The other day I drug myself to the grocery store. I was exhausted after having read for the equivalent of 65 people over a four day trip out of state. I just needed some milk, maybe some cat food.
All the sudden, I hear my name being called out. “Hey, Jenna!” and I turn around to see a client that I last saw over a year ago. I gave her a wide smile, happy to unexpectedly find a friendly face.
That smile changed quickly, however, when the first thing out of her mouth was a very loud proclamation about how wrong I was on a prediction. No, “Hi, Jenna, how are you?” Just, “Hey Jenna, GUESS WHAT YOU WERE WRONG ABOUT THE PREDICTION YOU MADE OVER A YEAR AND A HALF AGO!” she loudly proclaimed in the store.
I was so shocked and felt so assaulted that I turned on my heel and walked away. In fact, her desire to humiliate me got to me. I’ll admit it. I was crying in my car not one hour later questioning everything. Why am I doing this work? What do people really expect from me? Do people read my website at all, actually?
Or, do people just see the word tarot and reduce everything to it’s easiest trope: that cards tell fortunes?
The next morning I got an email from a client who was gushing over the fact that I was right. The guy who was a fire sign showed up just like the prediction foretold. When a prediction lands favorably, I am sometimes given this weird kind of ‘guru’ treatment as if I have a strange sort of superpower. In all honesty, I am just an uncomfortable about the positive reinforcement as I am with the negative. I don’t feel ‘pride’ for being right. Because, honestly, it is not my story, I’ve just been tasked with telling it.
As an intuitive, I am only responsible for the message.
I am not responsible for it coming true, or not coming true. I am not responsible for last minute changes in logistics or people changing their minds. I am not responsible for free will, or Divine Intervention and I am certainly not responsible for how the client will change their own actions just from getting new information. I am also not responsible for clients liking or disliking the message. People give me far too much power over their lives, and I don’t want any part of it.
What I am responsible for is to faithfully and to the best of my ability use tarot to help a person live their best life. I am responsible for reading the cards as objectively as possible. I am responsible for suspending judgement and being a conduit for whatever the Universe wants to say whether that message be slightly garbled, consoling, or difficult to hear. I am responsible for using my intuitive skills to help soften confusion when I can, to lay out probabilities as they appear, and offer suggestions as best interpreted by tarot.
I can control the question, but I cannot control the answer.
But, some people hear the word tarot and reduce me, and tarot, to an old worn-the-fuck-out stereotype. Because they want the sure thing. The right answer, the way out. Nothing in life can guarantee that kind of expectation.
Tarot usually demands more work than answers. Divination has never been about sure things, divination is about the journey: the brief, sudden, altogether mysterious conversation with the Divine.
It is far more subtle and miraculous than just laying out your future like a book report outline. Tarot shines in the subtlety of it all. Tarot is more interested in the mystery, the conversation, the unfolding. And I as a reader of tarot, find it to be far more helpful and interesting in it’s present day applications than hoping for a future to unfold as if we have no part in it.
Allow tarot to work knowing that we all have free will. That humans are pretty irrational a lot of the time. Allow tarot to speak without forcing it to be what you want. You will find it to be a far more powerful ally than you could ever imagine. Unleash expectations and like a free animal, let tarot run free and see where it takes you.
Tarot is More than Predictions
Trust me, I love a good prediction as much as the next guy. It is thrilling to peer ahead into the misty future to wonder how something will turn out and if I will be okay.
Often it feels to me that tarot is used as a hammer, that it has only one real use which is fortune telling.
But actually, it is an extraordinary type of Swiss Army knife. One deck is packed with different tools, each extraordinarily specific to whatever challenges one is currently facing.
In my practice, here are just a few of the ways that I have seen tarot help my clients beyond predictions.
Strengthens Relationships-Maybe the question is not “Should I stay or go?” but rather, “How can we make this better than it is?”
Gives permission to leave what’s broken-Sometimes we ask tarot, “Can we fix him?”, and tarot answers, “It’s okay, you tried, but you need to go now.” Understanding when it is time to let go with love is one of the hardest things to learn.
Gain hope and inspiration-When we think things can’t get better and we have to cut our losses tarot will show us a way we never thought of before, and it changes everything.
