There is a rule of thumb in media production…for every second you see and hear on the screen, there is at least an hour of writing, recording, filming, mixing and editing. ‘So it is with developing your oracle business,’ says Tarot reader, teacher and mentor, Katrina Wynne. ‘You invest your heart and time into learning your craft, but then how do you let the world know who you are and what you have to offer?’
Katrina has distilled her 40+ years of experience into her Professional Tarot Consulting – Level One Program which is available worldwide through Global Spiritual Studies twice a year. The eight classes in the program are supported by eight weeks of interaction with Katrina and fellow students through a private online discussion group.
‘When I created the program, it became very clear that in order to prepare my students for the real world of being a professional oracle, I needed not only to cover the topic of consulting oracles, but also to coach them on promotional skills and opportunities.’
Here I talk with Katrina about the two classes in the Developing Your Practice section of the program which covers:
- basic counseling skills and ethical guidelines
- developing and promoting your service.
The Professional Tarot Consulting – Certificate Program is packaged in such a way that you can purchase classes separately without undertaking the whole program.
Linda: You say ‘growing old is not for sissies and being an independent entrepreneur is for the diligent.’ My sentiments exactly! So tell us about a typical day in the life of an independent oracle entrepreneur.
Katrina: Today I was on Skype and email planning my 2015 Tarot Tour where I will be visiting Tarot Meetups in at least three different cities, along with conference speaking appearances, workshops, private appointments for readings, and more. I feel fortunate that I took typing in high school, started computing with the Apple II Plus when first released in 1979, studied photography, and continue to learn desktop publishing skills as the software evolves. This gives me a one-woman office that creates all my websites, promotional materials, PowerPoint presentations for teaching and self-published books.
The point I’m making is that many of us work more hours a day creating perpetual promotions for our service than the actual time we spend engaged in our art. I have daily office hours where I send and receive emails, confer on Skype and phone, and create new projects. Modern oracles invest their time on social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, sharing their insights, experience, and personal anecdotes. Is all this necessary? Not for everyone, but I would venture it is paramount for those who are creating a new business or sustaining a successful practice. In this video, business coach, Marie Forleo, shares her wisdom on the subject of A.B.M. – Always be marketing.
Linda: You take a counselling approach to readings and discuss this in the first class. Could you describe how you approach a reading from a counselling perspective? What happens when a client makes an appointment or walks through the door? What can they expect when a reader is using counselling skills?
Katrina: Hmm, it’s difficult to answer this question because each client is absolutely unique. My goal is not necessarily to put them at ease. I would rather explore the uneasiness so the client finds their own way through the situation they helped to create. I have no preference for how they feel, but do wish our time together to produce something useful. My job is to raise awareness about the needs behind their emotions and to empower clients to make decisions that are more life-affirming.
There’s so much more to this question than can be written in a paragraph, but what I would like to highlight is the difference between leading or following a client. By leading I mean the reader delivers the reading, including an interpretation of the cards, while the client is predominately on the receiving end, the passive listener, or reader of the message.
First, to follow a client means that the client sets the direction, not only with topic selection, but with the style and tone of the interaction. A secondary meaning, and more challenging for most readers, is following the client’s experience of the cards, not the interpretation. This requires advanced skills, including an open mind, patience, and a sincere interest in the client and their journey through the reading. I talk about this in more detail in this article on my website.
Linda: Without breaching client confidentiality, can you give us an example?
Katrina: Yes I can, because a client has given me permission to use their experience as a teaching tool. This person came to me for a 1-hour Tarot session and as I explored their current state it quickly became apparent that suicide was being considered. I’m not intimidated by this subject and am well qualified to support a client with this issue. Here’s my advice for situations of this kind.
- The first skill is to hear the client’s issue without fear or judgment.
- Consider whether you are the best match for this client’s issue or whether to make a referral. In the issue of suicidal ideation, do you have a plan to support the client’s immediate need? If yes, put that plan into action.
- If reading is part of that action plan, and it is suitable to continue with the reading, step back and let the cards appear that wish to guide the client’s awareness about this existential crisis.
