Why Consent Matters When Giving a Tarot Reading

Tarot reading is a popular method of divination that many people turn to for guidance, clarity, and insight into their lives. However, like any practice that involves personal interaction and potential vulnerability, it is important to establish clear boundaries and open communication before diving in. This is where the concept of consent comes into play. Consent is the act of giving permission or agreement for something to happen, and it is crucial to uphold in all aspects of life, including tarot readings. In this article, we will explore the importance of asking for consent before a tarot reading, why it matters, and how to go about it in a respectful and mindful manner.

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What is Tarot?

What Is Tarot?
Tarot is a form of divination that has been around for centuries. It involves a deck of cards, typically consisting of 78 cards, that are used to gain insight into a person’s life and future. Each card has its own unique symbolism and meaning. The practice of tarot has evolved over time and has been associated with various cultural and spiritual traditions. Many people believe that tarot can provide guidance and clarity in times of uncertainty or confusion.

The origins of tarot are not entirely clear, but it is believed to have roots in medieval Europe. The earliest known tarot deck dates back to the mid-15th century and was used primarily for playing card games. Over time, however, the cards began to be associated with divination and spiritual practices.

A typical tarot deck consists of two main groups of cards: the major arcana and the minor arcana. The major arcana consists of 22 cards that represent significant life events or archetypal figures. The minor arcana consists of four suits (usually swords, cups, pentacles, and wands) and 56 cards that represent more day-to-day experiences and challenges. Each card has a unique image and meaning, and the interpretation of the cards can vary depending on the question being asked and the context of the reading.

Despite its continued popularity, Tarot is often met with skepticism and misunderstanding. Some people believe that it is a form of fortune-telling or prophecy, while others view it as a tool for self-reflection and personal growth. However, regardless of one’s personal beliefs about tarot, it is important to approach the practice with respect and sensitivity.


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What is Consent?

Consent is the act of voluntarily agreeing to something. In the context of tarot reading, consent refers to the permission given by the client to the tarot reader to conduct a reading. It is important to remember that consent must always be freely given, without any coercion or pressure. Consent is crucial in any kind of personal interaction, including tarot reading, where the reader will be delving into the client’s personal thoughts and emotions.

The client must feel comfortable with the idea of having a tarot reading, and they should not feel forced or obligated to do so. It is essential to ensure that the client understands what they are consenting to, and that they have the right to withdraw their consent at any point during the reading if they feel uncomfortable.

As a tarot reader, it is your responsibility to obtain genuine consent from the client before starting the reading. This includes explaining the process and purpose of the reading, discussing any concerns or questions the client may have, and establishing any boundaries related to the reading. The client must be aware of what will happen during the reading, and they should be given the chance to ask any questions or clarify any doubts.

Not obtaining consent before a tarot reading may lead to several negative consequences. It could result in a violation of the client’s privacy, emotional harm, and could damage the trust between the client and reader. It is essential to understand the importance of consent and how to obtain it properly before conducting any tarot reading.

If you want to learn more about tarot reading and setting boundaries, check out our article: Tarot and Boundaries: Why They Matter.

Why Asking for Consent is Important

Why Asking For Consent Is Important
Asking for consent is crucial before conducting a tarot reading for someone, as it helps establish the boundaries of the client and ensures that they are comfortable with the process. By asking for permission, the reader shows respect for the client’s autonomy, allowing them to come into the reading with a sense of empowerment instead of feeling coerced. Additionally, asking for consent can help avoid triggering past trauma or emotional wounds that the client may not want to confront. It’s important for the reader to remember that consent is ongoing and can be withdrawn at any time, and that the client’s comfort should always be a top priority throughout the reading. Ultimately, asking for consent enables a more respectful and safe experience for both the reader and the client.

Maintaining Personal Boundaries

Maintaining personal boundaries is crucial in any interaction between two people, especially in a situation where one person is seeking guidance or advice from another. In tarot reading, personal boundaries are essential to create a safe and comfortable environment for both the reader and the client.

Personal boundaries refer to the limits we set in our interactions with others. They define what we are comfortable with and what we are not, and they are unique to each individual. In a tarot reading session, clients may be open to discussing deeply personal and emotional issues, and it is essential to respect their boundaries to create a safe and respectful space.

Tarot readers can maintain personal boundaries by setting clear expectations and by seeking consent from their clients. This includes asking for permission to perform the reading, explaining what will happen in the session, and asking if the client has any particular concerns or boundaries they would like to establish.

It is important to remember that clients may be vulnerable during a tarot reading and may be hesitant to express their concerns or boundaries. In this case, tarot readers should remain aware of the client’s nonverbal cues and be alert for any signs of discomfort or distress.

