These days, you can get a tarot reading for free online with a single click from any number of random websites. I am here to tell you, sis – doing this is NOT the same as getting an actual tarot reading from an actual reader! It’s been my experience, (not just as someone who reads tarot and is super down with all things woo-woo), but as a creative person who is generally interested in living her most potent and powerful life, that tarot readings have been some of the most empowering, motivating experiences EVER.
The way I see it: tarot provides us with a throughline to our own intuition, which is totally the source of our magic. Tarot can helps us look into the future and remember that the future isn’t so unknowable at all, because we are each fully in charge of our own! We are manifesting literally all the time (whether that’s, like, a headache, a conversation, a raise, a perspective shift, a cake. We’re inherently creative beings!) It’s up to us if we bring conscious awareness to our world – inner and outer, and it’s up to us if we choose not to. Tarot is one way we can understand what’s really going on.
If you live in Toronto, you’re in luck because there’s such a vibrant tarot community here with so many fab readers to choose from. If you don’t live in the city, there are many talented readers who share their magic online, too. Regardless of whether you recruit a local reader or choose one to Skype with from overseas, here are a few key things to look for in a tarot reader (including my personal recommendations for the best tarot readers in Toronto):
Vibe With Someone Online First, If You Can
You know who you vibe with online – who’s videos, Insta, blog, newsletter, etc., you visit over and over because they always have something useful you take back and consider. This is someone you definitely want to experience a reading with. For me, I fell in love with UK-based Kelly-Ann Maddox’s Youtube because she’s a wellspring of knowledge about spirituality, the tarot system, her own journey, the inner child, journaling – all stuff that I’m nerdy about too. Kelly was the first person I ever paid to read my cards, and I was definitely a return customer.
Hence: Getting an IRL reading from someone local is definitely a great experience, but so too is Skyping with someone or even getting an email reading. I’ve received both from readers I liked, and they were both positive experiences. Whatever the person you’re obsessed with online is offering, then buy what they’re offering, and trust them to deliver. They haven’t let you down yet, right?
A note about this: In this digital age it’s easy to talk ourselves out of actually paying for stuff, especially when people give so much away for free. But when it comes to a service like tarot reading, no public resource can offer the same value you’ll get from the undivided attention of an intuitive person who knows their way around a tarot deck and a spread. Invest in a good and proper reading! And also, don’t discount those readers who aren’t online at all – of which there are many. This brings me to the next point
Get a Recco! Word of Mouth is the BEST Marketing
Ask your friends, coworkers, etc. if they’ve ever gotten a reading they really benefited from. Some of the best people who work in this realm don’t have online platforms because they’re just about the work. Honestly, the best astrologer I’ve ever met literally has no social media and doesn’t do any online marketing, intentionally, but he BLEW MY MIND. So, obv, online marketing isn’t everything. Ask people you trust for their reccos. If you don’t know anyone who’s into this stuff, then look to the wider community of wellness people in your sphere.
Look for Someone who’s Involved in a Community of Tarot Readers / Healers / Wellness Peeps
A readers’ connections to other like-minded people indicates that they’re interested in growing and getting better at what they do. Obviously, a reader doesn’t have to be a socialite by any stretch of the imagination or shouting about tarot from the rooftops, but a good reader will ideally be involved in or contributing in some way to the larger network of tarot or healing people. Maybe they’ve written a book or for a blog or maybe they’ve hosted or are attending workshops. Maybe they post a weekly card-pull on the gram every week. Either way, a good reader will ideally be engaged in a give and take with the community.
Look for Someone Who has Clear Business Policies
In other words, someone who treats their business like a business and articulates their boundaries. Things like, for example, confidentiality – you definitely want someone who guarantees that anything that happens in the reading won’t become public information. Also, a reader may point out something about accuracy and predictions and lets it be known that they make no guarantees about outcomes.
Liz Worth said it well: “Tarot and astrology are means of deeper exploration and clarity, not places to lay responsibility at the feet of any reader, myself included.” Book a reading with someone who understands their real, human limitations and won’t promise you the moon.
Avoid Anyone Using Pressure or Scare-Tactics. Ugh.
Getting a tarot reading is a totally personal choice we make in our own time, on our own terms. The last thing you need is to reach out to someone, ask them about their services, and then have them start pressuring you. This is not a good energy. An ethical tarot reader will respect your decisions no matter what they are, and won’t try and force, scare, or guilt you into anything.
So, if someone tries to tell you anything like, ‘you need to get a reading right now!’ or tries to imply that something bad will happen if you don’t basically give them money, that is NOT good. The vibe doesn’t lie. Trust your gut. As with all professional services, its the reader’s job to give you everything you need to make an informed decision. The rest is up to you. Always.
If You Feel like you Want A Little More Than a One-Off Reading, Look for a Reader Who Offers Follow-Ups
Tarot reading businesses come in all shapes and sizes. Some readers offer a standard 1-card, 3-card, 10-card spreads, for example, and others have created unique packages that are more coaching-oriented. If you’re dealing with an issue that you’d like some follow-up support or accountability with, look for a reader who offers a package that you can see yourself benefiting from on a more long-term basis.
Support People Whose Work You Want To See More Of
Cast your most intentional vote with your dollar! Yes, get a reading from someone who you respect and trust and who makes you feel safe and heard, but also be mindful of supporting people who you want to see rise up and have a voice. Often, tarot readers are small-biz owning people with a journey behind them that led them to want to help people. Support peeps who you want to see grow their platform and succeed.
Local Toronto Tarot Readers Whose Work I Love:
Liz Worth: Tarot reader, astrologer and author (who you may have seen in Flare’s #HowIMadeIt)
Hanlon or Andrew at The Hermit’s Lamp: These two own The Hermit’s Lamp, an occult shop just north of St. Clair. They’ve got a back room at the shop for readings and other magic.
The Tarotologist: Hilary is a super warm human who has over eight years of experience reading tarot cards and five years of experience providing mental health support services.
Stacie Noel AKA Mermaid Oracle: Stacie is a performance artist and tarot reader and belly dancer. She is as entertaining as she is intuitive.
Tasha of Daily Magic: A noise witch, reiki master and tarot reader, Tasha keeps it magical af and can help you do the same.
(Story by Contributing Editor, Kait Fowlie)
*images c/o Kait Fowlie on Instagram!*