Yes, if you’re working a telephone line, it’s what you’re being paid for. It’s unlikely that they will allow you to do this if it’s a free reading. Your own code of ethics will determine what you do if it is a private client.

You can be ambiguous, and suggest that the cards don’t seem to be clear or that there are multiple possible outcomes. This is a great way to get you and them off the hook, but it also gives them the option of choosing when they didn’t believe they could. They are also able to take responsibility for their future, something they may not have considered. And you never said that you wouldn’t.

If the Death card or the 10 of swords are in the Outcome or Crowning positions (Potential outcome), then it is most likely that it won’t work. Being ambiguous will not cut it.

My personal opinion is that clients should be allowed to choose. It is important to remind clients that they have the option of choosing not to follow the path they choose, regardless of how dire the outcome may be. This puts them in control. I haven’t even mentioned any other cards in this section. However, they might also help us to see where we can go ahead of Death or the 10 of Swords.

Remember that clients sometimes know the worst and just need confirmation to get closure. Sometimes, telling it as it is is, regardless of how dire it might seem, is part of the job. You can also remind them that they have the power to make a decision about their future. If they wish to do so, they will be able to. It’s also possible to tell them that they can return for another reading once they have absorbed all the information and are ready to look into the future.


If you work mostly online, your tarot readings will be done on the phone and via email (though you may also consider using Skype/Zoom/Facetime). The client will most likely not be physically present. There are many benefits to this – not having your hair done …. It’s good to pretend that we are talking to someone in the beginning. A doll or teddy bear can be used as a stand-in.

You can place your furry friend next to you, or across the table, and pretend that they are a person. This includes speaking with them and answering their questions. Although they may not speak actual words, you can still answer their questions.

Ted is now in his place. Take your Rider Waite deck and ask Ted for help. He will ask for a general reading. You’ll shuffle to ask Ted, and while you’re doing so, you’ll be focusing on Ted’s life and any issues you want the tarot card to address.

Tarot Tip: Language

If we speak in these terms: The tarot shows me/you what the tarot is saying, and what you would like it to address. I’m sorry, the cards don’t make that clear. It takes away your responsibility if they aren’t hearing what you want. It’s the cards that are doing it, and not you. This isn’t a ploy. This is not a cheat. People who work with psychics have a different way of framing and looking at the matter. The client will talk about “what are my cards saying now?” rather than “what should I do?” You can then tell if they believe by using the phrase “what are your cards showing you”.

If you feel the need to stop, make a Celtic Cross spread using your cards or any other tarot spread.

As I believe it is the best way to get a good understanding of a general reading, I have spoken in terms of having a full deck of cards in front. In a face-to-face situation, it is better to deal the cards one by one, especially if you have a specific question. You will have your own preference and way of dealing the cards.

Use the techniques I have already discussed to pull out the key information. Then, give Ted your general tarot reading. Assume you only have three minutes to find one piece of information relevant to Ted’s situation. It is normal to feel anxious and frantic. You will find it easier to manage and less stressful the more you practice.

Do not ignore your intuition. If you feel the need to say something, but aren’t sure where it is coming from, speak it.

It’s important to note that the reading will start as a general reading, but could develop into a specific reading if the client really wanted it. If the client really wants a general reading, they should look for cards or groups of cards that represent money, work, and relationships. Avoid readings about health.


This is part of an exercise that I give my tarot student when they prepare to go live on a psychic channel.

You can do one of these fake readings each day for a week. If you are able to (or within your time frame), record the entire reading using voice recording software on your computer or mobile device. You will finish the reading in no time. Do not write a ton of information, just one paragraph. This is for your own benefit. However, pointing out repeated patterns or specific things that caught your attention can be useful. Directional dignities, etc., should be done in bullet points format. We are only interested in what you saw in the reading, and where your eyes were.

Keep the cards in your hands. Now, listen to the recording again, as painful as it might be to you to hear yourself. Note how you felt about the way you sound. Although it is easy to judge yourself, don’t be too harsh or judgmental. Listening to yourself back allows you to identify areas where you excel and areas where you need to improve. What you use of language and what you might want to consider using different words.

Write one more paragraph about the experience. Please also consider your code of ethics. It doesn’t matter if you don’t want to write it right away, but make a list of what you consider important in a reading. Also, note down your role and that of your client.

Have fun, and most importantly, enjoy it!