I have little things that are part of each reading I do for new people -like I want to know what your pronouns are, your birthday, I make some small/medium talk. I want to open the space and make room for comfort. To make sure the space we set up together for the reading feels good to you. A good number of folks are nervous, and I want to help ease that. I also ask, 'have you ever had a reading before?' and what that was like for you. So often, I hear horror stories, or deeply awkward stories about readings people have gotten before. It really annoys me, not because I think every reading should be all wonderful or perfectly accurate (I mean, they should be, but we aren't perfect beings and each of us isn't going to mesh with everyone, right?) but because so much of the time, it was because the reader just didn't care or know enough to make sacred safe space. If you're going to pay someone to read cards, and have a significant amount of time with them, and share something authentic and deep from your life, there are some things you absolutely should be getting.
A tarot reading should be welcoming and respectful to all walks of life, gender identity, sexual orientation, all bodies, all kinds of workers, all kinds of worshippers and intersectional in understanding and scope and done only with consent. Affirming, supporting and hearing you, no matter what your life looks like. And a big one that's hardly ever spoken of is Consent. Consent is huge for me, I won't snoop for you, I can know some things, like say, things your partner might be going through emotionally, but only if it truly applies to you do I feel comfortable sharing. I only go so far in peeking into the energy of folks who haven't asked me to. That's one reason why random readings and energy work on TikTok or Instagram are a bit tricky. Be aware of who you let in your energy. You have the right to say no.
A tarot reading should look like a conversation where you're the focus and you feel that you can ask questions, have access to the cards that came up for you and are listened to by the reader. I want you to leave feeling validated, feeling like your intuition has been right, feeling like you're the expert in your life. The cards can give more nuance, or more insight and certainly there will be some prediction -- a likely end to the path you're on now, etc, but mostly the point is to help you see what you can't or aren't.
A tarot reading should be private. It can't always be this way fully, I know sometimes readings happen in a group setting, or a party or convention, etc but even then there should be some kind of partition to keep things private. There shouldn't be other people in the room where the reader is, like they shouldn't be reading you in front of their friends, family etc. You should also be able to feel that your readings aren't being discussed outside of the parameters of your reading unless there are no names/places/identifying things. I think this is particularly important to me because all of my new folks have come from word of mouth, so y'all know each other or are like 2 or 3 degrees of separation from one another!!!
Ideally a tarot reader should be somewhat trauma aware, and hopefully trauma informed! Every tarot reader doesn't have to have a counseling degree or training in that way, but too often issues come up in readings and you have to keep people safe, you have to encourage people to seek help, seek support and care for themselves and to me that's an ethical responsibility. I've had readings with people who were incredibly careless in the way they delivered certain messages and it was not ok, and it took a while to get some of that out of my energy. I don't want to be one that does that to anyone else.
Your tarot reading should have some truths or nuance that gives you a new perspective but it should also validate or confirm things that are happening in your life and that your intuition has shown you or hinted at. This is a sign of the veracity of the reading and one of the best ways to know that this reading is truly for you.
You should always feel seen, heard and affirmed by your tarot reading even if you get your edges snatched! I've been reading a long, long time and what I've seen is that tarot readings are a powerful tool in healing, growing, being guided and being given clarity to move through your life feeling more able to make the best decisions for you.
I take the charge to read cards with you very seriously, it's part of my life's work, being a conduit for these messages. I am so grateful for the interesting, brilliant, adventurous folks I connect with in these readings.