Destroys inner critics and saboteurs-Tarot is excellent bar none for directly pointing out the inner machinations that try to make us small by courting failure. I love tarot for its ability to shine a light right into our darkest corners.
Heals hearts-One session with a good tarot practitioner can do so much to heal someone with a broken heart. We ask, “Will I ever be better?”, and tarot responds by saying, “Oh yes, and this is how.”
Engages spiritual truths-Tarot has a way of reminding us of the larger picture. You know, the one beyond the parking tickets and the jeans that no longer fit. Tarot reminds us of why we are here, but most importantly, what we are here to learn.
Reveals agreements you make with the Universe-When we are reminded of what we are here to learn, we also learn about some of the agreements we made with the Universe. We aren’t downloaded into this plane with a task list. They have to be revealed by the act of living.
Scales intuitive fluency-If you are looking to become a more intuitive (or psychic) person, I cannot think of a better way than to learn tarot.
Rewrites painful narratives-We walk around with so much pain. All of us. This pain is often old narratives from the past impacting the present. Tarot has a way of dismantling those old stories we tell about ourselves (and our worth) and helps us rewrite new ones.
Alleviates anxiety-It is true that anxiety is the emotion people most often feel that convinces them that it is time to get a reading and they hope that knowing the future will alleviate anxiety. However, tarot alleviates anxiety through a different action which is revealing truth so you can face it and move on.
Offers relief-Tarot can be a great nurturer to the heart-sick, the lonely, the lost, and the hurting. I find that the tone that tarot uses in session speaks directly to the emotional needs of the querent in a way that is driven for their greater good.
Finds new approaches-When you are stuck, tarot has 78 new ways of looking at a problem in a different light.
Helps you find your path-Once you understand some of what you need to learn, and have uncovered your agreements with the Universe, you can then use tarot to help you find the action part, your path. What are you here to do? How are you here to serve? This is typically not the “Am I meant to be a nurse?”, as much as, “In what ways am I being called to heal the planet?”
Removes limits- And once you know your path, tarot helps remove roadblocks that get in the way of fulfilling that purposeful walk through this mortal coil. Tarot shows us exactly what we need to dismantle so we can move forward.
Often in session some clients of mine are surprised, they say to me, “I didn’t know that this was going to be like therapy.” But, it isn’t actually. For one, I do a helluva lot of talking in session whereas in therapy the client is doing the talking.
Like a therapy session, tarot does go deep and asks important questions that do require reflection, self-awareness, and trust with the practitioner.
But, a tarot reading is more directive, spiritual, and results-oriented than what I know of a typical therapy session. Also, it is fast. One session and I don’t want to see you again for awhile. We want to use tarot as tool to move forward, not as a tool to grab whenever you are feeling anxious.
For me, most of the work is actually getting to the right questions. When we find the right question, we strike at any of the ways tarot can help. Sometimes those questions will be predictive, but usually the most important questions are galactic. Who am I becoming? What am I leaving behind? In what shape is this unfolding taking place?
That’s the good stuff right there.
This is an excerpt from my recently published book, Have Tarot Will Party. E Book and paperback are both available at Amazon
Someone wants to hire you to read tarot for their upcoming party! You know how to read tarot, but how the heck does one book parties?
How much should you charge? What kind of paperwork do you need? How do you handle guests who want to test your skills? How do you read tarot under ten minutes when the guest won’t stop talking?!
Don’t panic! You have everything you need to navigate party readings right here.
Have Tarot Will Party is a fully comprehensive business resource for professional tarot practitioners.
Have Tarot Will Party includes real stories to highlight aspects of the party experience, and includes topics such as: how to find parties that will book you, how to negotiate a price that respects your worth, how to work with the host to ensure you are busy and safe, as well as template samples of paperwork like contracts and disclaimers.
House parties are where most public readers get started. There are two types of house party: hosted and non-hosted. In a hosted party, the host is paying you directly at a per-hour rate, and the guests are not paying anything. A non-hosted party is one where the host is supplying the place for the party, but each guest is paying you individually for their reading.
