What do most people see in their mind’s eye when you say the words “Tarot reader”? For many, I think there is an immediate flash to the gyspy, the crone, the goth, someone slightly exotic and slightly sinister. Awhile back, there was a discussion on the Facebook page of Biddy Tarot about just this topic, asking, “What do you wear to an event when you have been requested to dress like a Tarot reader?”.
Discussion on Biddy Tarot
The general consensus was that you just be yourself, you dress how you feel comfortable, appearance shouldn’t be very important. I completely agree, you should always be yourself, and it isn’t necessary to put on a costume to read Tarot. That being said, I have to admit that I like a little drama and ceremony. When I read Tarot, I don’t play dress up, but I do understand the importance of setting the scene, creating some atmosphere and sacred space.
So, shortly after the Biddy discussion, I was hired to read Tarot at a corporate event. As a fledgling Tarot professional, I was thrilled! The event planner told me that the evening has an “Old Carnival Theme” (this set off some alarm bells), there would be about 400 women in attendance, and that I should wear something from my closet that fits the theme. Well, believe it or not (my friends wouldn’t find this surprising) I just happen to have a gorgeous purple vaguely gypsy/peasant maiden dress that was just waiting for this occasion. Dripping with Tarot jewellery and crystals (this is also pretty normal for me) I headed off to my adventure.
“Old Carnival Theme”, huh?
When I arrived at the venue, I met the event planner, a lovely and extremely efficient young woman, dressed in a sexy Circus Ringleader costume. She took me to my table, and immediately apologized for the signage…it read, “Learn Your Fate from the Fortune Teller” and featured a palm-reading diagram. The organizer asked if this was going to be a problem, that she realizes that I am a genuine Tarot reader, not a fortune teller…she was actually very respectful and considerate about it.
Learn your fate from the Fortune Teller. Hmmm. So, the first words on my Inner Goddess Tarot website are, “Tarot, for me, is all about empowerment. It’s not about predicting a set-in-stone future that can’t be changed…”.
Sometimes, you just have to laugh at what the universe throws at you, there is a real cosmic sense of humour out there. So I was faced with a dilemma, but having been an event planner in my previous work life, I understood the situation. If I objected, how exactly were things going to resolved, with guests already waiting to come in to the party?
I just smiled, said no problem, and got myself set up. And for the rest of the evening, I read Tarot in the same way that I always do, following my philosophy of empowerment and inner exploration, positivity and free will, rather than fortune telling. I had a line-up of women waiting to talk with me for the entire night. I read Tarot non-stop for three and a half hours, and then was asked to stay for an additional half hour because there were still women waiting for their turn. It was exhausting and exhilarating.
What I Learned about Working Tarot Events
So, here’s what I learned from this experience. When getting involved in events, it’s really important to spell out your terms or needs clearly. I should have asked some questions about the event theme and decor, arranged for water and periodic breaks, and asked if it was possible to have a wrangler to schedule reading times. This would have been beneficial for both me and the event planner, and would have ensured that I would be able to perform at my best for the entire function. Also, I learned that Tarot reading is an extremely popular and entertaining attraction at an event, especially among women, and an aspect of my business that it is reasonable to pursue. Lastly, I learned that it never hurts to have a purple dress in your closet, just in case.
What do you think? If you were a Tarot reader like me, what would you have done?