If you read tarot for other humans, at some point you’ll have someone at the table who doesn’t share your political beliefs. You may not be aware of it. After all, most folks who come in for a reading don’t usually begin by discussing the state of the world or their opinions. They want to focus on what’s going on in their world.
But sometimes, politics come up, especially in an election season or when the atmosphere is politically charged. Like now.
You might be wondering: should a tarot reader discuss their beliefs openly? What do you do when a client wants to talk about politics…and they say something that offends you? Or what about if you know what their beliefs are – and might be worried that this might impact your ability to deliver an unbiased reading?
In my thirty years, I’ve had plenty of folks sit down at the tarot table who don’t share my political leanings. Some of them have been vocal, others not. A few times, it’s been uncomfortable. I’ve learned from these experiences and here are my thoughts.
First of all, I’m a firm believer that you should not hide your beliefs out of fear of alienating the general public. Some people might disagree with me on this. They’ll tell you that being “political” will “hurt your brand.” I don’t agree even though I’ve had my share of “shut up and shuffle” comments over the years. In some cases, being outspoken cost me a client.
But here’s the deal: if you are open about what you’re all about, you are giving potential customers a clear idea of who you are and where you stand. This allows them to self-select – just like you get to do when a business is clear on their political leanings.
Keep in mind, most people won’t give a fig about what you are for or against. I’m extremely open about what I’m all about and I’ve worked with plenty of folks who don’t share the same beliefs. They’re hiring me because they want to work with me. If the subject of politics comes up, it’s usually a short, polite discussion – and then we get down to the business of tarot.
That being said, there might come a time when someone is offensive. In those cases, let them know right away that they are being disrespectful. This usually stops the conversation dead in the water. In some situations, it can open the door for a meaningful discussion (I’ve had a few of those!). However, you may encounter someone who crosses a line. In that case, you’ll want to end the reading, let them know exactly why you’re doing this and show them the door. I’ve never had to do that before but you might. You do not have to read for anyone that upsets you or offends you.
I think because I am outspoken, those types probably take a pass on working with me. Again: this is another reason why you shouldn’t water your beliefs down. In some ways, being upfront is a repellant!
Another issue that you may come across is your own bias getting in the way of delivering a helpful reading. If you cannot detach from your feelings, the reading will be tainted. You must remain neutral at all times. If you find yourself feeling too angry or irritated with the person sitting in front of you, you shouldn’t take their money. Refer them to a different reader instead.
Some people might say “but do I really want to work with someone who has a set of beliefs that I find offensive?” You may not. You don’t have to either. Like I said, if you feel that you cannot deliver an unbiased reading for that person, take a pass. It will save both you and the client a whole lotta discomfort.
Lastly, I have a spiritual practice that you might find helpful. If a client’s politics leaving you feeling some type of way, donate a portion of the fee to your favorite cause. This will neutralize the energy and you’ll feel good.
In an ideal world, we’d be surrounded by folks with whom we can agree on the issues. That’s pretty unlikely because…well, humans are humans. At the end of the day, everyone is entitled to their beliefs. Even if you do not share the same worldview, you can still deliver a helpful reading. But if that’s not possible, you don’t have to serve them – and they don’t have to work with you either. After all, the customer is not always right for you…and you may not be right for them. And that’s something we can all agree on.
© Theresa Reed | The Tarot Lady 2020
image from stock photography