There are several ways tarot readers can maintain personal boundaries during a reading session. Here are some examples:

  • Avoid physical contact unless initiated by the client.
  • Avoid giving unsolicited advice or opinions.
  • Respect the client’s privacy and confidentiality.
  • Be mindful of the client’s emotional state and avoid pushing them beyond their comfort level.
  • Stop the reading if the client becomes upset or distressed and take the time to assess the situation before moving forward.

By maintaining personal boundaries, tarot readers can build trust with their clients and create a safe and respectful space for everyone involved.

Respecting the Client as an Autonomous Individual

Asking for consent before a tarot reading is not only important for maintaining personal boundaries, but also for respecting the client as an autonomous individual. This means that the client has the right to make their own decisions about their body, their emotions and their energy. It is crucial to honor this right and acknowledge the client’s agency in the reading process.

Respecting the client’s autonomy means that the reader does not assume that they know what is best for the client. Instead, they recognize that the client has their own unique experiences, beliefs and values that shape their perspective. For this reason, the reader should avoid making assumptions or judgments about the client’s situation and allow them to express themselves fully.

By honoring the client’s autonomy, the reader can foster a sense of trust and cooperation, which can lead to a more meaningful and insightful reading. The client will feel heard and respected, which can create a positive and empowering experience.

Respecting the client’s autonomy involves giving them the freedom to end the reading at any point. The client may become uncomfortable or uneasy during the reading and may wish to stop the session. This is their right, and the reader should not pressure them to continue. By allowing the client to make this decision, the reader demonstrates respect for their boundaries and choices.

Respecting the client as an autonomous individual is integral to building a positive and meaningful reading experience. By recognizing their agency and choice, the reader can honor their boundaries, foster trust and cooperation, and create a safe and empowering space for exploration and reflection.

Avoiding Triggers and Trauma

When someone comes to a Tarot reading, it’s important to remember that they may be dealing with sensitive topics or trauma. Avoiding triggers and trauma is crucial to creating a safe and helpful Tarot reading.

Here are some ways to avoid triggers and trauma during a Tarot reading:

Tip Description
Ask the client beforehand if they have any sensitive topics or trauma This allows you to prepare for any potential triggers that may arise during the reading. If the client does share sensitive information, make sure to keep it in confidence.
Avoid using harsh language Using soft language can prevent the client from feeling defensive or attacked during the reading.
Focus on positive empowerment Don’t be afraid to discuss challenges and difficulties, but try to frame them in a way that empowers and motivates the client to overcome them.
Respect the client’s boundaries If the client doesn’t want to discuss a certain topic, respect their wishes and move on to another aspect of the reading.
Remind the client that they are in control It’s important to remind the client that they have the power to share as much or as little as they want during the reading. This can help prevent any potential triggers or trauma.

By taking steps to avoid triggers and trauma during a Tarot reading, you help create a safe and welcoming space for the client and allow them to get the most out of their reading.

How to Ask for Consent

When asking for consent before a Tarot reading, there are a few important steps to follow. First, explain what will happen in the reading. This can include details such as how many cards will be pulled, which spreads will be used, and what types of questions will be asked. Second, make it clear that consent is voluntary. This means that the client has the right to say no or change their mind at any point during the reading. Finally, offer options. For example, you could ask if they would like to receive a general reading or focus on a specific topic. By following these steps, you can ensure that the client fully understands what they are consenting to and that they are comfortable with the process.

Explain What Will Happen in the Reading

When asking for consent before a Tarot reading, it’s important to explain to your client exactly what will happen during their session. This not only helps to put them at ease, but also ensures that they are fully aware of the process and what is expected of them.

One way to do this is to give a brief rundown of the Tarot deck and its purpose. Explain that the Tarot is a tool for self-discovery and that the cards do not offer a definitive answer to any question or situation. Rather, they serve as a guide to help the client gain deeper insight into their own thoughts and feelings.

Another important aspect to explain is the layout of the reading itself. For example, if you’re using a specific spread (i.e. Celtic Cross), let the client know what each position represents and how it will be used to answer their question. This can help to dispel any misunderstandings they may have about the process and increase their comfort level.

It’s also necessary to inform the client that Tarot readings are a collaborative process. Although the reader will facilitate the session, it’s up to the client to interpret the cards and apply them to their own life. Encourage them to ask questions and participate actively in the reading.

Explaining what will happen during a Tarot reading can profoundly impact the client’s experience and level of comfort. So, take the time to walk them through the process and answer any questions they may have before proceeding with the reading.

Make it Clear That Consent is Voluntary

When asking for consent before a Tarot reading, it’s crucial to make it abundantly clear that it is completely voluntary. This means that the client has the right to say no and does not have to provide a reason for their refusal. Here are some tips for making the notion of voluntary consent clear:

Tip: Explanation:
Use clear language Make sure that the client understands exactly what you are asking for and that their participation is entirely optional.
Avoid coercion Refrain from using language that may pressure the client to say yes. For example, avoid phrases such as “Are you sure you don’t want to try it?”
Respect their decision If the client decides not to provide consent, accept their decision with respect and don’t push the issue further.
Be open to questions If the client is hesitant about providing consent, encourage them to ask any questions before making their decision.

