Becoming a Professional Tarot Reader: What You Need to Know

Q: I have been thinking about becoming a professional Tarot reader. What are the most important things to know when giving readings to others in exchange for money?
~ Paula

A: Excellent question, Paula! Becoming a professional Tarot reader isn’t something to take lightly. When I first went from doing free Tarot readings for friends to paid readings for strangers, I was amazed at how different the experience was. Honestly, I was really quite unprepared for a few things. Here is a list of all the things that you should be prepared for:

  • A lot of people seek out a Tarot reading when they are in a time of transition and chaos, therefore they may be unusually sensitive and vulnerable.
  • Many clients will feel nervous at the start of a reading.
  • Every client is different – some will pour their heart out and want to tell you their life story and others will clam up, preferring very little interaction during the reading.
  • A client may get emotional during the reading and cry
  • Many clients will take what you say quite seriously (so choose what you say carefully!)

How Professional Tarot Reading is Different Than Reading for Friends
1) Dealing with Nerves:
When I first stepped into the role of becoming a Professional Tarot Reader, I immediately noticed how  different it was from reading for friends. To begin with, I felt quite nervous reading for complete strangers. The fact that the person I was reading for was paying me money definitely made me feel pressured to “perform” and deliver a good reading.

Image courtesy of

Since it is so important to be calm and grounded during a tarot reading, this was something I had to work on. You might want to set aside a bit of time before your readings to get calm and centered, particularly if you are feeling nervous. Listening to a meditation CD can be extremely helpful – here is a link to a free guided meditation that I made to help myself get calm and let go of anxiety.

2) Time Limits:
When you venture into becoming a professional Tarot reader, chances are you will have time limits for your readings. This can take a bit of getting used to. Make sure you practice doing a 20 min reading with a friend a few times before you start reading Tarot professionally.

Sometimes you will get a client who keeps talking and asking questions long after the reading is finished. It is good to think of different ways of gently ending the reading in a way that is assertive, yet sensitive to your client’s needs. Here are some ideas:

  • “I would love to explore this further with you, but our time is up. It sounds like you are still feeling charged up about this. I would encourage you to do some journalling around this issue while your thoughts and feelings are still fresh.”
  • “Sometimes the answers aren’t ready to reveal themselves just yet. I know that can be frustrating. However, with time, things have a way of sorting themselves out. So right now it may be helpful for you to find a way to be okay with not having all the answers.”

It’s okay to go a little overtime with a reading, such as ten minutes. But allowing a reading to go well over the agreed upon time range will make you seem unprofessional and unassertive.

Develop Your Coaching & Listening Skills
A few years ago I took an intro counseling course through my local college and this prepared me for being a professional Tarot reader in ways that I never imagined!

It helped me get really good at “active listening”, being present, maintaining boundaries, etc. So I would recommend that anyone interested in transitioning from hobby Tarot reader to professional Tarot reader take a basic, introductory counseling course.

Developing my coaching & listening skills helped me do things like:

  • Create a safe reading environment and help my client feel at ease
  • Listen attentively and communicate clearly
  • Feel calm when a client gets emotional
  • Develop strong ethics and boundaries

Develop Strong Ethics and Boundaries
It is important that you get clear on what your reading ethics will be. Be clear on what you can and cannot do for a client in a reading. For example, if a client wants you to give detailed information about their ex-husband, will you feel comfortable with that or not? Or, if a desperate client returns for multiple readings in the same month, will you feel like you are taking advantage of her situation by reading for her repeatedly or will you feel okay doing this?

It helps to have your reading ethics written down somewhere. I have posted my ethics here on my site so potential clients can review them.

Develop a Mission Statement
Ask yourself why you want to do readings professionally and get clear on what your intentions and goals are for your business. For example, maybe your intention is to uplift, inspire and empower your clients while providing accurate information that will help them on their life path. Write down your “Mission Statement” so you can refer back to it from time to time to remind yourself of why you are providing this service. You may also choose to display your mission statement on your website or any promotional materials, if you have them. To see an example of a mission statement, check out mine.

