Code of Ethical Conduct for Tarot Professionals (Written by Benebell Wen with Permission to Share)
A tarot professional strives to uphold the highest ethical standards in all services rendered and to act affirmatively toward maintaining public trust in the tarot profession. A tarot professional’s practice is grounded on use of the tarot as a tool to assist clients with tapping into their own intuitions, spirituality, or creativity.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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, tarot reading cannot replace qualified mental health care. A tarot reading can only facilitate how you cope 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. Your tarot professional is bound by a self-imposed code of ethics, which can be provided to you upon request.
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.
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.