Remember, obtaining voluntary consent is crucial for ensuring that the Tarot reading is a positive and empowering experience for the client. Always prioritize the client’s autonomy and agency throughout the session.

Offer Options

When it comes to offering options during the process of asking for consent before a tarot reading, it’s essential to provide the client with as much agency as possible. One way to do this is by explaining the different types of readings available, such as a past/present/future reading or a decision-making spread, and letting the client decide which one they prefer. This not only empowers the client, but it also allows them to feel more comfortable and confident in the process.

In addition to offering different types of readings, it’s also important to provide various options for the process of the reading itself. For example, if the client prefers to remain silent during the session, the tarot reader can respect their wishes. Alternatively, if the client wants a more interactive experience and prefers to ask questions or provide more information, the reader can adapt to that as well.

It’s important to remember that offering options doesn’t just happen at the beginning of the reading – it should also be a continuous process throughout the session. If the client seems uncomfortable or doesn’t want to continue with certain topics, the reader should be respectful of that and offer alternative directions to explore instead.

Ultimately, offering options is about providing the client with a sense of control and choice in the process of the tarot reading. By doing so, the reader is ensuring that the client feels respected and heard throughout the session, which can help to cultivate a more positive

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and meaningful experience for both parties involved.

What to Do if Someone Refuses Consent

What To Do If Someone Refuses Consent
It is essential to understand that respecting someone’s refusal for a tarot reading is crucial. If someone refuses consent, the reader should acknowledge and respect their decision. Here are a few things that can be done if someone refuses consent:

1. Offer Support:
As a reader, you should offer support to the person who refuses to give consent. This support can come in the form of providing resources, like recommending other forms of therapy or counseling. A reader should always make the person feel comfortable and safe.
2. Respect the Person’s Decision:
If someone refuses consent, it is crucial to respect their decision. A reader should never pressure someone into getting a reading. Remember that tarot readings are very personal, and a person might not be ready to share their feelings or ask for guidance.
3. Offer to Answer any Questions:
Even if someone refuses consent, you can still offer to answer any questions they might have about the reading process. This could help them feel more comfortable if they decide to have a reading in the future.
4. Thank Them for Their Time:
A reader should thank the person for their time and for considering a tarot reading. This will let the person know that their decision is respected, and they will feel more comfortable with the reader.

Remember that refusing consent for a tarot reading is entirely valid. A reader should always respect the person’s decision and offer support and understanding.

Other Considerations to Keep in Mind

When offering tarot readings, there are important factors to consider beyond just asking for consent. One key consideration is cultural sensitivity. It’s important to be mindful of differences in cultural beliefs and practices, as well as potential power imbalances between the reader and client. Another factor to keep in mind is language barriers. If the reader and client speak different languages, it’s important to find a way to effectively communicate in a language both parties can understand. Additionally, it’s important to consider the potential for power imbalances between the reader and client. The reader should strive to create a safe and supportive environment where the client feels comfortable setting their boundaries. By being mindful of these considerations, the reader can help create a positive and respectful tarot reading experience.

Cultural Sensitivity

When it comes to asking for consent in a tarot reading, cultural sensitivity is an important consideration to keep in mind. Different cultures have varying beliefs and taboos, and it’s crucial to respect and acknowledge these differences to avoid causing offense or discomfort.

For example, in some Asian cultures, it might be viewed as disrespectful to touch or shuffle the cards with the left hand, which is traditionally thought of as the “unclean” hand. Some traditional Eastern cultures may perceive tarot readings as a form of obsession or even demonic possession.

In contrast, Native American cultures may view tarot cards as deeply spiritual tools and believe that they should be treated with the utmost respect. Asking for permission and explaining the reading’s objective and the deck’s significance becomes even more critical.

It is also essential to consider cultural differences in communication styles. In some cultures, direct communication may be perceived as impolite or disrespectful. In contrast, in other cultures, straightforward communication is preferred. It’s crucial to read the person’s cultural cues and adjust your communication style accordingly to make them feel comfortable.

Cultural sensitivity in tarot readings is vital to maintaining a respectful and non-judgmental environment. As a tarot reader, it’s your responsibility to be aware of these cultural nuances and remain respectful of them.

Language Barriers

One important consideration to keep in mind when asking for consent before a tarot reading is language barriers. If the client is not fluent in the same language as the tarot reader, it can create a communication barrier that may impact the effectiveness of the reading.

