The Price of Tarot: Pt 1

In today’s world, the dollar is the driving force behind everything we do. We may not like it, but we need money to buy food, clothes, and shelter. Some of us may be lucky to have a garden or to make our own clothes or build our own homes, but those things have to come from somewhere. Most of us rely on (hopefully) steady jobs and hobbies here and there to make our living. A few of us soldier it alone in their own businesses. Some of us slave; others play to make our living. Money is a driving force in our life and thus some people feel like we are a slave to it’s value and how much we bring in, even identifying ourselves by this number. The more pride we have in our jobs, the less this number matters – unless we feel it matches or outweighs our ‘gross annual income’.

It doesn’t take long for tarot enthusiasts to encounter the idea of selling their services as a reader. In some cases, it is inevitable. Well, can you blame us? If we love what we do for free, it only makes sense that we should be able to make our living off if it. Take, for instance, those who may see a reader but have bad luck with them, or can’t afford them, so they dig into their own resources and purchase their own deck. Eventually, they say, this is easy, I can charge x and whip out a reading and make some serious money doing this!

Or, take into consideration the skilled but sheltered reader, who reads for others and refuses payment, but is repeatedly told that she knows what she’s doing and could really make a living doing this. She probably approaches the subject very carefully and considers everything before she takes the leap into the world of business.

Which category do you fall under?

I never anticipated charging for my readings. But lately, I’ve become aware that the service I provide does tax me. It’s not something I want to just give freely now. I’m looking for people who want to take me seriously – and are thusly willing to pay me for my time – so that I can practice my art seriously. I have had tools at my disposal for some time now, even especially lately, thanks to a wonderful Theresa Reed, and now… now I am ready, I think, to slowly ease myself into the pool of professional tarot readers.

This is the first in what I hope will become a substantial series about the dreaded, the often misunderstood, the rarely used and abused, money & tarot issue. I want to take this blog on a journey as I build and prepare myself for the future career I dream of.

Below I’ve listed just a few of my concerns I have about what I’m doing. These are small snippets around which I’ll be building the continued series, so take them as sneak peaks for the future. I’ve also got a few people I’ve asked for advice in this area so there will be mini-interviews as I trek onward and upward.

  • I currently have a small website set up that offers 3 different reading options. I sell a $5 reading that uses between 3 – 5 cards but I feel like I still give an awful lot of information, about the same that I’d give for a $15 or 9-card reading. I’m not sure why I feel this way because although I narrate what the cards mean and how they influence each other, I have way more to talk about with a bigger reading than the smaller reading. I don’t want to cut out my customer and not give them the answer they’re looking for, but at the same time, I feel like I should charge a bit more. I definitely haven’t got the right prices in place for my services.
  • Which brings me to my next area of unease. I’m not out to make a buck – but I’d certainly like to pad my income a bit. Honestly, I’d be really happy right now if I could use the proceeds from my reading service to pay for my internet usage, so that I can start saving for school. I don’t have the experience to justify $100/hour like Christine does, but I don’t think I should be selling myself short. I LOVE my work but I don’t want to grow weary of it because I feel like I’m not making enough. I’m also not satisfied with the mentality that people will pay me above and beyond my set prices ‘because I’m worth it’… I’m certain SOME people will tip me, eventually, but I can’t plan on it.
  • Reading in public. Whoamg. Huge personal issue for me. I did a reading for my dad this weekend and I was so nervous it took twice as long as it normally did because I was hesitating about everything I said. I really would benefit from having people I can practice in person with so I can work over my fear of people judging me while I get my tarot groove on and get those questions answered. So what I’m hoping to do is to try reading at my local New Age store – but I’m not sure how soon I can try that because I’m going to spend most of this month working overtime at my day job.