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General

Other Aspects of Tarot

  1. I don’t really want to read for anyone. Is Tarot still valuable to me?
  2. Can I read for myself?
  3. I am a writer. Where can I get my Tarot articles published?

 

I don’t really want to read for anyone. Is Tarot still valuable to me?
Yes. The twenty-two cards of the Major Arcana represent a journey and are a perfect roadmap for a major project. Picking a card daily on which to meditate is a focused way of centering and clarifying daily goals. Choosing a card to represent a goal and performing a ritual to express this desire to the universe is another way of directing energies in a very specific way. Some people call this Tarot spell work. In the corporate world, people do the same thing and call it creative visualization. Even using the images on the cards for inspiration for short stories, artwork and musical compositions is possible.

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Can I read for myself?
Every reader must discover this. In order to read for yourself you must exercise the candor and honesty you offer a client. If you find you tend to soften the message (or are too hard on yourself) when reading for yourself, don’t do it. I personally pull a card a day to give me insight into my strengths and weaknesses on any given day, but I would never be able to do a complete reading for myself. Exchanging readings with another reader is an excellent way to get regular readings without incurring a great expense. In my city, there are numerous Healing Circles where readers and practitioners come together and share their talents. If there is not something like this where you live, you may be able to develop a monthly gathering of a few readers for the purpose of sharing readings.

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I am a writer. Where can I get my Tarot articles published?
Within the ATA there are two publications seeking submissions year round. The Quarterly and Tarot Reflections both offer opportunities to see your articles and reviews published. Submissions should be sent to the Quarterly and Tarot Reflections Editors at editor@ata-tarot.com. There are numerous other publications, ezines and websites seeking submissions.

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Professional Reading for Others

  1. Where can I read?
  2. What should I charge for a reading? Should I charge for a reading?
  3. What are the legal implications to practicing Tarot?
  4. What special skills are required to do Tarot parties?
  5. What about Psychic Fairs?
  6. What about phone reading networks?
  7. What are the Free Reading Network and Free Tarot Network?
  8. Do I need business cards, brochures and/or flyers?
  9. Do I need a website?
  10. Where can I advertise my services?

 

Where can I read?

If you are uncomfortable reading in your own home or the home of your clients, many coffee shops and restaurants offer excellent meeting places. For the price of a couple of coffees, they are very happy to see you settle in and do a reading. If you get any negative vibes, check with the management before arranging to read there. I have also read at bookstores and libraries. Any of the above places offer marginal privacy. You may be able to find healing arts centers or yoga studios who would rent you space which would allow a more private environment. This cost can be passed on to the client or absorbed within your fees, but be careful that you are not inadvertently reading for free – or worse, spending more money than you are making.

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What should I charge for a reading? Should I charge for a reading?
This is an age old debate. Some readers feel like their talent is a gift and, to charge for it, cheapens it. Some people believe that if you do not charge for a reading, it has little of no value to the client. This is a personal decision. I believe that there should be some exchange of energies in the client-reader relationship; however, I have read for a cup of coffee, a crayon drawing or a reading. I also have a set rate I charge; however, I reduce it sometimes based on circumstances.

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What are the legal implications to practicing Tarot?
Check your local community’s rules and regulations. Ignorance is not a defense. My community requires that I have a business license. If you know other readers in your area, they may be able to fill you in on the requirements; however, nothing beats first hand information.

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What special skills are required to do Tarot parties?
Stamina, in a word. My experience has been that, once the crowd discovers you are there, you will have a nonstop flow of people until the party ends or you are scheduled to leave. Pace yourself. Factor in breaks and honor them. Let the host or hostess of the party know that you will be taking breaks at regular intervals. Keep a bottle of water close at hand. Reading nonstop for hours can be a very dehydrating experience. Finally, do something for you at the end of the day or evening. Buy ice cream on the way home. Do a cleansing ritual. Take a cab home instead of the bus. I find this is a great way to honor yourself after hours of honoring others.

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What about Psychic Fairs?

There are a number of gatherings which fall under the broad category of psychic fairs. Metaphysical bookstores may host a monthly event or a local bar or restaurant may designate one night every few months as a Psychic Night. Every entity operates differently; however, most can be a rewarding experience and an excellent marketing opportunity. To compete visually at one of these events, you will need some sort of signage and a colorful tablecloth. In some cases you set your rates and in others cases, the host facility has a standardized rate for all readers. These are also excellent chances to exchange readings with other practitioners. As with parties, pace yourself, drink plenty of fluids and do something to revitalize at the end of what is usually a long day or evening.

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What about phone reading networks?

Phone services that offer a variety of readers over a central 800 number are numerous. If you are considering signing up with one of these services as a reader, be very precise when reading the contract you are signing with a service. Some things to consider is how they assign the readings (random or based on number or readings or number of minutes per reading), how are you promoted (do you get listed at the head of the list of readers by paying a premium), how many readings can they give you, do you get penalized if you can’t read over a period of time and can you promote your own website through the network.

