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Becoming A Certified Tarot Reader: What Do I Need?

Thread originally posted on the Aeclectic Tarot Forum on 02 Dec 2003, and now archived in the Forum Library.

Logiatrix  02 Dec 2003 
There are several threads about different kinds of certification, controversy about some schools, or whether any of it's even necessary, but none of those specifically confronted my question.
So, I just want to know, what kind of certification do I need to be a professional reader?
All I know so far, is that readers have to be licensed, here where I live in Arizona (USA).
Enforcement on this fluctuates from year to year, but this is one of those years where it is being enforced.
I'm not clear if anything else is required, as far as what would greater qualify me or make me "legitimate" in the eyes of other readers or my clients--especially my clients.
Is there anything more I would need, other than a license?
Thanx muchly...
T. :) 

Rusty Neon  03 Dec 2003 
Some people who read tarot hold qualifications in counselling or psychology. Such qualifications would arguably increase credibility of a reader, although they would not necessarily mean that such people are necessarily better tarot card readers.

e.g.,, the site of Dr. Art Rosengarten, licensed psychologist and family therapist 

jmd  03 Dec 2003 
Tauni makes the point that in Arizona (USA), 'readers have to be licensed'. This, I presume, is a license given by a representative of the state - a means to keep a check as to who does what amidst its citizenry and how much they may earn (for taxation purposes), and quite independent of certification boards.

I would suggest checking with either a local/district council or police station as to where and how a license may be obtained (it may simply be by completing a form and paying an application fee).

I would hope that such remains quite independent of the certification which various bodies offer. 

Chronata  03 Dec 2003 
hi Tauni!

many many years ago, I was a licensed tarot reader in the state of Illinois.
I originally obtained the license through the Tarot institute that I was taking classes at. (not really an institite, per say, but a buisness that an enterprising group did inside thier home...)

back then, there was no state law that said readers HAD to be certified or licensed, and the license that I used was actually part of the Entertainment/Amusement License for the state.

I held it for two years, and then decided it didn't really matter much to me or my clients whether or not I was certified by the state.

I think things have changed a lot since then (this was about 18 years ago now...)

But it is still wise to go to your State Government office (or look it up on the web!) and find out what is required. Chances are, you may have to go through a number of different people before you get an answer, but I am fairly certain that all the state would require of you is money.

edited to add...I don't know if this answers your question or not. But what I discovered is that to be a professional tarot reader, the only thing that is required is a belief that you are a professional, and to have a solid ethical and moral backround.

As long as you pay money for the license, and you are not scamming anyone out of thier fortunes, or telling clients that they are going to die(which was illegal in Ill.) then the state doesn't really care. If you think that you are good enough to read professionally then you are! 

Mystic Zyl  03 Dec 2003 
Tauni, just send me 19.95 and I'll have a certificate printed saying you graduated from my school as the Grand Master of Tarot. I am sort of joking, but I could do that for you. 

ros  03 Dec 2003 
Pay the 19.95 to Mystic Zyl, get your certificate & consider it from the Aeclectic Tarot School, teacher Mystic Zyl. (just kidding) I paid a lot more than that for one of my certificates from a lady I hadn't met. When I did meet her it was "oh my " Got the certificate, looks nice, I learned myself, asked her a couple of questions & she made me a certificate off the computer. I was just learning & she must have seen me coming!
I wouldn't worry about it till someone asks. 

punchinella  03 Dec 2003 
Yeah Tauni, I used to live in AZ (went to ASU) & my gut feeling is that this has absolutely nothing to do with your ability to read cards . . . I think the state is probably just 'cracking down' on unreported/under-the-counter income, & 'unlicensed' tarot readers would look, to the police/authorities/internal revenue guys like prime targets . . . going to the police might be a good idea, but on the other hand . . . you might think twice about how much attention you want to draw to yourself (well--if you have a shop in town with a neon sign in the window, the tax license might be a good idea, but if you're just reading for extra bucks in the local coffee shop, perhaps the less they know the better???)

