The biggest hesitation in getting a tarot reading is picking the right reader.
And of course, because it’s not like an astro reading where every astrologer will pull up the same chart, or getting a message and sensing exactly where you need tending.
A tarot reading, as Jungian Marie Louise von Franz would describe it, is chaos divination—a subjective interpretation drawn from the diviner’s own skill and knowledge. So when presented with a jumbled confab of tarot images and archetypes in a reading, though every reader can translate it, they each are hearing a different language.
When we’re looking for the right reader, we shouldn’t necessarily be seeking out years of experience or testimonials that they’re “the best”. Instead we should be looking for someone who clicks-in, someone whose words or energy or foundations illuminate the ways in which we will align.
Because no matter who you go to, a newbie pro or a 20 year veteran, there is no such thing as pulling the “right” cards. Your reading is a cooperative psycho-spiritual experience, and the best way of ensuring that experience will be meaningful is to have a sense of ease and connection with the person guiding you through it.
So here’s my 4 key tips on how to choose the right reader for you.
1. Know why you’re getting the reading
This probably seems a little ridiculous, because you are getting a reading for a reason. But here’s the thing people (too often) miss. You’re likely seeking out a reading because you need clarity around a choice or blockage in your life, and perhaps you want the “answer”. That often brings us to a predictive reader, who will use the cards to tell you what you should be doing, or what is coming next. And while this sounds amazing, more than half the time people leave those readings even more racked with doubt, because they never really wanted the “answer” in the first place, they wanted that moment of truly validating the deeper truth within themselves.
This is why you should know why you need the reading. Know if you’re seeking an external resolution, or archetypal awakening, or some plain old good advice. Once you have clarity about what you’re looking for, then you’ll be able to narrow down the choices by a lot, and you’ll be able to sense when the right reader has what you need.
2. Do your research
Perhaps this is a bit obvious, but I can’t tell you how many clients have come to me expecting me to tell them when they’re going to get back together with their ex, despite the fact that I say everywhere that I am an archetypal tarot reader who focuses on psycho-spiritual transformation. Maybe you were handed someone’s number by a friend, or bumped into a clever TikTok with some tarot tips—however you happened upon the reader you’re considering, you must do a deep dive on them before you book.
This can be as simple as following them on social media, or reading through a bit of their blog, or really reading through the testimonials. Get to know them. Listen to how they talk about the cards and they’re work as a reader. Make sure you take a look at their policies if they have them listed.
And this is just a side-note, but super important. BEWARE OF SCAMMERS. If someone approaches you offering a reading, rather than the other way around, be on high alert. Most readers will NEVER solicit you. So if you can’t find any genuine social proof they’re a real reader with real clients, maybe it’s time to reconsider.
3. Connect first
Once you’ve narrowed down your list a little bit, if you’re still on the fence about someone it is absolutely ok to reach out and get to know them a little first. I say this carefully, because it is never okay to blast through stranger’s boundaries. If you send a potential reader an email or DM and they don’t respond, that is very normal.
Personally, I get lots of DMs from strangers every week, and I will likely only respond to half to protect my energy and boundaries. Don’t take their silence personally, but it is still worth trying if you feel you need to connect. Simply say something like, “Hi, I’m considering a reading with you, but I’d love to chat to make sure this is the right fit first.” (And always make sure to be polite and gracious, because no reader owes you anything!)
If they answer back, keep it simple and to-the-point, asking about their reading style or or what to expect from a reading with them.
4. Trust the vibe
Finally, when you feel it’s right, let it be right. Unfortunately your first reader will probably not be your forever-reader. I received readings from at least 7 different people before I felt I found the right ones for me. But I could have spared myself a lot of frustration if I had trusted my gut.
In these Covid-years, most of us will find our readers on the internet, so there is even more opportunity for you to explore their websites, social media, and content. If they share the best tarot memes, and you love that, that’s an absolutely good enough reason to seek out a reading with them (without skipping steps 2 and 3!). If they mention Jung, and Jungian psychology gets you adorably excited (hi!), that’s a great reason, too. If they speak with gentle supportiveness, or tough-love truthfulness, or mystical wonder—all of these are energetic vibrations that may ping off of yours. Trust that.
But the vibe isn’t everything. Read up, reach out, know your why. And trust the process, my friend. Happy reading!