How Much to Pay for a Tarot Reading
Because Tarot reading is such a broad and disparate field, with readers of vastly different styles and quality, narrowing down how much is reasonable for a Tarot reading is difficult to do. In this article, I will show you how much reasonably to expect to pay, or charge, for a quality Tarot reading.
Perhaps you are looking for a Tarot reader, and want to find out what the "going rate" for a reading is. You do not want to get ripped off or to waste your money, but at the same time you do not want to look like a cheapskate, or buy a cheap reading of no real value.
Or perhaps you are hoping to become a professional Tarot reader, and you want to know how to set your prices. You want your prices to be fair, and you want to know how to best acquire clients without accidentally overcharging or undercharging.
QUALITY and VALUE
First things first: quality matters. Value matters.
"Value" is difficult to define, but essentially, a client must receive clear answers, professional advice, and a high-quality experience.
Value is exceptionally important to consider when thinking about price. For every dollar a client spends, that client deserves a particular level of value in return.
Tarot readers come in vastly different forms at extremely varying levels of quality and professionalism.
There are three immensely broad categories of Tarot readers:
1st Category: Entertainers. These are the readers who will say whatever a client wants to hear, or what they think the client wants to hear, anyway. They will claim all kinds of great powers and abilities, but often they barely even understand (if at all) the actual meanings of the Tarot cards.
How much to pay for a reading from an Entertainer: This depends entirely on what you want a reading for. Just having some silly fun, at a fair or carnival? Expect to pay between $5 and $10 for a (rather meaningless) Tarot reading of a few minutes in length, and do not take it seriously.
2nd Category: Spiritualists. These are the readers who hold some kind of spiritual beliefs about Tarot cards. They may believe that the cards are magical, or that the cards can read minds, or can communicate with the dead, or...countless other things. This category is wide, broad, and extremely variable.
How much to pay for a reading from a Spiritualist: Many, if not most, Spiritualists are amateur readers. Very few make a stable living as professionals, simply because their target audience (someone who shares their beliefs, or is willing to accept them temporarily) is extremely small. Expect to pay about $20-40/hour for a typical reading from a spiritualist. Specialized readings about esoteric topics (such as Kabbalah or Chakra readings) can be much more expensive ($60+), assuming that a target audience can be found.
3rd Category: Traditionalists/Consultants. These are professional readers who, although they may incorporate some elements of both Entertainers and Spiritualists for stylistic or religious reasons, nonetheless practice essentially a form of consulting, life coaching, and psychoanalysis. Very few Tarot readers are true traditionalists, because it is much easier to be a pure Entertainer than to be a professional.
How do you recognize a professional Tarot consultant?
Nowhere will you see "for entertainment purposes only". If you see that line, DO NOT expect a serious consultation, honest advice, and actual guidance from that Tarot reader.
Professional consultants stand by their advice.
How much to pay for a reading from a Traditionalist/Consultant: Most of these readers are professionals who dedicate themselves to providing guidance and resolving serious problems in their clients' lives. Because of their readings' high value (often worth ten or more times the readings' cost), they can charge fees which reflect their high-quality and skill. Expect to pay $60/hour for a beginning consultant, and $100+/hour for a lifelong professional.
"Grandmasters" who are leaders in the Tarot consultation/coaching business can easily charge $200+/hour or more.
ADVICE FOR A TAROT CLIENT
To determine how much you should pay, consider what you wish to receive from a Tarot reading.
Follow these steps:
Step 1. Do you want just a fun time, and have no other expectation besides that?
Pay about $10 for a Tarot reading at a local fair or carnival; maybe a little more in a big city or a touristy area (New Orleans, for example, is filled with Entertainers who charge high fees to tourists). You can get an equivalent reading on Etsy for about $5.
If you want If you want more than entertainment, move to Step 2.
Step 2. Do you want a spiritual experience?
Find someone who shares your spiritual beliefs and ideas, and pay about $20/hour for a basic reading. Pay more if you are wanting a reading on an esoteric religious topic.
If you want more than a spiritual experience, move to Step 3.
Step 3. Do you want serious advice and guidance that will resolve problems in your life?
Find a professional Tarot reader and consultant, and pay about $70+ for a complete, high-quality reading. If you are looking for exceptional quality, pay about $100+/hour.
ADVICE FOR A TAROT READER
To determine how much you wish to charge, consider which type of Tarot reader you want to be.
Do you want to just make some fast and easy money?
Become an Entertainer. The startup cost is minimal and/or free, especially online on sites like Etsy. Expect to earn about $1 per card, or $5-10 per reading you do. If you can chuck out generic commentary and feel-good advice quickly enough, then you can earn a decent hourly wage.
Do you want to pursue a spiritual career?
Become a Spiritualist. The startup cost can be minimal and/or free, depending on where you offer your services. Consider what services you wish to offer. Try to provide a good experience to your clients, but do not expect the rest of the world (which does not share your beliefs) to take you seriously. Expect to earn about $20+ for a basic Tarot reading; you can earn more if you offer astrological, psychic, medium, or magical/magickal services.
Do you want to provide real guidance to help people?
Become a Traditionalist. The startup cost can be small, but you will need to put forth a great deal of time and effort into learning the traditional meanings of the Tarot cards, how to properly interpret them, how to provide the best guidance to a wide variety of clients, how to ensure that your advice is beneficial and accurate, and so on. Expect to earn at least $60/hour for a Tarot reading, and much more as you advance in your professionalism and capabilities.