Today’s post is inspired by a prompt from the Tarot Discussion channel on the Tarotholics Discord Server.
What personality trait/skill do you think are needed to do readings for others?
I very much do believe that there are a variety of skills and qualities that a tarot reader needs to develop and possess in order to branch out into reading for others. That isn’t to say that all tarot readers that read for others have these qualities, but rather what I consider to be qualities important in a tarot reader worth going to for a reading.
In order to read for others, I feel that what is needed above everything else is a Sense of Responsibility. Reading for others isn’t a silly game and the messages you convey to a querent have far reaching repercussions. Serious damage can be done in just a few words, because while the querent is in a reading they are wide open to suggestion and trusting you not to abuse that trust. They are seeking guidance, and many querents will take what you give in a reading at face value with blind trust. This means that you need to take care with your words and messages… which leads me to the second quality.
Empathy. This is not to say someone needs to be an empath, but rather that you need to be able to listen and understand where your querent is coming from so that you can fashion your response in a way that will benefit them and not break their will, damage their hope, or take away their autonomy. This includes being able to deliver bad news in an empathetic and empowering way.
Communication Skills. It is important to have a way with words and expressing yourself that is clear and understandable to others. If you cannot properly convey your meaning and get to the point of the reading, as well as fashion your words in a way that helps the querent be receptive to what you (and the cards have to say), then the reading is going to end up a flop no matter how accurate or well meaning you may be.
Knowledge. You need to be able to read the cards and do so accurately. If you don’t know what they cards on the table mean, how can you possibly read them for someone else? I see readers now and then that don’t read the cards at all but lay them out then proceed to give their querent advice not based on the cards at all but on their own opinions. That is not giving a tarot reading.
Confidence. This is something that comes with practice, but what I am referring to here is confidence not just in your skill as a reader and your knowledge of the cards, but also in knowing what works for you, what fits for you. Trial and error and long hours with the cards help in building this confidence over time and is why many aspiring tarot readers continue to only read for themselves long after they’ve learned the card meanings… they are still growing into these methods and different techniques, and finding works best for them.
Humility. You need to be able to accept you’re not going to be right all the time. You need to be able to say “I’m sorry that this didn’t resonate for you. Maybe this was a one-off reading, or maybe it will come into fruition in the future. Sit with it a while, and keep in mind that I may have read the cards incorrectly in this case.” No one is right or accurate 100% of the time. That’s just the way it is.
The Ability to Take Criticism, and not just the constructive kind. People don’t always hear what they want to hear in a tarot reading, and some will react badly to the news no matter how empathetic or empowering you are in your delivery. Some people react in extreme ways, which can include by lashing out. Be prepared to have these clients show up from time to time… because if you read for others (especially strangers) often enough, they are going to appear before you eventually.
Some of these qualities are things that come naturally to different people. Others are qualities that one has to work on or that develop over time through life experiences. The thing is, though. I see reading for others as a responsibility, and whether you are reading for others casually or in a formal setting complete with an exchange of money, I think these qualities are important to develop and utilize in reading for others in order to make it a safe and happy experience for everyone involved.