Even though a house party is fairly casual, you still need to give it professional treatment. You need a contract and should consider including disclosures for everyone to sign before you begin reading. It’s a crazy litigious world out there, so I want to cover my risks as much as I possibly can. In my day practice, all guests must read and agree to my disclaimer as part of the on-boarding process. I also have business liability insurance. I will talk more about this later, and I have a sample document that you are free to use for your own events.
Once you have agreed with your host, and the negotiations are over, I recommend a deposit to hold the time slot. Every time I’ve not requested a deposit, I have come to regret it. It’s no fun to have a huge Halloween party cancel on you one week before Halloween and you are left scrambling to find a replacement after turning down ten other invitations. As much as you may feel a spiritual purpose in doing this work, always remember that money talks! What if that cancellation means you couldn’t take another job? There goes the rent! It’s no biggie to them, but it could potentially be a huge deal for you.
Make sure to tell your host that the time and date is not reserved until you have a deposit in your hot, little hands. The deposit can vary. I usually only require a fifty-dollar deposit which is refundable up to two weeks prior to the event. But for fall events the deposit is a nonrefundable fifty percent of the ticket. I only accept cash, debit or credit, or payment through the app of my choice. I don’t accept private checks. Some readers I know also accept Money Orders or Certified Checks for private events. This is a smart move because like cash, once it is in your hand, it is yours. For non-hosted events, the host can either put that money towards her reading, or she will have it reimbursed to her on the day of the party, provided that the number of guests and everything you agreed upon is still in place.
A non-hosted party is a gig situation where the host is not paying you for readings but rather acts as coordinator. She is lining up her guests and providing the space, but each individual you read for will be paying for their own time with you. A non-hosted party is often the choice for readers who are within their first year and are trying to build their client base. A non-hosted party is tricky because no one is paying you for in-between time, and you can easily find yourself with a loss of thirty minutes or more because no one is in a rush to see you!
Another challenge is that the host does not feel pressure to make sure that the number of guests you both agreed on will be there when you show up. Let’s say you agreed to read for fifteen people over three hours, but once you arrive it’s a different story. Perhaps the host says that she couldn’t get fifteen, and that she only has six people, but she still expects you to stay and read for them. Tell the hostess to agree on a minimum guarantee to book. If she is unable to hit that minimum on the day of the party, then she is still responsible for covering the amount you both agreed upon. With her money on the table, believe me, this is the motivation she needs to ensure that the number of guests you agreed on will be there!
Some hosts are solicitous. They will stop by a number of times to ensure your drink is filled or offer you something to eat. Others will invite you to stay and enjoy the party. Good hosts will be mindful of the guests coming to your table and will pay you promptly when your time is up. I love these wonderful, thoughtful hosts: may they live a long and happy life!
As friendly and welcoming as a good host might be, never lose sight that you are under their employ and are working (not attending) their party. While a host might offer you cocktails, a plate of food, or an offer to stay and enjoy, it’s usually a bad idea to accept. For one, I never have time to eat while I’m reading at a party, and if I did, it looks devastatingly unprofessional to eat a platter at your reading table. For obvious reasons, you don’t want to enjoy those cocktails.
Finally, if you hang around at the house after you’re done, it can be awkward. Perhaps you talked about a guest’s divorce or a recent job change, and now you are clinking glasses with them? Trust me, it never goes well. The intimacy of the tarot table does not easily translate to any other intimacy. People will feel uncomfortable about the new role you are now playing, especially if they divulged something intimate with you before! Work to maintain that sense of safety with them. Stay in your lane.
This has become an often-enough phenomena that I’ve come to expect it. Usually, a host is so busy that they won’t have time, to get a reading from you. As the host stops by to pay you at the end of your time, they will mention how they never had a chance to get a reading. This is the only occasion that I will go over my allotted time without compensation. If the host who hired me didn’t get a reading, I want to make sure that she gets one. Hosts are going to be your biggest supporters and believers, and they will often hire you for other parties. So, you want to keep them happy. Remember, this is the exception to the rule — so only one freebie allowed. After that, make a quick exit if you can or negotiate a rate to stay.
Have Tarot Will Party is 180 pages full of my own best practices (including some stories of my own epic mistakes). Immediately downloadable on Amazon but the paperback is great, too, for quick reference. If you have ever thought to read tarot at parties as a side-hustle, to supplement your retirement income, or as a home-based business. This guide is for you!
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