The Plight of the Free Reading Requests

Bitstrips - Free Reading Please

So today I am going to talk about something no tarot reader has ever, ever talked about before. A novel topic, one not yet addressed by anyone. (Okay, truth: I am like the 39,458,323,492,345th tarot reader to talk about this issue. But I want to talk about it anyway.)

As a budding tarot practitioner, you will have done countless free tarot readings for folks, friend and stranger, before a light bulb goes off in your head and you realize you’re good at reading tarot and could go pro with it. So you do. Now you’re a professional tarot reader, or at least that’s what you’re telling yourself and everybody else. You have a price list up and you’ve sent out a press release or announcement notice to everyone you know that you’ve launched your own tarot business.

[Wait, hold up. “Press release? Announcement notice? What is this woman talking about?” I went on a bit about press releases in a previous post here. And here is a template announcement notice you can use to create your own to send to your contact list: SAMPLE ANNOUNCEMENT NOTICE FOR TAROT BUSINESS LAUNCH (PDF file).]

Okay, back to the topic at hand. As you can see in the sample announcement notice, assuming yours was something like it, you’ve clearly given out your pricing list and everyone knows you’re now a business. This isn’t just a hobby and your friends know that because you’ve told them. Complete strangers oughta know it, too, considering it’s clearly posted on your website.

Yet you would be a unicorn if you didn’t get any audacious requests for free tarot readings. It’s a plight every tarot reader deals with.

The Friend Who Wants You to Just Pull a Few Cards, Please, This is Important

Bitstrips - Friendly Request for Free Reading

Now that you’ve disseminated the announcement notice for your tarot business launch, the pro is lots of people are aware of your service and you are now on their radar. The con is at least a bunch of them are going to try to haggle a free reading out of you.

You’ll want to know what your own professional policy will be for handling such situations. Most professional tarot readers would probably advise you to say no and not step foot onto the slippery slope of giving out free readings. I would say it depends on how much free time you have, what makes you happy, and whether you have bills to pay.

If you say yes, then you’re enabling that person to come back to you again in the future for more free reading requests. And then what? What if you say yes for the first free reading and no for the second request? That friend will–whether she admits it or not–feel betrayed by you (because it’s basic psychology) and resent you for saying no because, after all, you said yes before. Now the appreciation for that first free reading is shot and your friend can’t believe you’re now saying no to her.

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My Review of the Starchild Tarot

Starchild Tarot - Box Set

The Starchild Tarot is a self-published deck by the Canadian-based Danielle Noel, with the first printing released in 2014. The artwork for the deck is photography and digital collage with some illustration in a light, muted color palette. It’s surreal, symbolist, and yet blends those artistlc styles with portrait photography.

The deck is pastel in hues, dominating mostly in light blue, pinks, and purples. The style of the art and how Noel has pieced this deck together conveys the sense that each card is a gateway to an other-worldly dimension. Use of this deck for meditation or pathworking would be ideal.

The cards are a beautiful matte finish (love!!), thick, sturdy, larger in size that typical tarot decks, i.e., 3.375″ x 5.0″, and have white borders that I think work very well for the deck. I really love the font that Noel used for the card titles!

Starchild Tarot -All Cards Splayed

The deck is inspired by the New Age concept of star people, or star seeds. Brad Steiger, a paranormal author, introduced the idea of star people, humans who have extraterrestrial genes in them (maybe? I might be butchering this idea, in which case my apologies) and are an alien race born into human bodies to serve humanity through a higher spiritual purpose. Under Steiger’s concept, star seeds are more psychic or intuitive than ordinary humans. That’s as much as I’ve read on the topic and I don’t even know if it’s accurate. But it’s an interesting spiritual theory and I began my thoughts on the Starchild Tarot within the star people/star seed context.

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Tarot of The Holy Light: A Continental Esoteric Tarot (A Book Review)

Tarot of the Holy Light, ISBN: 978-0-9673043-2-8
Tarot of the Holy Light, ISBN: 978-0-9673043-2-8

Tarot of the Holy Light: A Continental Esoteric Tarot (Noreah/Brownfield Press, June 2015) is a book that started ten years ago, and so when I talk about the long-awaited arrival of this book, I’m not kidding. It is the first volume of companion text to the Tarot of the Holy Light tarot deck by Christine Payne-Towler and Michael Dowers, which I’ve reviewed on this site before.

