Inspiring Enchantment & Illumination with Tarot & Intuitive Guidance

WINGS – September, 2015: You Get What You Pay For

Cheap readingsThey Say You Get What You Pay For

I know this is a cliché that applies to most kinds of goods and services, but the one I can tell you about is Tarot readings.

What set me off was that I kept getting email discount coupons selling super cheap Tarot readings. You know those cut-rate email deals that I mean.

Plus, I am well aware that there are lots of readers in my area that offer hour-long readings for a fraction of my own fees.

So what is the difference?

I’m in a pretty unique position to comment, I think, because I have taught many hundreds of brand new Tarot practitioners, and even helped launch the careers of some successful readers.

Plus, I’ve been privileged to meet, learn from, and read with some of the world’s best, most admired, life-long experts, scholars, and authors.

In other words, I have been able to observe both ends of the spectrum of experience, as well as the process in which new readers evolve and grow into skilled, respected professionals.

And there are just no short-cuts or substitutes for study, practice, and understanding.

When You See Deep Discounts for Tarot Readings, Beware

Excellent Tarotists are like other professionals. You are paying for their years of study and life wisdom, the value of their time and talents, their ability to relate to you and communicate in ways that are meaningful for you, and for a holistic experience that will be of true and lasting service to you.

Although charging the high end of the price range does not guarantee that the reader offers a higher skill level, rock bottom prices can usually tip you off that the reader may

  • be an inexperienced reader. Which can be okay in some cases (more about that a little further down).
  • be someone that lacks confidence or undervalues themselves. If so, how effective do you suppose they are going to be, helping you improve your self-awareness?
  • be completely inept or desperate in their own life, finances, and business practices. Yikes!
  • only know rote meanings for the cards, without the wisdom, flexibility, or depth to help you integrate a reading into information that is personally useful for your specific concerns.
  • be using a loss leader business model. Up-selling or offering you alternative choices may sometimes be legitimate, but proceed with great caution. There is a very thin line between this and “bait and switch,” which is why it is quite often the strategy of fraudulent readers, as this article makes clear.

And what are “rock bottom” prices? I recently saw a discount coupon service advertising “A third-generation psychic [who] puts cosmic powers to use during tarot-card and psychic readings that can be used to read the past or future..” Starting at $29.  Another person was offering 30 minutes of Tarot for only $15.

Like Getting a Haircut at the Local Beautician School

I realize that new readers need practice. I was certainly there myself. At the beginning, we all need guinea pigs, er, I mean.. people ..  who are willing to get readings with us while we are still cross-checking in the books, and learning spreads for many occasions. Like getting a routine touch-up for practically nothing at your local beautician’s academy, it’s completely appropriate that newbie readings should be dirt cheap.

But for people who are calling themselves third generation psychics and adepts with decades of experience, yet are charging about the same as you’d pay for a small pizza delivery, you have to ask – why so cheap? What are you getting?

And is this where you would go when the answers you need are really important?

If It Seems Too Good To Be True, It Probably Is

Unfortunately, while the other bullet points may apply, all too often these “steals” are a con. You rarely get something valuable for nothing in this world, particularly specialty services that are supposed to be healing, spiritually illuminating, or potentially life-changing.

Instead, these ridiculously low fees are often set as a trap, to get the mark in the door.

Then the “reader” tells them there is something gravely wrong (fatal illness, a curse, demons, what have you) that can only be cured by additional, more expensive visits. Those services may also include extra expenses to cover potions, magical equipment, or other special doodads.

It’s the same game that rip-offs in every profession employ. You go to a mechanic for the little squeak your car engine is making and next thing you know, you’ve dropped thousands of dollars for a new transmission and air conditioning system.

And you may not have really needed those repairs in the first place.

How to Avoid Reader Rip-offs

I have written a number of articles about this in the past. In 2009, I offered a two-part series of tips in WINGS. You can visit my archives and read Part One here; and Part Two here.

If there is something vitally important that you want to consult that Tarot about, be choosy. Pick the best you can afford. Look for credentials and a written policy about personal ethics. Ask questions.

Read between the lines of testimonials. Which sounds like a more effective reader — “Wow you were amazing”  or “I so appreciated the way you helped me see new options I had not recognized?”

One simple test is to know that trustworthy professionals in Tarot, like all occupations, do not usually undersell their value. They know they have a proven service that matters, and expect a fair exchange for their talents and background.

And they should be more than happy to discuss with you ahead of time why their price points are fair.

All you have to do is ask.