When I tell new people that I’m a tarot reader, typically their eyes light up, a smile jumps onto their faces, and they say something along the lines of, “I’ve always wanted to get a reading!”
The next thing they say is that they probably never will, though. They’re too frightened of bad news, or feel weird about telling a stranger their secrets, or nervous about getting gypped. But no matter the type of hesitation, I always serve up the same reply: It all depends on who you choose.
And it couldn’t be more true. It all depends on who you choose. Getting a massage or a blowout or martini may be fairly comparable across the board, but no two tarot readings are created equal. One reader may charge twenty bucks, throw on a few dozen beaded necklaces, and tell you about your lover’s impending death; while another may charge a hundred dollars, meet you at a hipster coffee shop in a seersucker blazer, and explain how your mother-wound is stifling you.
So after several requests I’ve come up with a six-step process for finding the right tarot reader for you. I hope it saves you time, money, and helps get over your trepidations about this incredible healing tool that can really, really change your life.
Step 1: Reach out to your most mystical friends.
As with any personal care service, the best way to find a tarot reader you can trust is if you find them through someone you trust. If you’re not sure if you know anyone who’s had a reading before, ask! Seek out recommendations on Facebook, or reach out through Insta stories. It may feel like a bit of a weird request, but you’ll likely be surprised by how many responses you get.
The one thing to keep in mind that everyone’s personal preferences are different. I once got a recommendation from a friend I trust deeply, but while that reader was exactly her cup of tea, they weren’t particularly mine. To make sure you don’t make the same mistake I did, don’t skip Step 4!
Step 2: Google is your best fair-weather friend.
Google is everybody’s go-to, but it’s not without its flaws. Googling “tarot reader near me” will get you links to Yelp and Thumbtack and Gigmasters, but you might not land on a real, down-to-earth reader’s site. Unfortunately, in the tarotverse, stumbling across a sneaky “psychic” fraud is just as likely as a soul-centered tarot gem.
So while you can definitely find some good readers through any of these or similar sites, you have to sort through them with a discerning eye. In a basic Google search, starting on page 3 or 4 is probably your best bet, and on Yelp watch out for sponsored results showing up before readers with the highest ratings. In general, search results that lead to websites with personal touches, intimate bios, and FAQs, testimonials, or a code of ethics page are worth consideration. Results that feel impersonal, focus too heavily on being “accurate”or “fast”, or even promote themselves as being “psychic”, require a bit more scrutiny. Yes, many tarot readers are also psychic, but more often than not it’s used as a click-bait word. You absolutely do not need to be psychic to be an excellent reader, so use your best judgement.
Step 3: The price point matters.
Purchasing a tarot reading is sort of like buying a bottle of champagne. Picking the cheapest one on the shelf risks ending up with something sour and unsatisfying, and buying the priciest bottle is often just a waste of money. It’s the mid-range bottles that are the safest bets, most likely to be rich, gratifying, but not bank-breaking. Readers whose price points are comparable to cheap bottles are usually beginner readers just getting their feet wet, or those who do it for a quick buck. Popular readers who charge upwards of $250 per reading may be worth the hype, or not. But those who charge somewhere in the middle, between $50-$150 for a reading are probably established readers who know their worth, and will offer good and skillful guidance.
Step 4: Do some social media stalking.
Most readers nowadays have a social media presence, making it easier than ever to get to know them before booking. Once you have your short list of readers collected from recommendations and searches, start doing the real digging. Make sure to read what the reader has provided on their site—in their About section, blog posts, and especially in the fine print. (You don’t want to pick someone to read about your health concerns only to find out during that they don’t do health readings.) Then, check out their Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts to get a feel for their personal vibe.
Keep in mind that if a reader doesn’t use one or all of these platforms, it of course has no reflection on their skill. But if you’re looking for someone you will definitely click with, how they present on social media will be a real clue to whether they’ll be the right fit.
Step 5: Ask them on a date.
If you’re still unsure of who to choose, or you have some lingering reservations, the best thing to do is reach out to the reader themselves. Most readers are happy to receive new curious clients, and won’t be turned off by a first-timer or someone looking for something in particular. So send an email (not a DM if you can avoid it, social media inquiries can sometimes seem a bit sketchy so readers may not read them). Ask whatever questions you may have about their reading style, or if they wouldn’t mind setting up a brief phone consultation. It’s important, however, to make sure not to ask the reader to reflect on the situation you want to discuss in the reading, or try to get a reading “preview”. Respect that no one can work for free, and “testing” a tarot professional is a tad insulting. But if they refuse your request to get to know them better as a reader, or don’t respond at all, no need to have any qualms moving on to the next person on your list.
Step 6: Trust your gut.
In the end, it’s always that intuitive ring of excitement that you should trust most of all. If a certain reader’s site, or Instagram, or recommendation, or manicure draws you in, try them out! I know that tarot readings are not risk-free, they’re not like taking a $20 yoga class or buying some ice cream, or other forms of simple self-care that could be awful and it’s no big deal. But nothing truly worth it is ever without risk. It’s a higher quality service, and thus has a higher reward, and so in my opinion much harder to deem not worth it. I truly believe you get something out of every reading, even the imperfect ones, so don’t fret too hard. Be bold, pick the person who feels most right, and let the cards do their magic.