25 Tips To Be A Happy Tarot Reader

by Theresa Reed on November 30, 2011


I’m not going to lie to you: reading tarot for a living is hard work.  Now don’t get me wrong – it’s fun and interesting most of the time and I would never want to do anything else.  But it can also be draining.

Many readers that I have talked to over the years mention the “burnout factor”.  It’s more common than you think.  A lot of tarot readers admit that at times they just feel beat down from dealing with people’s problems and dramas day in and day out.

It is key to keep yourself aligned body, mind and spirit if you intend to make this your full time job for any length of time. Which means making YOU a priority.

I’ve been doing this a long time and have learned a few things to keep myself engaged, sane and happy.  Here are my tips to help you keep your tarot mojo running smoothly:

  1. Take time off.  Resting is important.  Doing tarot every single day of the week will burn you out.  Vacations are a MUST.  (I also recommend limiting your days of the week and hours to a strict schedule.  I only read 4 days a week, for example.)
  2. Meditate.  A daily practice will keep your mind centered and anchored in the present moment.  It also helps you to connect with your inner guidance – which leads to better tarot readings.
  3. Surround yourself with supportive people.  Not just your family but friends and colleagues as well.  This work can be isolating – you’ll want a posse of positive peeps to ground you.
  4. Go to tarot conferences.  This is a fantastic way to expand your skills, meet fellow readers and get exposed to some cool new decks!  There are plenty to choose from: Reader’s Studio, Tarosophy, SF BATS, and TABI just to name a few.
  5. Get rid of clients who drain you.  Not every client is a good fit for you. Recognize when the energy is poor and let them go.  In some cases, you may want to refer them to a reader who may be better suited for their needs/temperament.
  6. Exercise!  Get in your body.  Most tarot people that I have met tend to “live in their heads”.  Getting physical every day helps you to center – plus it gets rid of stress!
  7. Study new methods.  Look at the way other tarot readers interact with the cards. Try a new technique.  Don’t get too hung up on your own formulas.  Investigate and stay fresh!
  8. Treat yourself to a new deck now and then.  (I recently pre-ordered the Bohemian Cats tarot deck and can’t wait for it to arrive!)
  9. Teach what you know.  Teaching can be an enriching experience for both teacher and student. Share your knowledge!
  10. Don’t undercharge for your readings.  Set a fair price that you are comfortable with – and that will make your life comfortable.
  11. Learn how to run a business.  If you want to succeed in this work, you have to tend to the business side of things. Invest in your business and in your business education.
  12. BREATHE.
  13. Know your niche.  Are you an esoteric reader?  Therapeutic?  Prediction oriented? Find your “style” and market yourself appropriately.
  14. Say no.  It’s okay to refuse to read for someone.  You do not have to serve everyone who seeks out your services.
  15. Get a tarot reading from someone who uses a completely different deck or method.  (I recently had an awesome reading from James Wells that was very helpful.  His style is much different than mine – he’s a tarot counselor.  It was interesting and insightful!)
  16. Join a Tarot Meet Up group.  This is a great way to network and practice!  If you don’t have one in your area, create a group!
  17. Create a sacred space in your home for tarot reading.  This doesn’t have to be a complete room (although lucky you if you are able to have one!).  Even a small corner in a room can be turned into a tarot sanctuary.
  18. Take a class now and then. The Tarot School offers a whole tarot course plus ongoing classes.  There are many other options as well.   One only has to peruse the internet to find a huge range of classes to choose from!
  19. Get therapy.  If you have deep seated issues, don’t work them out in your tarot readings – work them out with a trained counselor.  You’ll be glad you did.  (My wise friend Diane says: “Everyone needs therapy because everyone had a childhood.”)
  20. Grow a thick skin.  Some people won’t like you or your work.  Some will think you are in league with the devil.  Hit the ignore button.  Go on and brush your shoulders off, playa.
  21. Pace yourself.  Too many readings in a row is a recipe for burnout.  Take mini breaks in your day.  Turn your phone off. Don’t be available on demand.
  22. Get a massage.  I get them once a month and it is worth every nickel!
  23. Check out new books.  The tarot world is constantly coming out with interesting books.  I’m always scouring amazon for new goodies!
  24. Journal.  I have a regular journal and a tarot journal.  Writing down your thoughts helps to purge your mind and unload your worries.  A tarot journal is a good way to keep track of your readings and thoughts about tarot.  (Read “Tarot Journaling” by Corrine Kenner for ideas.)
  25. Be you.  You never have to read like anyone else.  No way is the “right and only” way.  The only way that will ever matter to you is the one that works best for you.  Never be a cheap imitation of anyone else.

