Tuesday, 2 August 2011

mixing business with pleasure


As a Tarot enthusiast with a lot of learning under my belt, I often consider attempting to make a living reading fortunes. Aside from the fact that I really enjoy working with the decks, 'spinning the yarn' and conversing with people about their lives, I've also found myself in the fortunate position of being able to really help querents out with their emotional conundrums which means I'm giving back as much as I'm taking out. That's a pleasant feeling that lasts. Sadly, despite several attempts to hone a career out of my skill, it's a pie that continues to end up half baked and today I think I'd like to reflect on that.

Money has changed hands in the past for me on several occasions. I once did the rounds at a dinner party for a friend who reimbursed me. A couple also approached me in a pub while I was shuffling my cards and offered me a fee for a reading. I've been doing paid email readings on and off for a couple of years. Instances of making a crust doing something I really enjoy are fantastic and since then I've enquired a few times at various New Age shops and book stores for a shot as their in-house Tarot reader. Sadly, positions are already filled where I've looked. (If you've got a sweet gig at a New Age shop it's not likely you'll leave that position vacant for some other lucky reader!)

An avenue that many well-meaning fortune tellers tend to go down is phoneline work. Personally, I've heard too many negative things about unscrupulous techniques and readers being ordered to behave in a certain way or keep querents on the line long after the reading has ceased to have any benefit. One thing that tends to come up is the popular 'first three minutes free' deal that makes the rounds on so many websites. Readers who've moved on from phoneline work admit that they are told to stall the querent for the first three minutes before even beginning the reading. There's nothing 'free' about it. I can imagine that if you're genuinely enthusiastic about Tarot, working for a phoneline would be too money-orientated and uninspiring to keep your interest.

In my post yesterday I discussed the importance of identifying querents who've formed an unhealthy attachment to the cards or to you as a reader. Phonelines tend to be frequented by querents who have money troubles in particular and yet they're spanking big cash on a premium telephone line to someone with no qualifications in finance, hoping for the answers. To me, that reeks of unhealthy attachment and I don't really want to add to the problem and make myself feel guilty in the process.

The third problem with phonelines is that 99.9% of them advertise under the guise of psychic ability. I don't believe that I possess any psychic ability, so that's not really the right avenue for me.

No doubt, I'll keep trying from time to time. I know that there are plenty of readers with 'the gift' who believe that charging money for clairvoyant ability is ethically unsound. I believe that I do possess a 'gift' of sorts. I have 'the gift of the gab'. I have pure Celtic story telling ability, mixed with a deep knowledge of the cards, plenty of practical experience and a desire to give an intuitive, sensitive and empathetic reading. It takes a lot of energy and creativity to give good, in-depth readings and I tend to also offer write-ups by hand for face-to-face clients - all of which, I think, is deserving of a monetary reward. (Nothing extortionate.) However, making money by any means necessary when it comes to Tarot isn't for me. It needs to be an ethical set-up where I'm assured that I can interpret the cards as I see them and have an open dialogue with the querents who cross my palm with silver. (It might be worth noting that I do regularly offer free readings. I enjoy it and it keeps me in practice. I tend to offer via Spirit & Destiny and Prophesies and I get great feedback.)

Both the querent and the reader deserve to have a good time during a reading. Let's face it, if all the fun has been sucked out of it by rules and regulations geared towards making money at any cost, what's the point?

I have decided to become more involved in the Tarot community and to take inspiration from others who are really enjoying their Tarot journey, both personally and professionally. I've been a member of the Aeclectic Tarot forum for a long time but never really felt that my contributions to discussions would be worthwhile. I began this blog as an outlet but have done zero networking so far even though I'm aware that there are lots of fantastic blogs out there. I'm going to be penning some articles on fortune telling for various different publications so watch this space and I hope to visit your Tarot blogs soon.