I realized today that I’ve never actually shared my Tarot ethics here on the blog. All members of the American Tarot Association are bound by the ATA’s code of ethics (although the ATA is by no means a regulatory body, and there are serious issues with the practicality of trying to enforce that code). In addition, ATA readers are encouraged to write their own personal codes, outlining what they will and will not do as readers.
I think this is a fantastic idea, and I actually had a personal code of ethics even before I joined the ATA. So here it is, for anyone who’s interested:
- I will always treat you with honesty and respect, and offer the same treatment to all of my clients. I will never judge you for what you tell me or ask of me, and will always be forthright about myself, my qualifications, and my analysis of your cards. I will always separate my personal opinions from the reading I offer you, which will be based exclusively on the cards I draw and the context with which you provide me.
- You have my guarantee of complete privacy. I will never share with anyone the information you give me for the purposes of a reading. This information may include but is not limited to your name, contact information, and the details of your situation given to help me perform a more accurate reading.
- I will respect your autonomy and ability to make decisions for yourself. I use Tarot to help you reflect on your situation and choose your path. If I offer advice in a reading, I will only give suggestions of possible courses of action that you may want to consider taking, or possibilities that you may have overlooked. I will never tell you what you should or should not do, and ultimately, all of your choices are entirely up to you. So is the responsibility for the consequences of these choices, and in requesting a reading from me, you assume all legal and financial responsibility for the decisions you make, regardless of whether you take into consideration possible choices discussed during a reading.
- I am not a medical, financial, or legal expert, and will not perform any reading where I feel that expertise in these fields is necessary. Similarly, I will never give medical, financial, or legal advice; if you want advice in such an area, you should consult a qualified professional.
- I will not perform a reading having to do with any illegal activity.
- I will not perform a reading for a minor without express permission from a parent or legal guardian.
- I am not a psychic. I use Tarot as an analytical tool to help understand your situation, not as a fortune-telling technique, and I have no outside knowledge, supernatural or otherwise, of your circumstances. I cannot provide you with new information or tell you what you don’t already know—all I can do is help you interpret what information is available to you. This means that:
- I cannot tell you what happened in the past or what will happen in the future.
- I cannot tell you about other people’s actions or motivations.
- Context is king. The more information you give me when you request a reading, the more I will have to work with when interpreting your cards, and the more accurate your reading will be.
- If I feel that the subject matter of your requested reading violates my code of ethics, I will rephrase your question and offer you a reading that I can perform in good conscience.
- Finally, as a member of the American Tarot Association, I am bound by their code of ethics as well as my own.