Wednesday, July 29, 2015


I was talking with a friend yesterday who mentioned that she was tempted to go on a media "blackout" just to get a break from the negativity in the world. Even well-meaning friends who are working to make things better by tackling a difficult issue and trying to drum up support can be overwhelming sometimes. Sensitive/empathic/receptive people need a break from so much input.

Off-Center Lenormand (out of print)
(c) Copyright 2012 Marcia McCord
When you make that empathic knack one of your means of income, you need to protect yourself from working full time, just like any other occupation. Being "out there" in a community doesn't mean "The Reader Is In" sign is always up.

Back in April, someone contacted me privately, initiating the conversation for a reading, a free reading as it turns out. We had never spoken privately before.

The Querent: Hi, do you might just pulling Some cards for me please
Me: Hi actually I read cards as a business. Did you want a reading?
The Querent: I just wanted to ask a question (smile emoticon)
Me: That's often what a reading is.
The Querent: Okey im sorry
Me: No problem. You might see if one of the FB groups has someone doing free readings or exchanges.
The Querent: Where can i find it
Me: You can search for groups with tarot in the title

I had hoped the person had found good advice and learned more about reading cards.

Interestingly the topic from the same person cropped up again in a more public way this week.

The Querant: I don't understand how some people can be full of sh** and fake and bitter and disgusting all the time !! AROUND THE CLOCK go **** yourselves
The Querant:  some people here are so disgusting, they realy are.. allways beeing negative, if you ask them something they bite ur nose off !!! no seprect, you ask them if they can pull some cards for you and they say no bcause they are proffesionals, yet they are on learning grouops all the time, i dunno but don't they have clients to keep themselves busy with?? if ur a pro like you claim you are *** off from the groups then we can see who the real students are.. i hate people like that !! so disgusting !!!!!!!!!!!!!
Me: A girl walks into a restaurant with kind intentions and asks for a free meal. She is turned away because the restaurant is a business. She is given directions to the free Soup Kitchen where volunteers help people who need a meal get a good one. She sees the owner of the restaurant helping at the Soup Kitchen. She is angry because she does not like having been turned away only to see the owner volunteer. What is the difference?
  The owner volunteered their time and resources for walk-ins at the Soup Kitchen for a certain amount of time and a certain amount of food. But the owner still runs a business and in the restaurant must charge money to pay expenses, even the "expense" of volunteering at the Soup Kitchen. 
  Is the food better at the restaurant? Maybe or maybe not. But everyone at the Soup Kitchen understands the meal is free there for those in need, just like the people who go to the restaurant expect to pay. 
  Is the owner a mean person?
Another FB Member: If a professional reader joins a group of beginner readers, then turns someone down because they're "professional" and don't want to read for free, that's the same as the restaurant owner volunteering at the soup kitchen, and then turning the girl away because he's an owner and too good to serve others. If they don't want to help people then get out. I think that's what she's saying, if I understood her correctly.
Me: The difference is the venue. The client approaches the professional reader in a venue other than the learning group and asks for a free reading. Instead they might have done better to state the question in a posting in that group, pull cards, offer their interpretation, then request that others in the group assist. That's how learning groups work.
The Querent: Thats bullshit
The Querent:  I asked paris [Australian reader Paris Debono] plenty of times for a Reading and he did it And posted in the groupe without bitchig About it.
Me: Here is your reading. Ship+Whip+Man. It looks like you prefer the readings from the man from far away that you've talked to before. That's the energy you seek. Best wishes.

I kept looking at the cards I drew for The Querent and more and more I connected to what my experience of this person is and my advice from the cards.

One of the big topics in the news today has to do with consent. Just because a woman wears a dress or makeup or visits a public place like a bar or a mall or a movie, it doesn't mean she is giving consent to strangers to approach her for her favors. Even if she is single, even if she is looking for a special person or even just a friend, she isn't saying her favors are free to take without her consent.

Similarly, even professional readers learn from the efforts of beginners, get refreshed by stimulating conversations about reading cards and like to contribute. I'm always so encouraged to see people starting out and growing in their understanding of Tarot and Lenormand. I think of myself as a perennial student. I also read cards professionally by appointment only. And, I even do free readings sometimes when I'm up for that. For instance, normally on Halloween, I set my tent up in my driveway and give free readings to the parents of the children who come by for candy.

A Tarot or Lenormand learning forum is a place where newbies need to at least make an attempt at reading for themselves (even if they are certain they lack insight in their own readings) and then ask for help. The help may be in a better-formed question or the help may be with insight to the cards themselves or something more mechanical.

The insight I gained from this exchange was that this person actually just wants free readings and apparently has tapped well-known readers for this service in the past. I don't say that's necessarily a bad thing if the reader consents.

But if the reader doesn't consent, it's a lot like disappointed unsuccessful sexual assaulters who complain that their unwilling partner is "frigid" or "a bitch" because they won't comply. Ship+Whip+Man can actually be the "sexually predatory foreigner"  or the "repeat-offending traveller" or even a simple "Go On With Your Bad Self."

Readings must be consensual, by both the reader and the person being read. That's why we have ethics like not reading to spy on a third person, not reading for children--who cannot legally give consent--without a parent's permission, and not revealing very personal details outside the boundaries of the reading. The truth, which may shock some, is that readers are not obligated to give a reading if they don't consent. If they are kind, they will show The Querent where they might find such a free service and wish them well.

Best wishes.


  1. Such a good post. I had a similar experience about a year ago.
    A woman contacted me, asking for a re-interpretation of a reading she did for herself. (She was a newbie and confused by the cards.) Never mind the fact that I don’t do reinterpretations of readings since I wasn’t there for the energy of the reading in the first place. I did a lot of free readings about 15 or more years ago when I was starting out professionally, but I’m a professional now and deserve to eke out a living with this. So I declined and I told her she could find out more about the cards that came up in her reading on my blog or she could purchase a reading from me or she could find a free reading website. She was pissed off and had some nasty things to say about how materialistic I am (ignoring the fact that I have given the world about 1,500 free posts about Tarot on my blog, and my Pithy Tarot app is free too.)
    I don’t mind people asking for the free reading, but it’s aggravating when they don’t take “No” with some amount of grace.

  2. Thank you, Marcia. I've had my fair share of these folks too and it hurts. I give so much of my time and energy without cost so when I get a face slap like you got...yeah, it hurts. This is a post I will be sharing.

  3. Excellent article. The importance of consent needs to be appreciated in all human interactions. To not factor consent into the equation is to exploit. Boundaries are our friends

  4. Very good post! Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this, Marcia. :)