Aspiring Tarot Readers & Constructive Criticism
To give, or not to give, a tarot reading, that is the question. Whether or not you’re professional reader, the question of tarot readings will eventually come up. Well meaning friends, potential customers, and aspiring tarot readers will all ask for a practice tarot reading from you. For some of us, this is our most vulnerable moment. To open up as a tarot reader, to put our skills on the line, and to simply say ‘yes’ to a tarot reading can be heart wrenching. So, today’s tarot challenge topic couldn’t be more relevant. Let’s explore the in-depth question of whether or not to give tarot readings as an inspiring tarot reader.
As a formality, here’s today’s question:
When and where did you give your first reading?
To being, I’d like to say that Holistic Tarot does touch on this topic a bit. The simplified version is that, in the author’s opinion, aspiring tarot readers shouldn’t give readings as if they were a professional reader themselves. But, if this is the case, how then are we expected to learn? Well, easy, we can still give practice readings for feedback. However, doesn’t that bring up the age old problem of receiving advice from your peers? The same peers you want to compete against for business? Clearly something more is at work here, and it needs explaining. Interestingly, I think my experience and answer to the above question will help demonstrate the point.
When I began wanting to branch out as an aspiring tarot reader, I headed on over to Reddit. There, I quickly found an abundance of people wanting clarification on their tarot readings. That’s how I began to ‘give’ tarot readings, at least in my opinion. Many people would say they drew such and such cards, and then they’d look for a variety of interpretations from those on Reddit. My advice seemed to go over well, and many users commented on my unique definitions of cards in certain spreads. It didn’t take too long before I received private messages in my Reddit inbox asking for a tarot reading. At first, I was quite against this, but it was tempting to say the least.
The fact I was giving free readings, by volunteering feedback, never really bothered me. These were aspiring tarot readers like myself, as well as people who would never pay for a reading anyway. But then, well, I started to seek out chances to volunteer a reading for others here and there. On some Reddit groups, you can volunteer to do readings on certain days, more than likely in exchange for some simple feedback. Wanting to see if I could do it, I quickly volunteered and waited. Surprisingly, I had to wait quite a bit of time before someone sought out a free reading. Eventually someone did, and I’ve come to deem this the first tarot reading I really did for a stranger.
All in all, I learned a lot by giving this free tarot reading to a stranger. Sadly, it never seemed to end! The person had a ton of questions that only led to more questions. Even if they had been paying me, it would have been too much. To add to this, the feedback I received was nothing more than a simple, ‘the reading was spot on’. UGH! That was not the kind of constructive feedback I had been seeking. After a few more of these creeping up, I quickly disbanded trying to seek out advice. But, that experience taught me a great deal about the intricacies of reading tarot for others. See, I didn’t stop trying to read tarot for others, I simply shifted my focus.
If you’re willing, flash forward a couple months. I’ve been studying tarot since my Reddit experience, and I have a more focused view on what reading tarot is all about. I’m in the middle of Biddy Tarot’s amazing free course on gaining confidence as a tarot reader, and I have to end the course by giving another reading to a stranger. The lucky participant for this tarot reading? My unsuspecting husband. I know, it said to do one for a stranger, but my husband can be so blunt and skeptical he might as well be when it comes to tarot. We sit down to do the tarot reading, and lo and behold, he doesn’t even have a question to ask. This, being honest, felt like a more legitimate tarot reading scenario than reading for those on Reddit did.
After a little prompting, my husband and I decided to just do a general reading, but one mainly focused on his business. The tarot reading started to hit home in a few places for him, and we talked about it for quite a while. Overall, while he had been skeptical, the tarot reading opened up some doors for communication and guidance to take place. An observer quickly noted how the tarot reading had been all about feedback, and focusing personal thoughts in a productive way. I was absolutely beaming, because this was someone who had reservations about tarot, considering it as a bit misguiding or a possible gateway into evil. Had I just unknowingly convinced them otherwise? Yes, yes I had… by practicing my tarot reading.
These two stories lead me to my point, yes aspiring readers can read tarot for others. The main issue is in finding your voice within the tarot community. For me, the difference between these two readings wasn’t that I knew the person involved. Instead, it was about my focused mindset when I approach tarot. Before my husband sat down to the tarot reading table, I knew how to gently guide him into a productive outcome. As a really new aspiring tarot reader, I didn’t have that skill yet. That’s what makes all the difference really. You cannot get a productive reading out of someone if you don’t know what productive outcome you even want in the first place. Don’t bother with this.
When I read tarot for practice now, I’m very careful and slow to jump at opportunities. I honestly learn more by reading tarot for myself. There’s nothing wrong with that. Likewise, there’s nothing wrong with reading tarot for other people. The main key is honesty, and knowing what you want to get out of the experience. If you want feedback on a romance themed tarot reading, would you take a tarot reading focused on business? Probably not, and the same should be true when seeking general feedback. Know yourself. Know who you are as a tarot reader, and then seek out constructive advice. I learned a lot from the second tarot reading I did for someone else. But that first reading, well it made me almost want to give up completely. Always know yourself.