I view tarot as a reflective tool that we can use to explore themes and archetypes in our lives. I do not see tarot as predictive, telling “fortunes,” nor do I see tarot as evil. Tarot functions simply as a mirror, whereby we can draw parallels between our life and the cards. In this way, tarot can lend a different perspective to how we view our everyday life. I use tarot as part of my own spiritual practice, although you do not need to view tarot spiritually for a reading to be helpful.
Article One | Professionalism
Adherence to Applicable Laws. A tarot professional will take the initiative to be knowledgeable of all applicable laws including but not limited to fortune telling statutes and local municipal codes that may cover their business or the practice of tarot.
Scope of Profession. The tarot professional applies tarot in a way that falls outside the scope of occult sciences and is not reading tarot in a manner that claims or purports to tell fortunes, or with the ability to foretell with any certainty future events, or disclose in unequivocal terms the mental faculties of any persons.
Role of the Tarot Professional. The tarot professional provides a client with spiritual guidance and serves to empower the client toward making more spiritually empowered decisions for him or herself within the framework of the client’s own personal spiritual beliefs or practices.
Limitations. A tarot professional shall never claim the ability to cure another of ailments outside the lawful practice of medicine or provide financial benefits outside the lawful practice of financial analysis and management. The tarot professional shall never purport to offer legal, medical, or financial advice. Unless the tarot professional also possesses the applicable educational background, licensures, certifications, and/or qualifications to be a psychologist, therapist, counselor, or other mental health professional, he or she shall not purport to be one.
Referrals to Qualified Professionals. A tarot professional owes a reasonable duty of care to his or her client and if an inquiry touches upon legal matters, even by a tangential connection or in passing, the tarot professional will refer the client to seek the counsel of a licensed attorney. If an inquiry touches upon health or medical matters, even by a tangential connection or in passing, the tarot professional will refer the client to seek diagnosis by a licensed medical doctor. If an inquiry touches upon financial or real property matters, even by a tangential connection or in passing, the tarot professional will refer the client to seek advice from a qualified financial consultant, analyst, or real estate professional.
Duty to Reject Subsequent Reading Requests. If at any time a tarot professional believes or has reason to believe that a client is using tarot readings to substitute, and not merely supplement, counseling from a qualified mental health professional, then he or she has a duty to reject subsequent reading requests from the client and to refer the client to seek qualified mental professional support. However, tarot readings may be used as a supplement to qualified counseling or serve the function of life coaching or general spiritual guidance.
No Dishonesty, Fraud, Deceit, or Misrepresentations. A tarot professional shall not use tarot in a way that purports definitive and absolute knowledge of the future or of matters that are otherwise hidden or occult. The tarot professional shall not represent him or herself as matter-of-factly having communication, access to, or knowledge of any supernatural phenomena. The tarot professional shall never guarantee any one outcome, positive or negative. A tarot professional shall never engage in deceptive business or unfair trade practices. A tarot professional shall make no misrepresentations about his or her competency, certifications, qualifications, or abilities.
Third Party Consent. A tarot professional is discouraged from providing reading services on inquiries into the personal affairs, business, intentions, mental faculties, or activities of third parties who are not present for the reading, unless the client represents and warrants to the tarot professional that such third party’s express consent has been obtained. A tarot professional may reasonably rely on such a representation made by a client, though best practices would include noting the reliance in writing in the tarot professional’s notes. However, a tarot professional may provide reading services on inquiries about how the client’s affairs, business, intentions, mental faculties, or activities might be affected by that third party.
Article Two | Communications
The Reading Process. A tarot professional is encouraged to make reasonable efforts to communicate his or her reading or interpretive process and analytical or intuitive methods, particular traditions, or the interpretive framework utilized. A tarot professional will refrain from communicating to a client about curses or the manifestation of malicious intentions through supernatural or occult means.
Disclosures. A tarot professional shall make reasonable efforts to disclose to all clients that tarot readings cannot replace the counseling services of a mental health professional, and a tarot professional can never guarantee his or her accuracy in the interpretation of a reading. Also, if and when tarot practice would be explicitly barred by a jurisdiction’s applicable laws, then the tarot professional must communicate to the client in clear, unambiguous terms that such readings are to be for entertainment purposes. See also Article Five, Disclosures.
No Duty to Retain Records. A tarot professional does not owe a client any duty to retain the client’s reading records. A tarot professional may, at the discretion of his or her customary practice, retain records or files on client readings.