I'm just saying this because I operate a small business, & the amount of paper generated over nominal sales is boggling . . . once the government knows you exist, as a 'business entity', they will simply never forget you . . . & in many states in the U.S. (New Jersey, for example) if you're a single day late with a monthly report--in spite of the fact that you're reporting zero sales for that month--you owe a late-filing fee of $50. If you're late with the next month's report, you owe $100 . . . & so on, & so on, & so on . . . Of course, not all states are this bad. But I don't know about Arizona, & I'm thinking you may not want to risk it (without more info, at least . . . )

&, of course, once you're in business in AZ, you're also in business with the Feds . . . an auditor would want to see sales invoices, receipts for any & all business expenses, spreadsheets & possibly bank records (you need to keep a separate bank account for the business) . . . get the picture?? It's horrendous, I've done it, (DON'T MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE UNLESS YOU HAVE TO!!!)


Mystic Zyl  04 Dec 2003 
Punchinella is right about once the government knows you exist, hmmmm it is a pain in the rear. I had an type "S" corporation for many years and it was a hassel. It literally took me a year to convince the FICA people I did not have employees, but rather independent contractors. And since your are self employeed they want you to send estimated taxes quarterly. I soon learned to do some of my accounting work as an accountant is costly. 

Majecot  12 Dec 2003 
I had done a search on Arizona's states web site after reading this.
I could not find anything under business license or certificates for a state requirement. I did find a brief reference to tarot readers for a paticular county. But once I went to that website there was again nothing regarding tarot.

I did find ( in general) this site for certification.

Were you able to find out anything else on this?

Really... I think maybe AT should have some sort of certification course :D 

Umbrae  21 Dec 2003 
This may help. You may be able to bypass, or qualify for certain legal conditions by being part of a legal church. 

jmd  21 Dec 2003 
Thankyou Umbrae...

Again, let's remember that any state or national local registration requirements are quite different to certifications which are issued by the various Tarot Associations, Societies, Networks or Guilds. Though the mentoring, practice and teaching processes each has certainly has wonderful qualities, it remains the certificate at the end which is of concern.

Personally, I hope that Aeclectic does not go down the path of certification. There has been no indication nor inkling in the past that this has even been considered, and take Majecot's comment in jest :) 

jmd  21 Dec 2003 
...and as an aside, which is an unfortunate aside in my personal view, there is a certification body in French in Continental Europe (which I found through 'AHCT' - Approche Humaine de la Cartomancie et de la Tarologie):How disappointing :( 

Diana  21 Dec 2003 
jmd: The web-sites are so extremely ugly that I doubt anyone lasts more than a few minutes them. Don't be disappointed. There are always some hungry sharks out there ready to make a quick dollar, or in this case, a Euro.

If some poor unwitting little sardine wants to swim voluntarily into their mouths, well that's just too bad for the little sardine. 

lunalafey  21 Dec 2003 
In regards to having a business-
I have had a small in home business for 10 years-
I sell things from my home and at festivals and fairs-
I'm in California and all I did was go and get a 'resale' license.
This is what a person need if they are to provide 'goods & services' to the public and collect sales tax.
These are very useful things to have if you are going to make money and want to cover your.....ehm.....when it comes to income.
In cali- the only time you need a business license (and I could be wrong) is if you plan on having a storefront and a business 'name'

In ten years, I have never been audited, then again, I have never made over $10,000.oo. I keep horrible records; everything goes in a box and I figure it all out twice a year. I file my sales tax once a year (in july) and, like everyone else- my federal by April.
record keeping for services will be easy- you have no inventory to count.....that's the hard part.

I guess it would depend upon how much of a "business" you want to make it- on how much 'certification' you feel you need. 

The Becoming A Certified Tarot Reader: What Do I Need? thread was originally posted on 02 Dec 2003 in the Talking Tarot board, and is now archived in the Forum Library. Read the threads in Talking Tarot, or read more archived threads.

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