These are just a few of my tips.  I’d love to hear yours!




Wanna learn to read tarot cards? Enter your email below and get your free Tarot Card by Card manual plus the Rookie To Reader e-course. These simple, super-fun lessons will get you reading tarot...even if you've never picked up a deck before!

I respect your email privacy

Angelo Nasios November 30, 2011 at 1:57 pm

Great tips T!!

Theresa Reed December 4, 2011 at 8:19 am

Thanks Angelo!

FaeNathara December 1, 2011 at 3:00 am

Great tips! Especially about the resting and taking care of yourself bits – definitely need to remember to do those!

Theresa Reed December 4, 2011 at 8:19 am

Rest is vital to our well being. This work requires a rested, relaxed mind. I take plenty of time for me.

Thanks for stopping by, Fae.


Rose Vanden Eynden December 2, 2011 at 5:25 am

What a great list! Thank you so much for putting it together. I will share it with many folks I know who need it, too! 🙂

Robin Dalton December 2, 2011 at 3:00 pm

Invaluable advice…. thank you so much for the reminders. I needed to read this today:)

Theresa Reed December 4, 2011 at 8:20 am

Hi Robin!

I need to remind myself of these things at times! LOL


Ellen-Mary December 2, 2011 at 3:52 pm

Wonderful advice! I’d add: Set firm boundaries between your personal and professional life. When another guest at a party finds out you’re a tarot reader pull out your business card not your tarot cards. If they really want a reading they can schedule and pay for it like everyone else.

Theresa Reed December 4, 2011 at 8:20 am

Hi Ellen-Mary

YES about the boundaries. I had to learn that one the hard way.


Jeanne Fiorini December 2, 2011 at 4:03 pm

Nice article Theresa! Practical, realistic, and helpful.

Theresa Reed December 4, 2011 at 8:21 am

Thanks for stopping by Jeanne. 🙂

Toni Gilbert December 2, 2011 at 6:42 pm

Good advice, Theresa, Sounds like the holistic nursing mantras….first one…self care. You are the only one that can truly take care of you. Toni

Theresa Reed December 4, 2011 at 8:22 am

Hi Toni

Yup – self care is a priority. If you don’t take care of you, how can you take care of others?


Amethyst Mahoney December 2, 2011 at 8:25 pm

LOVE these tips, Theresa! I used to be a psychologist, where the burn-out rate was also extremely high.

I would add 2 more things, though:
1. Charge enough money that you can actually make a living without killing yourself (or burning out!)
and most importantly –
2. Create something so that you can leverage your time and can get residual income such as a book, deck, or something else. I recently created a book and video series.

It is a HUGE boost to wake up and see someone has bought one of your products. Not only are you making money while you sleep, but you can get your message out to more people! And when you wake up to money AND a thank-you in your in-box saying they LOVE your stuff, life just doesn’t get any sweeter. 🙂

Theresa Reed December 4, 2011 at 8:22 am

Great tips, Amethyst. I love it!


Suzanne Davis December 3, 2011 at 5:34 am

Thank you x

The Four Queens December 3, 2011 at 8:10 am

I definitely agree with all of these, particularly the tip about growing a thick skin. The work is personal and readers take a lot of pride in it so it can hit hard when one feels undervalued or has to take some criticism. I’ve been lucky enough to have to deal with only a tiny bit of not-too-great feedback but it still knocked my confidence (and to be honest, it was from a querent who didn’t seem to like the fact that I was telling her that she perhaps needed to put herself out there a little more if she wanted to find someone – some people don’t like to be told that their happiness is at least partly their own responsibility!).

It’s very difficult to ‘get rid’ of querents that drain you though.. Suggesting another reader is a good idea. It’s tough to find that fine line between sensitively giving them to brush off and being too obvious.. 🙂

I offer free taster readings on facebook as well as paid work and I’ve found that, at times, I come across a querent who’s taking my services for granted. A client who paid for an in-depth reading came to me with quite a few additional questions and I had to decide that enough was enough as she was basically going to be getting another reading for free if I’d have indulged her! There is a danger of being taken for granted with the free readings too. There’s the occasional querent who just constantly asks for free readings and I’ve had to tell them that if they require something more in-depth they ought to pay.

