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The Power of No

The Power of No

We as tarot readers often find ourselves in positions that require us to say “no”. For instance when a client has asked us the same question over and over and yet, has taken none of the advice the cards/readings have suggested. Instead there is an expectation for some magical intervention to come along and fix things for them.

Another, and more concerning trend is feeling that we are unable to say “no”. The client that feels they can message you at any time wanting you to drop everything and attend to their needs, some readers have a fear that they will lose that client if they don’t respond right away. Ask yourself, is this the kind of client you actually want?

Just because we are in a service industry does not mean that we are at peoples “beck and call”. When we are looking for any other type of service we assume that there will be a waiting period. Even in the language we use; “Oh I need to make an appointment for "xyz”. We don’t say “I’m going to call "xyz" service and demand to be seen right away”.

Why is Tarot perceived as different?

Most people in general don’t like hearing or using the word “no”. It can be seen as being impolite or rude. It makes us uncomfortable, I believe, because we have a lack of boundaries. We would rather please others and meet their needs before our own.

I’m not sure why Tarot is different, is it because there are many levels of readers out there? The general public have a specific idea of what a tarot reader is and it’s seen as a bit of entertainment? Or is it because there isn’t a set distinction between a hobbyist and professional reader, unless stated by the practitioner? All questions I encourage you to consider.

When and how to say “No”

I have learned the hard way to have strong boundaries and know when to say no. Usually if something doesn't feel right, then generally it isn’t. That DM from an acquaintance suggesting they come visit and I can “get my cards out” or the family friend saying “you will need to give me a reading”. In both examples I would politely inform them of my availability and my rates.

How to start saying “No”

I found this technique an easy and gradual process, like anything that is new to us, there is a period of learning. I started off by saying no to small, insignificant things. E.g. When being offered a cup of tea there would be a follow up question asking if I would like a slice of cake or biscuit with it. I would say yes to the tea and no thank you to the sweet treat with it. This got me used to saying no, and the more I said no to small things, then it was easier to say no to things that mattered to me.

What if you’re saying no when you should say yes?

This is where things get a little complicated, is it our fear of trying or doing something new that causes us to say no instead of saying yes? That is something only you can decide on a case by case basis. Please don’t say no out of fear or the unknown, that fear might just be excitement in disguise.


A friend - one that I'm not that close to anymore - invited me to a party a few years ago. As we sat around, the friend told others that I was a tarot reader. Then they turned to me and said, "Why don't you pull a few cards for us?". I said, "I'm sorry. I can't. I didn't bring my deck". They actually got up, went to another room, grabbed one of their decks and then handed it to me. "Here you go". I finally said, "You know, I came here to enjoy myself, not work". I've never accepted another invitation from this person since. I should have said "no" from the start. I didn't because I was afrai…


I very much agree with all of this! I believe that divination is seen as a labour of love (which is why many expect for it to be free, and why there is an expectation of being readily available at any time). However, it is very necessary to say no and to keep our boundaries, or we risk to be subject to increasing demands. Great tip about building the saying no muscle by starting with small things.

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