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Kistaro Windrider, Reptillian Situation Assessor

Unfortunately, I Really Am That Nerdy

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Tarot for hire
chromatic self
kistaro
06 Cards on the table

Image by Glamhag via Flickr

I think I want to start offering paid Tarot readings. I want to get more motivation to use my Tarot deck more, I want to supplement my luxury budget, and I want to avoid taking on a massive flood of requests (and promptly intimidating myself into only getting half the list done) like I did last time I offered general free Tarot readings.

This is non-theoretical now. If I offered Tarot readings, but expected compensation, what would people consider a reasonable price?

I'm considering pricing based on how many cards I use, because that correlates quite strongly with the complexity of the reading and the time and energy I sink into it. I'd offer free advice on how many cards I'd need (in what layout) to give a good answer to a question- an estimate, if you will. (I often create new layouts, tailored to specific questions; I don't think I've used anything other than the Branch more than three or four times. And that includes the Celtic Cross.) But I also want to set a sort of minimum price, for the time and effort it takes to clear my space.

How does $3 plus $2/card sound? That would put the Celtic Cross, an 11-card spread (I always use a Querent for it) at $25, which is sort of where I'm basing my price-point. It also puts one-card readings at $5, which was my other target price point. It puts the Branch layout- the most useful one I've found, for 99% of advice-related questions- at $21, which is near the $20 I figure is a fair value for it relative to my non-professional status. That would offer a full write-up- every card on its own in its position, every interaction, what the reading as a whole means- and a photo of the dealt layout, for future reference. Unfortunately, I'm describing badly what a full-writeup entails; maybe somebody who has gotten one can describe it better? I can also do it in real-time over instant messenger, but an e-mail gets copy-edited. It's non-interactive, though...

This is non-theoretical now. Is that price scale reasonable? And who is interested?

I'll wind up sticking it (better-written-out than this!) in my LJ profile if this seems like a reasonable course of action. For now, I cook.

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That seems like an eminently reasonable pricing system. I am currently not interested, because I can't afford it; if I had the cash to spare, I'd definitely make an appointment - I'm always interested in seeing how other people read.

That sounds like a pretty reasonable scale. I tend to just charge a $20 flat fee for readings to make things easier, but the per-card thing works well, too.

I figure that by charging per-card, not only does it more accurately represent my time spent, people who get smaller layouts than others won't feel "ripped off".

Living in Salem, MA you might imagine there is a plethora of licensed readers, the vast majority of whom specialize in tarot. Here, although readers must be licensed by the city before being able to charge money, each reader is permitted to set their own price.

For the most part, readers set their price according to time. Average is $25 for a 20 minute reading, $50 for 40 minutes, and $75 for an hour. We do have a local BNP (big name pagan) who charges as much as $300 for one hour... and actually gets it!

The pricing method you have described seems more than fair. If anything I believe you are selling your time and talent short by under valuing your service.


I've already checked; in Redmond, there are no license requirements, just advertising restrictions (which don't apply to purely online advertising).

The professional readers I know locally also charge by time, $30/half hour or $60/hour. But without much of a reputation behind me, there's no way I can get away with prices like that. Hourly, Microsoft pays me more (even considering all the unpaid time I give them- "yay" overtime-exempt salary work), since a Celtic Cross reading can take me over an hour to fully write up, but I have to price what the market will bear, and I'll adjust my prices over time.

The professional readers I know locally also charge by time, $30/half hour or $60/hour. But without much of a reputation behind me, there's no way I can get away with prices like that


Oh, I totally understand that. It's one reason I don't charge as much for my art or sculptures as a lot of people tell me I should. It's amazing how much one pays for a given service is tied more to the reputation of the provider than for the actual service itself. Good luck with your venture. May it be both enlightening AND profitable...

I think that 20 dollars is a good starting point for a Celtic-Cross reading, but 25 is perfectly within the reasonable range.

I also know of a 33 card spread if you want to challenge yourself(and earn GREAT PROFIT!).

$20 seems to be the sweet spot where people will casually buy something. By putting my personal favorite and most effective spread at $21, it's just high enough to actually get attention. I lose business, but the business I keep is invested in the process- they're psychologically aware of having spent something, which causes them to value the reading itself more- people will take the same thing more seriously if they paid a higher price for it.

(See also, $80 for Amazon Prime. At $79, people will round the price up to $100, as a non-round price closest to $100 as a major marker because $80 isn't a standard price point. But $80 is round, so it doesn't get psychologically rounded. Results: you'd expect more sales at $80 than at $79. And $80 is a significant investment. More valuable than an offset for the unreimbursed shipping expenses, it's a psychological bind to Amazon.)

Also, I kind of want to discourage the Celtic Cross. (And 33-card spreads, or that 78-card one, are deeply in the DEAR GOD NO category.) It uses too much of the deck- I've seen my deck have to make compromises because it really needed to put the same card in two spots but couldn't. The more cards you have in your layout, the more likely this is to happen; at 33, it's going to be making severe compromises.

I've never found the Celtic Cross to be ideal for much of anything. It's a situation-analysis sort of thing, and it's quite general, but if you know what information you need, your time and energy are much more efficiently spent on something much more targeted.

Your experiences are interesting, because I've found that Celtic Cross to be rather useful, and the mentioned 33 card one fasinating(even though it took over my bed YE GODS!). Interesting, the 33 card one rather agreed with a much simpler reading I did for myself eariler but couldn't make heads or tails off(I got a friend to interpert it).

I should also ask, if somebody comes to you with a spread already laid out and such, would you charge for an interpertation of it if they're just utterly lost with it?

Based upon what we spoke about, I think the pricing range you put here is divine. I arrived safe and sound, and had a lot of fun, and now I'm going to bed. Gnite!

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