Okay, so I’m not one for rules by any stretch of the imagination, but as readers we deal with people’s lives; their hearts, their hopes and dreams, their fears and their trust. So, I feel a tiny pointer on Etiquette is appropriate here.
Learn the cards – Take your time, spend as long as you need practising your recall. Know the cards before you even think about reading for others. It’s a confidence thing, there’s nothing worse than having to ‘look it up in the book’ because it knocks your confidence. Better still, learn with another person and the two of you can practice on each other.
Look after your cards – They aren’t a toy, they are a powerful divination tool and must be respected for them to work. Keep them away from strangers, wrapped and secure until you need them.
Create a reading space – Whilst I can and often do whip out my cards where needed it’s good to have a calming place. Developing a space will psychologically shift your energy for readings. When you are sat with your cards in your hand, they know what is expected.
Cleanse your cards – I don’t do this regularly because my cards are seldom handled by another soul, however, if I’ve had an emotionally charged reading I will shuffle and reclaim them back to source, which is my energy. I don’t stop until I feel they have settled again. Others use incense and crystals. Mine are always with their Amethyst in their pouch (it’s a great chill pill crystal).
Choose your spreads – Have a couple of spreads that you master, mine are the three-cards and Celtic Cross with the exception of the Lenormand,where I use a 9-card spread.
Provide Clarity – Be clear with yourself and your client. You are not a mind reader. You can interpret the cards and say what you see, but you are not in charge of anyone’s destiny, neither are the cards. Everyone has free will.
Keep Secrets – This is the big one, you must never repeat what is said in a reading. The only thing you may repeat is this chant ‘Secrets are Sacred, Secrets are Sacred’, other than that – de nada!
Break-ups/Cheating partners – No, no, and no! We do not want disgruntled partners chasing us down for redemption so we simply say, I’m afraid that I won’t be able to see that in the cards. Deep inside, they already know the answer. I have this philosophy that if someone is asking about the validity of a partnership in a reading, it’s not a good sign!
The Death Card – another No, no and no. We do not speak of death. We speak of rebirth. The Client may pull a Death card but this absolutely does not always mean that someone is going to die. It means that life is about to become unrecognisable after a period of transformation.
Relax the client – I say something like ‘let’s consult the cards, I will shuffle and lay the cards down to see what I can see, is that okay with you?’ I always check in with them, make sure they know that they are in control, not the cards. I often add that I’m not a mind reader so it’s okay to relax.
Take your time – lay the cards, look for themes, outcomes, read in silence for a moment before speaking. They will hang on to your every word. It’s not uncommon for them to take notes or record the reading. They want to remember everything.
Payment – you are being paid for your time not your insights. This is important to stress to avoid any feelings of societal shame. You are not being paid for your gift. It it is an exchange, their payment for your time, as with any trained professional. Some readers get paid more because they are more experienced but they all get paid for the same thing – their time. That’s why it’s best to set a charging scale for the anticipated time. £x for 30 minutes and £x for 1 hour etc., not £x per reading.
Insurance – Search online for appropriate insurance if you are exchanging your time for money.
The Law – It quite rightly protects people, it does not discredit your abilities and experience. I must confess, it used to annoy the heck out of me that I had to say I worked as an Entertainer, but I support protecting against charlatans, because not everyone is as honest as you or I. The Law is a serious matter. Up until 2008 you could be prosecuted under the Fraudulent Mediums Act 1951 (England & Wales) which banned anyone claiming to be a psychic, medium or spiritualist if attempting to ‘deceive and ‘make money from the deception (other than solely for the purpose of entertainment). Prior to this was the Witchcraft Act 1735 from which I believe a person could be sentenced to death. So, we’ve come a long way and sadly we still need to protect our public from deceivers. These days we have to comply with the Consumer Protection From Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. Be dilgient regarding your claims. In the image below is a disclaimer that I have framed on my table, you can use the same or similar wording as long as you don’t completely alter the context. I don’t make a big deal of it, I simply make the client aware of the law and proceed to give them what they have come for – a Tarot consultation.