It’s been about a decade since I raised my session prices, which is what I typically do every 10 years…then it has an across the board effect on all my services, requiring updates to my promotional materials and information. This stimulates reflection on how a session is valued, a significant topic among professionals.
This conversation includes the Tarot and oracle community as we consider what our service is worth for reading, teaching, and other sessions, especially new readers who are entering the professional arena.
There’s also a root topic that can be viewed as a superstition or tradition which I will touch upon for these type of questions are still floating around and deserve reflection…the question of whether it is ethical to charge at all. This concern comes up with my students as well as conversations with peers. I’m sure there’s more you could add to this discussion.
To charge a fee or not to charge…
This query is the oldest and most existential when defining one’s service. The odd thing is if one’s service title was being a plumber or an attorney, this is a non-issue. Of course one charges, $100-$500 per hour typically, unless the work is “pro-bono.” No one questions this, so why are psychic, Tarot and other readers met with challenges on this topic?
There are several responses, but let’s look at the question of whether one’s service is based on having a natural “Gift” or years of professional training (or a combination) first.
There is an old assumption that those who channel or access spiritual messages are servants of God/Goddess, or whatever title/label one honors, and are only messengers, not the source, and are not to be paid as those who provide commercial services. Yet, even religious institutions request donations and/or tithing to keep their organization afloat.
There have been well know psychics, such as Edgar Cayce, the “Sleeping Prophet”, who, although he had a price of $20 per session, which was financially significant in the 1920s to 1940s, would often forego collecting this fee from clients.
Ultimately, to charge or not is seen as a personal choice of the reader, not to be dictated by the client through coercion or guilt…which would only reinforce judgement. In my knowing, judgment and well-being can not occupy the same space and time. This guideline includes family and friends as well, who are typically the ones making assumptions about free access to these services.
I can’t tell you all the times my colleagues and I have shared stories about cold calls where someone asks for a “sample” reading, which is just a way of getting one’s foot in the door for a free reading. This certainly tests one’s boundaries and ability to communicate them, in a loving way, preferably. I will let the caller know there are free resources available, such as reading groups on Facebook. Some of these callers decide to book a paid reading after hearing me explain how there are no “samples” in my readings for we are opening a door to the great unknown and transformations may abound.
And, please don’t get me started about the historical significance of the fact that these type of services, intuitive arts, are most often provided by women who are assumed to be the servants of the masses, the community, the homes, without recognizing the value of our skills or time.
What to charge, how to value one’s service…
Big question among the newbie readers who are ready to go pro. Here are some recommendations for experimenting with different fees:
- Start by offering readings at a fundraiser where all money collected goes to the donation. This frees one up from focusing on the money and just enjoying the reading, while practicing accepting money.
- Next, find a local venue, such as a coffee house or small public location where you can establish a time and location for offering regular readings, which can be on a personal offering basis or simple flat fee for time. This will help you build your reputation and get more practice. Make sure you have business cards to hand out and create an email list for a monthly newsletter reminding folks of your availability.
- Psychic and other fairs are a great way to promote your service and possibly offer a public talk on a topic related to your service…great PR! Walk around and notice what the other readers are charging and find a middle ground that matches your service.
- Reading at private parties can be fun and expand your reputation. Typically there is a flat fee for your time.
- Sharing an office space can help keep the overhead expenses down and maintain some privacy from your home life. Can also get your name out into the community through networking.
You can find more about this topic on the Oracle Soup podcast, produced by Gina Thies and Katrina Wynne.
The price you decide to charge can be a simple offering, a sliding scale, flat fee for time, or reading/service-based fee. Experience, expertise, the local market, and other factors influence these price points.
Keep in mind, if there are other readers in the area, they may be sensitive to what appears like undercutting their prices, so please be clear about the level of experience you provide for the price charged. For example, if you are a new reader and your price is fairly priced $50 less than a well established reader in your community, please add something to your bio about how long you have been reading so folks know that they get what they pay for…although experience does not automatically make the reading more useful or effective, we know.
Of great significance is the legal consideration and what services are allowed in your city/county/state/province/territory/country. Please practice due diligence and conduct your research first!
Finally, here are some great books and articles that cover this topic from a reader’s point of view:
- Fortune Stellar – book by Christiana Gaudet
- Have Tarot Will Travel – book by Jenna Matlin
- Professional Tarot – book by Christine Jette
- Developing Your Practice – recorded online class by Katrina Wynne
- The Business of Being an Oracle – weblog post by Katrina Wynne
- Sales or Service? – weblog post by Katrina Wynne
- Going Pro as a Reader – weblog post by Katrina Wynne
Of course one can always offer free sessions, I often do it when traveling or when meeting someone who needs special inspiration in that moment. Always have a deck with you. Have cards…Will travel…
Just last week I was invited to a holiday party with local friends and, being the little wallflower that I am, I checked with my decks to see who wanted to come along. The Divine Feminine Oracle by Meggan Watterson jumped at the opportunity to work with these lovely ladies. This allowed me to connect with people one-on-one, which is my preference, while sharing something deep and meaningful, a service and a gift to our community. Plus, it was a promotional opportunity to remind people that I am available for sessions year-round.
When I evaluate the price that goes with my readings and other services, here are the criteria I take into account:
- How much experience I have with this modality
- What training I received in this specialty
- Business expenses (website, venue, promotions, continued training)
- Going rates for this service and market analysis
- Feedback, input, success with clients and students
- What feels right!
In my case I have a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology degree with over 30 years’ training and experience in psychotherapy applied to 45 years of Tarot and oracle knowledge. I continue to expand my training and scope in this life-long endeavor, sharing my wisdom with folks around the world, online and in-person. Those of us who honor the value of our work, we know the investment we have made to our excellence, on top of our natural abilities!
So, with all of the above considerations and being a little behind the current rate trends, here are my new prices, as reflected on my website and other promotional materials starting January 2020:
- One hour – private session = $125 USD
- Half hour – private session = $70 USD
For more details about the services offered, please visit my Tarot website: www.TarotCounseling.org
If you would like to take advantage of my old 2010-2019 prices ($100/hour USD), please purchase a Gift Certificate directly from me that can be used for yourself or by anyone you wish to gift it to. Each Gift Certificate can be applied to one private 1-hour reading and will be valid throughout 2020! You can purchase as many as you like…and for bulk orders I will offer you an additional discount…Wow!
This offer ends December 28th at midnight Pacific Time. Please email me with your request and I will send you a PayPal request to cover the purchase, then email the certificate/s to you with your name printed, or the name of the designated receiver, if you know their name.
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