- Be the bridge to understanding for the client, not the tour bus guide who narrates the road ahead.
- Notice if the client is able to make connections between the feelings that drew them into the reading and what the cards reveal.
- Once the reading’s message has made a home in the client’s heart, mind, body, and spirit, you know the reading is complete. If there are blocks to understanding or limits to the client’s ability to open, support the client where they are and reinforce what was useful in the reading.
My suicidal client was able to make profound connections to their fascination with death in a way that was deeply empowering and life sustaining. I no longer had concerns about suicidal plans, for the reading had reframed these thoughts in more soulful and personally meaningful terms.
Linda: Why is it important for readers to have a code of ethics?
Katrina: A Code of Ethics is for clients as well as the reader. It clearly defines who is offering the service, the reader’s values, skills, and boundaries, thus revealing what the client may confidently anticipate.
Linda: What are the three main challenges you see emerging Tarot practitioners facing these days and what advice do you have about meeting those challenges?
Katrina: Firstly, be prepared to dig deep. Anyone can quickly become interested in Tarot or other oracles because there’s so much information on the internet (mostly in short presentations). Now I find this exciting, but be warned – this is only the first stage to learning the magic of this art…much like the tip of an iceberg. As II High Priestess challenges us, are you ready to go beyond the veil?
Secondly, the stereotype that readings are just ‘fortune telling’. This is a valid form of reading, but is not always the most empowering or ethical for your clients. Much like the multicolored rainbow of people, there is also a diversity of styles of reading and connecting. Search your own heart and conscience to see what path as a reader is most meaningful to you.
Thirdly, on a personal note for readers…I believe it is best to do an honest personal inventory of your gifts, skills, interests, passion, opportunities, challenges, blocks, fears, and access to appropriate support. This personal inventory will not only inform you about what you are best suited for sharing with the world, but can lead you then to the greatest teachers, services, and path for you to reach your highest potential.
Linda: What about the financial side of running an ‘Oracle’ business – what tips do you have for emerging professionals about pricing their services, about deciding how to spend money to make money?
Katrina: Talking with similar practitioners in your area, physical or cyber, and matching their prices is a good place to start, plus it’s a wonderful way to create community and support each other with referrals. Sometimes it’s considered rude to under price for the same service, but in the capitalist model of business, that would be the strategic thing to do. Your choice.
The oracle business model is really no different to the model for any other business. You need to look at your overhead and expenses, including time, and weigh that against what the market will support. A key issue that may arise is whether your community has laws or ordinances that challenge having an oracle business.
Linda: Do you think it’s worth investing in the services of a business coach?
Katrina: Absolutely! Whether it’s engaging a coach who knows about your specific practice, or enrolling in general business classes designed to support a thriving office, this is all part of setting up a professional business.
Katrina’s recommended reading on the business of being an oracle:
- Professional Tarot: The Business of Reading, Consulting, and Teaching — Christine Jette
- Fortune Stellar: What Every Professional Tarot Reader Needs to Know — Christiana Gaudet
- The Medicine Woman’s Guide to Being in Business for Yourself: How to Live by Your Spiritual Vision in a Money-Based World — Carol Bridges
About Katrina Wynne
Katrina Wynne, MA, an internationally recognized teacher and professional psycho-spiritual counselor, has guided thousands of souls throughout the world on their sacred journey. She combines 40+ years experience with Tarot and other metaphysical traditions with over 25 years as a mental/spiritual health counselor to support your most wonderful life. In 1998 Katrina developed her Transformative Tarot Counseling Certification Program in answer to the many requests she received to learn the higher art of reading. Now offered as an exclusive opportunity on Global Spiritual Studies, she presents the key concepts of this program in a variety of formats. For more information about Katrina Wynne, MA, please visit her website and her page on Global Spiritual Studies.
Over to you!
Whether you have a flourishing oracle business or just starting your business, did you identify with any of the issues raised by Katrina? Did you find Katrina’s advice about responding to people in crisis helpful? Do you agree with the points she raises? We’d love to hear from you!