Quite simply put, if you’re not in the right headspace for it, you should leave your deck of cards alone. I personally like to follow the thumb rule if you’re not too drunk to drive, you definitely should not be reading the cards. Drinking changes how you make your decisions and blurs your brain, which definitely cannot make for a good reading. But of course, that isn’t the only case. There are all sorts of rules for when not to read the cards.
The first obvious one is when you haven’t read or researched enough about them. You see the card of Death and boom, you think it means you, or who you’re reading for, are going to die. Of course, anyone with experience knows that Death is far from ominous. Upright, it means the end of something, the beginning of something new; reversed, it means a resistance to change. Juvenile tarot readers, like medical students, shouldn’t be practicing on people until they are confident of their skills.
There’s nothing more off-putting than a nervous tarot reader. Remember, someone has come to you looking for answers. They trust you enough to put their minds into your hands. You want to give them assurance, faith that whatever is wrong, you will counsel them through it until it’s all okay. You don’t want to scare them away, you have to keep your composure.
I mentioned drinking before, and the same goes for impatience. It corrodes your judgement. If you already know the reading you want, you’re not going into it with an open mind, and it is so, so important to keep your mind open while reading. You’re going to end up making connections that benefit the outcome you want instead of what’s true. That is harmful to both your clients and your own mental health.
Mental health is paramount. You need to take care of yourself. If you’re fatigued, burnt out, or simply down in the dumps, maybe don’t pull out the deck just yet. Give your mind time to rejuvenate itself. It’s important sometimes to just take a step back, let yourself breathe and then decide if you want to read or not. Inhala, exhala, like they say in Jane the Virgin. Yeah, I’m kinda obsessed with that show. It’s fine if you can’t do it just yet, it’s fine to take it slow. Give yourself time. Talk to a friend, go work out, write out your feelings. The thing about writing down your feelings is that it goes from the muddled-up mess inside your head which seems so impossible to put down to tangible evidence of what you’re going through. It’s real, you’re real, what you’re going through is valid and needs to be given its own due attention.
You need to be centered and calm to have a reading. Being in a rage, being in a hurry, that won’t ever bring you the best reading. You should not be waiting to drive out a customer in a hurry to bring in the other. Your client deserves your full attention, and so do the tarot cards. You should be giving your best to interpreting what they have in store, and you can only do that when your brain is thoroughly together.
It’s also fine to set your own boundaries when it comes to clients. Maybe you won’t read for minors or those who are intoxicated. An ethical code is necessary for any profession, especially when it’s one that has the ability to change someone’s life. Make sure what you’re doing is both legal and ethical.
Learn to let it go if the topic is too close for comfort. If there are topics that can serve as trigger points for you, something you haven’t healed from yet, be sure to let your client know. You aren’t obligated to face something you’re not ready for yet.
Reading for friends and family can be tricky. I know tarot readings that have absolutely destroyed relationships because the reader chose to be brutally honest and the client couldn’t take it. Make sure who you’re working with is mature enough for a reading, and knows not to take it too seriously, especially when it comes to predictions about the future. The future isn’t set in stone and whatever has been seen in the cards can be changed based on your actions. The tarot reader can only work with the self you currently have, it is up to you to change that.
The most important thing however when doing a reading is letting yourself be who you truly are, your authentic, original self. You need to learn to let go of any images in your head that might bring negativity to your reading. Remember that the cards respond to the way you treat them, so be gentle and loving with them, your client, and above all, yourself.
Kali of Calcutta
A Deity in Disguise
I am a Moh-karna from a spiritual land with a past I struggle to forget. Reading the tarot helps calm the lust for the blood of my enemies inside me.