How I Got Into Tarot (and why I went pro!)

I’m often asked “how did you get into Tarot?” Well, here’s the story…

I first discovered Tarot back in 2008, during a tumultuous and exciting time in my life. I had just up and quit my boring 9-5 office job and had no real plan. I was trying to find my own path and figure shit out.

Immediately after quitting my job I became powerfully drawn to all things metaphysical – filling my apartment with crystals, angel decks and singing bowls. I’ve since seen this happen to recently divorced women in their 40’s and 50’s but for me it happened in my 20’s after I’d divorced my job.

A friend of mine was learning Tarot and that got me thinking can just anyone learn to read Tarot?

I’d always thought Tarot readers were just born knowing how to read – like it was something that ran in their family. I didn’t realize that any basic Joe Blow could figure it out.

That’s when it suddenly dawned on me: Holy shit, I could learn Tarot!!!

I fantasized about busting out my Tarot deck at parties and impressing everyone with my mysterious skills and exotic flair. I would be so much more interesting, I thought.


My Tarot Journey…

I always love learning and I love a challenge, especially one that doesn’t challenge me too much. So I went lurking on Amazon and ended up buying three decks:

The Secret Tarot (an interesting, yet weird deck that was terrible to learn on) and mini versions of the Rider Waite and Thoth decks, along with a couple of Tarot books.

Being unemployed, free time was copious and I spent most of it diving into the endlessly complex and confusing world of Tarot. I gave myself hundreds of readings. I gave my friends and family readings – mostly pathetic, unimpressive ones, but still.

But what I really yearned to do was read Tarot for strangers! This was the epitome of Tarot achievement in my opinion. The idea filled me with both anticipation and slight terror.


What drew me to read Tarot for others…

Sad confession: most interactions I have with people are pretty shallow. I make safe small talk with grocery store cashiers and neighbors and when I get together with friends we usually chat about TV shows and other people’s sex lives. Fun stuff but not exactly deep! So the mere thought of sitting down with a complete stranger to hear their deepest concerns and big life questions filled me with longing. I wanted to have those kinds of interactions with people!

My first reading-for-strangers gig happened after I’d been studying the Tarot for about two years. A friend of a friend was having a party and thought it would be fun to have me do readings in her basement. I wasn’t yet a “professional” reader so I did it for free, hoping this would keep people’s expectations low. It’ didn’t. But the night was an overall success, save for one woman getting all snippy with me because all the cards in her reading were positive and her life was so miserable (!)

A few months later, I lost my job (I’d since gotten a part-time job after leaving my old 9-5) and I was in need of cash. At that time I was doing several different things – teaching yoga, personal training, reiki and bellydancing and I boldly decided to add Tarot reading to the list.

At this point my husband joked that the people at Vistaprint were probably rolling around laughing every time I sent in a new order for business cards.

I told him to shut the f*ck up ๐Ÿ™‚


Why I went Pro…

The main reasons I decided to learn Tarot was because it intrigued me and I saw it as a potential way to help and connect with people. But the reason I decided to go pro and start charging for readings was simple – I needed some extra cash!

While reading Tarot is the crappiest way to get rich, it’s a pretty decent way to earn some money on the side.

I was struck by how rewarding giving readings was, but also how frustrating it could be. The weird questions I’d get asked and the ridiculously high expectations some people had would sometimes make professional Tarot reading an exhausting endeavor.

But most of my clients over the years have been wonderful and there’s something so special about being able to submerse yourself in someone else’s story for 30 minutes.

It continually amazes me how the cards reveal just what that person needs to hear in this moment and over the years I’ve grown to trust what the cards have to say.

*I’ll be sharing everything I know about reading Tarot for others in my upcoming 4-week course (classes start May 1st!)

Here’s another true confession. I’ve done this twice now and I’m not proud of it, but I think you’ll find it interesting…

I was doing a reading for someone (online, via email) and after I laid the cards out and flipped them over I thought this can’t be right! These cards are so off! So I scrapped the reading, saged my reading space and started over. I shuffled again and laid the cards out and guess what? The second reading was basically the same as the first.