Practical Considerations
There are many practical things to consider before becoming a professional Tarfortune-stellar-tarot-bookot reader, such as how much to charge for readings and where you will be doing readings (over the phone, in your home, in a metaphysical shop, via email, etc…)

professional-tarotThere are a couple books that cover these topics and provide lots of info about professional tarot reading. One is Professional Tarot: The Business of Reading, Consulting and Teaching by Christine Jette and the other is Fortune Stellar: What Every Professional Tarot Reader Needs to Know by Christiana Gaudet. I highly recommend both of these books if you want to explore this topic further.

Always End the Reading on a Positive Note
Most people seek out a Tarot reading because they want to feel better about their life situation. This doesn’t necessarily mean that everything you say in a reading should be 100% positive and uplifting, since you might receive information that is important, yet difficult for the client to hear. But you should always end the reading on a positive note so your client walks away feeling empowered and supported on their life path.

doreen virtues goddess cardsI like to end my Tarot readings by having my client draw an oracle card from one of my positive oracle decks. Any Doreen Virtue oracle deck works great for this, but I particularly love the Goddess Guidance Oracle Cards. This is so important especially if the reading was really deep and heavy. This allows me to bring the client an uplifting, lighthearted message that can tie the reading together and leave them feeling inspired.

Good luck with your journey of becoming a professional Tarot reader – I hope you find it as enjoyable and rewarding as I do!!!

71 thoughts on “Becoming a Professional Tarot Reader: What You Need to Know”

  1. Thank you Kate for everything you give us.
    In the country of origin of the Marseille tarot, there is a terrible lack of leaders like you.
    French, fortune teller, clairvoyant and professional tarot reader, I have been following you for several years.
    Keep it up, don’t change anything.
    Arianne .G

    Merci Kate pour tout ce que vous nous apportez.
    Dans le pays d’origine du tarot de Marseille, il manque terriblement de leaders comme vous.
    Française, cartomancienne, voyante et lectrice de tarot professionnelle, je vous suis depuis plusieurs années.
    Continuez comme ça, ne changez rien.
    Arianne .G

  2. Hi Kate, you’re a great inspiration, very kind, and helpful. I would like to do tarot to help people get inspired and be positive about their situations. I personally was drawn to tarot seeking away out of a hurtful situation, and I was inspired greatly by this. I would love to do this as a career. Thinking about you tube. This is very new to me, but I am very intuitive, and after watching so many readings, I actually learned a lot. I think the hard part for me would be the the technology aspect I see them with the camera, and the big microphone , I wouldn’t know where or how to start. Any information you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

  3. Fantastic website, really like it and will return regularly to see how it is growing and flourishing.
    I am a well established full time professional psychic reader and tarot reader, and it takes a lot to impress me.
    I see various website and most leave me cold. Please keep up the good work and have a happy Christmas.
    Rosemary Price the psychic.

    1. Hi Carrie, I don’t host Tarot community events myself, so I can’t really give you much advice here. You might want to look into (or a similar service) and create a tarot meetup in your area. Let me know how it goes!

  4. Pamela Kampschmidt

    I’m a medium psychic, tarot reading. My grandma taught me how to do witchcraft. I have different types of tarot reading and rune stones

  5. Hey you bave beautifully explained the details thank you so much for that .
    Just one tiny question .
    What were the source where you learned reading tarot.?
    Can you please tell us .
    Thank you

  6. It’s great that you talked about how to get started professionally in the tarot reading world. Recently, one of my aunts mentioned she’s interested in the tarot and spiritual practices. She said she’d be interested in taking a course, so I’ll be sure to share this article with my aunt. Thanks for the advice on how to be a professional tarot reader.

  7. Hello,How are you.
    I am a Tarot Reader.Does one need a certification to become a professional Tarot reader.

    1. Hi Kamini,
      No, one does not need a certification to read Tarot professionally.
      So far, Tarot is an unregulated industry, so no certification is required.
      Some readers feel that having some sort of certificate makes them seem more professional, but it is an individual choice. Personally, I do not hold any certificates in Tarot reading – I am self taught and have not taken any courses.



  8. When we are too tensed about the result we tend to go nervous and your tips to get prepared in the right manner helps a lot. Many are getting into online tarot card reading. Thank you for the awesome guidance to get the right results.

