• Erin

3 Surefire Signs of Unethical Tarot Readers

Updated: Sep 16, 2020

Like it or not, tarot reading comes with a lot of misperception. Unfortunately, the truth is that there are some readers out there who do not adhere to higher standards and this unfortunately gives tarot readers a bit of a bad rap.

Before you book your next reading, what are three things you should look for to make sure you avoid a less than well-intentioned reader?


1. Lures.

If a reader tells you that you are plagued by bad luck or tries to pressure you into obtaining a reading, they do not have your best interest at heart. A combination of a sense of urgency and consequences are clear tells that the reader is running a sham service.

You should never feel pressure into obtaining a reading; in fact, you should only get them when you feel you are in a position to actively seek out guidance and engage in self-reflection. Humans have the capacity for free will. The tarot is a tool for exploring possibilities and connecting with your intuition. If a reader dangles inevitable doom and gloom scenarios for which only they have the solution or necessary guidance to avoid, it is a con.

If a tarot reader tries to coerce you into getting a reading, they are just fishing for money.

2. Disclaimers.

A good tarot reader will explain their process or will clearly spell out what they offer and what they do not. Boundaries help set expectations and lead to more satisfying interactions.

For me, I try to be as explicit as possible that I do not counsel or give medical or legal advice. I am clearly not a substitute for a trained professional in these areas, nor do I want anyone to think that way going into a reading. I’d be much happier to have this spelled out up front and avoid attracting or otherwise misleading an individual if my values and style do not align with what the querent is looking for specifically.

3. Setting intentions.

A good tarot reader will also ask the querent what the intention or question for the reading is at the outset of the booking and/or at the time of the reading. Alternatively, they will ask you to come to your reading with your specific questions in mind.

It’s one thing for a reader to say they will start with a general overview to get a sense of the querent’s overall situation and then ask for specific questions and go from there. It is another thing entirely if a reader just launches into a reading without consulting with the individual in front of them to find out what the querent wants to know.

If this occurs in your reading and there is no follow-up consultation or back and forth or should the tarot reader attempt to upcharge for specifics or more details, that’s a surefire sign to run. Clearly, that reader is either new or isn’t invested in the needs of the querent.


Sadly, this list is not exhaustive. However, the three items above are clear indications that you should avoid a specific reader.

Next week, I will wrap up this mini-series of posts by exploring best practices for ethical readings. The previous entry covered the differences between in-person, phone and online readings. Make sure that you subscribe below so you don’t miss out!

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In peace & love,


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