Theresa Reed on the Business of Tarot

From Theresa Reed (

Can you make a good living doing tarot readings?

Short answer: yes. But as RuPaul says: you better work.

If you assume that tarot is an “easy way” to make a good living, you’re in for a rude awakening. Truth is, even if you are the most talented tarot reader in the world, that’s no guarantee you can make this into a livelihood.

In order to create a sustainable income, you must understand how to run a business. Which means, you need to put as much energy into learning about business as you do into flipping those cards.

A six figure income sitting around eating bon-bons while you collect “passive income” is an illusion. Don’t believe that hype, no matter who is promoting it. Tarot as a business is not passive at all. It requires effort and engagement.

Which means:


Connecting with clients + actually doing readings

Sounds daunting? It can be when you are first starting out and lacking basic business skills. But hear this: it can be done and you can do it at a pace that is right for you.

I recommend taking a basic business course or reading some books on how to start a business. Kari Chapin’s How To Grow Your Handmade Business, while aimed at crafters, is a fabulous starting guide.

Make sure you understand basic business and marketing principles – and set your business up right. That means: a legitimate structure, licensing, etc. Do not skip this!

Even if you only intend on working with locals, set up a website. You’ll need a place for people to find you. (Hint: everyone Googles.)

When you’re first starting out, you’ll need to drum up business. A few ideas: read at local spirit fairs or new age shops. Hand out business cards wherever you go. See if your local coffee shops or bookstores might be interested in having a “tarot day” at their location. Do parties. Offer to read at charity events. Teach classes. Get out in your community as much as you can to develop your presence.

If you want to make a living doing this work, you must charge a living wage. Find out what other readers in your area are charging and set an appropriate rate. Resist discounting your services or bartering. Raise your rates as you see fit.

Market, market, market. That may mean doing a lot of events in your community – or doing marketing online. There are many good social media platforms to explore – and

many are free. Be consistent and get your face out there often.

Organize your business, keep great records, and pay your taxes regularly.

Practice good self-care so that you don’t burn out (yes, tarot burn out is common).

Set strong boundaries with your clients. There are going to be times when you deal with some really difficult people or situations. The better your boundaries, the more you keep this to a minimum.

While these tips are by no means a complete treatise on what it takes to make it work, you get the gist.

A healthy living as a tarot reader can be your reality but be willing to work. It’s not a career for the squeamish or the lazy but it’s gratifying when done right.

“I’m a greater believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it” ~ Thomas Jefferson



© Theresa Reed | The Tarot Lady 2015