Spiritual Service Professionals: How to Win Every Refund Dispute

Deck Pictured: Oswald Wirth Tarot (USGS, 1997).
Deck Pictured: Oswald Wirth Tarot (USGS, 1997).

This won’t be an interesting post.

It’s targeted only at spiritual service professionals.

So unless you are a professional tarot reader, astrologer, life coach, divination mentor, or are engaged professionally in a similar form of spiritual business, this post will not be of much interest.

I’m posting it kind of as a PSA so that it is available to any spiritual entrepreneur who manages to find this page.

If you teach business tips and strategies to spiritual entrepreneurs, then I ask of you to incorporate the contents of this post into your educational materials. Screw credit or no credit or infringement wtf ever– just get your people informed, will you? Who the hell cares who came up with the idea first. Just get the information out there to fellow spiritual service professionals.

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My Responses to the 10 Questions Every Tarot Reader Must Answer

Tried to find a photo of me with tarot cards. This was what I came up with.
Tried to find a photo of me with tarot cards. This was what I came up with.

Writer and tarotist James Bulls posted a provocative piece on the 10 questions every tarot reader must answer. Check out the post here. I thought I’d answer them for myself, so here we go.

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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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9 Easy Ways to Increase Publicity for Your Professional Tarot Services

tarot_cards

Hey you, budding tarot professional, you. Trying to figure out how to get the word out about the tarot business you just launched? Looking to work for hire as a tarot professional but the concept of PR and marketing intimidates the crap out of you? Here are 9 easy ways you can start. You can do all 9 of these this week, right now, I promise.

So. Treat this post as a checklist. Don’t know where to start with your PR and marketing? Start here, 1 through 9. Complete all of these and you’ll be off to a fantastic start. [This is kind of assuming you’ve already done the social media basics, like gotten your own domain name URL, created a Facebook page for your new business, and created a Twitter or Instagram account.]

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Mental Disposition and Reading Tarot Card Reversals

From the Oswald Wirth Tarot.
From the Oswald Wirth Tarot.

Let’s talk about card reversals. No, not how to read card reversals. I mean why some practitioners read with card reversals and some do not. There’s the succinct answer of “to each his or her own; since we’re all different, we all approach tarot differently,” but I mean beyond that, why?

Some practitioners would feel remiss to not consider the energy of card reversals in a reading. For others, an upside down card image drives them mad and thus interferes with their intuitive abilities. You end up with a camp of tarot readers who read with reversals and a camp who does not, leaving beginners who are entering the tarot forum for the first time wondering what the heck they should do. When “just do what feels right to you” sounds too vague of an answer, let’s try to get down to some specifics.

So like reading with reversals vs. reading without reversals, we’ve got two camps of mental dispositions: the left-brained and the right-brained.

leftright

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Professional Tarot and Tax

tarot_tax

If this isn’t your first rodeo in the tarot business, then everything provided here is going to be familiar to you. However, newbies might be able to get some pointers from this post, so I write this for you, dear professional tarot newbies.

Once you decide to go professional as a tarot reader, even if it’s a side business you do a couple hours every other day, it’s still a business. You’ll want to decide on the form of that business, whether it is a sole proprietorship, limited liability company, partnership, or corporation. I talk about that a bit in a chapter of my forthcoming book Holistic Tarot (due out January, 2015, though you can pre-order it now, here from Random House or here from Amazon or here from B&N; what, you didn’t think there’d be a shameless self-promoting plug somewhere in here?).

The following info would generally apply no matter what business form you take. Even if you’re doing your tarot business as you and are just filing a Schedule C with your personal tax returns, this information here will apply.

This post will cover your NAICS code (and what that is, if your mind is already drawing a blank), an overview of your deductible expenses as a tarot professional, and record-keeping. Oh, and it applies only to tarot professionals working in the U.S.

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Info Galore for the Professional Tarot Reader, from Christiana Gaudet

gaudet

I had heard her name here and there because, really, who does tarot and hasn’t heard of Christiana Gaudet? Both of her books, Fortune Stellar: What Every Professional Tarot Reader Needs to Know (Juniper Gardens Press, 2010) and Tarot Tour Guide: Tarot, the Four Elements, and Your Spiritual Journey (Juniper Gardens Press, 2012) are essential to any halfway decent tarot library, but that’s not why I’m writing this. I’m writing about the tarot info galore she’s provided that is readily available for your consumption. She demonstrates generosity and knowledge and I aspire to be a tarot practitioner like her.

I’ve been watching her YouTube channel during every free moment I have. When I watch her, I get great vibes from her aura, so I watched video after video, disbelieving of the wealth of tarot resources here. No matter what stage of tarot study you are at, whether you just picked up a deck, are still making heads and tails of the Celtic Cross, or you’ve been reading professionally for decades, you have something to learn from Ms. Gaudet.

From her YouTube channel, I learned about Christiana’s Psychic Café, which is an online streaming show that takes place on The Para Encounters Network (PEN) every Sunday at 9 pm. The recorded video is then uploaded on YouTube and you can enjoy it at your leisure from Ms. Gaudet’s channel. I love hearing from professional tarot readers and others in various metaphysical or spiritual practices. Her guests are always entertaining. For the most part they’re incredible, impressive, and I’m in awe. There are a few times you cringe, though, and you watch to learn what not to do. But that’s important, too, so either way, there’s much to absorb on Christiana’s Psychic Café. Coolest yet is when different generations of tarot readers converge.

Then there’s her blog, Tarot Trends, which is all empowering substantive content. Also be sure to subscribe to her weekly e-mail newsletter. Ordinarily I dislike e-mail newsletters to my inbox and the ones I do get I don’t even open let alone read. However, I read Tarot Topics when it arrives because I always know there’s something in there I’ll learn from. Sorry if this little post seems neither here nor there, but I just had to share my latest discovery. Amazing!