Records Retention. If a tarot professional does elect to retain client records, then he or she must develop and maintain appropriate record-keeping systems for storing his or her clients’ personal information in a manner that will reasonably preserve the clients’ confidentiality and privacy.
Article Three | Fees
Statement of Fees. A tarot professional shall state his or her service fees before the start of a reading and cannot later raise or increase the stated fee unless prior contractual terms allow for the increase. The tarot professional must clearly communicate his or her fee schedule and payment terms prior to the commencement of any reading. A fee for any service that is $500.00 USD or more must be contractually agreed upon in writing.
No Pressure for Additional Services. A tarot professional shall never pressure, compel, or even imply to clients that additional paid services from him or her are needed after the reading. A tarot professional shall never purport to possess the power to manipulate the outcome of events through supernatural or occult means.
Referral Fees. If a tarot professional makes a referral, then he or she must disclose whether any referral fees have been paid as compensation or consideration for the referral.
Article Four | Confidentiality
Duty of Confidentiality. Although there is not likely to be a legal evidentiary privilege between a tarot professional and client, a tarot professional nonetheless agrees on his or her own accord to be bound by a duty of confidentiality. A tarot professional shall not reveal personal or private information relating to a client reading unless that client has given informed consent.
Reasonable Diligence to Protect Confidentiality. The tarot professional shall exercise reasonable efforts to prevent the inadvertent or unauthorized disclosure of or access to information relating to his or her clients, which includes password protection to any electronic accounts, computers, or data storage units that would include client files and lock and key to any physical storage units containing hard copy files.
Exceptions. However, tarot professionals may reveal personal or otherwise private information relating to a client reading if the tarot professional reasonably believes it is necessary to prevent substantial bodily harm or death, or a court order overrides the confidentiality. Partial information from a tarot reading may be disclosed under the client’s anonymity for academic, civic, census, survey, or research purposes.
Article Five | Disclosures
General Practice Disclosures. A tarot professional shall post a disclosure statement prominently at office locations, storefronts, on websites, reading venues, or commercial marketing materials that states essentially as follows:
Disclosure Statement: Readings are meant for those 18 years of age or older. A tarot professional cannot predict the future with certainty and you should not rely on a tarot reading to make any decision that would affect your legal, financial, or medical condition. If your inquiry involves the law, finance, or medicine, then you should seek the advice of a licensed or qualified legal, financial, or medical professional. Also, a tarot reading cannot replace qualified mental health care. A tarot reading can only facilitate how you cope mentally/spiritually with a given situation. In certain jurisdictions, a tarot professional is required to disclose to you that tarot readings should be for entertainment purposes only, and if such a law applies to your reading, then you are hereby on notice thereof. All readings are 100% confidential. Your tarot professional is bound by a self-imposed code of ethics, which will be provided should you chose to purchase a reading.
Certification Disclosures. A tarot professional is not required to be certified. However, if he or she obtains a certification related to tarot practice, the tarot professional will disclose the certifying body or organization that issued the certification.
Article Six | Public Service
A tarot professional is encouraged to dedicate at least 10% of his or her practice per year to public service, such as offering reading services to support fundraisers for non-profit organizations or charitable causes, free readings to persons of limited financial means, teaching tarot to others free of charge, creating educational materials on tarot for the public free of charge, or participating in activities with the mission of improving the practice of tarot or the tarot profession.
Article Seven | Continuing Education
A tarot professional shall take the initiative to continue his or her tarot education for the full duration of and throughout his or her professional practice. A tarot professional is encouraged to take classes or workshops on tarot, attend tarot conferences, symposia, or conventions, meet and collaborate with other tarot professionals, regularly read on the practice of tarot, and exercise diligent efforts to hone the tarot professional’s craft and skill.
This Code of Ethics is subject to changes, which shall be updated to this page and noted below. By using and interacting on this website or sending electronic communications to Alaina O’Brien, you are acknowledging and agreeing to all of the terms above.
Any questions or concerns related to the terms herein should be directed to the attention of Alaina O’Brien at firstname.lastname@example.org.
BY CONTACTING ALAINA O’BRIEN FOR A READING, YOU ARE IN EFFECT ACKNOWLEDGING AND AGREEING TO THE FOREGOING CODE OF ETHICS.
First Posted: January 29, 2017