This kind of thing happens all the time when I’m reading for myself – I don’t like the cards I get so I re-do the reading (I know, I know, you’re not supposed to do that!). But the second reading almost always says the same thing as the first one. So I now trust the cards that show up. Unless I really don’t like them ๐Ÿ˜‰

So now I want to know…

How did YOU get into Tarot? What drew you in? Tell me in the comments below!

10 thoughts on “How I Got Into Tarot (and why I went pro!)”

  1. Therese Callaghan

    I started with Tarot the exact same year and in the exact same circumstances as you. Maybe there was some weird job divorce energy going on that year. I tried to break up with Tarot a couple of years back during my 2nd international home move, got rid of all my decks (which I now regret) as i hadn’t fully accepted myself as a tarot lover and enthusiast and was struggling with just wanting to be ‘normal’. So I quit. Well I’ve since realised you are who you are, and you love what you love, so since yet another international home move, i’ve come back to Tarot and I’m toying with going pro. I know i’m good at it and I love it. I’ve dabbled with pro status in the past but I feel compelled to at this stage. Thanks for sharing your story with us Kate. Love your work! (have you thought about creating a deck with your beautiful artwork?) Therese xo

    1. Thank you Therese, for sharing your story here ๐Ÿ™‚ What were you thinking….trying to be NORMAL? Who does that?! LOL. Glad you found your way back to Tarot and are now thinking of going pro.


  2. Iโ€™ve had oracle and angel cards for a few years.. in January last year I ordered an animal tarot deck, not even realizing there was a difference! When i realised I asked the angels to direct me to someone who could help me get started learning tarot.., 5 mins later I found her! Iโ€™ve been plodding along teaching myself with help from others since

  3. Angela Michelle

    Oddly, music led me to Tarot. I’m a big Led Zeppelin fan. Two of their images struck me as being very unique and I didn’t know why. One was what I called “the man on top of the rocks with the lantern” which was on a tapestry I had with the lyrics to Stairway to Heaven. The other image was an older man, bent over and weary, carrying a bag of sticks.

    These were the images used to promote Led Zeppelin IV – the album itself had four mysterious symbols on it.

    A friend of mine saw my tapestries and mentioned they were images from the Tarot, The Hermit and the Ten of Wands. Now, this was when I was a teenager, waaayyy back before the Internet came along. So my interest was piqued but I could find very little on the topic save for a library book or two. I was so disappointed, as it sounded fascinating and I really wanted to learn, but life being what it is I quickly forgot about it.

    Fast forward some twenty years, I went into a New Age bookstore to buy some incense…longing for my home to smell like a head shop again, lol. They had an entire section of Tarot decks I was immediately drawn too.

    My first deck was Deck of the Bastard. Normally it only sells on Etsy but the artist is local. I’ve since traded it and I SOOOO regret it!!! Then I got myself a regular Rider Waite deck to learn on. I immersed myself studying for about two years.

    My goal was never to read for others, I use it to journal and read for myself. My two go too decks are Morgan Greer and Kat Black Golden Tarot. You were actually very helpful in my learning process as well!

  4. Mmmmm.Enjoyed your story and experiences very much Kate.My story is pretty simple in comparison.Around early 2000s,I began to visit local Wiccan fair,which was held in a pub/bar.I very much interested in relaxation music then.T the fair I saw that the people sold tarot decks and I thought what a interesting hobby it would be to start to collect them,and so I did just that.By 2015,I had accumulated about 10 decks.I did know a little about what tarot was used for.So,one day,I decided to see if I could read.I discovered that I could not,so I decided it was time to take a more serious approach.Now four years further on and having taking a look at many spreads of my own and doing much journaling,I am seeing results.Wonderful.I only read for myself,I don’t have the “gift of the gap” to read for a complete stranger.My age is. 81 years,and yes, I started to learn tarot late in life.But it is a very interesting hobby.

  5. Good Story Kate!
    I enjoyed the bit about the vistacards, it really hit home as I just ordered new cards!
    Well I already told you my story, but for the want of sharing.

