Types of Tarot Readers
People have different opinions regarding Tarot reading, based on their own spiritual beliefs (or lack thereof) about the supernatural and its existence (or nonexistence). In this article, we will explore the three basic "types" of Tarot readers, so you can decide which path to follow (if you wish to perform Tarot readings) or, if you are a client, find the right Tarot reader for you.
Many in the Wiccan or New Age community, and newer/inexperienced Tarot readers, will claim all sorts of mystical concepts regarding Tarot. Believe these or not as you wish.
Traditional Tarot readers, who learned via the original methods and who have a great deal of professional experience, typically opine that most of the mysticism is nonsensical and has been created merely by those who want to add an element of flavor or "weirdness" to their readings.
With that having been said, there are three basic types of Tarot readers.
Traditionalists, or consultants, provide professional consultation services.
They focus on practical advice drawn from the cards' association with psychological and spiritual elements.
These readers are few and far between, but the successful ones work with thousands of clients expect pragmatic advice, complete clarity, and actionable guidance.
Entertainers provide Tarot readings that are heavy on style but often light on substance.
Most do not know the traditional meanings of the cards (and if they do, they do not utilize them much). Instead they "cold read" their customers to tell something dramatic for the purposes of entertainment and amusement.
The majority of Tarot readers probably fall into this category, simply because this is a much easier path than that of a Traditionalist and professional if one's primary purpose is to make money off of customers ("a fool and his money are soon parted", after all).
Not all "entertainers" are bad people; by no means. But it would be a mistake to take them seriously, and unfortunately many clients who are truly in need can be emotionally-manipulated by greedy charlatans.
Spiritualists are typically interested in "magic/magick," Wiccan / New Age beliefs, and so on.
These readers may or may not know the traditional meanings of the cards, and they may or may not understand how to do a traditional Tarot reading. It completely depends on how interested they are in Tarot, and how honest they are with themselves about Tarot's traditional use and purpose.
That does not terribly matter to many spiritualists, though, because they have their own beliefs about Tarot, the cards' supernatural powers, rites one has to perform before opening a new deck, rites to "cleanse" a deck, and so on.
This can all be as elaborate as one would like, given that all of it is, essentially, invented ritual.
Some spiritualists can be rather serious about their endeavors. Most spiritualists, though, never attain a level of professionalism or a significant business, simply because their niche beliefs restrict them to an incredibly small number of clients who share their specific religious and spiritual views.
Subgroups and Combinations
There are plenty of sub-groups, too, associated with any of these three main groups: those readers in a Jewish tradition who focus on Tarot's Kabbalah connections, for example.
There are also many readers who combine various aspects of multiple categories (or even all of them).
For example, at Druid Tarot, our readers---including myself---are primarily traditionalists. We provide professional consultation services, not "for entertainment only" readings. That said, I do weave spirituality throughout my readings, and indeed I believe that spirituality is an indelible and integral part of the human experience and the universe at large.
Thus, not every Tarot reader perfectly fits into a particular category...but more often than not, it is easy enough to tell which one is serious, and which one is not. My advice is that if you wish to perform Tarot readings, do so as a professional. And if you are seeking a Tarot reader not merely for fun but to solve a real problem, then seek out a professional as well.