There are several ways to navigate language barriers when asking for consent:

  • Have a bilingual interpreter present
  • Provide written materials in the client’s native language
  • Use simple, straightforward language and avoid slang or idioms that may be confusing or unfamiliar
  • Allow the client to bring a trusted friend or family member who can assist with translation
  • Use visual aids, such as pictures or symbols, to help facilitate understanding

It’s important to remember that language barriers can also impact the overall trust and rapport between the tarot reader and the client. If the client feels misunderstood or unable to express themselves clearly, they may not feel comfortable giving full consent to the reading. It’s essential to approach language barriers with sensitivity and care, making every effort to ensure clear communication and understanding.

Ultimately, overcoming language barriers can lead to a more fulfilling and meaningful tarot reading experience for both the client and the tarot reader.

Power Imbalances

Another important factor to consider when asking for consent in a tarot reading is power imbalances. Tarot readers often hold a position of authority, and this can create a power dynamic that may prevent clients from feeling like they can freely give or withhold their consent.

It’s important for tarot readers to be aware of this power dynamic and work to mitigate it as much as possible. This can involve being transparent about the reading process and ensuring that the client fully understands what is being asked of them.

Tarot readers can also work to empower their clients by giving them options and allowing them to make decisions about their own reading. This can help to level the playing field and make the client feel more in control of the situation.

Additionally, tarot readers should be aware of any power imbalances that may exist due to factors such as race, gender, or socioeconomic status. These factors can contribute to a client feeling like they don’t have a say in the matter, and it’s important for tarot readers to be sensitive to these issues and work to create a safe and inclusive space for all clients.

Addressing power imbalances is just one more step that tarot readers can take to ensure that they are asking for consent in a responsible and respectful manner. By being aware of the various factors that may impact a client’s ability to give or withhold their consent, tarot readers can create a reading experience that is empowering for everyone involved.


In conclusion, asking for consent before a tarot reading is a crucial step for maintaining personal boundaries, respecting the autonomy of the client, and avoiding potential triggers and trauma. It is important to approach tarot readings with sensitivity and awareness of cultural differences, language barriers, and power imbalances that may impact the consent process.

When asking for consent, it is essential to explain what will happen during the reading, make it clear that consent is voluntary, and offer options for clients who may not feel comfortable with certain aspects of the process. If a client refuses to give consent, it is important to respect their decision and offer alternative options for support.

Overall, tarot readings can be a powerful tool for self-discovery and healing, but they should always be approached with care and consideration for the client’s needs and boundaries. By prioritizing the consent process and respecting the autonomy of the client, tarot readers can create a safe and empowering space for meaningful exploration and growth.

Frequently Asked Questions


1. Can I perform a tarot reading without asking for consent?

It is not recommended to perform a tarot reading without the client’s consent. Asking for consent is essential to ensure the client feels safe and respected during the reading.

2. Will asking for consent affect the accuracy of the tarot reading?

No, asking for consent will not affect the accuracy of the tarot reading. The tarot cards are a tool to communicate with the divine, and their accuracy is not determined by getting consent but by the reader’s skill and ability to interpret the cards.

3. Can I assume that someone wants a tarot reading just because they are interested in spirituality?

No, assuming that someone wants a tarot reading because they are interested in spirituality is not recommended. It is always best to ask for consent and make sure the client is comfortable with the process before starting the reading.

4. What if the client wants a tarot reading, but I don’t feel comfortable performing it?

If you don’t feel comfortable performing a tarot reading even if the client wants it, it is essential to be honest about your boundaries and respectfully decline the client’s request.

5. How can I respect cultural sensitivity when asking for consent?

Respecting cultural sensitivity when asking for consent means acknowledging that some cultures may not be familiar with tarot readings and approaching the conversation with sensitivity and openness to cultural differences.

6. What if the client doesn’t speak the same language as me?

If the client doesn’t speak the same language as you, it is recommended to communicate in a similar language that both parties can understand, bring a translator, or consider using a tarot deck with visual imagery that can communicate without words.

7. Will offering options for a tarot reading affect the accuracy of the reading?

No, offering options for a tarot reading will not affect the accuracy of the reading. Providing options can help the client feel more comfortable and may even enhance the reading’s accuracy.

8. What if the client refuses consent during the reading?

If the client refuses consent during the reading, it is essential to stop the reading immediately and respect the client’s boundaries and wishes.

9. Does asking for consent limit the topics that can be discussed during the tarot reading?

Asking for consent does not limit the topics that can be discussed during the tarot reading, but it is recommended to communicate beforehand what topics will be addressed during the reading and allow the client to choose whether they feel comfortable discussing them.

10. What if the client changes their mind during the reading?

If the client changes their mind during the reading, it is essential to stop the reading immediately and respect the client’s boundaries and wishes. Remember that consent is a continuous process, and the client has the right to revoke their consent at any time during the reading.


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