When I sit down to read a client’s tarot cards, I do so with pride and with love.
It’s a huge honour to serve my querents, who trust me with all kinds of dilemmas, from straightforward questions about work and career direction, to heart-wrenching doubts around love and life purpose.
I take my time reading each question I receive, figuring out a suitable spread to get to the heart of what the querent is asking, opening space with a candle, shuffling and laying cards and providing the detailed, high-quality written reading they’re expecting from me.
As professional readers, who make our living providing this kind of service, it means giving a lot. Each time we sit down to a reading, we giving time, expertise, and lots of emotional, mental and spiritual energy to our clients. And of course, we do so willingly. This is the job and, speaking for myself, I truly love it.
But of course, it’s not always possible to give that kind of energy. What happens when our own lives are too hectic, too sad, too difficult – as mine was, recently? What about those times when time is at a premium, and when we really need all of our emotional, mental and spiritual energy for ourselves? As tarot readers and others offering spiritual services, do we have a ‘duty’ to carry on providing, regardless of our own journeys, or is it okay to take a break and to conserve our energy for ourselves?
I ‘switched off’ the tarot reading part of Little Red Tarot last March, just before making a major transition, moving house and completely changing my life. I knew that the move was going to be hectic, and that there was going to be a settling-in period which would need a lot of attention. I didn’t know if or when I would even have a desk to sit at, let alone how I would manage to focus my attention on the subtle and intricate details of my clients’ lives. Struggling to know how to be ‘present’ in my own life, I truly didn’t see how I could be fully present for my clients. Nope, the only responsible action was to shut up shop until things had settled.
Sure, I could have used the income, but providing readings during that time would have been far more damaging to myself, my clients and my business. Having learned previously the danger of providing spiritual services when preoccupied with my own journey (in short: I delivered a confusing and at times insensitive reading that upset a trusting client – this was sorted out via a heartfelt email conversation, but I still felt mortified and knew I should never have carried out the reading) it was pure common sense to step back from this part of my work until I was ready to offer clients my full attention once again.
As of last week, I’m happy to announce that I am once again open for tarot readings! I’ve been waiting for a while for the time to feel right, and last week, it finally did. I feel safe and secure and present in my own life once again. I have a desk, I have space, I have done enough processing that I’m ready to shift my focus away from my own journey and once again help others with theirs. It’s a relief and an honour to be back doing what I’m most passionate about.
I said that I approach tarot readings with pride and with love – and I’m sure most tarot readers reading this would say the same. That’s why I wanted to share this little story. As a tarot reader, your job is to give your client complete focus and to treat their question with your full attention, with love, with respect. If you’re too caught up in your own story right now, that’s okay. Honour yourself, instead. Honour your own journey. Do the processing you need to do. It’s okay to say ‘not now’ if that’s what feels right. It’s okay to step back if it’s not practicably possible to be in service. Only when we are fully present and able to focus on a life outside of our own, can we deliver the services we’re truly proud of.
I’m a 30-something writer, artist, tarot reader, and perpetual explorer of the space between thought, feeling, and action.
I believe that spirituality and ritual are for everybody. I’m about the journey, in all of its messy, non-linear, chaotic iterations. I am excited by anticapitalist business and living with my whole entire self present. I use tarot cards to bring forth hidden truth, and ritual to affirm my commitment, over and over, to my ever-shifting path.