Signs To Look For When Choosing A Tarot Reader & The Ethics Of Divination Choosing Your Seer

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When people first think of “Tarot Readings”, what comes to mind is Harry Potter, Halloween, or something related to witchcraft or gypsies. Movies played an important part in this “illusion” as one would often imagine readings being done by mysterious old women in secluded booths masked by beaded curtains. Divination of all forms and Tarot Card reading, in particular, has attracted its quota of dubious readers. But how can you tell? 

Many readers engage in their work with a genuine desire to help clients sort out life issues and offer insight to help them do so. Some are in it purely to scam and provide unethical suggestions such as claiming to cure AIDS/HIV, etc and I think that to a certain extent this has made the public skeptical. There is a need to be careful. 

With so many media now advertising readings of various kinds, how do you tell where you are likely to get good information and what is likely to be a rip off? Well, for one thing, you should look out for personal contact. Usually individual readers who set up their own web sites are more reliable. If a site has been around for some time, if the reader is experienced and is willing to answer any enquiry you may have, then the signs are good. 

Naturally you want to be happy that your credit card details are secure. Internet sites where secure payment systems are used are a good bet. Paypal and KAGI are examples of well established payment agencies. A good website is likely to use these types of secure systems, to protect its clients. It pays to be more cautious about sites which don’t use these types of systems and which take your card details themselves. A bona fide web site will also outline clearly what type of reading you get for your money and how much that reading is. 

Areas, where caution is needed, are website or newspaper services where there is no clearly identifiable person dealing with the readings (please Google the name or background of the practitioner and if they have committed any fraud). If it’s organized by a virtually anonymous “company”, what are you getting? If there is no interaction with a real person, be cautious. Will the information you receive be genuine or something printed from a long list of “options” by a computer? If you are asked to send in your mobile phone number to receive your reading in that way, be very cautious. How much are the charges? Is this a “one-off” reading or will you be sent regular readings and how much will they be? If you are going to speak to a person who claims to be a “psychic” on the phone, how much are the per-minute charges? How much will they add up to if you speak for an hour, which is not uncommon? Often these kinds of operations are run by people who teach their readers to keep clients talking so they will spend more and more money. Ethical readings involve a one-off payment for a well-described service. 

To avoid problems it is best to select a reading type from a site which offers a range of options. If you want detailed information about your life over the coming year, then you would be looking at a reading which is quite substantial and for which you would pay more. Simpler questions such as, “Will I find a lover?” can be covered in smaller layouts. 

The issue is that you should choose the reading and know the cost beforehand. Sometimes clients think if they pay more they will hear more. This is another misconception about the nature of divination and it can be encouraged by readers whose focus is on making more money (most of the time by unethically selling weird ointments or amulets). There is usually a limit to how much can be seen about an issue at any time by a reader. So, if you choose an appropriate reading, it should cover the issue you are looking at adequately and there should be no need to have more readings on that topic. Indeed it can be unproductive to ask the same question again and again. 

Provided you bear these points in mind, then the Internet offers a wide range of readers, from different traditions, who are able to help you in your quest to understand your life better. That is what a reading should be. It should not be a lip trembling moment of consulting about your “Fate” but a genuine inquiry into the possibilities around you at the time. Bearing all this in mind, may your readings be fruitful! 

Professionals have their regulatory bodies and codes of practice, but individuals involved in mystical work are often self-taught. This can leave them feeling they are in something of a black hole when it comes to dealing with the public appropriately. From the point of view of the client, it makes it difficult to know who to choose for reading.

MOST New Age practitioners would not do readings on pregnancy, health, finance, and legal issues as it is unethical and dangerous. PLEASE seek expert (doctor, finance experts, lawyer) advice on these issues.

Ethical principles should guide all practitioners of the divinatory arts, whatever their field. Talking with a group of astrologers confirmed for me that the same types of problems face all “readers” whose clients have come seeking advice: dealing with difficult questions; the possibility of tragic events; what to do when people have depression or issues they cannot handle alone, and especially, avoiding dependency and the pressure it places on the practitioner. It is dependency on the reader that I will discuss here and how readers and their clients can avoid the problem.

Initially, I would say, be clear about motives. As a practitioner, I think the best position is to have a set of strong values with regard to your work that accord with your spiritual perspective. Being a person who tries to live her life by Buddhist teachings I ask myself, “What is my motivation in doing this kind of work?” The answer that initially springs to mind is to help others by giving them the insights gleaned from a reading, but it is more than that. It is to empower others to choose for themselves how to deal more effectively with problems in their lives by giving them information. Encouraging clients to become dependent on more and more readings is not ethical.

Client dependency usually occurs when people have a simplistic view of divination. They believe that a reading reveals “Fate” – a future written in tablets of stone that cannot be avoided. They see themselves in the role of puppets on a stage where larger forces are pulling the strings. If they get the “wrong answer” to their queries then real stress can result and clients can pressure readers to tell them what they want to hear by asking the same question again and again, until they get the “right” answer. It’s easy to forget how much the client invests in what a reader says and how careful readers need to be when faced with someone overwhelmed by life problems.

The Tarot cards show potentials, trends and possibilities for a person at any one time. At no stage does that person lose their free will. Readers need to show clients how they have choices and need to be proactive in their lives. “If you follow this path, then X may occur. If you follow that path then Y is more likely”. Does anybody get a new job or a new romance if they don’t make some moves towards their goal? A good reading should show ways of making desirable changes.

If you are a client looking for a reader who can give you real insight into your possibilities then you should be looking for someone who has the insight to explain things in this way. At no time should you feel you have lost control of your choices. The purpose of divination is to seek guidance not intimidation. Both “seers” and clients need to adopt an exploratory frame of mind in a reading rather than a predictive one and clients should ask, when they book a reading, “How do you work? Is there only one answer to a problem or am I free to explore the possibilities open to me?”

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