About six months ago, I opened an online tarot shop. I had realized that tarot combined a lot of what I loved into one perfect art form. Helping people, analyzing symbols to construct meaning (as an English Lit major, I’m into that), and simply having something to study.
After a year of reading tarot more seriously, I got ambitious, and I opened a tarot shop. Six months later, I have sold one reading. That is okay with me, as I work about 46 hours a week now and wouldn’t have a ton of time to work on readings anyways.
But if I have it open, I should be selling readings, right? It shouldn’t just sit there. So I should either close the store, or work harder. This article was born from my indecision. I just started writing how I felt about keeping the store open, and how I felt about closing it.
Spoiler alert! I am keeping it open. But I still want to share my feelings with you.
Closing the store could be a good idea right now. I don’t feel qualified enough to be sharing this skill with strangers. But what makes any tarot reader qualified? There are certifications, but they are really just pieces of paper that say I was trained by a specific person.
I have been reading tarot for about three years now, and reading “seriously” for one. Many readers start selling readings around that time. This isn’t something I can go to school for, so “qualified” would just mean experienced. And I can’t get the experience if I never start selling readings. So I will never be qualified enough to start until I have been selling readings for years.
Qualifications don’t matter. What I am lacking is confidence. I don’t feel like I can do this. I don’t think I have a distinctive voice when I give readings. I am not contributing anything original to the slew of tarot readers online. I want to be the kind of tarot reader that doesn’t sugar coat things. Instead, I want to leave you with something you can DO and something that eases your fears and anxieties.
But I tend to sugarcoat things. I don’t dive deep into the meaning of the cards when I read for others, because I am terrified of being wrong. What if I go into elaborate detail, and I am completely off? What then? That would make me a terrible tarot reader. I don’t want to be a terrible tarot reader!
I also don’t want to advertise. I am so frustrated by hundreds and thousands of the #ads that I see every day. They are everywhere. I mean, I love online shopping, and to online shop I need to see the stuff. But there are ads everywhere, aggressively pushing me to buy stuff, and it feels like they are constantly telling me I am not good enough. I don’t want to do that to you. I don’t want to talk anyone into it, force anyone into, or persuade anyone to get a reading from me. If you purchase a reading from me, I want you to buy a reading because you are interested in tarot already, know me, or need to think through something. Getting a reading should be relaxing and spiritually comforting. Essentially, it’s entertainment. A service that I do for you, which you find valuable enough to pay me for.
If this business went perfectly, I would be doing most of my readings locally. A cozy coffee shop would let me sit at a table for a few hours a week while I worked on articles for Magickal Mavens. There would be a small sign next to me stating that I offer free card readings, and that a reading was $15. As people passed by, they would ask me questions, and I would build connections. It would be cozy, and I would get really really good.
To get those coffee shops to let me sell readings in them, I need legitimacy. I need a logo, business cards, and reviews. I could work harder at learning the card meanings, and work harder overall. There are tarot courses and even certifications I could be pursuing. I want to get to a place where I feel more confident in my abilities. I also need branding. In this case, that means having a voice when I give tarot readings, on top of that logo we talked about earlier.
So, I need a plan. For now, I will leave my store open. I will work hard on creating a stronger understanding of the tarot card meanings, and work towards a more professional business with a logo.
Eventually, I want to be sitting in that coffee shop giving out readings.
~ Miss Tilney
Don’t forget to submit letters and questions to Miss Tilney through her contact form.
Disclaimer: tarot readings are for entertainment and spiritual purposes only. I do not claim to be, nor act as, a medical or legal professional and will not answer questions of that nature.