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Author Topic: Experience  (Read 776 times)

Klaw

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Experience
« on: June 16, 2019, 12:34:12 pm »
I was just wondering everyone's opinion on a minimum of experience a person should have before selling readings? I have known several who pick up a tarot deck and in as little as two months start promoting themselves to sell readings online. One was charging $80 a reading after one half way decent practice reading.

Jenett

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Re: Experience
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2019, 02:51:12 pm »
I was just wondering everyone's opinion on a minimum of experience a person should have before selling readings? I have known several who pick up a tarot deck and in as little as two months start promoting themselves to sell readings online. One was charging $80 a reading after one half way decent practice reading.

My initial reaction is "More experience than that!"

The thing about Tarot readings is that if you're reading for strangers, you're going to get a vast set of other people's experiences and reactions dumped in your lap. It takes practice not only to learn how to do a good reading, but to figure out how to deal with people who are hoping the reading will give them a way out of bad situations in their life, who are dealing with abuse or trauma, who may be dealing with significant mental health issues, etc.

And in terms of giving a good reading, learning how to interpret the cards takes practice, learning what spreads or reading techniques work for different decks, situations, types of questions, or types of people takes practice.

What I'd likely look for if considering (or recommending) a reader:

1) Does this person give a summary of their experience?
Someone without a lot of extensive experience can still do good readings, but someone who wants to give good readings will likely give an idea of what that's been for them in the past. "I've been reading professionally as my full-time job for 20 years" is information, but so is "I've been doing readings at my local coffee shop for the past year to a wide range of clients, two or three readings a week." or "I've built my experience doing readings for a wide range of friends and connections over the past six months."

(I would go to the second one without worries if I liked the rest of their approach, and I'd consider the third one if they were otherwise clear about their approach and I needed/wanted an external reading. But I'd also expect the third person's prices to be on the lower end of the scale and for them to be focusing on a somewhat smaller range of tools and approaches until they got more experience.)

2) Do they give some idea how they've learned about the Tarot?
That doesn't necessarily mean courses and certifications (and I think in divination tools, that may not be the most relevant thing for a whole host of reasons). But I do want someone who can articulate where their approach comes from, so "I've developed my approach based on BookA and BookB, along with my own exploration and practice." or "My readings are designed to give intuitive guidance, based on the cards." gives a sense that a) someone has devoted time and effort to learning and b) what kinds of readings one might expect.

3) Do their policies show they've thought about some of the challenges?
I'm a lot more likely to consider someone who's given some thought to the legal and ethical aspects - do they have policies about how often someone can do a reading.

Many professional readers with experience have a policy you can only get a reading from them once a month or every three months (or whatever) to avoid dependency. If someone doesn't have any policies at all relating to this, two reasons are either that they haven't thought about this problem (not great) or that they actively want to encourage dependency (really not great). Neither of those are a good reason to get a reading with that person.

Are there questions they won't take (i.e. doing readings about other people, health issues, legal issues) - different readers have different preferences and lines, but I'd be cautious of someone who didn't mention any. Do they have or link to or mention referrals to information for additional support (i.e. toll-free hotlines, etc. for domestic abuse, mental health needs, etc?) Or you know, otherwise indicate that that's a thing they're considering?

4) Do they have other relevant experience?
Someone who has significant education and experience as a therapist, social worker, or for that matter, bartender, is going to have some significant experience dealing with some of the above aspects - those things don't stop being true because someone is doing a divination reading. They can make up for a lack of direct experience with divination, so long as what they're offering is reasonable.

5) All of that said, time does matter:
I'd personally be cautious of spending much on a reading from someone who hasn't been doing readings for others regularly (not just personal friends, but through reading swaps, tarot meetups, etc.) regularly (say 5 a month on average) for at least a year in some context (and at least some of them in the same contexts they'd be doing them for pay - i.e. if someone is selling email readings, some of those earlier readings should also have been by email.) Less time would be okay if someone already had experience with some of the things in the next few paragraphs from other sources, as long as there was still non-trivial amounts of practice reading for people who were not already personal friends.

It takes time to integrate knowledge and experience: no matter how good our early hits are, it takes time to ground them. It takes time to figure out if a particular card shows up a lot because we're the one doing the reading. It takes time to figure out how to interpret cards when they're dealing with different questions - many cards may have different implications if we're asking about romance vs. work vs. issues with our family of origin. It takes experience to help people figure out how to form questions, and how to discuss alternatives if someone wants a question you won't tackle.

And a lot of people do experience at least some shifts in their own energy, intuition, etc. based on the time of year, events in their life, or other things going on - a year gives you time to figure out some of that, and what's you vs. the reading. If you're going to be doing a thing for meaningful amounts of pay, you owe it to your clients to be reasonably confident you can do a good reading at that time. You won't have that data until you've done the work and practice.
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Klaw

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Re: Experience
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2019, 03:36:24 pm »
My initial reaction is "More experience than that!"

I have never been comfortable with standard tarot. I do like animal cards. I am a fast learner, but didn't feel comfortable with the responsibility of paid readings until I  had been doing spreads for about ten years. I don't understand how doing a couple readings somehow makes them think they are experts, even to the point of reacting in anger if you won't promote them.

Your response was well written. Could something like that be put up somewhere for beginners to know what to look for and what to stay away from?

Jenett

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Re: Experience
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2019, 08:38:25 am »
I have never been comfortable with standard tarot. I do like animal cards. I am a fast learner, but didn't feel comfortable with the responsibility of paid readings until I  had been doing spreads for about ten years. I don't understand how doing a couple readings somehow makes them think they are experts, even to the point of reacting in anger if you won't promote them.

I do think there's a range: I think there are people who can do readings relatively early, especially if they have other life experience to handle the range of stuff people might ask about or be struggling with.

But yeah, being angry if someone won't promote you? That's being a jerk. (And personally, I won't promote someone unless I've used their services myself for something like that. I very rarely get readings from other people who aren't close friends/coven mates/etc. so I'm not likely to rec people in the first place.)

Quote
Your response was well written. Could something like that be put up somewhere for beginners to know what to look for and what to stay away from?

I have added it to my list of things to edit to go up on my Seeking site, though it'll be at least the weekend before I can poke at it. (I've been meaning to do a similar thing about nline witchy groups/courses, too.)
« Last Edit: June 17, 2019, 08:57:26 am by Jenett »
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