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What are the Free Reading Network and Free Tarot Network?

These two networks are excellent ways to practice and refine your reading. The Free Tarot Network allows you to do one-card readings where the Free Reading Network focuses on 3 – 5 card readings. For more information on these networks go to www.freereading.us and www.freetarot.us.

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Do I need business cards, brochures and/or flyers?

Anything you can do to promote your business is worth looking into, but keep good records on what works and doesn’t work. There is no need in spending the money to put 50 brochures at a bookstore every month if it is not generating any income. Word of mouth is the greatest advertising, which makes business cards an inexpensive, but valuable item. With today’s easy-to-use software, it is possible to create all of your business collateral on your own computer.

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Do I need a website?

Same answer. A website gets your name out in front of the public, especially if you are doing email or phone reading and can read for someone anywhere in the world. Websites do not have to be expensive. Many website hosts have very simple fill-in-the-spaces templates that allow you to build a beautiful, functional website within a couple of hours. This is a great way to test the waters before spending hundreds (or thousands) of dollars to build a state of the art website.

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Where can I advertise my services?

Pick up a good book on guerilla marketing and start looking for unusual activities. Keep track of what works and what doesn’t work. Explore opportunities to do free readings if it will bring you in contact with a good number of new potential clients. Check out Craigslist at www.craigslist.org. You may even try listing very low cost readings (.50) on Ebayto generate an interest in your services. Paid advertising in newspapers, magazines and websites must be carefully monitored to make certain your advertising dollars are generating a return. When you advertise, be certain you list an email address and/or phone number, but no physical address, to insure privacy and safety.

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Back to FAQs

Tarot Reading

 

  1. What preparations are necessary before I read for the first time?
  2. How should the cards be shuffled and dealt?
  3. What spreads should I use?
  4. Do I have to read with reversals?

 

What preparations are necessary before I read for the first time?
You will read that decks must be smudged, buried in the ground through a full moon and put under your pillow for seven nights before you begin using them. Whatever ritual you decide is right for you is the ritual you should follow. Honestly, my first deck I just opened up and started using it with no ritual whatsoever.

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How should the cards be shuffled and dealt?
Again, what feels right for you is right. Ten different books may tell you ten different ways. Find the ritual that is right for you.

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What spreads should I use?
Again, for fear of sounding like a broken record, find the spreads that work for you. "Power Tarot" by Trish MacGregor and Phyllis Vega is loaded with many spread possibilities. There is also the possibility of creating a unique spread to fit a particular query.

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Do I have to read with reversals?
Not at all. Many readers do not. You will have access to more information if you use additional aspects to your readings; however, instead of reversals, you may choose numerology, astrology, Kaballah or any number of other elements to enrich your readings.

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Tarot Certification

 

  1. What is certification?
  2. Do I have to get certified to be a tarot reader?
  3. Why should I get certified?
  4. How do I get certified?
  5. Where do I go for certification?
  6. Which agency does the ATA recommend?
  7. Do I have to take the ATA’s courses to get certified?
  8. Why can’t I get certified through the ATA?

 

What is certification?
The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines the word “certify” as “to attest as being true or as represented or as meeting a standard”. Thus, certification is proof that you have mastered a set of skills in a field.

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Do I have to get certified to be a tarot reader?
No, tarot certification is entirely optional.

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Why should I get certified?
Being certified can reassure your clients that you’re a professional reader, and that you have the skills needed for the job. Even if you never plan on reading for anyone but yourself, tarot certification can serve as a way to measure your progress.

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How do I get certified?
In general, you will need to pay a fee and pass some sort of proficiency test. You may be asked to provide written proof of your skills, or to perform readings and answer questions over the phone or in person. The exact requirements and fee structures for each certification level vary from agency to agency.

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Where do I go for certification?
Formerly there were three tarot certification boards in North America, unfortunately none are currently in operation. If you find a new one then please let us know.

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Which agency does the ATA recommend?
We suggested comparing the various agencies’ requirements and deciding for yourself which one (if any) was best for you.

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Do I have to take the ATA’s courses to get certified?
While our courses can help you improve your tarot skills, they were not required by any of these agencies.

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Why can’t I get certified through the ATA?
Our purpose is tarot education, not certification. Professionals in many other fields (such as doctors and lawyers) are certified by agencies independent of their educational process, and we feel the same should be true for tarot readers.

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Tarot 101

  1. How does Tarot work?
  2. Can I predict the future with Tarot?
  3. Are the cards Satanic or evil in any way?
  4. What books do you recommend for studying Tarot?
  5. Is it best to learn one deck or many?
  6. Why the need for so many decks?
  7. What is the best deck with which to start?
  8. How can I find the deck that is right for me?
  9. Is it true that my first deck should be a gift from someone else?

