In recent years, particularly during the pandemic, there has been a massive resurgence of the practice of tarot reading. Nowadays, tarot reading is mostly seen as a spiritual practice and a form of divination where people consult the tarot cards for advice, counsel, or predictions in almost any area of their life. The practice has become a lot more mainstream, much like astrology and horoscopes, though some people so practice modern, secular tarot.
Though tarot cards date back to the mid-15th century, where they were used as playing cards, it wasn’t until the late-18th century that they became used as a divination tool and fortune-telling. As with most things’ ‘occult’, the misconception that using tarot cards is bad or dangerous has been dispelled more and more and sales of tarot cards has skyrocketed. US Games, the premier publisher of tarot cards, reported a 30% increase in sales in 2017 and during the pandemic sales increased so much that print-runs of many decks needed to be doubled.
So why the increased interest?
Tarot is not the only spiritual practice to see a resurgence; witchcraft communities on TikTok, Instagram and Twitter have become increasingly popular. Some would argue this is due to an increased reliance on tech and algorithms and that practices like this add a little mystique, magic, and storytelling to life. But as to why the resurgence is happening now, Jennifer Cownie of Litwitchure says, “The obvious answer is that everything seems to have gone to sh*t a bit lately.” Tarot can be very empowering and while the answers it gives are not certain or set in stone it does provide some insight into one’s intuition and helps to make areas of life that can be stressful much more manageable. Much like yoga or Reiki, tarot can be very therapeutic, whether reading for oneself or consulting a professional tarot reader; while cards are given set meanings, tarot is a very intuitive practice and reading tarot can really help to develop one’s intuition. Cards can also be used as a meditation tool; pulling one card a day and meditating or journaling on the meaning of the card and what that meaning means to you.
With this resurgence of tarot, many people have made the practice of giving personal readings their living, online. Tarot is quickly becoming a big business and, with such an increased demand for tarot readings services, now is a great time for tarot readers to turn their hobby into a living.
Is a Tarot Reading Business Right For You?
Aside from the general legalities of starting a business from scratch, there is much to consider before jumping straight in to making tarot reading your living. Tarot reading can be an extremely fulfilling career as well as enjoyable; people request tarot readings for all sorts of issues from having a bit of fun to full spiritual healing. As such, being a tarot reader is a big responsibility and requires high levels of empathy and compassion and can be very energy draining. Because of this, it’s important to take into consideration the time needed to take care of oneself and keep your energies up in order to be able to read tarot well, especially if working on a ‘side-hustle’ too. It is very likely this will be required as it can take a while to establish trust in the community and build up a large enough following, in fact many tarot readers would recommend it.
So you’ve thought about all that and still want to start a tarot business, what next?
In some ways, starting a tarot business is just like starting any other business, but in others, it’s completely different. Here are some tarot-specific tips to help you get started!
- Be Genuine – most frequent users of tarot card services will be able to tell if you’re simply doing it as a money-making venture and due to the intense personal nature of reading tarot for other people it’s important to take it seriously and approach it from a place of authenticity. Aside from that, clients are much more likely to be relaxed and comfortable if you are your genuine and authentic self when reading for them.
- Pick The Right Cards – chances are if you feel ready to start tarot as a business then it’s already something you’re interested in, and you may already have a deck of two of cards. As any tarot reader knows, casual or professional, it’s important to pick a deck that you connect with. Whether you want to have a personal deck used solely for reading for yourself and close friends and another you use for reading for clients or use the same, trusty, deck for everyone; you may choose to go traditional and use the Rider-Waite deck for reading for others and an indie deck for yourself, or vice versa. It’s personal preference!
- Setting Up A Website – if you don’t have a big following to start with, it is recommended to start building a following on social media first and then get a website. Setting up a website also depends on where you want to go with your business. If want to go for more in-person readings, then it’s recommended to start with social media and then move on to a website with contact information which will make it easier for clients to find you. To set up a site, other tarot readers recommend squarespace or get timely.
If you want to do more virtual readings, it’s possible to use Etsy or a similar service as this allows you to set up a page and post a set amount of readings that people can buy and allows people to leave reviews, it’s up to you how you do the readings e.g. written, video or voice message but some tarot readers on Etsy give options for their customers to choose which they would prefer.
- Price Points – most tarot readers would recommend starting out doing free or donation-based readings on social media, as a way of networking and also getting used to giving readings to other people. This allows you to build trust and allows people to see your reading style and whether or not it’s right for them without having to pay too much money; once you’ve gained a big enough following and feel ready then it’s time to set up paid readings. This system also puts less pressure on yourself in the beginning as you gain experience reading for others. Once you are ready to set up fully paid readings, a tiered price system is recommended; for example, a general three-card reading would be priced at £5 whereas a more in-depth Celtic Cross spread would be £25. The prices are up to your discretion, have a browse at what other tarot readers price their services at.
- Network! – This is somewhat more important for tarot reading services as word of mouth is a big way to bring in clients and trust in the community is important. There are a lot of Facebook groups available to join for tarot readers, Tarot Nerds and Tarot Professionals are two groups particularly recommended to join.
And perhaps most importantly:
- Have fun! Tarot is a magical practice and can be incredibly enjoyable. Have fun and be positive and your clients will have fun too.