ETHICS FOR TAROT READERS
Updated: Dec 2, 2020
A few years ago, I was reading the tarot in a local New Age shop and a man came in for a reading who was obviously in a bit of a state. When I started reading (and obviously I can't go into details about the content of the reading), he told me why. He had apparently been for a reading a couple of weeks previously with another reader who had told him something that had had a very negative impact on him, and which had caused him enormous worry ever since. He had, therefore, come to see me to find out if I said the same thing.
However, upon hearing what he had been told, instead I told him that the reader concerned should never have said what they'd said to him (quite apart from anything else, we all have free will, plus there are certain things it is simply not ethical to say to someone, especially things relating to death).
I felt really angry on his behalf and it was as a result of this and similar experiences (happily not often) that ultimately caused me to contact other local tarot readers to see if they would "sign up" to a joint code of ethics. Very surprisingly, most would not, instead saying that they didn't need to because so many of their clients returned for follow-up readings. I remember thinking that I couldn't understand their reactions as they were completely missing the point! Only one other local reader actually understood what I was trying to do, which was to ensure that we, as readers or psychic readers follow a code of conduct given that we are responsible for the wellbeing of our clients. In the end, I just posted a code of ethics on my own website (I was adhering to these practices anyway) and I hope that it reassures my clients.
Recently, I had another client who had had an off-putting experience with a reader and it always saddens me when I hear about these experiences as it inevitably diminishes the view that people hold of the rest of us, who are trying to act in an ethical and responsible way.
It is not the role of a reader, in my view, to "tell it like it is" or to say things like "don't come to me if you don't want the truth". Obviously, we are there to help and relate what we see/feel but we also have a responsiblity not to say some things, if we think those things could be really difficult to cope with. The Tarot is about so much more anyway; it is about supporting people at difficult or confusing times and for giving them guidance, clarity and help. It is not about being brutal, about saying things that nobody should say and, quite frankly, cannot know for certain anyway because we can change our minds and actions. Having worked as both a psychotherapist and a hypnotherapist from the 1990s up to about 2009, I have been used to being bound by a strict code of ethics which also of course is there to protect me. As such, here is what I use for tarot:
Code of Ethics
¥ I never say anything that could be damaging to clients' emotional/mental health.
¥ I provide readings in a responsible and professional manner, at all times maintaining an understanding of what is and what is not within my knowledge, competence and experience.
¥ I take all reasonable steps to ensure the safety of clients and those accompanying them.
¥ I maintain strict confidentiality during and after readings and ensure that clients are reassured about this.
¥ I maintain strict confidentiality relating to clients' contact details, that is, phone numbers and email addresses - which will never be shared with any individual or organisation.
¥ I'm happy for clients to record the session/take notes as required.
¥ I never use my position of trust and confidence to exploit clients.
¥ I ensure that rooms and other facilities used for readings are suitable for the purpose.
¥ I never do anything during or after a reading that might bring psychic and/or tarot readers into disrepute.