How To Not Piss Off Your Tarot Reader

by Theresa Reed on June 12, 2013


When you decide to get a tarot reading, it’s not only important that you pick someone you trust but you also need to treat your reader in the same regard as you would treat any professional you choose to hire.

You know what that means, right?  It means you want to establish a positive working relationship right from the get go and not come off like a boor.  It takes two to tarot tango and a pissy tarot reader is probably not someone you want reading your cards.  

Here’s how to  keep that vibe mutually pleasant and avoid becoming “that client”:

Respect our time.  If your session is in person, make sure you leave enough time to arrive for your appointment.  On the phone? Get your time zones correct and set a reminder for yourself.  Très simple, no?  If you cannot make it to your session, have the common decency to give the same 24 hour notice as you would extend to any business professional.  And don’t even think about pulling a no-show as that is often grounds for dismissal.  (FYI: we do have other clients who would be more than happy to take that spot.)  Once your reading is over, don’t keep emailing us “follow up” or “clarifying” questions to extend your session.  The reading is over and we don’t have time to keep on chatting with you.  Likewise, resist the urge to linger or try to keep us on the phone.  Our time is every bit as valuable as yours.

Don’t believe in tarot?  Don’t come.  We don’t want someone here who is not open to the experience.  Oh, and if you announce that you “don’t believe in this crap” as you walk in the door, congratulations  – you just created a crappy and hostile working environment.  Would you want to work under those circumstances?  Doubt it.  You can leave and don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

Don’t tell us that you “don’t want to tell us too much”.  We know what that means. You want to “test” us to make sure we are “legit”.  Most of us won’t ask you any questions nor will we require a detailed background anyways so you can drop the cloak and dagger act.  Let me reframe this scenario: if you go to your doctor and say “I have something wrong but I’m not going to tell you my symptoms because I want you to prove to me that you’re a great doctor”,  imagine how stupid you sound to them.  (And yes, you sound equally dumb to us when you pull that sort of stunt with us.)

If you don’t want to know the answer, don’t ask.  We can’t guarantee that you’ll hear what you want to hear.  Also, please don’t keep asking the same question again and again.  It’s annoying and tarot gets snarky when you do that.  (Plus we get cranky and bored.)

Don’t tell us who we can and can’t work with.  If you just broke up with your boyfriend they still have every right to come here and it’s none of your business.  And no, we won’t tell you if they still come here.  Client confidentiality, yo.

Don’t dicker with us about our prices.  If you can’t afford it, we are more than happy to help you find someone who is within your price range.

Don’t expect us to drop everything and “just toss a couple of cards”.  That is as rude as it gets.  Oh, and requesting a “free sample” so you can “test our abilities” leads to no reply.  We don’t have time for that nonsense.  If you want a reader that works under either of those circumstances, get thee to an “on demand” service.  (PS also please don’t pretend to be our friend so that you can get “freebies”.  We know when you are pulling that.  It’s way more obvious than you think.)

Calling us at 1AM to ask what to do about the man with a gun outside your door is not cool.  You should be calling the cops, not us.  Also, if you get us on the phone to book an appointment but instead start to dump/get histrionic/make demands, we may just hang up and refuse to work with you.  We are running tarot businesses, not chat lines or emergency and rescue services.

Come in with the right frame of mind. That means SOBER.  Calm.  Rational.  A drunk/hysterical/fuming attitude is not the right head space for tarot.

Don’t try to date us. That is just plain wrong.  No ethical reader sleeps with their clients.  It’s a huge no-no.  Plus hitting on your reader is so….eeewwww……

Lastly, if we terminate our working relationship with you, accept it gracefully and walk away with dignity.  Don’t show up unannounced demanding a reading, don’t keep calling and begging, don’t turn up at an event and try to force us to read for you, don’t purchase a reading online and assume we “have to” read you (we will refund your money) and above all, please don’t use a fake name and show up in a disguise (yes, that last one actually DID happen to me).

In a nutshell: we LOVE working with you but please don’t be rude.  Just because we are in a “woo woo” industry, doesn’t mean that we don’t deserve to be treated with the same common business courtesies that you would extend to any other professional.

“Doesn’t matter what a person’s name is as long as he behaves himself.” ~ L. M. Montgomery



© Theresa Reed | The Tarot Lady 2013

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James Wells June 12, 2013 at 9:28 am

Well said. No ambiguity here. Can someone give our sister Theresa a “hallelujah”?

Theresa Reed June 12, 2013 at 9:31 am

Thank you James! 🙂

Delisa June 12, 2013 at 10:30 am

Yes! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had someone call me & want me just to toss a couple of cards. They never could understand why I wouldn’t read for them. lol.

Theresa Reed June 12, 2013 at 11:52 am

Me too, Delisa. It’s like they assume I have nothing else going on + all the time in the world. It’s not like I am just sitting here, eating bon bons and shuffling cards. LOL

Rozonda June 12, 2013 at 10:57 am

Theresa,it’s Rozonda. Maybe you remember me, sometime ago I wrote an article in Spanish based on one of yours with your permission and giving you credits properly. I’d love your permission to do it again with this article, it is so wonderful and so necessary for us readers!! Hopeyou agree. Anyway,congratulations on your article!!

Prudence June 12, 2013 at 11:03 am

A big THANK YOU to TAROT LADY for this!

Theresa Reed June 12, 2013 at 11:52 am

Thanks Prudence!

