I used to buy into almost everything the different associations, books, blogs and God knows what spread about tarot ethics (see my previous post for further ranting about this).
But then I stumbled upon Camelia Elias’ bad assery that is expressed in her book ”The Art of Reading” (and her blog Taroflexions) and she completely sticks out among most public tarot readers/teachers. One thing that really struck a chord in me was that she mentioned that we should not be judging our clients. When we say to them ”No, you can’t ask that.” we are judging them and their intentions, and the bond is immidately hurt between reader and seeker. And not to mention:
You are not their teacher. Not their mother. Not their judge.
Something that makes me cringe nowadays is hearing tarot readers say ”I don’t read on cheesy, childish, subjects like ’will I marry him?’ and such”. Again we see crystal clear judgement. Who are you to say it’s not important to have love and passion in life? Who are you to decide how much your client should care about her ex-boyfriend or not? Who are you to decide it’s childish to be hurt by the one thing that has inspired thousands of the best poets, artists and musicians: LOVE?
Ask yourself who you are to judge others, please do. Actually, ask your tarot cards, they might give you an interesting answer, eh?
While we’re on the subject… Do you even trust your tarot cards? I’m serious, ask yourself that. If you don’t – How can you charge money from others for something you don’t believe in? Now that’s an interesting discussion on ethics, isn’t it?
Trusting the cards is key in my practice. I would not feel okay charging for something I felt ”works sometimes. Maybe.”… Not that I pull the old BS about ”I give 99% accurate predictions!” of course, and I certainly don’t believe that anyone can interpret tarot cards correctly all the time, they’re simply too complex for that to be possible… But I trust that tarot gives good advice, healing, and guidance. Because I’ve experienced it myself, and witnessed so many others with that experience as well.
I see people saying they wouldn’t do a reading for a woman who is being abused by her partner. That’s both judgemental and distrusting of the cards. What are you afraid the cards will tell her? Do you really think they will say ”He’ll change soon, just hold on a bit longer!”? It’s seems as if many readers are afraid of not giving good advice if they use their cards to read on serious matters.
Most of us readers believe that the cards’ messages are connected with the collective conscious/subconscious, spirit guides, Divine Source, Goddesses, Gods, the Light, angels, the client’s soul, the mind… (Well, beliefs vary so I don’t know if I included it all…) But I don’t know anyone who believes that the messages come from a clearly evil place? A place that would encourage seekers to choose a situation where they get hurt?
So why so scared of actually asking the cards?
I participated in Elias’ class ”Cards and Magic” about a year ago and I am so happy I did, because she helped me leave a lot of fear behind.
A reader who does not trust the cards, who is afraid of not getting ”good” advice from the cards – well, that’s not a safe tarot reader. That’s a tarot reader who will start talking in clichés and pull stuff out of her/his own mind. This can of course be useful and good, but it’s not tarot reading, it’s closer to counseling or so-called life coaching. Do it if you want to, but don’t call it tarot reading. It is what it is.
I encourage everyone to expand their tarot practice, to let it grow, to let go of fear, and truly go for a tarot ride! You will not be disappointed.
Let’s end this post with one of my absolute favorite quotes from Camelia Elias, from her book ”Towards the Art of Reading”:
– In reading cards, the only rule is this: Pay attention to what the cards show you right here and now. Period. Demonstrate that you can actually see what stares you in the face. That’s all it takes.