If You're Skilled at Reading Tarot Cards, Here's How to Make It a Side Hustle

Reading tarot cards has been a popular practice for centuries across different cultures. Here's how to become a self-employed tarot reader.


Apr. 14 2023, Published 1:17 p.m. ET

Emerging in the 15th century, tarot cards were first known as trifoni, tarocchi, or tarocks. These playing cards were prominent across Europe as they had deep Italian roots. French occultists later adopted them in the late 18th century when their meanings were interpreted by those who believed they could look to them as a symbol of more significant life events. While tarot cards are still made with the intention of being playing cards, tarot for divination remains incredibly popular.

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The occult tradition refers to tarot cards as Arcana. There are 22 Major and 56 Minor Arcana that are perceived by occultists, each introduced by Jean-Baptiste Pitois. Reading tarot cards has become a popular practice used by cartomancers, fortune-tellers, psychics, and others who partake in multiple forms of divination. If you read tarot cards and want to elevate your hobby into a way of making some extra cash on the side, here's how to become a self-employed tarot reader.

How much does a self-employed tarot reader make?

If you're considering how to become a self-employed tarot reader, you may want to have an idea of how much you'll make from your services. Glassdoor estimates that the average salary for a professional tarot card reader is around $53,865 a year. The base pay rests at around $50,447 while factoring in an additional $3,418 earned from tips, cash bonuses, commissions, or other forms of profit sharing. There's the possibility of earning up to $56,900 per year depending on the employer.

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The level of pay depends on the cartomancer's skill level and the experience they have reading tarot cards. The rate charged per reading is entirely up to those who conduct them, but it has been reported that a beginner's earnings are expected to be in the $14,000 range. Do keep in mind that you'll be taxed on income made from being a self-employed tarot reader, so these numbers may not always be accurate depending on tax rates or other expenses.

Do you need qualifications to read tarot cards?

If you're going to take the steps toward becoming a self-employed tarot reader, are there any prerequisites or qualifications you need to pursue your freelance journey? When it comes down to the legality of practicing cartomancy on a professional level to any degree, it isn't required that you become licensed or certified. However, many tarot readers take it upon themselves to earn certifications in their craft to expound upon their skills because they want to ensure accuracy in their readings.

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By taking the initiative to become licensed or certified, tarot readers are increasing their credibility as clairvoyants. Taking classes with experienced cartomancers has the potential to provide you with the right skill set for your own practice. Honestly speaking, most professional tarot readers do study under the guidance of a teacher, but there aren't any strict guidelines for the required qualifications when establishing a tarot-centric career.

There aren't any minimum qualifications for becoming a self-employed psychic, but do tarot readers need LLCs? When becoming a self-employed tarot reader, you should consider setting up an LLC for your brand. This is an essential step in protecting your assets and saving money on any taxes that may apply.

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Where can I sell my tarot readings?

Once you know how to become a self-employed tarot reader, you're ready to share your business with the public. There are a number of ways that you're able to start marketing yourself as a reader and begin looking into others' futures. Setting up your own website that advertises your services is a great way of putting your name out there. You'll be able to provide in-depth detail about what you offer, price points, and personal background information.

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Posting listings on Facebook, Instagram, Fiverr, and other digital marketplaces can increase opportunities for you to host virtual readings. You could also attend local markets, psychic or street fairs, conventions, as well as oddities and curiosity expos. By offering face-to-face readings, you're able to provide your services in real-time to clients who fall into your target market.

Divination has fascinated people for centuries, and will continue to enchant them for centuries in the future. There will always be someone who's as excited to have their cards read as you are to read the cards to them.

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