Whether you are a beginner or have been reading Tarot for a number of years, reading in public is a challenge.  For the beginner, the experience is a great way to “test your chops.”  You’ll learn quickly where your strengths and weakness are in reading the cards.  For example, reading the Major Arcana may come easier to you than, say, reading the Court Cards. 

There are many tarot readers who have been reading for themselves or their family and friends for years, but taking on the questions of complete strangers is quite another experience.  Reading in public provides an opportunity to polish your interpretative and professional skills.

You can choose to read in public for free, tips, or a set fee.  To get your feet wet, you can offer your services at birthday parties, Halloween parties, office parties, charitable events, or a ladies’ night out.  You can hang a sign up at flea markets, camp grounds, yard sales, and street fairs.   Book stores, selected restaurants, and nightclubs are also sometimes interested in attracting customers with a Tarot reader.  Check for psychic fairs in your area.  You may also want to advertise that you’re available for “Tarot Parties.”

Here are a few “tips” for reading in public:

Agree to a fee ahead of time.  For years this blogger read for free or tips.  However, when you feel comfortable with your skill, a $1/minute is a reasonable and generally well-received fee.

When reading at parties,  arrive on time and appropriately dressed.  Have your host or hostess provide you with a private reading space and a sign-up sheet. Only read for one person at a time.  Third parties in the room can result in limited interpretations and/or awkward moments.  With experience, you will learn your limitations.  Some readers can only read for a length of time or a number of people before they experience feelings of fatique, dizziness, cold, or intoxication. Please stop reading when you’ve come to your limit!  Readings beyond this point will not “connect” anyway.  Do not eat or drink anything but plenty of water during your public readings.  This is unprofessional-looking and soils your cards.  Be sure to “clear the cards” in between readings by shuffling them 2-3 times.  After your public reading session has ended, do a “cleansing” on yourself.  Have a small bite to eat and take a walk in the sunshine, a hot shower, or a spray of your favorite fragrance.

Risky areas to avoid are:  Reading for minor children without permission. Find an adult in charge for permission.  Addressing questions that pertain to financial, legal, or medical matters can get you into hot water!  These are best left to the professionals. 

Read ethically:  Addressing questions that pertain to a third party is “snooping.”  Try to rephrase the question so that the Querent is involved.  For example, the Querent may ask:  “What can you tell me about my boss?”  See if there is something about the boss that the Querent needs to know, for example:  “How can I improve my relationship with my boss?”   Questions about the Querent’s past-life or after-life, or the Querent’s deceased relative or pet are best avoided because neither the Tarot reader or the Querent have any way of verifying the reading.  Read the message of the cards without interjecting your own judgement or opinion.   Try to replace the word “should” with “could.”  Finally, always emphasize the positive aspects of a reading without compromising honesty.  This level of diplomacy, of course, comes with practice, practice, practice!! 

For more information on Hermetic Tarot, Astrology, and Alchemy, donation-based online classes, and correspondence study, visit









About letstalktarot

Allyn McCray began reading Tarot in 1971 after discovering a deck in an occult shop in San Francisco, California. In 1999, the American Tarot Association recognized her as a Certified Tarot Reader. During her experience as an Internet reader between 2000 and 2002, Allyn’s readings were regularly featured on the websites, Psychicnut and Roadtalk. In 2002, Allyn joined The Church of Light, aka Light.Org, a non-profit international school of esoteric studies, where she is now a Hermetician, Certified Teacher, and Minister. Allyn also serves as the Communications Director of The Church of Light and is a Section Advisor in The Order of the Sphinx.
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  1. Riky says:

    It solved my problem great site!

  2. Gretta says:

    You actually make it seem so easy wih your presentation but I find this
    matter to be actuallyy something that I think I would never understand.
    It seems too complex and etremely broad for me.
    I’m looking forward forr youur next post, I’ll try to
    get the hang of it!

    • With practice, anything is possible. At first I was very awkward reading in public, but confidence is gained with experience. I will not be posting for awhile. In the meantime, stay positive!

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