I’ve been doing online tarot readings since 2001 and have seen how this form of divination has really taken off. Nowadays there are many way to perform an online reading, covered in our piece “Online Tarot Readings – How do they Work?” If you are considering carrying out a distance reading, you may be wondering how to go about it. For the purposes of this article, I am assuming that you are doing an online tarot reading via email. The online aspect is how the reading is solicited and delivered.
Let’s assume you’ve already been contacted by a potential client. It might be someone you know through Facebook or other social media site. Or it could be that you know this person in real life. It makes no difference when it comes to reading tarot. The first important thing is to establish what exactly they are asking. It is possible to do a general reading such as a ‘What does the forthcoming year hold for me?” But it is much easier for you if you can pin them down to specifics for your first few readings anyway. It may take a few emails or messaging back and forth until you both agree on a good question. Good questions cannot be answered by ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. They should elicit a detailed answer that will help the questioner deal with an aspect of their life. So some good questions might be:
How can I develop my current job into a worthwhile career?
What do I need to know about my relationship with …?
What actions can I take in order to deal with my health issues?
How can I deal with my financial problems?
What advice does the tarot have to offer about interactions with my family?
I don’t know my spiritual path; can tarot help?
You get the idea… nice juicy questions that will provoke good detailed answers. When you have more practice, this process can be streamlined, as you’ll become an expert at working out what it is your clients are concerned about. I generally ask for a short paragraph from them describing the situation and from there I can work out the best way to present the question.
Which tarot deck?
Once you have formulated the question, you must decided which tarot deck to use. If you have just the one, then there’s no problem. If you have more than one, you can either choose the one that feels right to you, or you could offer your client a choice. Mostly I find that they are happy to leave it up to me, but some love to be involved in the whole process, so you can give them a list of the decks you are comfortable reading with and they can go off and Google them. Or you could scan a few cards and send the images to them.
The Money Issue
Explain to your client that (unless you are using Skype or other instant messaging service) carrying out a distance reading takes a little time and ask for their patience. If you are doing paid readings, you should request payment in advance. Bear in mind that if the client is unhappy with their reading, then you should refund all their money. The only time I have ever had to make a refund to someone was when she had paid but I felt unable to advise her on the problem. She understood and I went on to do many more readings for her.
You have to decide on how much you will charge per reading. You might have a scale of prices depending on how many cards you will use. You might have a flat fee and will use as many cards as necessary. Or you might charge by the hour. The best way to work it out is to do a lot of research. Luckily most online tarot readers advertise their rates, so have a nosey about their websites. You will probably find a reader that you resonate with and can use their fee structure for yourself.
Performing the Reading
This part is very personal to you. Some people simply sit at their laptop and lay out the cards next to them. Others have simple or elaborate rituals that help them get into the tarot zone. My favorite method is to sit quietly with a lit candle nearby. I lay out my tarot cloth and close my eyes holding the cards in my hands and mentally rehearsing the question and focusing on my client. I shuffle the cards and, as I lay them out, I speak the question aloud. I will have already decided on which spread would be most appropriate.
When the cards are down (I always lay mine face-up) I spend a few minutes absorbing the feel of of the cards, not trying to interpret them but just getting an idea of how they responded to the question. Then I turn to my computer and get started.
I begin with an introductory paragraph, thanking the client for allowing me to read for them. I review and clarify the question and tell them which deck I am using – even if this information has been given already. Then I list out the cards turned. After that I devote a paragraph to each card, making sure that there is a rhythm and flow to the narrative. I try to refer to previous cards, showing how they connect, support or contradict each other and what that might mean. Once each card has been dealt with, I write up a conclusion that brings the reading together and reiterates the main points. I finish up by thanking them again and inviting further questions relating to the reading. I am always happy to explain any unclear point by follow-up emails.
Delivering the Reading
I then scan each card and insert the images at the appropriate places in the document. Give the whole thing a spell and grammar check; reading it aloud will help to pick up any awkward sentences. Make any edits necessary and attach to an email and send. You may be using a different way of delivering your reading such as Facebook messaging so simply copy and paste your text into the appropriate application. Sit back and trust that the reading does its job and your client is happy, uplifted and has a direction to focus upon regarding their issue. With any luck you will get some positive feedback, maybe a question or two to clarify and another reading request in the not too distant future.