What Makes a Good Tarot Reader?

by AmberL

Tarot reading is a very wide field of differing skills and approaches. So how do you find a good reader among the bunch?

Many people don't know that tarot reading is one of the few helping professions that is 'unregulated'. That means anyone can start up as a tarot reader. Now I'm not encouraging anyone to buy a tarot deck, read the little booklet that comes with it and to set up shop as a reader. Why? Because would you want to go to another helper like a doctor, nurse or psychologist who had only read a little booklet before they started helping others? I'm guessing not. Tarot isn't any different.

This situation makes it tricky to find a truly helpful reader so here are a few things to keep in mind:

How Much Do They Know?

tarot readings

A good tarot reader 'or helper' needs to know far more than what is in that little tarot deck book. Unfortunately if you don't know much about tarot it can be very hard to work out if a tarot helper really knows their stuff. One way you can explore how much they know is to read through their blog.

Blogs are a great way to 'meet' a tarot reader. This is because blogs can help you understand what they know, what their personality might be like and what's important to them. Blogs can help you work out if the tarot reader would be a good match for you. If the tarot reader doesn't have a blog make sure you have a good chat to them first to get a feel for them. 

Do They Have an Ethics Code?

All professional helpers have an ethics code regardless of whether they are doctors, social workers, physiotherapists or psychologists. Having (and following) a formal ethics code is part of being professional. If a tarot helper does not have an ethics code it can be a warning sign that they're not acting in a fully professional way. This ethics code may not be on their website. In this case you always have the right to ask any new tarot reader about their ethics code.  This should include their boundaries as a tarot reader (what they can't do for ethical reasons). It should also include things like respect and privacy towards clients. 

Do they Agree to Answer Any Question?

This may sound great but would you go to a dentist to ask about a sprained ankle? Everyone has areas of expertise. Being a professional helper means knowing what your "area" is and where you can best be of help. This also means suggesting another type of professional helper when needed. 

Tarot cards are also not suited to every question you can think of. Asking if you have a medical condition like diabetes is one area you should never use tarot cards for. Questions like this should always be answered by your doctor. So be very wary of any tarot reader who is happy to answer a question like this. Instead it's safer to look towards a tarot reader who has boundaries, This is because boundaries are a good sign because it takes understanding and ethics to know what can and can't be done. 

What is their Background?

Finding a tarot reader

If a tarot reader has a background in another helping profession it can be a good sign. Helping backgrounds include professions like: medicine, nursing, social work, psychotherapy, counseling or psychology. Professional level training in a holistic helping profession such as hypnotherapy or reiki can also be a good sign, as can teaching. 

Background experience in helping is not the only thing to look for though. Some people with a background in helping may not be the best tarot helpers. There are also tarot reader without this background who are highly professional and skilled. So this is just something else to consider in the big picture when you are looking for a tarot reader. 

Do They Take Away Your Personal Power?

This is a very important thing to keep in mind. Some misguided tarot readers can take away your personal power in their zeal to help. It is always important to remember that no tarot reader should ever give you the feeling that your future is already written. They should never make you feel that there is nothing you can do to make your future better. We all have future possibilities. The role of a good tarot reader is to help you see these in a clearer way. A good tarot reader will give you guidance and ideas. So be wary of any tarot reader who dictates 'must do' advice. This is especially true if it involves a major life change. 

A  more serious problem are the few highly dubious tarot readers who like to predict disaster. Things like a loved one getting cancer. No tarot professional regardless of how skilled they are can predict something like this. I won't make judgments on why some tarot readers choose to do this... but I can say it is not to help their clients unfortunately. 

Are They a Self-Aware Helper?

Professional helpers should be self-aware helpers. Why? Because it's very easy in life to be influenced by our own views of the world. When you are self-aware it's easier to step back and see things how they really are  and to help someone in the best way - for them. We have probably all had the experience of someone trying to help us in a way that just seems to make things worse. This is an example of someone who isn't self-aware. Their heart is in the right place but they haven't been able to step back to work out how to help in a 'helpful way'. This ability to step back is called being objective. Being objective is part of being a truly professional helper. 

Some people who are trying to help can also fall into the all too common problem of meeting their own needs through helping. When a helper is meeting their own needs it makes it very difficult for them to meet your needs. Now helping others can bring wonderful meaning to life. This can make anyone feel good about what they do - and that's just fine. The problem is when a helper's own needs affect how they help in a bad way. This may be giving very biased guidance because they haven't yet worked though their own experiences. It might even be giving advice that makes them feel important rather than to be truly helpful. These are just two examples as there are many different 'needs' people can try to fill. This means a tarot helper who isn't self-aware is at higher risk of crossing the line from enjoying helping others to just meet their own needs. 

So take care and do your research when looking for a tarot helper. Read their blogs. Check out their Ethics Code. Keep an eye out for proper boundaries. Be especially be very careful though of a tarot helper that takes away your personal power or doesn't seem to be self-aware.

Updated: 02/19/2014, AmberL
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AmberL on 09/13/2013

Thanks jptanabe :)

jptanabe on 09/11/2013

Sounds like good advice!

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