Have you ever asked to see your Tarot reader’s credentials? Don’t worry if you haven’t, because there is no such thing. There’s no governing body of Tarot. Your reader may have a certificate from a Tarot organization or a class they took. (I always give my students a nice certificate at the end of my classes, because their work deserves to be recognized). And, depending upon where a reader works, they may be required to be licensed by the town or city (purely a monetary transaction). But other than that, any Tom, Dick or Zoltar can hang out a shingle and call themselves a master Tarot reader.
Personally, I like that this modality isn’t overseen by some nebulous authority. There are so many different reading styles and approaches that it would be impossible to quantify the work. But it does irritate me when I go on social media and I see people reading the cards that have absolutely no concept of what they’re dealing with. We saw an explosion of readers during the pandemic, many of them are young (which is fine; I was a young reader once upon a time), but many of them are spewing out a lot of random crap. This makes me crazy, because it shows a lack of respect to this centuries-old system. If you want to do intuitive readings with messages from Spirit or the Universe or the angels, that’s fantastic. A reading that is purely channeled? Wonderful! A reading with oracle cards? Go for it! Bring on the woo!
But that is not Tarot.
Tarot is structured. Tarot is specific. Yes, there is room for intuition, interpretation and even mediumship. But first and foremost, Tarot requires research, practice and proficiency.
Tarot has a rich history and is so multi-layered, it can never be completely mastered. You can read the cards your entire life, and I guarantee you will still learn things you never knew. A good reader never stops learning about the cards. A good reader studies and investigates and researches.
Why is this important? Because you, the client, should get what you’re paying for. I’ve seen readers who have had a deck of cards for just a few months claiming to be “masters” and charging ungodly prices. That’s their prerogative, of course, but without any sort of credentials, how are you to know who’s actually studied and learned and finessed their craft? In my own business, I’ve been remiss in explaining my own course of study because I didn’t realize the importance of letting clients know. I’m going to change that. I think it’s valuable to share that I’ve studied with some of the best and most well-known readers out there. More importantly, though, I still continue to do so. I enroll in courses, I read countless books, I belong to reader support and networking groups, and I get my own cards read by other readers. I can’t stress enough that, for professional readers, learning Tarot should be a life-long journey.
So here’s what you should do. Instead of asking your reader what her credentials are, ask her what she’s currently studying in Tarot. Ask her who she learned from and who she continues to pull cards with. If the answer is, “No one, I already know the cards,” that just might be a red flag.