We’ve all been there: your friend comes to you, heartbroken and looking for advice. You can share your opinion, but if you’re a Tarot reader, you can also offer to do a reading for her. How could that go wrong, right? If you’re not careful, what should be an enlightening experience could quickly get out of hand.

Reading Tarot for friends can be fun and a wonderful way to use this new skill you’re mastering. Practicing with your friends as sample clients can help you master the Tarot and provide you with a ‘safe’ learning environment to try out your new skills. The Tarot could even open up some very meaningful topics for conversation, helping you become closer with someone you already care about. Sounds great, right?

But, the fact that you are so close to your friend can make it difficult to be objective. You already know a lot about your friend, her life, her ultimate goals and dreams, and that can make it difficult to discern between what you already know and the unbiased messages your intuition is sending to you. You might unearth some deep, dark secrets that your friend might not be ready to share, which could make the reading less helpful and more traumatic. Or, if the Tarot reading doesn’t have a message that your friend wants to hear, she might react negatively and ‘shoot the messenger,’ which might harm your friendship in the long run.

But you don’t have to avoid reading for friends all together. With a little preparation and careful consideration beforehand, you can read Tarot for friends without having to worry about losing the friendship. Here are my 5 best strategies to help you and your friends enjoy your Tarot readings together.

1. Be Selective

First, you want to make sure that you’re not putting yourself into an uncomfortable situation by offering to read Tarot for someone.  I have made the mistake in the past of reading for my coworkers. I regretted it afterward because it was so awkward trying to maintain a professional relationship when I had seen all of their ‘dirty laundry.’ What I learned from that was that I should only read Tarot for close friends, and only for those ones who are spiritually-aware and ready to take accountability for their future.

So go with your gut when choosing to say ‘yes’ to read for someone. Do you feel excited and energized by the idea of doing a reading for that friend? Or do you feel a sense of dread, or any hesitation? Don’t be afraid to say ‘no’ to someone if it doesn’t feel right. That’s your intuition telling you it won’t work out for the best.

king of pentacles2. Set Clear Expectations

Just like reading for a paying client, it’s important to set clear expectations with your friend before you start the Tarot reading. You’ve been studying the Tarot for some time and have an idea of what the Tarot can and can’t tell you, but your friend may not know this. So be sure to explain how a Tarot reading works, and what she can expect from consulting the cards. You also want to make sure she knows the Tarot may give insights or messages that you both already know. That doesn’t mean the insight isn’t important or that you’re faking it, but rather that it’s crucial information and requires attention.

Also, do your best to prepare her in case there is a message that is difficult to hear. To avoid hurting her, you will want to check in with your friend beforehand, to see if there is any topic in particular she doesn’t want to discuss at length. This way you’ll avoid going into depth on any topics that are too personal or private.

And finally, be sure to decide ahead of time if you’re OK doing more than one reading for her, or if she can ask follow up questions. Then, whatever you decide, make sure you communicate that clearly ahead of time.

3. Protect Your Friend’s Privacy

When you begin the reading with your friend, you may discover some of her deepest fears or even some dark secrets. Your intuition will be your guide through this, so be sure to check in and feel out the situation. If you feel that the reading is veering towards new and potentially painful subjects, especially ones she has not yet shared with you, take extra care to be a good friend. Ask for permission first to share your insights on what could be a very personal topic.

Help your friend feel safe by assuring her that you will not share what has come up in the reading with anyone else. You may also agree that what happens in the reading, stays in the reading, and that you won’t discuss it afterward. You want her to feel comfortable in a potentially vulnerable position.

strength tarot meaning4. Leave Your Personal Opinions Aside

Chances are, your friend may ask for insight on a situation you already know about, and may have opinions on. If your friend is asking about her relationship, and you strongly believe she should leave the person she is with, you should still do your best to remain objective and read exactly what you see, rather than what you want to see, or what want you her to see.

This can be hard, even for the most experienced Tarot reader. So be sure to set an intention before the reading begins to leave aside your personal opinions and judgments so that you can give a clear and honest Tarot reading for your friend.

5. Make it an Enriching and Fun Experience!

The most important thing in a Tarot reading is to have fun! Remember to enjoy the experience and make it as enriching and positive as possible. You’re here to support your friend on her journey, and your friend is here to support you as you grow. Take care of both of you and your friendship.

Tarot card images are from the beautiful Wild Unknown deck by Kim Krans.

About Brigit Esselmont

Brigit is a professional Tarot reader & teacher, intuitive coach and spiritual entrepreneur. She is the founder of Biddy Tarot and inspires over two million people each year to transform their lives with the Tarot. A self-confessed Tarot lover, Brigit can’t help but spread the love to other Tarot enthusiasts. Sign up for her free email tutorial series - 5 Simple Steps to Read Tarot with Confidence.

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