The majority of the books that I review are geared toward the Tarot novice. There are some exceptions, such as Tarot Psychology, though the majority of them are written with the novice in mind, though can be inclusive of the experienced.
I thought I would switch gear and see what literature is out there for the developing professionals. I stumbled across (though I haven’t a clue how) Peter J. Morris’ book, Tarot for Profit, and got myself the e-book form.
I think this is going to be a running theme when I get e-books, that I wish I would have gotten the physical copy. There is a lot of really good information in here, and something that I wish I could flip around to.
Note: One thing I didn’t realize about this book until I started writing about it is that it’s the 2nd book in his series, The Tarotmancer. The good news is that this works as a stand-alone book.
Peter J. Morris himself has written several books regarding being a professional Tarot reader and consultant, and has founded organizations and taught several workshops. Tarot for Profit (2014) and his series is I believe, self-published under his publishing company, Kinsett Publishing.
The e-book provides links to his other works/websites, though none of them are operational. Kinsett Publishing on WordPress gives the same links which don’t work. I looked into him as an author and can only find his Facebook page which hasn’t been updated since 2017.
Intro to the Book
Morris’ voice in the book is that of an experienced man handing out warm advice, rather than authoritative or perky-and-energetic. There are some books that are written with a voice that is perfect for blogs that doesn’t quite translate well into books.
Instead, Morris’ voice fulfills his promise in the introduction:
…[Consider] me as a supportive and rather cuddly old grandfather helping and guiding you along a preciously traveled path in life, rather than a rather pushy and assertive parent looking for the best from his children (Location 52).
Despite the fact that I listened to my Kindle read me the majority of the book, and thus, listened to the book in a robotic Englishwoman’s voice, his own ‘grandfatherly’ voice came through.
What the Book Covers
The book looks at Tarot as a spiritual practice turned business, which is what one should hope for in this line of work. It is so easy to see a money-making opportunity and exploit it as such. The central theme of the book is to keep the balance between spirituality and the gifts manifested in physical form that it can bring.
Thus, the first part of the book is dedicated to what Tarot is, and how you influence your tarot practice and reading, and thus the Tarot community. From this space you can adjust how you plan to brand and market yourself. If you’re all about the cash and nothing else, then your marketing will likely reflect it, as well as your business ethics (Jessi Huntenburg’s video on psychic frauds comes to mind).
Morris then individually discusses the pros and cons of various business settings from operating in a metaphysical shop, to traveling with a caravan trailing behind you, to psychic fairs, to your own kitchen table.
The next part of the book looks at ‘Psychic Tides and Trading Cycles,’ which I actually found rather brilliant. While discussing how the year, the moon, weeks, and days affect clientele, he also discusses how these things can affect you, the reader. He drove home the importance of taking note of what’s going on astrologically and comparing it to daily sales and readings.
Later he talks about further incorporating astrology into your readings as well to provide a little extra depth.
This book covers the ethics of Tarot reading, which I think so many business books refrain from. I think this section is essential to anyone looking to begin their business as a Tarot professional. The quote I have to offer on this is long, but I feel it’s quite worth it and drives home the essence of this book.
‘As a Tarot reader, you will have the necessary skills to be able to work through tough times with your clients by offering them a deeper understanding of the issues they face.
‘From a spiritual perspective, it is not so much the fact that we need to face difficulties and challenges in this lifetime, but that we need to understand the lessons being taught us and how we can best assimilate the experiences that we gain.
‘By offering your clients a greater perspective on their lives—or a context into which they can place their problems, you are providing the most effective way of helping their Souls to find expression during this incarnation. It may require a few sessions with a client but, by following this process of enlightenment, you can lead them to a position where they are strong enough to make it through on their own.
‘From a personal and professional perspective, it was these types of spiritual challenges that presented me with the greatest rewards in my consultancy work. The opportunity to help other people unravel their tangled psychological and emotional threads and then watch them grow in inner strength, self-esteem and personal power was the greatest accolade life could possibly offer me. I enjoyed my work every single day and it brought me tremendous amounts of personal and professional satisfaction (Location 803).
After examining the importance of your role as a compassionate human being in the Tarot reading exchange, he further drives home the point:
The worst Tarot readers in the world are not those who are technically inept, know little of the cards’ meanings or who get their predictions wrong. The worst kind of psychics are those who are impersonal and indifferent towards their customers. They tend to be the ones who fail to interpret a Tarot spread with any meaningful level of compassion, love or understanding for their customers and their personal problems (Location 840).
After this necessarily extensive section, the book goes on to examine different means of earning an income via the Tarot, from selling online, to creating a website offering deck and books, to fairs, etc. There were a lot of avenues in here that I had never considered (I won’t lie—I am particularly excited about the idea of selling decks online. It’s an excuse to buy decks!).
The final section is his own recollection of his experiences as a reader, which I really loved. Again, the voice of this author is so strong and comfortable that it was nice hearing his experiences. After his mini-memoir, he gives leaves the reader with 20 tips for starting and functioning in a Tarot business.
What I really Enjoyed
The book flows like a wave, and rolls the reader about. It starts off with very practical advice of where and how to consider conducting the tarot practice, how to brand yourself, and so on. However, he shifts, and begins telling stories from his own personal experience, which is when I found myself the most engaged.
In this he brings out Tarot philosophies, marketing tips, tips of actually reading and getting customers, his own theories on how the Tarot and the Universe work, and so on.
Then he rolls back into the practical matters like money handling, energetic cleansing, keeping yourself your highest and best, etc.
Some books weave. This book rolls. When I think of the way this book flows, I think of detached seaweed moving with incoming waves. I think of baby bears summersaulting in grass. I think of butterflies moving with the air. Sure these are all whimsical, and I generally try to keep reviews somewhat ‘concrete’ (as much as literature reviews can be), but they fit so nicely with the way this book moves.
Another thing I really liked was that he provided resources at the back of the book. Some of the resources are his own publications, but a lot of them are other books, online groups, groups and organization in the UK and the US, etc. These I found very helpful.
What I felt was Lacking
Morris is great at giving suggestions, but he provides little in way of direction pointing. He’ll tell the reader a great way to get a website going and how to create content, but won’t tell his experiences with specific web hosting or design.
There are two particular examples where I really wanted to know the programs he was using, as he spent a fair few words singing their praise—one was for bookkeeping and the other was for astrology. For neither piece of software did Morris reveal the name.
I thought this was a really well-written and useful book. Again, the heart of Tarot was at the heart of the book, which I think is so important. The book serves as a fantastic reminder to readers that even though the Tarot can be a means of income, it’s a tool for spiritual development and as a reader you have a gift to help others through their own development. This is its purpose first and foremost.
If you’re looking at starting your own practice, this book is an essential read. It won’t give you the play-by-play, but it’ll give you an outline as a starting point, and hopefully keep your money-related ethics in place.