I’m going to be real with y’all: I don’t feel like wasting any time on an introduction with this one. You want to know how to score the free goods without embarrassing yourself, and I want to spread this knowledge to spare other readers from feeling angry and/or under-valued.
So let’s get to the nitty gritty, yeah?
00. Realize This:
No matter the reader and their philosophy, realize that readers have skills, which we hone. Sometimes reading is really ritualized with the inclusion of incense and gemstones and candles and such. Sometimes it involves calling on the help of spirit guides and deities. Sometimes it involves throwing down the cards, squinting at the spread, getting confused, and walking away for a few hours (and a cup of coffee) later when it makes more sense. And almost 100% of the time, it involves years and years of hours and hours of both academic and intuitive study just to be able to do basic readings.
When you receive a reading, you’re not just getting a reading. You’re paying (or not) for years of accumulated skill and sometimes hours of teasing out meaning from the cards to get an answer for your ONE question. Do keep this in mind when you ask (however you ask) for a reading from any reader.
01. Have Good Aim
It’s important to know about the reader you’re making the request of. Do they view their ability to read tarot as a gift or a skill? From my observation, those who view their reading as a gift are more likely to offer free readings. Hell, a lot of them don’t believe in charging for readings in the first place.
Look for these types of readers first.
02. HAVE GOOD AIM
It’s important to mesh well with your reader. Their personality, their philosophy, their particular skill sets within tarot reading. All of those things should be taken into consideration. And sometimes you’ll have difficulties finding someone who reads for free and meshes well with you.
Look for readers who offer free readings periodically. Wait for them to offer before you ask.
I get it. Sometimes you don’t have cash to spare. Trust me–I know all about that life. Sometimes you have a question you feel you need a reading for, buy you can’t scrimp up the cash to pay for one.
If you find yourself in this situation, ask if the reader would be willing to allow you to pay what you can, pay some now and the rest later, or barter for a reading. Show that you’re as invested in this reading as they are.
04. Don’t Be A Stranger
And now for the thing that kicked this post off. The whole reason I decided to say something about this:
Notice anything about the exchange above?
This person wasn’t even following me.
I know some of you won’t see what’s so wrong with this, so let me break it down:
First, go back to point 00. I’ve worked hard (damn near nonstop) to feel like I’m good enough at reading for other people to start charging. This is how I make my money. All of my money. And I’ve only been doing this for just over a year.
This person didn’t know that because they didn’t take the time to know that.
I make no mention of giving out free readings on my Tumblr because I don’t do free readings.
The cheapest reading I offer is $4.50 (it’s a one card draw).
When this person asked me (a stranger) for a free reading (without even investing enough time into my hard won skills to hit that follow button) they (whether they meant to or not) made me feel as though my time and skill and livelihood wasn’t worth even $4.50.
And that’s why this kind of shit is so important.
Readers aren’t just mechanisms to shuffle and lay out cards. We’re people who have to learn our shit and earn our shit and pay our bills and try to balance work and life just like you. And when you’re this careless about asking things of us, it feels like a slap in the face.
Just a thing to think about.