  9. Thank you for you insight it was very informative. I Have a Lisence to practice as a counselor and do not do “professionally” I’ve always just given my services out. I started reading tarot for my self and friends within the last few months and have learned that I have a gift of sight that makes the skills of learning counseling and to rot a great combination. You were very accurate to state the ethics and boundaries because to rot is truly a form of counseling. Great job! Love and light, soulmuuch,me

  10. Great place to het started. For some readon it didnt even dawn on me to think of googling “getting started professionally ” as a tarot reader. I had mo idea even where yo begin. I will definitely be looking into these books and topics. What kind of counseling classes did you take? I have had quadrants cry during readings and would love to find gentle and understating ways of handling these situations. And one more query, obviously there are different approaches to reading. I seem to be having a hard time reading cards like others. Such as putting the cards together to make a story & sometimes even relating to the question at hand. What do i do in these situations?

  11. Hi Kate,
    Thank you a lot for this insight into turning something I have done since young age time into a more professional activity. Just wanted to ask you a few questions: would you advise to use a more standard deck or is an unusual deck ok too? I have this tarot that has come from my grandmother and that I have been using for quite some time, but it has, well, a completely different major arcana, which usually confuses people that see it for the first time. I also own a more regular deck that I can use. Also, do you think that me being a man would create any complication in pursuit of the professional tarot reader path?

    1. Hi Mark!
      I think you should use whatever deck you like reading with. Most people getting a reading don’t know much about Tarot, so it really doesn’t matter whether you use a standard style of deck or something different.
      As for your other question – I really don’t know if male tarot readers face any different challenges than women when it comes to being a professional reader. You might want to ask other male readers about that. I know male readers are less common than female readers and there will always be people who gravitate more toward female readers for a variety of reasons, but likewise there may be people who gravitate more toward male readers.
      Good luck in your Tarot journey 🙂

    2. Hi @Mark,
      Although it’s been nearly a year I’m hopeful this reply can prove helpful to others who come across it even if you’ve already grown beyond the question. <3

      I have personally experienced several male tarot readers who I have appreciated deeply. In person and online. It may just be my personality but when I read your question I thought it was odd because of my personal experience with primarily male readers. Even my favorite astrologists (online) are male. I am not the type of person to judge by gender and have always found myself drawn more by energy than physicality. I find that the spiritual male beings I am drawn to have a grounding effect on my airy and watery personality which is what I need when seeking insight!

      All of this to say, I truly believe it all comes down to you and the client. You will attract and be attracted to certain folks as much as you will repel and be repelled by others. Don’t let anatomy convince you that you have an uphill battle. 💗✨

      Stay Blessed!

      May love and light embrace you wherever your path leads.

  12. Hi Kate!! i just have to say thank you for your time and effort on this subject…greatly appreciated. I have had my oracles(8-9 of them) for well over 3 years and recently i am overwhelmed with this strong urge to read for people…its a very strong feeling in my gut almost like intuition, yet im sort of shy or nervous about the whole thing even though i really feel the need to start…what is your thoughts on this…thank you so much..
    from the Mistical One..

    1. Hi Mistie!
      I think if you’re getting a strong desire to read for others, go for it! And start before you feel “ready”. It’s only through experience that you will learn and build your confidence. I would start by doing reading exchanges with others – there are lots of great places online (Tarot Nerds facebook group is a good one) and just go from there. Good luck 🙂

  13. I love that you point out that different tarot card readers have different boundaries on what they will tell you about different readings. About a week ago, I was talking to my friend about destiny and our life paths. I am feeling kind of lost with my life. I wonder if tarot card readings could help me figure some of it out!

    1. Hi Greta,
      Sometimes Tarot can be really helpful during times where you need a bit of direction and inspiration. This was the kind of life phase I was in when I first discovered Tarot. Good luck to you on your Tarot journey 🙂

  14. Hi, I come from India, where astrology wins the race, but I do feel there is huge potential of tarot in developing countries like us, being insticive is my nature and I have been to spiritual understanding for a long time and I do read tarot for my friends and members of family, as I do feel there is a universal definition of every card, however one needs to be instinctive while reading cause 5 different question can fetch a single card so one needs to adapt accordingly, thanks