Richard Abbot June 12, 2013 at 12:24 pm

‘Just a general reading please’
‘Lets see what comes up’
etc, etc

Jenna Matlin | Queen of Wands Tarot June 12, 2013 at 4:25 pm

PREACH it, sistah!

I was working at a fair and I had someone shove her palm in my face for a test reading (readings were only $5)… “I see a bitch slap in your future…” yee haw!

Kelsey Lynore June 12, 2013 at 4:45 pm

Wonderful article, Theresa. I loved how direct and crisp it was.

Alyxandria - Straight Up Talk June 12, 2013 at 5:33 pm

I love this article and it is dead on for professional tarot card readers, psychologists, coaches, teachers, anyone who works with the intangibles that people want! Great to point out the etiquette rules. Too bad that they have to be pointed out to so many people.

Shad Schroeder June 12, 2013 at 5:58 pm

Sad that this needed to be written.

Theresa Reed June 14, 2013 at 8:48 am

Hi Shad,

Yes, it is sad but it’s necessary. I am stunned when people are rude. But you know what? I’ve learned a lot about boundaries and about being a good customer from my experiences with rude clients. The boundaries lesson is one I still have to work on – but I have learned how to not be “that client” in any situation. I’m always polite to the people I hire – and even people I meet on my random errands from the barista at the coffee shop, to the bank teller, to my accountant, to the homeless man on the street – I treat people with politeness because I know what it’s like to be treated rudely. Common courtesy should be applied to ALL relationships. 🙂

Shad Schroeder June 14, 2013 at 10:13 am

Hi Theresa,

You’ve said a mouthful! I live in Korea, a culture very different from where I come from. I’m a country – well, suburbs – boy, living in a big city and I have to remind myself every day to be kinder. Even though it seems smiles are not the norm when meeting strangers, I find myself more and more rewarded with a smile in return. Courtesy just makes things easier!

Theresa Reed June 14, 2013 at 4:35 pm

Hi Shad

YES – courtesy makes things so much easier. You can always get more flies with honey. 🙂

CJ June 14, 2013 at 6:20 am

Is it rude if you ask whether a reader would be willing to use your deck instead of theirs before you book?

Theresa Reed June 14, 2013 at 8:42 am

Not at all, CJ! But some readers will prefer to use a deck that they are tuned into so not sure if they will want to work with your deck.

Tricia O'Malley June 14, 2013 at 11:19 am

Amen sista! I love the “don’t ask questions that you don’t want to know the answer to.” I think that transcends to ANY area of life.

This is a great article. Your time is your most valuable asset – no matter the profession. You have every right to deal only with respectful clients. Rock on.

Theresa Reed June 14, 2013 at 4:36 pm

Seems like client boundaries are a hot topic this week. Just read this post from Leonie Dawson:

Paula June 14, 2013 at 8:26 pm

Great article, Theresa. I’ve gotten so I tell clients up front that I consider myself an intuitive not a psychic and that this reading is a dialogue, a way to hold up a mirror, etc. to discourage that whole “I’m not telling you anything until you prove how magical you are” bit. Love the doctor analogy. I actually had a guy grudgingly sit through a reading at the request of his wife…I should have know it was going to be a problem when I pulled the Heirophant to represent him!

Theresa Reed June 14, 2013 at 9:17 pm

A reluctant sitter rarely makes for a good reading, Paula. The best energy is people who come willingly, with an open mind and a curious attitude. 🙂

Theresa Reed June 15, 2013 at 12:30 am

This conversation reminds me of an event that really stuck with me: years ago, I was at an airport. Our flight was late so we decided to hunt out a restaurant. Our waiter sat us down and then proceeded to try to make small talk to the “important” well dressed man beside us who was firing up his laptop. The “important” man looked up at the waiter and said “look, I don’t want to talk to you – just bring me my food and don’t talk to me any more”.

The waiter walked away, angry and humiliated (the guy was loud).

My husband and I were in shock from this exchange.

I never, ever want to be “that” customer for anyone. EVER.

Caroline Frenette Master Intuitive Coach June 17, 2013 at 12:58 pm

I’m laughing so hard as I’m reading this especially : ” Don’t try to date us. That is just plain wrong. No ethical reader sleeps with their clients. It’s a huge no-no. Plus hitting on your reader is so….eeewwww……”


Theresa Reed June 17, 2013 at 1:06 pm

Thanks for stopping by Caroline! Glad I could make you laugh. Hee hee! 🙂

Melissa June 20, 2013 at 5:41 am

Ooooooh the “I don’t really believe in tarot” thing gets my goat every time. Who pays for something they don’t believe in??

I usually respond with something like, “I’m sensing you’re in denial,” while wiggling my fingers around a crystal ball.

Theresa Reed June 20, 2013 at 7:15 am

Ha ha ha! Melissa, that’s hilarious!

ScoTT SenaTe June 20, 2013 at 7:44 am

I think this quote sums it up – Treat me like a prince and I’ll treat you like a princess – Treat me like a game and I’ll teach you how it’s played

Theresa Reed June 24, 2013 at 5:49 am

I love that, Scott!

Sherry - The Tarot Chayse June 20, 2013 at 4:14 pm

Love it! However, can’t say I’ve had a client try to date me before. Perhaps I need to update my pic 😉

Theresa Reed June 24, 2013 at 5:49 am

LOL it’s quite bizarre when it happens, trust me.

Naware September 15, 2013 at 2:10 am

Love this post! I will be more than happy to keep this in mind as I branch out into regular acceptance of clients! Thanks again for your wonderful insight! <3

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