and finances (even if you train yourself you will still have to purchase the tools!) and as such deserve to be recompensed. This is not an argument in which I ever concede defeat because the majority of us give away enough time already with just that one little email to a client, helping so and so with an urgent matter, calling clients back for a quick chat, and so it is unreasonable for anyone to expect us to conduct free readings. I agree that beginners should not charge until they can read the cards fluently but even then it will become difficult to shift the relationship to a financial one after this time, so keep these to a minimum or train with a friend who you will always trade ‘reading for reading’.
Okay, so now to the matter of how much do we charge?
If you are working the psychic circuit with a table, you will have your table cost to cover but so will all the other readers. As such, it’s respectful to work at the same rate. Always ask the organiser, never ask the readers unless you know them well enough. Focus on your own space, energy and connections rather than the going rate. It’s a distraction you don’t need but suffice to say, don’t undercut and don’t overprice – offer what’s fair to the others and clients. In the South West, we charge about £25 for 30 minutes. I came from reading in the South East and can’t tell you how much of a shock this was to me initially. I believe it’s roughly the same everywhere outside of the South East but your organiser will advise you. It’s a good idea to go to fairs with a couple of printed options and go with the one on the day.
If you are working from your own home office/reading room, you will need to set an hourly rate and this will very much depend upon your recommendations. People will only pay what they feel you are worth so it’s a good idea to start at the fairs, hand out business cards and start to gain private customers that way. I know readers that will charge anything from £30 – £120 per hour for this type of reading. It’s personal, without distraction and will usually last for one full hour, if not slightly longer. Very often, more than one actual card reading is carried out within that time frame. I don’t advocate home working until you’re established because you need to build up a client base externally. Check out the local readers online to see what they charge and follow suit. You’ll discover they charge less for email consults, but the same for ‘zoom’ and ‘phone’ readings. Again, we come back to the time factor.
Finally, if you find a local hairdresser salon, beauty salon, crystal shop, or new age shop that will happily let you host your client readings there for a day or two each week, you will either give them a percentage cut of the readings (if they obtain all the bookings and money) or you will pay a room hire rate if your clients visit you there. Each venue will charge differently and it’s an absolute gem to work like this because you have a professional setup without the overheads.
Whichever option to work you choose, charge a reasonable rate at local prices and if you provide a compassionate and accurate Tarot consultation, they’ll be queueing around the block. I always believe business should be busy rather than exclusive, but I respect that may not be your business strategy and I very much doubt it applies to the International Tarot readers who work for the Rich and Famous.
Talking of the ‘Rich and Famous’… I know that we see high profile psychics and when you see what they charge, it can make your head spin. They must be making a ‘killin’ right? But, let me pour a little reality water on that for you. These high profile readers have high profile cost. Venues don’t come cheap, marketing is the highest cost of all. There’s leafleting, local newspapers, ads in Magazines, Facebook campaigns. Then, you have the staff costs; the door, the catering, before and after cleaning, sound equipment. I think you get the idea. And the cost of all that pressure and focus. I always remember my amazing grandmother telling me ‘the higher they climb, the harder they fall’. I’m not saying don’t have ambition because that’s a wonderful trait to have, but always retain realism.