Tuesday, September 18, 2018

What You Are Actually Paying For When You Get a Tarot Reading

Alright so I've had this one rattling around in my head for a few days now and found the time to go ahead and hammer it out. I haven't written a crapton here on the witchy side of things, and tarot is very important to me.

It's pretty well known in witchy circles that it's not accepted as okay to charge for a spell, but it is acceptable to charge for tarot readings. I know a lot of people that don't understand the distinction, and I just want to plop down some of my thoughts about that.

Hang on to your butts.

It is unethical to charge for spells. Cleansing should be free. Luck spells should be free. Spells in general are free range, and half the point of modern witchcraft is having the ability to go and do these things yourself. Whether you're a high schooler googling a spell to find your lost pet or a 50+ year old woman doing protection charms for your grandkids, or a witty gay boy doing kitchen witching (not mentioning any names, Colby) it's important that these things are available!

It is okay to ask for reimbursement for materials used, that makes sense, but the casting itself? That's a slippery slope. Tarot is a completely different thing.

My lovely Aunt Rose always puts it like this; you are providing a service. It is actual effort and you deserve to be paid for it.

A good tarot reader is a sympathetic ear. Most people come for a reading because they want someone to talk to about their problems. Yeah, I'm not kidding, I've been reading tarot for over 14 years now and most of my clients that come to me over and over again do so because they trust me to listen and reframe their problems in a different light, to help them solve them. Very rarely do I tell them what they don't already know.

And I can hear some of you out there snorting and saying 'then what good are you', but think about it.

I know you have at least one friend that just likes to dump their problems all over you. Everybody does. And I don't think it's a stretch or a surprise to say, these people are exhausting. We love them (we wouldn't keep them around if we didn't) but supporting someone when they're having a crisis is hard. It is work.

You pay a therapist for a reason, and going to someone and defining your friendship as 'I'm going to go to this person to take care of me constantly' is just unfair. It's taxing that person and not giving anything back. In other words, it's emotional labor.

Whether you believe in tarot as magic or not, it is very useful for reframing a lot of these situations and causing the person you are reading for to think of it differently and that is actually incredibly helpful in terms of solving problems.

For this reason it's typically better to find one good reader to go to regularly. You sit down with them, they lay the cards down and for that hour, you have their full attention. You are paying for someone to sit down with you and focus 100% on you and your problems.

You're also paying for their discretion.

A good tarot reader will not repeat the things you tell them when you ask your questions. Going and telling someone's secrets is also a dick move, but I've been hit with some pretty heavy stuff in readings in the past. Things that it would have been completely inappropriate for a friend to just lay on me in casual conversation. It isn't easy, and it isn't effortless, it is exhausting because of the intimate nature of the beast.

So if someone wants you to give them a twenty for their full focus, their best advice, and that much of their energy, that's not out of line. I charge ten. Sometimes, around Halloween, I do a special where I'll do a card spread for a pumpkin and that is thematic, gets me the gourds I want for carving them with my little brother and it's an excellent promotional thing.

So, my dears. It's okay for you to charge for tarot readings. If you're going to give up that much of yourself it's okay to expect something back.

Fortune Favors,
Megan R. Miller

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