  15. Hi, very interesting and helpful your article !
    I am a new professional reader. I try to make a clientele, so I put an ad in an Astrology magazin, that is published once a month, but there was no response fromclients clients. You think it s more helpful to put an ad in a cable TV channel or a gossip magazin, or simply mouth to mouth is the best way to get clients? Thank you, Eugenia

    1. Hi Eugenia,
      Congrats on taking the leap to professional readings!
      In my experience, paid advertising in magazines has not worked. I use word of mouth and my website/blog and youtube channel to promote myself. Social media is a more effective way to let people know about your services. Hope this helps!
      Cheers and good luck,

      1. Agree with you, Word of mouth works, i practice Astrology past 20 years have ready for people around the Globe , everything is word of mouth .

        Magazines are only worth using as papers…

      2. Hi! I love this thread and how informative it is about the ins and outs of doing Tarot Professionally. I have been reading tarot for awhile now and like to think i’m quite good at it, i’ve even been paid a couple of times to do readings for people. I know Social media is the best way to get a clientele, but I just wanted to ask exactly how to go about it, I made a new instagram for my tarot readings but don’t really know what to do from there, I just feel a bit stuck. What would you recommend to sort of put myself out there a bit more so that I can get both a following and clients who pay for readings. I do hope I can make this a steady way to earn money for myself because I know there are a couple of huge readers on Social media and would totally like to be like them.

  16. HI KATE I am ready soon to start my own you tube channel having worked since the 60s as a small child with the tea leaves,runes,tarot and more recently the oracle cards…TAROT ORACLE started my journey Kate and John Ballantrae with a quick look at dusty’s 2 books thrown in …..It has been a tiring journey getting to know my old friends again but your videos have inspired me to continue and the fantastic amazing leslee and her giant rider waite cards love and light kate thanks for everything!!

  17. Great information thank you so much for putting this out, I was just wondering do you need a special license to do tarot reading in a storefront?

  18. Hey I was interested in becoming a reader but I was curious do I have to get some type of blessing from any sort ?

      1. I am into Astrology and energies, now new to tarot, OSHO ZEN, please can you guide me as how it can be used for reading tarot for others,

  19. Hi Kate , my Wife has become very interested in tarot card reader n she wants to become a professional reader.. so my question is does she have to earn some kind of license or degree or something…thank you so much

    1. Hi Ralph,
      No, you don’t need any special ticket to read tarot professionally. Yet, there are various organizations that provide certification if that is what you want. the American Tarot Association has a certification program and I know that also has a certificate course.
      Good luck to your wife!

  20. hi there;
    I was just wondering. I am fairly new to tarot, just a few years. I have a deck of tarot cards that I purchased at our local book store that came with cards and a book.
    Here is what I am wondering. I go online to youtube to explore videos about tarot, but most of the cards are not the same as the one I have. The images are different.
    I am wondering if that changes anything? Will the meanings be the same or somewhat different?? I really don’t want to buy another deck. I am happy with the one I have. sorry for making this question longer. Can one use more than one deck? Or just stick to one?

    1. Hi Virginia,
      Yes, you can use as many decks as you like. I have about…..actually, I’ve lost count! Lots. If you stick to one deck you are less likely to get confused though, so it just depends on your personality. You really only need one deck.
      It’s totally okay that your deck is different from the one’s you’re seeing online. In fact, I did a video about this topic: – I hope it helps you!

  21. Hello there, I have a destiny question, I have been reading my cards for myself since 1994, the year I had my 21 yr old, who inadvertently tore the cover and a few pages out of my book along with some scribbles when small. 🙂 I always told her that she had to have the book recovered when she grew up as I love the cards/book (held together with binder clips and covered in notes and her scribbles; she is a tattoo artist now graduating her apprenticeship this month). Here is the destiny thing, for my birthday she bought me the same boxed set (she never could follow instructions well) and tried selling it to me like, ” hey mom look the new book has more room for writing because the words are in bigger print and you can see them better since your old now- I know, she’s still kid- it was cute though), I am and have been disabled for 8 years, my body is too broken to work a real job, I was an exec. assist, and way to outdated now. I have always been the gifted counselor who helped everyone with their problems and never had anyone to help me with mine. (of course) as I had the nervous breakdown (excuse me now they call it a chemical imbalance) and mentally lost it from being supermom, super worker, body broken, caretaker of my ill mother and 2 bipolar kids back when they swore adolescents couldn’t get bipolar, of course now they (shrinks) have changed that tune and everyone has it; sorry I digress. My mind is better now, I’m off all meds,sucking up the pain, the last child is leaving this week and I only need to find a companion for mom to be free – if it is meant to be- doubt it- the list is bit more complicated but you get the gist. So, is this a sign that I should use the set I didn’t want to do readings for other to make a little extra and much needed cash? Or take the unopened set back to the store and get a leather cover and continue working on my mind, body and spirit. I am a dead leo and female, thus I have a tendency to take things on before I should, hence the question and background. Any assistance you could provide would sincerely be appreciated. May you be blessed in your corner of the world.