 

 

How does Tarot work?
There are a variety of beliefs as to what makes the perfect card come up in the perfect position. Guidance by a higher power is probably the most common belief, whether that higher power takes on the name of God, Goddess or Guardian Angel. Another belief is that we all connect to a Universal Subconscious through our subconscious, and in doing so, we have access to data on any individual to which we direct our focus. Intuition is always a great culprit, but his intuition can spring from your subconscious or a guide, as well. I rarely question HOW it works. I have enough unquestionably convincing situations happen to accept that it does work. So will you once you begin reading.

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Can I predict the future with Tarot?
Tarot’s strongest and most empowering aspect is the ability to provide a snapshot of where a person is right now in their life, and where they are going if they keep doing what they are doing. This gives them the power to change their actions if they do not like the outcome.

The minute you turn your life over to the cards, expecting them to tell you what is going to happen no matter what actions you take, you give up your power. During your studies and readings, you may find you have a very strong psychic ability; however, be very careful that your predictions don’t take away the freedom of choice for your clients.

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Are the cards Satanic or evil in any way?
It is possible to find decks with a negative influence; however, the majority of decks out there have no Satanic or evil symbolism in them. On the contrary, the Rider-Waite deck and its clones have many images connected to angels and biblically inspired stories. If you study the Kaballah in connection with Tarot, you will find the cards represent a pathway back to the Godhead in addition to the path of energy from a spiritual creator to our material world.

The belief that Tarot is the tool of the Devil is a commonly held belief, perpetrated by horror movies and suspense thrillers. One of the tools you will need early on as a reader is a solid answer to the question of demonic influences in the Tarot cards. I find sharing some of the beautiful images from the deck, especially those images inspired by formal religion, is a way of dispelling fears and prejudice.

Accept the fact that there are some people so deeply rooted in their beliefs that nothing you do, say or show them will alter their understandings. When encountering someone like this, it is better to move forward secure in your belief in the goodness and value of Tarot.

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What books do you recommend for studying Tarot?

For basic learning:
"Tarot For Your Self" Mary K. Greer
"78 Degrees" Rachel Pollack
"Power Tarot" Trish MacGregor and Phyllis Vega
"Learning the Tarot" Joan Bunning
"Tarot Dictionary and Compendium" Jana Riley
"Tarot for Self Discovery" Nina Lee Braden
"Designing your Own Tarot Spreads" Teresa Michelsen
“The Complete Tarot Reader” Teresa Michelsen
"Putting the Tarot to Work" Mark McElroy
"Understanding the Tarot Court Cards" Mary K. Greer and Tom Little
“Tarot Reversals” Mary K. Greer

For tarot history:
"Tarot: History, Mystery and Lore" Cynthia Giles
"A Wicked Pack of Cards: The Origins of the Occult Tarot" Decker, Depaulis and Dummett
"History of the Occult Tarot: 1870 - 1970" Ron Decker and Michael Dummett
"The Encyclopedia of Tarot: Volumes I, II, III" Stuart R. Kaplan

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Is it best to learn one deck or many?
It is best to start with one deck if you are completely new to Tarot. Once you master the meanings in one deck, it is usually relatively easy to build on your knowledge and add decks to your arsenal.

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Why the need for so many decks?
Not everyone likes vanilla. Various groups and individuals throughout the ages have felt the inspiration to create decks which align with their belief system or artistic inclination. This makes it possible to find THE deck that speaks to you.

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What is the best deck with which to start?
Any deck with pictorial pips (cards 1 – 10) is generally the best. This means that the 5 of Cups, for example, will have a picture of someone or something dealing with a situation in which there are five cups, as opposed to five cups used in a decorative design. The more that a card shows a situation, the easier it is to tie it to real life meanings.

Be sure you get a real Tarot deck. There are oracle decks, angel decks, meditation decks and Major Arcana only decks that do not fit into the Tarot deck category. Even though these alternative decks are very powerful tools, they will not align with many of the beginning Tarot books, which will make learning your first deck more difficult...

A standard Tarot deck has 78 cards – 22 Major Arcana cards or Trumps, 16 Court cards and 4 suits of 10 cards each comprising the Minor Arcana. Some Tarot decks add some alternative cards like an additional Death or Lovers card or a blank card or two. If there are too many additions, for example, adding an additional Court card in each suit, you will have the same difficulty when learning Tarot for the first time, unless you find a book specific to the deck.

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How can I find the deck that is right for me?
If you don't feel connected to your cards, check out another deck. Go somewhere where they have lots of decks on display, or at least samples, look at them, take them out of the packages if the store allows it. See if you feel drawn to any particular deck. Having the connection to your deck is the single most important factor in being able to read them.

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Is it true that my first deck should be a gift from someone else?
No. If this were the case, I would never have stumbled into Tarot. It is great to have the first deck as a gift; however, I believe half of the joy of stepping into the world of Tarot is seeking out your first deck.

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Read the ATA's online Newsletter, Tarot Reflections!  To receive notification each time a new issue is published, send email to: TarotReflections-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

 

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