Give Some Thought to Tarot Ethics and Professionalism
Here is some material from a class I teach on Tarot Ethics and Professionalism. You can use these ideas and questions to help you form your own sense of what it means to be an ethical practitioner.
We define “ethics” as the moral principles that govern our behavior.
We define “professionalism” as the competence and skill expected of a professional.
In the world of modern tarot and psychic work there are divergent beliefs about what is ethical and what is professionally appropriate. Perhaps the most important part of each person’s commitment to ethics and professionalism is this. We must each examine our own beliefs, priorities and behaviors to create an individual code of ethics and professionalism that will govern our own behavior. We owe this to ourselves, our clients and our community.
Let these questions challenge you to define your own professional and ethical values as a tarotist.
Define your purpose and goals as a reader and you are well on your way to defining your ethics.
Are there some basics upon which we can agree? What about:
Referrals: Always refer to appropriate professionals (mental health, doctors, attorneys, etc.).
Confidentiality: A tarotist or psychic has the same responsibility to confidentiality as does a priest or a doctor.
Are there others?
What constitutes professional behavior?
Appearance (in person, reading area, online presence)
Courtesy and Respect (toward clients, colleagues, competitors, community members, business associates)
Knowledge, Skill, Expertise
Fair Business Practices
Common Pitfalls: Gossip, “Witch Wars,” Personal Opinions, Oversharing. What else?
Is it professional to express a political opinion in person or on-line?
Is it professional to share something about your personal life with a client during a session?
Is it professional to work and market yourself under an assumed name?
How do you define your tarot profession? Are you a fortune teller, a tarot reader, a psychic entertainer, a tarot counselor? What are the differences? Are there different ethical expectations?
What should be considered when defining your tarot ethics?
Charges Will you charge? How will you charge? What will you charge?
Services What services do you offer?
When defining your services, there are some specific questions to consider, including:
Future Predictions: Do you predict the future? With what certainty? What do you tell your client about future predictions?
Magick: Do you do magick-for-hire? When is this appropriate? What constitutes ethics here?
Children: Do you read for children? Under what circumstances?
Is it appropriate to date clients?
Is it ethical and professional to share your personal stories with clients?
Death: Do you discuss death? In what context?
Health: Do you discuss health issues? In what context?
Questions: Do you answer your clients’ questions as they are presented? Do you rephrase questions?
Religious Beliefs: Do your religious beliefs affect your readings? In what way? What happens when your clients’ have different beliefs than you do?
Third-Party Readings: Will you answer questions about people in your client’s life?
Representation of Tarot: What do you tell people about tarot itself; its history, power and uses?