    1. Hey there – thanks for your question 🙂 I think you should try working with the deck and see how it feels – do some readings on yourself and get a feel for it. If you feel comfortable working with them, then try reading for others, if the cards just don’t resonate then find a deck that will. The fact you got the same deck twice does kind of indicate you should give them a second look! Good luck 🙂

    2. Hi
      I just read your post and I would love to do a reading for you? I would not charge anything and I’m a good listener 🙂 I read the Thoth cards and also do numerology (my cards are my best friends and have inspired me so much and I would like to share with you how to work with your cards and open up massive opportunitys for your soul 🙂 I hope your not offended by me reaching out , thanks Layla

  22. Have been there done that. Started off as a person on my own doing a few readings locally. Was soon being asked to appear in newspapers and magazines and built up a team of a dozen or so helpers as I could not cope with all of the work myself. It is safer to work by email and phone. People think if they can come to see you it is ok to turn up with a few friends who assume they can have the run of your home and do as they please while there, an d it can be dangerous to let a handful of strangers in. They also have a tendency to think it is ok to cancel at short notice or turn up two hours later.
    With phone and email you are more in control, it is less time consuming, you can fit in more readings and you are safer. I used to get people turn up on the doorstep expecting me to stand there for half an hour giving them a free session, using the excuse they were just passing or it was only a quick chat. One little old lady thought if she turned up with a packet of biscuits paying for the biscuits she would eat while we were chatting meant she had paid. Dont even get into making them tea etc, it works against you. You would never get a moment to yourself or be left undisturbed unless you were very much in control. I had to have a special porch with a door announcer and a double door fitted.
    You cannot advertise in a cheap non professional way. You tell the tax man you are now professional and you pay for proper advertising. There are no short cuts to it.
    Making sure you do not give them more time than they pay for is essential as is not falling for the “let’s be friends ” routine a lot of them come out with when they want to find a way to chat to you for free next time.

    1. I have a question how to start your own business . You do ebay . How do you charge the people . And how you responde by a video email . By letter email . And how the phone call work you send your phone number how the my pay please guide true

  23. Hello Kate!

    Thank yo for having such a wonderful web site! I have learned so much already, and greatly appreciate all the sound advice.

    I have a question about your advice on taking a councelling course. I thought in one of your videos you mentioned a specific kind of councelling, but I cannot remember which kind or which video I thought I saw it in. Am I remembering correctly? Was there a name for the specific type/focus/style of councelling you reccomended?

    Thanks so much!

  24. Kate, your advice and experience is very enlightening.
    A (2003( book with information which is still good (some out of date links of course) about having a Tarot business is “Professional Tarot” by Christine Jette. It’s available from Amazon as a paperback. Christine had a psych degree as well as considerable experience with tarot and counselling.

  25. Hello, Chani. What a wonderful article. I am just now starting out as a tarot card reader as an independent contractor, and I am very nervous. I LOVE to give people advice and insight into their own lives. I am pretty much self-taught with tarot card reading, buy have always been highly intuitive and able to read other people’s situation and emotions. Do you have any advice on how to advertise yourself online to gain more loyal clients? Thank you in advance 🙂

    1. Hi Maroon,
      Personally, I have never done any paid advertising for my business, but I found that having a youtube channel and making videos each week brought a lot of people to my site and many of my clients found me this way. So that would be my recommendation – start your own youtube channel (only if making videos appeals to you, though).