Volume two, forthcoming, will be Foundations of the Esoteric Tradition. The two volumes together function as left and right hemispheres of the same mind. This book review will only be of volume one, Tarot of the Holy Light (“THL Companion Book”)

THL - Book and Deck Closed

The THL Companion Book is self-published by Christine Payne-Towler and Michael Dowers under their publishing entity, Noreah/Brownfield Press. The book is soft-cover and perfect bound, and at 492-pages, is full of meat. I love the unique dimension, too, at 5″ x 7″, which makes it an incredibly compact text to throw into your handbag.

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Whispers of Love Oracle Cards Deck Review

Whispers of Love - 3 Box Set

Whispers of Love is my first Blue Angel oracle deck that comes with a matte finish instead of the usual high gloss and I am loving it. I hope they stay with this finish and subsequent decks are printed in matte. The feel to the touch is fantastic; shuffling is fantastic; I love the swishy sound these matte finished cards make compared to the tacky-sticky glossed ones; and they photograph beautifully, with no glare. Here is one high-quality deck and I am thrilled.

Whispers of Love - 2 Box Only

The Whispers of Love oracle cards were conceived by Angela Hartfield, an ascribed angel channeler, psychic medium, and intuitive healer. Per the biography on Hartfield’s website, “Her angelic assistance focuses on the empowerment technique of helping individuals learn how to get help and guidance from the angels, spirit guide, Archangels, departed loved ones and Ascended Masters.”

Whispers of Love - 4 LWB and Set

Hartfield created Whispers of Love to bring insights and messages for building stronger interpersonal relationships. This is a deck about relationships, though not necessarily romantic. If you’re trying to make sense of your relations with a colleague at the office, why your boss is acting the way she’s acting, or how to handle a minor dispute with your neighbor, this would be a great deck to reach for. Of course, if you’re seeking guidance on a romantic relationship, then this would be your deck.

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Copyright Cease and Desist Letters for Tarot Professionals

copycat

You are a tarot professional and like all other tarot professionals doing business in the 21st century, you’re on the Internet. You have a great web presence. You have cool content up.

And then this happens: You spent hours over the weekend writing content for your website and poured so much of your knowledge and effort into it. Or you went through the trouble of getting exclusive licenses to use cool photographs for your site. And now suddenly, a lesser tarot professional has ripped your stuff off your site and posted it on his own page. Your jaw hits the space bar on your keyboard.

What do you do?

You send out a C&D, fool.

Cease and Desist Demand Letters

A cease and desist demand letter (often referred to as a C&D) is basically a strongly-worded letter to someone requesting that they stop doing something that they shouldn’t be doing. It’s often used to get the legal ball rolling in defamation cases (libel, slander), alleged infringement of personality rights (such as right of publicity), claims of invasion of privacy, false light, or other claims of misappropriation.

Perhaps the one most familiar to us is the C&D notice sent out for alleged intellectual property infringement. That’s copyright, trademark, and patent, but also use of trade secrets. For the tarot professional, the one likely to be most applicable is the C&D notice for copyright infringement. Defamation and the other misappropriation claims I mentioned come up, too, but that’s for another time. Let’s focus on C&D for copyright infringement today.

C&Ds are often sent out by attorneys on behalf of their clients, and the client pays a couple hundred bucks for the attorney to drop the case file on a paralegal’s desk, who is going to open up a template not unlike the one provided below for your free download, input the applicable client information, and then print it on heavy, creamy, expensive lawyer’s letterhead. What you’re really paying for there, I hope you realize, is that heavy, creamy, expensive lawyer’s letterhead and the scare factor that it causes when someone receives it.

You can just as easily send out C&Ds yourself. It’s going to be less scary to the recipient, I admit, but sometimes that is all it will take to get the infringing material off the web.

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