Running any kind of business involves being assertive and putting a decent value on our skill set. It can be difficult, especially when we want to help everyone and show compassion.. But we can’t sell ourselves short.

Great post. I’d love to know your thoughts/tips about offering free services. 🙂

Theresa Reed December 4, 2011 at 8:25 am

Hello there,

Free readings are fine but if you are constantly giving your services away, people will not value you. Remember that they are paying for your time – and your time on earth is the ONLY thing that is finite. I value my time very much.

That being said, on occasion I may do quick freebies on Facebook – or I have contests to win free readings. So sometimes it is a nice thing to do for clients and it’s fun. I love my clients and I do like to give when I can. 🙂


Arwen December 3, 2011 at 9:32 am

One of mine is to play more. Be happy. Seek joy. Realize that your client’s pain is not your pain. Bless them and release them once you are done.

Theresa, this is an excellent article. Thanks for all the hard work and support that you offer to the larger community that is Tarot.

Theresa Reed December 4, 2011 at 8:26 am

Hello Arwen

Thanks for stopping by and for your comment. I love the part about the “client’s pain is not your pain”. Beautiful!


Katrina W December 3, 2011 at 12:08 pm

Hey Theresa,

Thank you for the thoughtful article. Great advice for anyone, really.

As a reader with a “Tarot Counseling” style, I have to admit I get energized by my sessions and do not feel drained. The energy flows between my client and myself in such a way that feels very healthy and healing, for both of us. It is as if we go into another dimension.

What effects me in a draining way is unhealthy environments…stuffy rooms, florescent lights, toxic smells. That is why I love Skype readings where my clients and I can each be in our best environments.

In Spirit,

Theresa Reed December 4, 2011 at 8:28 am

Hi Katrina

Awesome that you do not get drained by clients! You’re fortunate. Most people I know who work in any sort of people business have told me of feeling drained from time to time.

And oh, I know what you mean about getting drained by unhealthy environments. I get really icked out by bad, toxic smells, lighting, etc.


Jennifer December 3, 2011 at 1:37 pm

I love the quote that everyone needs therapy, b/c everyone had a childhood. So true! I just started the Tarot School’s correspondence degree program, and am very excited about it. You offer great advice above!

Theresa Reed December 4, 2011 at 8:29 am

Jennifer, you cannot go wrong with The Tarot School. It’s top notch tarot education!

Raven December 4, 2011 at 6:51 am

A big “mmhm” on all of these — especially care for the body. Rest, time away and massages are so important. The key is that we actually have to give ourselves the time.

Theresa Reed December 4, 2011 at 8:29 am

Raven, I adore a nice massage and plenty of rest! I try to make that my priority. It makes me a better reader and a nicer person to be around.


Milissa Belliveau December 10, 2011 at 11:22 pm

Hi Theresa, i’m a fellow Tarot Reader too and you are so right when u say take breaks and i have set hrs too, i usually try to limit the time of day i do my readings and days, you can say i do this part-time lol. But love the 25 tips it was very informative ty and keep up the good work :)!!
Milissa Belliveau <3

Julie Francis December 16, 2011 at 5:44 am

Excellent tips – thank you…

abbee December 29, 2011 at 11:56 am

Ooh, may I repost these? So awesome! Happy New Year!

I’m still working on #20, but for some reason, I’m naturally more thick-skinned & assertive when it comes to Tarot, like my Aquarius Rising. But most of the time, I’m my usual sensitive Libra-Cancer self. 😀

ScoTT SenaTe December 29, 2013 at 9:17 am

I find I am constantly going over my books and courses. For about three years, I have had my B.O.T.A. lessons in a storage shed, and now I’ve decided to start from scratch. So much I missed and needed review on. So much makes far more sense now.

There are now many sources of tarot meditations, Soul Meditations by Biddy Tarot, Fragrant Heart, Tarot School, and Kim Wildborn’s TeleSummits.

Theresa Reed December 29, 2013 at 9:25 am

Hi ScoTT

There are so many tarot meditations popping up – the best are by Katrina Wynne of http://mysacredjourney.wordpress.com and Carolyn Cushing of http://artofchangetarot.com. Carolyn has been doing her tarot meditations at the Readers Studios for years now. She’s an amazing teacher and I respect her work so much! I’m also a big fan of James Wells’ work at http://jameswells.wordpress.com and Joanna Powell Colbert’s work at http://www.gaiansoul.com. These people are real transformers of tarot and I love watching what they bring to the tarot table.

One thing about tarot – it continues to evolve!

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: