Tarot Reading Ethics for Beginners

The world of tarot reading can be both fascinating and intimidating for beginners. While many may be drawn to the art of divination, it’s important to remember that with this power comes great responsibility. Ethical considerations are essential when it comes to conducting tarot readings, and it’s crucial to approach clients with care and respect. In this guide, we’ll delve into the realm of tarot reading ethics, exploring why they’re important, their benefits, and the guidelines you should follow to ensure that your readings are always conducted ethically. So if you’re a beginner looking to step into the world of tarot reading, keep reading to learn more about how to conduct yourself ethically in this fascinating practice.

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What are Tarot Reading Ethics?

What Are Tarot Reading Ethics?
When it comes to tarot readings, there are more things to consider than just laying the cards and interpreting their meanings. Tarot reading ethics should also be taken into account as they ensure that the reading is done in an ethical and responsible manner. This involves guidelines and principles that tarot readers must abide by to ensure that the reading is beneficial and respectful for both the reader and the client. The ethics of tarot reading are important to understand not only for beginners but for all tarot readers. Let’s delve deeper into the world of tarot reading ethics and its significance. For more information about the basics of tarot reading, check out our article on Tarot Reading: A Beginner’s Guide.

Importance of Ethics in Tarot Reading

Ethics establish trust: Tarot readings involve personal and sometimes sensitive information, making it crucial for the clients to feel safe and comfortable during the session. By following ethical guidelines, tarot readers can establish trust with their clients, which helps create an environment where the client can be open and honest.
Ethics protect the client: Tarot readings can be a powerful tool for personal growth and self-discovery, but they can also be misused. By following ethical guidelines, tarot readers can protect their clients from harm and prevent them from making decisions that may not be in their best interest.
Ethics promote professionalism: In a largely unregulated industry such as tarot reading, ethical guidelines give beginner tarot readers a framework to work within and a set of standards to uphold. This helps establish the tarot reading profession as a legitimate and respected practice.
Ethics enhance accuracy: When a tarot reader follows ethical guidelines, they are less likely to let their personal biases and opinions influence the reading. Developing intuition is an essential part of tarot reading, but ethical guidelines help keep intuition in check, providing a more accurate reading for the client.

The importance of ethics in tarot reading cannot be overstated. Ethical guidelines create a safe and comfortable environment for the client, protect the client from harm, promote professionalism in the industry, and enhance the accuracy of the reading. By upholding ethical standards, tarot readers can establish trust with their clients, which can lead to a more effective and enjoyable reading experience. Additionally, adhering to ethical guidelines provides novice readers with a sense of direction, and helps to prevent experienced readers from making biased readings.

Benefits of Ethical Tarot Readings

Ethical tarot readings not only protect the clients but also provide benefits to the readers. By following ethical guidelines, readers can ensure that their readings are honest, compassionate, and respectful. Here are the benefits of ethical tarot readings:

  • Builds trust: When readers follow ethical guidelines, they can build trust with their clients. Clients feel comfortable sharing their concerns and personal information with the reader who respects their privacy and follows consent and confidentiality.
  • Produces clear and accurate readings: By avoiding personal biases and self-interest, ethical readers can provide clear and accurate readings to their clients. They focus on the cards and interpret them to the best of their ability, without adding their own opinions or feelings.
  • Helps readers grow spiritually: Ethical tarot readers who approach their practice with respect and authenticity can enhance their spiritual development. When readers use tarot cards with sincerity and care, they can connect to the divine and receive guidance for their own lives.
  • Protects Readers from Negative Energy: By avoiding fear-based readings and setting boundaries, ethical readers protect themselves from negative energy. They do not take on their clients’ problems or become too emotionally involved in the reading. Instead, they offer guidance and support while maintaining a healthy distance.
  • Promotes Tarot as a Respectable Practice: Ethical tarot readings help promote tarot as a respectable practice by breaking the stigmatization around it. Clients will notice the professionalism and the caring nature of the reader, and will speak highly of them to friends and family, helping to promote tarot as a powerful tool for guidance.

By following the ethical guidelines of tarot reading, readers can deliver accurate and compassionate readings that benefit their clients and themselves. If you are new to tarot, check out our guide on first tarot deck choices, guide to Major Arcana meanings, and guide on interpreting Minor Arcana. It is also important to ensure that your tarot cards are well-maintained and cleansed regularly by following our guide on tarot card cleansing and energizing. And, try practicing different tarot spreads according to your needs and expertise by following our guide to tarot spreads.

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Guidelines for Ethical Tarot Reading

When practicing Tarot Reading, it is important to maintain high ethical standards to ensure that clients receive the most helpful and accurate guidance. Tarot Reading Ethics are the set of principles that guide the practitioner to follow ethical conduct while carrying out readings. These guidelines are important for any beginner in Tarot Reading to be aware of, as they will need to have a strong understanding of the best course of action to take when offering readings. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most critical principles to follow when reading Tarot cards to conduct ethical readings, providing the best experience for both the reader and client.

Consent and Confidentiality

In Tarot reading, obtaining consent from the client is crucial. It is important to explain the Tarot reading process and what the client can expect from the reading. This ensures that the client is willingly participating in the reading and understands the potential outcomes. During the reading, the client should be given the opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback. It is also essential to maintain confidentiality and respect the client’s privacy.

Tarot readers should make it clear that any information shared during the reading will be kept confidential. This means that the reader should not discuss the client’s situation with anyone else. The reader should also obtain the client’s permission before sharing any information with a third party, such as another Tarot reader or a therapist.

In order to protect the client’s privacy, Tarot readers should take steps to ensure that their reading environment is free from distractions and interruptions. This may include turning off phones and avoiding reading in public places. The reader should also store any personal information shared by the client in a secure location.

Additionally, it is important to inform the client that Tarot readings are not a substitute for professional counseling or medical advice. Tarot readers should encourage clients to seek professional help if they are struggling with mental health issues or other serious problems.

The following table summarizes the guidelines for obtaining consent and respecting confidentiality in Tarot readings:

Guidelines for Consent and Confidentiality in Tarot Reading
Obtain consent from the client
Explain the Tarot reading process
Respect the client’s privacy
Maintain confidentiality
Avoid discussing the client’s situation with others
Store any personal information in a secure location
Encourage clients to seek professional help if needed

By following these guidelines, Tarot readers can ensure that their readings are conducted in an ethical and respectful manner.

Setting Boundaries

In tarot reading, it’s important to establish clear boundaries with clients to ensure a safe and ethical reading experience for both parties involved. Here are some ways to set boundaries during a tarot reading:

  • Time Limits: Set a time limit for the reading, and make it clear to the client that once the time is up, the reading will come to an end. Stick to this time frame as closely as possible to avoid overextending yourself or making the client feel like they are taking up too much of your time.
  • Topics: Establish what topics the reading will cover before starting the session. Let the client know which areas you are comfortable discussing and which ones you don’t feel equipped to handle. This will limit the chances of either person feeling uncomfortable or triggered during the reading.
  • No Cross-Examination: Clarify that the client cannot quiz you on your tarot interpretations or grilling you on personal beliefs. You can’t win a battle of egos in a tarot reading, so avoid feeling the need to defend your vision.
  • Respectful Language: Make it clear to the client that any inappropriate or disrespectful language toward you or others will not be tolerated.
  • Personal Concerns: Establish that personal concerns and problems cannot be discussed after the reading is over. You are not a therapist, and it’s important to maintain healthy boundaries for both parties.

By setting boundaries in tarot reading, you will create a structure that promotes safety, respect, and clarity during the session. This will help you to better focus on the reading and provide the best possible advice to clients while staying within your own boundaries.

Avoiding Misleading or Fear-based Readings

When providing a tarot reading, it’s important to avoid misleading or fear-based readings. This means that as a tarot reader, you should refrain from using the cards to manipulate or scare your clients, and instead approach each reading with a positive and compassionate attitude.

One way to avoid misleading or fear-based readings is to focus on the positive aspects of the cards, rather than the negative. Tarot cards can often reveal challenges and obstacles that clients may face in the future, but it is important to approach these revelations with a positive and empowering attitude, avoiding language that encourages fear or panic.

Another way to avoid misleading readings is to be transparent about your interpretations of the cards. Clearly explain the meanings and potential interpretations of each card, and avoid making claims or predictions that cannot be supported by the cards themselves.

Here’s a table summarizing some tips for avoiding these types of readings:

Tips for Avoiding Misleading or Fear-based Readings
Focus on the positive aspects of the cards
Be transparent about your interpretations of the cards
Avoid using language that encourages fear or panic
Avoid making unsupported claims or predictions

By following these guidelines, you can help ensure that your tarot readings are positive, empowering, and focused on providing your clients with helpful insights and guidance.

Avoiding Making Decisions for Clients

During a tarot reading, a reader may come across a situation where the client seeks advice for making an important decision. While it may be tempting to offer guidance, it is important to remember that the ultimate decision making lies with the client. Making decisions for the clients can be detrimental to their personal growth and independence. Here are some guidelines to follow to avoid making decisions for clients during tarot readings:

  • Remind clients of their own agency: As a tarot reader, it is important to remind the client that the tarot reading is a tool for their self-discovery and empowerment, but the final decision lies with them.
  • Avoid using absolute language: Using phrases like “you must” or “you should” can lead to the client relying on the reader to make their decision. Instead, use open-ended questions to help them explore their own options.
  • Encourage clients to weigh their options: Encourage clients to consider all options and consequences for their decisions. The tarot reading can help bring clarity and insight, but it is up to the client to make the final decision.
  • Offer support: Assure the client that whatever decision they make, you support them and are there to offer guidance in the future if needed.

Remember, a tarot reading is a tool for self-exploration and personal growth, not a means to outsource decision-making. By avoiding making decisions for clients, tarot readers can empower and encourage their clients to make decisions on their own.

Refusing to Read for Themselves or Close Relations

Tarot readers must sometimes refuse to read for themselves or their close relations. This is because it can be difficult to maintain objectivity in such situations. It is natural for readers to have biases and expectations when reading for themselves or people they are emotionally invested in. Such biases and expectations can manifest in the form of overemphasizing positive cards, downplaying negative cards, or interpreting the meanings of the cards to fit their desires or beliefs.

The following table summarizes the reasons why tarot readers should avoid reading for themselves or close relations:

Reasons to avoid reading for themselves or close relations Explanation
Difficulty in maintaining objectivity Readers may have biases and expectations that can interfere with their ability to interpret the cards accurately and objectively.
Risk of misinterpreting the cards Readers may misinterpret the cards in a way that is influenced by their personal beliefs, emotions, or desires.
Emotional involvement Readers may be emotionally invested in the outcome of the reading, which can lead to over-analyzing or over-interpreting the cards.
Potential for conflict of interest Readers may have a personal stake in the outcome of the reading, which can create a conflict of interest.

It is important for readers to honor their own boundaries and recognize when they are not the best person to provide a reading. If a reader feels uncomfortable or unable to read for themselves or a close relation, they should acknowledge these feelings and seek a reading from a different reader who can provide the necessary objectivity and insight. By staying honest and true to their own capabilities, tarot readers can uphold their ethical responsibilities and provide a valuable service to those seeking guidance.

Avoiding Overdependence

As a tarot reader, it is essential to guide your clients without encouraging overdependence on your readings. While it’s natural for clients to look for guidance, especially during challenging times, it’s vital to ensure that they do not rely solely on tarot readings for all their life decisions. This could lead to an unhealthy dependence on the reader and prevent them from taking responsibility for the choices they make.

Here are a few ways to avoid overdependence on tarot readings:

Tip Explanation
Encourage self-reflection Encourage your clients to reflect on the readings and how they relate to their situation. Encourage them to trust their intuition, which will help them make informed decisions in the future without relying on tarot readings.
Emphasize free will Make it clear that tarot readings can offer insight and guidance, but clients have free will and can ultimately make their decisions. It is essential to emphasize that the readings are not set in stone and that their actions can change the outcome.
Set boundaries As a tarot reader, it’s crucial to set boundaries and remind your clients that you’re not a therapist, financial advisor, or medical professional. Encourage them to seek professional help if necessary and not rely on tarot readings for all aspects of their lives.
Encourage clients to take breaks Suggest that clients take a break from tarot readings if they feel like they are becoming too dependent. This will allow them to reflect on the guidance they’ve received and use it to make informed decisions on their own.

By following these tips, you can help your clients see that tarot readings should complement their decision-making process, not replace it. Encouraging self-reflection, emphasizing free will, setting boundaries, and suggesting breaks will prevent them from becoming overdependent on your readings.

Avoiding Overcharging

As a tarot reader, it’s essential to set fair and reasonable prices for your services. Overcharging your clients can lead to negative feelings towards you and the practice of tarot reading in general. Here are some guidelines for avoiding overcharging:

  • Research market rates: Before setting your prices, it’s essential to research the current market rates for tarot reading services in your area. You don’t want to undercharge, but you also don’t want to overcharge and price yourself out of the market.
  • Consider your level of experience: If you’re just starting in the field of tarot reading, it’s best to set your prices lower than those who have been practicing for years. Once you gain more experience and a following, you can consider raising your prices.
  • Be transparent about your pricing: Clearly communicate your prices to your clients upfront so that they know what to expect. Avoid hidden fees or surprise charges that can leave a bad taste in their mouths.
  • Offer package deals: Consider offering package deals or discounts for clients who schedule multiple readings with you. This not only benefits your clients but also ensures a steady stream of income for you.
  • Don’t prioritize profit over helping your clients: Remember that the primary purpose of tarot reading is to help people gain insight and clarity in their lives. Don’t prioritize profit over the well-being of your clients. Set fair prices that are reasonable and achievable for them.

By following these guidelines, you can ensure that you’re not overcharging your clients and are setting fair and transparent pricing for your tarot reading services.

Dealing with Uncomfortable Situations

When providing tarot readings, there may be situations where the reader feels uncomfortable either due to the client’s behavior or the content of the reading. It’s crucial for tarot readers to know how to handle these situations in an ethical

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and professional manner. These scenarios can range from refusing to read for certain clients to ending a reading early, refunding money, or referring clients to professional help. In this section, we’ll explore some guidelines for dealing with uncomfortable situations during tarot readings while upholding ethical standards.

Refusing to Read for Uncomfortable Clients

Tarot reading requires both the reader and the client to be relaxed and open during the reading. Any discomfort or unease can negatively impact the reading and hinder the client’s ability to receive the valuable insight they seek. This is why it is important for the reader to recognize when a client is uncomfortable and be willing to refuse the reading if necessary.

Reasons for Refusing to Read for Uncomfortable Clients

Reading for an uncomfortable client can lead to a number of issues, including:

Issue Description
Decreased accuracy When a client is anxious, closed off, or generally uncomfortable, it can be difficult for the reader to connect with their energy and provide an accurate reading.
Negative energy transfer Uncomfortable clients may project their negative energy onto the reader, causing the reader to experience discomfort as well.
Potential harm to the client If a client is emotionally unstable or in a heightened state of distress, a reading could potentially worsen their state of mind.

Signs of an Uncomfortable Client

It is important for the reader to be able to recognize signs of discomfort in clients, which can include:

  • Fidgeting or restlessness
  • Appearing anxious or nervous
  • Appearing closed off or guarded
  • Making negative comments about the reading or the reader

How to Refuse a Reading for an Uncomfortable Client

If a reader recognizes that a client is uncomfortable, they should be willing to refuse the reading if necessary. This can be done with kindness and understanding, while still maintaining boundaries and respecting the client’s feelings. Some ways to refuse a reading include:

  • Explaining that it is important for the client to feel comfortable and open during the reading, and that it would be best to reschedule for a later date
  • Offering to refer the client to another reader who may be better suited for their needs
  • Suggesting that the client take some time to reflect on what they really want from the reading before scheduling another appointment

Remember, as a reader, your top priority is to provide a safe and positive experience for your client. Refusing to read for uncomfortable clients may be difficult, but ultimately it is the right thing to do for both yourself and your client.

Ending Readings Early

As a tarot reader, it is important to be aware of the client’s comfort level during a reading. Sometimes, a client may become uncomfortable during a reading and may want to end it early. As a reader, it is your responsibility to respect the client’s wishes and end the reading without hesitation.

Here are some guidelines for ending readings early:

  • Pay Attention: It is important to be attentive to the client’s body language and verbal cues during the reading. If you notice that they are uncomfortable or hesitant, ask if they are okay and if they would like to continue the reading.
  • Respect the Client’s Wishes: If the client expresses a desire to end the reading early or is visibly uncomfortable, respect their wishes and bring the reading to a close. Do not try to persuade them to continue with the reading.
  • Comfort the Client: If the client is feeling overwhelmed or emotional, offer to take a break or provide a supportive and comforting presence.
  • Be Professional: When ending a reading early, remain professional and respectful. Thank the client for their time and offer to refund any unused portion of the fee.
  • Reflect on the Reading: After the reading has ended, reflect on what occurred and see if there was anything specific that may have made the client uncomfortable. Learn from the experience and incorporate that knowledge into future readings.

Ending readings early can be uncomfortable for both the tarot reader and the client, but it is important to prioritize the client’s comfort and well-being above all else. By being attentive, respectful, and professional, you can handle these situations with grace and professionalism.

Refunding Money

In certain situations, refunding the client’s money may be the best course of action. This may occur when the reader realizes that they are not able to connect with the client or provide them with a satisfactory reading. It might also be necessary if the client is dissatisfied with the reading, or if the reader is unable to complete the session due to unforeseen circumstances. In such cases, offering a refund is a professional and ethical choice.

Reasons for Refunding Money

There are several reasons why a tarot reader might refund a client’s money. These include:

1. The reader feels unable to form a connection with the client
2. The reader is unable to provide a satisfactory reading
3. The client is dissatisfied with the reading
4. The reader is unable to complete the session due to unforeseen circumstances

How to Refund Money

When refunding the client’s money, the reader should do so with honesty and integrity. They should first apologize for any inconvenience caused and express regret that they were not able to provide a satisfactory reading. It is also important that they explain the reason for the refund to the client.

The reader should return the full amount paid by the client, without withholding any fees or charges. They may also choose to offer a free reading on another occasion as a gesture of goodwill.

When to Refund Money

Refunding a client’s money should only be done as a last resort, when all other efforts to provide a satisfactory reading have failed. It is important to remember that tarot reading is not an exact science, and not all readings will be successful. However, the reader should strive to minimize the risk of dissatisfaction by following ethical guidelines and using their skills to provide the best possible reading for each client.

Referring Clients to Professional Help

As a Tarot reader, it’s important to understand that your role is not that of a professional therapist or healthcare provider. If a client reveals sensitive information during a reading that requires professional help, it’s crucial that you refer them to appropriate resources. Referring clients to professional help can be a delicate process, but it’s crucial to prioritize the well-being of the client.

Recognizing When to Refer a Client

While Tarot readings can be insightful and helpful, there are limits to what can be achieved through this practice. If a client comes to you with a serious mental health condition or a medical issue, it’s important to recognize that you are not qualified to provide treatment or medical advice. Instead, encourage the client to seek out professional help from a qualified therapist or doctor. Additionally, if a client seems to be in distress or experiencing a mental health crisis during the reading, it’s important to refer them to professional help.

Referring Clients to Appropriate Resources

When referring a client to professional help, it’s important to have a list of resources ready to share with them. This can include local therapists or psychologists, crisis hotlines, or other mental health resources. Make sure to provide the client with a range of options and encourage them to seek out the resource that works best for their specific needs.

Handling the Referral Process with Sensitivity

Referring a client to professional help can be a sensitive topic, and it’s important to handle the process with care. Before referring the client, explain why you believe professional help is necessary and emphasize that seeking out support is a positive step towards healing. Additionally, make sure to respect the client’s privacy and provide them with sensitive and appropriate referrals.

Steps for Referring Clients to Professional Help
Recognize when a client needs professional help
Have a list of resources ready to share
Explain the need for professional help with sensitivity
Respect client’s privacy

Remember, as a Tarot reader, you are not responsible for solving all of your clients’ problems. However, you can play a role in helping them find the resources they need to address their issues. Referring clients to professional help when necessary is an essential part of upholding ethical Tarot reading practices.


In conclusion, ethics play a vital role in tarot reading. Adhering to ethical guidelines is essential not only for the well-being of the clients but also for the readers themselves. It fosters trust between the reader and the client and creates a safe space for discussing sensitive issues.

Tarot readers should always obtain explicit consent from their clients and reassure them of confidentiality. Setting clear boundaries and avoiding making decisions for the clients is necessary. Readers should also refrain from reading for themselves and close relations to mitigate bias.

Misleading or fear-based readings should be avoided, and overdependence on tarot readings should not be promoted. Ethical tarot readings should also not be overpriced, as this may take advantage of vulnerable clients.

In uncomfortable situations, readers should be able to refuse to read for uncomfortable clients and have the courage to end readings early, refund money or refer clients to professional help.

As new readers begin their journey into the realm of tarot reading, it is crucial to remember that practicing ethically will not only make them a better reader but also make them a better human being.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do if a tarot reading makes me uncomfortable?

If you feel uncomfortable during a tarot reading, it’s important to speak up and let the reader know. You have the right to end the reading at any time if it is making you feel uncomfortable or unsafe.

Why is it important to get consent from clients before a reading?

Obtaining consent from clients is vital to ethical tarot reading. Consent allows the client to set boundaries, give their informed consent, and feel empowered during the reading.

How can I set boundaries during a tarot reading?

Setting boundaries includes discussing the type of questions that will be asked, letting the client know what they can expect, and ensuring that they feel comfortable enough to ask any questions or clarify any doubts

Can I read tarot cards for myself?

While it is possible to read tarot cards for oneself, it is generally recommended that one avoid doing so. It can be difficult to remain objective and unbiased when reading for oneself.

What should I do if a tarot reading reveals something scary or negative?

If the reading reveals something negative or scary, it’s important to remain calm and reassure the client that the future is not set in stone. Instead of providing solutions or predictions, offer coping mechanisms or suggest professional help.

How much should I charge for a tarot reading?

The amount charged for tarot readings varies depending on the experience of the reader, the location, and the type of reading offered. It’s important to charge a fair price without overcharging clients.

What should I do if a client becomes overly dependent on me or my readings?

If a client becomes overly dependent on you or your readings, it’s important to encourage them to seek professional help and clarify that a tarot reading is not a substitute for medical, legal, or financial advice.

Can I make decisions for my clients based on the tarot reading?

No. As an ethical tarot reader, it’s important to avoid making decisions for your clients based on the tarot reading. Instead, provide the client with the necessary information to make their own informed decisions.

What do I do if a client asks a question that goes against my personal beliefs?

If a client asks a question that goes against your personal beliefs or values, remain neutral and objective during the reading. Remember, the readings are about the client, not the reader.

What should I do if a client asks for a refund?

If a client asks for a refund, it’s important to have a clear refund policy in place. Consider the reason for the request and whether or not you feel the situation warrants a refund.


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