So, to continue with the Cynova Narrative, we’ve entered the college and post college years.
My friend Karin helped me come up with the tag line “Go ahead and get a reading. I already know you want one.” She is brilliant and glorious. The tag line shows me hitting my stride in my 30’s as a reader. I finally know what the fuck I was doing. #swagger
I did readings in college for friends- always using a book. Always with qualifiers. “I think this means….” “This should say….” “This might be” My early readings were full of a lack of confidence, and I’m glad that they were. Confidence is earned, and I really earned mine.
By the time I was out of college and out on my own, I’d started doing readings for ‘friends of friends’. I finally went off-book by forgetting my book on the way to give someone a reading. Someone got a reading from me, and told their cousin and their cousin called me and we then met for coffee. I still wasn’t charging at this point, and had been reading for about 15 years. I’d ask them to get me some coffee, or something from my Amazon wish list. (Also, someone asked if they could get me a birthday present. You know I’m a Sagittarius, right?)
I read for bottles of whiskey, barter, and eventually, for $20 a reading. I started reading in a bar in Jefferson City called Mo and Waldo’s, and when I moved to St. Louis, I read for Everyday Circus. By this time, I was 30, and had just started doing email and phone readings. I didn’t think that it was real before then – I hadn’t tried, but in my head, you needed that in-person connection for readings.
Soon, I had a wee website, started having my own clients, and got on twitter and facebook. I was super careful about revealing my name. It was all under “Melissa Tarot” at first, and then about 8 years ago, the lovely Ryan Edward helped me create Little Fox Tarot. Ryan designed my logo and my first website <3.
As the business grew, so did I. I started teaching. I started going to conferences. I went to a retreat with Theresa Reed to see if I should double down on reading or quit entirely. Thank god for Theresa Reed.
If you’re thinking about becoming a pro reader, here are some tips from me.
- Be off book. Seriously. If you’re not off book, barter or be ABSOLUTELY clear that you’re still learning to your clients. How would you feel if you were getting a haircut, and the stylist pulled out an instruction manual halfway through?
- Practice ALL THE TIME
- Start with festivals and office parties
- As you get more experience, start to raise your rates. I started at $20 and am currently at $125. I don’t charge per time spent, I charge according to my experience level for each reading.
- Build your tarot community – they’re your peers, lifesavers, and learning companions.
Also? Have fun with it. I love doing readings. It’s still my favorite thing to do in the world. I will always love it. It’s my thing, and it’s a privilege to read for my clients, who are amazing people.
Speaking of amazing people, you guys have seriously thrilled me with your donations to Jen’s Third Grade Class. You can still hook them up here.
And if you’re interested – I’ve got a bunch of classes with a discount code just for you. The code is HBDCYNOVA and lasts til the end of January. 🙂
The classes are:
Kitchen Table Tarot – a walk through of the book
Tarot by the Numbers – The Minor Arcana
Kitchen Table Gathering – Classes from me, George Koury, Rudy Hunter and Ellen Herget, from 2020’s Gathering
The Aces, The Twos, etc. – a short class focused on each number in the minor Arcana.
Enjoy your 20% off. I hope you have a good winter, and remember that the longest night is behind us, and there is light ahead. There is light ahead.