  26. Love all the tips, Kate!

    I found you on youtube not too long ago. Can I just say that the readings and information you provide here on the site is fabulous and so helpful! Thanks for all the tips about reading professionally. I’m certainly not ready to dive-in yet reading tarot cards professionally, but I’m exploring the idea of getting my feet wet, if that makes sense. Quick question (if you happen to read this)- do the books you reccomended go into things like how to check for laws regarding Tarot reading or general information on business licensing, etc.? I realize every area is different and not all resources can provide specific information, but everytime I come across something, it just says “check with your local authorities” and no one bothers to explain how to do that. So frustrating! lol (I did manage to email my state legisture on it, but I guess I still need to check with my county and city, and then figure out if the same considerations apply to reading online, sigh. It’s all very confusing.) Thanks again!

    All the best,


    1. Hi Chani!

      I am so glad you are finding my site helpful 🙂 Thank you!
      Neither of those books goes into detail about specific state laws regarding Tarot reading. Have you tried doing a google search on the topic? I came across this article, which you might find helpful:
      As for business licensing, that would be different depending where you live. You may not even need to bother with a business license if you don’t have an physical location for your business (like if you are just reading at parties, fairs and over the phone).
      Anyhow, good luck and let me know how it goes 🙂

      1. Thanks Kate!

        Will do. That article definitely helps. There’s a couple of really good links in there. Yeah, google and I are becoming fast buds on the topic, haha. I checked my city’s legal code, and there is a provision on fortune-telling. Still figuring it out and contacting the appropriate people. Just taking it one step at a time.

  27. Hi, I would like to read tarot professionally, I have been reading for about 7 years plus. I still use the books to check the meaning of the cards, but my actual readings are very accurate. Do need to go on a tarot reading course to become professional?

    1. Hi Sarah,
      I don’t think you need to take an official Tarot course to be a professional. I certainly didn’t. But I think taking classes can help boost your confidence level. Best of luck branching out into professional reading 🙂

  28. All really great advice for people who want to learn how to read professionally. I would also like to add information like Small Business for Dummies, Email and Online Marketing books, and things like SEO and Adwords.

    I’ve seen great readers not able to make a living, and terrible readers do ok and the business end and marketing really is the skeleton to support everything else.

    1. Jenna, that’s a really good point. Marketing is so important and often overlooked. Do you have any specific books that you would recommend?

  29. Hi Kate,

    Do you have a routine that you do before starting a reading like meditation, grounding or the like? I was just wondering, I often just pull out my cards and do a reading (usually just for myself and family members)


    1. Hi Bren,
      Ideally, you want to spend a minute or two getting grounded and centered and clearing your deck before you do a reading. But if I said I actually did this every time I read the cards, I would be lying! When I read for others I always do this beforehand, but when I read for myself I am often too impatient. However, I have noticed that when I take the time to meditate for a few minutes beforehand and then clearly state my intention in doing the reading, I get clearer readings. I don’t have any specific set routine, though, I just meditate until I feel my mind is clear and calm. Try it and see if it changes the quality of your readings.
      Good luck!

  30. Hi Kate,
    I love your insight. Funny that i was just thinking that i would like to look into taking a counseling course.What kind of course did you take to get started? I would love to start looking into it. Thanks for all you do to help me understand what i see in the cards.

    1. Hi Shari,
      I took a counseling course at my local university – it wasn’t actually a university level course, but a course designed for the average person to take – so it was quite cheap and there wasn’t any homework or tests or anything. I would imagine that most community colleges might have something similar. You might try asking your local counseling clinic if they know of anything like that in your area. After I did that course, I went on to be trained as a volunteer counselor at a local counseling center that provides pro-rated counseling services to people who cannot afford to pay the rates of professional counselors or who are not on a benefits plan that covers this. This training was more in-depth and experience-oriented.
      Hope that helps! Best of luck with your Tarot studies!

      1. Thank you very much. Fortunatly I have several community colleges in my area. I haven’t been to school in years.Wish me luck (:

  31. Hi Kate,
    Thanks for this useful information! I immediately bought an e-version of the book written by Christiana Gaudet, just for $ 6,-. Although it is in English, and that is not my native language, I think I can learn a lot from this book. But of course I stay following you!!!

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