    It all started in 1997 I met this woman who became a good friend, and she gave me a gift of Rune’s by Ralph Blum, and I still use occasionally in tarot readings but as a key card sort of speak. I was discouraged at first because I felt, if everyone pulled the same rune and read the same little blurb, then how can it apply specifically to me. I am analytical and logical and a total non-believer in do do do stuff.

    In May 2011 my life changed forever towards the spirit world, my wife and I were walking down the street and we saw one of those signs $20 for 10-minute reading. I literally dragged my wife into the store against her will.

    This was not a tarot reading but a medium (Intuitive reader she called herself). There is another deeper story about Diane, but the first thing she said to me you do not believe in what I am about to say. I say no of course not, and then she said big changes are going to happen in your life, at that point I burst out laughing. Anyway, everything she said turned true within two months and I was totally and still am totally blown away by that first experience. I could type a whole book on that experience!

    So, a few readings later she recommends or my guides (who the heck are spirit guides anyway) little did I know! They recommended Fractural Art oracle cards. It took me another year (2013) before I found a deck by Cheryl Lee Harnish, Divine Guidance. These are truly wonderful cards as they are all pectoral art, so you really need to have intuition to read these cards! For now, I just read the little book. Just a foot note in my opinion these are truly advance cards for the true intuitive.

    Life continued I was still skeptical, but my heart was opening. In 2014, I purchased my first tarot deck – Doreen Virtue Angel Tarot Cards and
    In May 2015 I took an intuitive course and part of the course was reading tarot cards. My world was opening even more!

    I started using the fractural Divine Guidance cards to do distance readings for friends, I would pull the cards then type the messages and send them by email.

    2014-2015 was possibly the worst year of my life for me at work and I believe it was part of the lesson that sometimes we need to undergo a series horrible life events to open the intuitive self, almost like praying, how will I survive? And I was asking for lots of direction and guidance about my future, what should I do next (I was retiring into the unknown) During all this time the same spirit messages keep popping up, you will be fine, life will get better and forgive.

    In June 2015 I moved to North Vancouver, I started using Doreen Virtues Tarot deck again and I met another very interesting woman who read from a crystal Ball another very interesting long story! And she asked me to do a reading for her. This was my first reading using Tarot cards.

    In 2016 I started learning about Sharmanโ€™s and took Lynn Andrews course and purchased The Sharman Oracle deck and then Earth Magic Oracle cards.

    My Tarot Journey started in earnest in November 2016 as I took my first Tarot Class at a local mystical store in North Vancouver and purchased my first Rider Waite Tarot Deck. After graduating I became an apprentice card reader on Sundays and that lasted for a few months. I was extremely nervous but excited at the same time, but I had lots of fun and my confidence grew. Again, I had a bad experience and another life lesson.

    In January 2017 I wanted to build my foundation and I took some courses online with Sonia Coquette.
    In May 2017 I had another medium reading with Michelle, while 2011 was a medium reading it was not the same. Hard to explain.
    The message I received at this time was practice automatic writing.
    In May 2017 I purchased my next Deck – Anna K tarot cards. I love this deck and used it for the next two years.
    I also did a few more online readings for friends where I typed or now recorded the messages and sent them via email.
    In June 2017 life changed again, I took Kateโ€™s Tarot Course. This was truly a great course and I felt how little I knew and it started me on a book reading adventure to learn as much as I could.
    In September 2017, I took a course with Michelle, Contacting your spirit guides
    In February 2018 I took a course with Michelle How to become a medium and I was on the path to become a medium when I had a very bad experience with a client and the hatred from this woman was unbearable.
    I was still unclear on my direction and my tarot cards gathered dust.
    In January 2019 I was unclear of my current path and I was happy that I was able to re-take Kate Tarot course again, but sadly had to miss some of the course due to a long holiday.
    However, during the course I meet a fellow who went pro right after taking Kates course and I have since been inspired to take up the tarot journey again.

    Stayed tuned as I am planning to take Kates next course in May and yes I printed some business cards, The name actually came to me last year whilst I was walking and I asked my spirit guides for an eagle feather and the next day as I was walking in the woods I looked up and a feather was gently floating towards me so I call my self – Feathered Spirit, Insights by James

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