It starts out innocently enough.

You walk into a modest, ordinary office for a tarot reading. The reader begins laying out the cards and chatting pleasantly but suddenly a dark look crosses her face.  With grave concern in her voice,  she takes your hand and starts to talk about the “negative energy” surrounding you. Suddenly her eyes become wide as she exclaims:  “someone has put something on you!  You’ve been cursed!”  You’re scared but secretly relieved.  Now you know why your life sucks.  It can’t be your choices – it has to be a curse!  It’s not your fault!

And that’s when the reader begins to lay it on thick like the worst sort of used car salesman. They begin imploring you to get a “cleansing” or “healing” (and of course, only they can do it for you).

It will “only” cost you $99.00.

Now if you are a vulnerable type (which is what the reader is hoping for), you may be frightened enough to pull that money out of your wallet on the spot and get your “healing”.  But guess what? It does not stop there.  Before long, you’ve spent a lot of dough and added a great deal of superstitious anxiety to your life.

You’ve just been conned.  Ouch.

But before you kick yourself for being a sucker, let me tell you this: it happens more than you know and many of the people who fall for this schtick are reasonably intelligent, normal folk.   And most people who work in the psychic arts are decent, hardworking, honorable and kind.  It’s the rare few that rip people off and give honest readers a bad name.

If you know the simple warning signs, you can minimize your risk and be able to walk away with dollars (and pride) intact.  Here’s what you need to watch out for:

  1. Fishing for information.  If the reader constantly asks you questions, they are not doing a reading.  You should be the one asking the questions, not them.
  2. Heavy handed solicitation.  Calling you at home, urging you to call them, trying to lure you in – any of these tactics are a huge red flag.  A reader should NEVER bother you for business.  You should only be going to a reader when YOU feel the need to go.  Period.
  3. Dubious marketing methods.  Years ago, I had a client who got three mysterious tarot cards in the mail along with a frightening letter from a reader who claimed that they had “special information” for them and they needed to call within 7 days or they would “risk losing a major opportunity”.  Of course, this was nothing more than a ruse to get the client to call a hotline and spend money they didn’t have.  A special offer is one thing – scary mail or “urgent” emails demanding your immediate attention are another.  If you get either, throw it in the trash and/or hit delete.
  4. The “curse” line.  If a reader begins to tell you about a curse or negative energy that someone “put on you”, stop the reading right there.  This is the oldest line in the book and a total crock.  No one has the power to put a curse on you.  Your problems stem from decisions or choices that you make in your life.  And you, only you, can change course at any time you want. To believe otherwise takes your personal responsibility away from you and puts all your personal power in the hands of others.
  5. Charging you large sums of money for a “cleansing” or “healing”.  I once met a woman who went to a local con artist who demanded she give her $6000.00 to “remove her depression”.  (Needless to say, she was still depressed and six thousand dollars poorer.)  No ethical reader would EVER charge you a big fee to remove a curse, cure “negative energy” or solve your problems.  EVER.  If you really do have major emotional issues, a honest reader would refer you to the proper professionals who can help you.
  6. Swearing you to secrecy.  If a reader tells you that you cannot tell anyone about your reading or it “won’t come true” this is a sign that they are not on the up and up.  You should be able to tell anyone you please about your reading and furthermore, you should be able to tape the reading if you wish.  This is a tarot reading, not some back alley drug deal – avoid readers who treat it like one.

These general warnings should protect you from getting ripped off by one of these low-lifes.  But this bears saying again: these people are in the minority.  Most of the time, a tarot reading is a positive, fun and empowering experience and most readers and psychics sincerely want to help you.

Take your time to find a reader that you like and trust.  And always remember this: you are the only one who holds the power to your life.  Don’t let anyone ever convince you otherwise.



What are warning signs you look for?  I’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions.

© Theresa Reed | The Tarot Lady 2011

special thanks to taoxproductions for the image


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