While drinking my coffee this morning, I was thinking about my place within the grand scheme of things. I really enjoy the work I do, though there was once a time I’d never considered I’d be reading tarot for a living and have hundreds of successful sessions under my belt. I’d always wanted to share my knowledge of the cards with others, but being confident enough to step out there and teach a class or mentor someone was no more than a dream back then.
In recent times, I have really enjoyed using the card decks put out by Doreen Virtue and Hay House. As well as this, I have appreciated Doreen’s videos. Because I am a subscriber to her newsletter, I frequently get emails about products and courses that are currently available.
I’ve been looking at her Angel Readers Certification course lately, which she now runs online with Radleigh Valentine. While I am not big on certification, it would be nice to hear their reading tips and be able to teach Doreen and Radleigh’s methods with their blessing. However, at the present time, the price is a little out of my reach.
By the time I’d drained my coffee cup this morning, I had a bright idea and felt inspired to pen them an email. I thought I’d share it here with you all.
Dear Doreen and Radleigh
I was considering beginning this mail by telling you how much I enjoy your work and love your card decks, but rather than flower this message up and beat around the bush, I thought I would dive straight in and get to the point!
I have a great interest in becoming a certified Angel Card Reader. In fact, I think that your tips, detailed card explanations, and also the four decks that come with the course would be really useful for my work at this time. It would be great to have lifetime access to the course videos, to become part of the online community you’ve set up, and to receive a certificate signed by both of you, which I could use at public events.
Unfortunately, as things stand at this time in my life, I cannot afford the large price tag attached to your course. I have other things I need to pay for and on some weeks, I don’t bring in as much cash as I would like. I was wondering if you would mind allowing me access to your course for nothing and would also be able to send me through the four course companion decks for free. This would be a great help!
I’ll leave my address at the bottom of this mail for you to post the decks on to and obviously, you can reach me at this email address when you want to send through my login details.
If you are still reading this post, I am hoping that your jaw has hit the floor by now.
Of course, I didn’t send that email.
I didn’t even write it.
But you may or may not be surprised to hear that I receive mails and messages on social media like this all of the time: and the majority of them are not quite so polite. In fact, when I state that I don’t give free readings, some people are not prepared to take no for an answer.
I am not the first person to address this subject and I will not be the last, but it is something I feel a need to reword from my own perspective. If you read the profile on my Instagram feed, I conclude with ‘I do not give free readings’. There are 101 reasons why I do not, but the main one is that this is my full-time job. It may have once been my hobby but it is now my career. I do not say this because I am above doing free-readings. I say it because it is through reading and teaching tarot that I pay my bills, finance my driving lessons, and pay for the things I need.
While some who contact me may think that reading tarot is a piece-of-p*ss, I can assure you that it has taken me many years to become as fluent as I am in the language of tarot. It has taken time and effort to get to a point where I can use it to help others. And as with any service, it has a value. Tarot reading can touch the souls and sensitivities of those I work with. It can help to turn a negative perspective into a positive one, can assist someone to embrace change within their life, or offer comfort within a clients darkest hour.
There will always be someone who says that this is a gift and should be handed over as such. Each to their own: whether a reader decides to charge for their services or not is their own decision. But for one second, consider this. If it is something free you are looking for, you might want to click around on this blog, since I try my best to provide useful deck reviews and bring informative and entertaining articles to everyone who drops by. If that isn’t enough, I spend over an hour or two a week making and editing daily videos that I post on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. I hope they offer practical guidance and food for thought for all who watch them. If you want that bit extra, there is my longer weekly video, where I read a five card spread.
You may say ‘but yes, you enjoy doing these things’ and you’d be right. I love tarot and oracles, but this does not mean I shouldn’t be respected for my knowledge and paid for my time and experience.
Tarot reading and money is always going to be a contentious subject. But I believe that if a reading is worth asking for, it’s worth paying for. I respect both Doreen and Radleigh and would not dream of sending them an email like the one posted above. Reading cards, talking with spirit, and the sharing of knowledge is a an exchange between diviner and client: one I believe a reader or tutor should receive payment for, whether I can afford to purchase it at this time or not.
Of course, whether a reading is free or paid for does not determine how good it will be. This is my main reason for posting YouTube videos and writing handfuls of articles here on my blog. Before you decide to pay for a reading with me, you have more than a good chance of deciding whether my style, energy, or way of working is right for you. But of course, there are many good and less-public readers out there who have decided to waver payment for their skills or who wish to practice on voluntary guinea pigs. With a few select hashtags, they’re not so hard to find.
Tarot reading takes time, effort and commitment. For some of us, it also requires the renting of a space, travel costs, monthly website payment and maintenance, design, advertising, and is built around unsociable hours. Most of these things do not come for free either.
I always like to end my articles on a positive note. So with that in mind, I’d just like to thank the many people who have paid for my time over the years.
As well as my paying clients, I’d also like to acknowledge the many people who thank me every single day for those things I share on social media and take the trouble to drop by and leave comments. Your support, warmth and kind feedback are extremely rewarding.
Cards from The Housewives Tarot by Paul Kepple and Jude Buffum