The Ethics of Divination

IMG_0039-0When someone asks me for an intuitive or tarot reading, I feel honored.  Someone is asking for me to give them insight into their life, and that is serious business.  Even the ones that come in for the fun of it realize that divination can bring good insight and information.  Therefore it is my job (and my honor) to give them the most accurate reading I can.

When I first started giving readings roughly 20 years ago, there weren’t many people that had a set of ethical guidelines that they followed.  But over the years I realized one was necessary, so I came up with my own set of guidelines that I follow for each and every reading.  I take this stuff very seriously, and I hope other readers do the same.

  1. Readings shall be confidential
    A lot of the readings I have done over the years involved very personal circumstances.  While the reading itself may not pick out specifics, the client many times will volunteer further information when they realize what it is I am talking about. Once the client starts to recognize the reader understands the situation, they relax.  Many times, that means the lines of “reader/client” relationships starts to blur into to one where two friends are discussing a problem.  In those cases, we become trusted advisers and counselors.  It is for this very reason that I keep all readings confidential.This is also why I try to speak in a lower tone while doing readings in public.  It may mean that I have to respectfully ask another potential client to wait deeper in the store or somewhere away from the area I am reading.  It also means I have to respectfully bypass any questions by anyone else other than the client.  In those cases, keeping business cards available or asking a friend to keep your appointments during public reading sessions is a good idea.    Any prospective clients eyeing you will recognize the level of professionalism you bring to your work, and that you truly care about your clients.One disclaimer here – Should the client openly speak about committing actions that are clearly against the law, the reader should report these actions to the authorities.  In most states, rules of confidentially only apply to licensed clergy, doctor/patient privilege, spousal privilege and attorney/client privilege.  Should the reader keep serious crimes they are aware of their clients committing (or considering committing) to themselves, it could be considered bad karma, and in rare cases, the reader could be subject to prosecution.  For those of us with legal clergy licenses, it is something that you also could be bound to do, depending on the oaths you took regarding your specific clergy designation.


  1. Readings shall not be biased
    In smaller communities it is very common to read the same person multiple times. It might be hard, but it is very important to go into readings with repeat clients in a non-biased manner.  If the reader comes into the reading remembering the previous month’s reading with the client, they may miss something new and important that is happening now.  Circumstances change frequently and unless the reader is aware of every moment of the client’s life between readings, it is very hard to connect one reading with another.In smaller communities it is also easy to overhear gossip about other people.  We are human, and whether or not we participate in that gossip, having it in the back of your mind when you do a reading for someone whose issues are well known can also cause bias.  It is very important that should the reader be aware of possible situations that they try to be as unbiased as possible.  This may mean that the reader has to excuse themselves instead of possibly giving a biased reading.  I would much rather do that than to try and push it with someone I have strong feelings toward, or if I know something about a question than to deal with the karma (or the client’s patrons/guardians/spirit friends!) that a biased reading would cause.


  1. Each client gets 100% of the attention, 100% of the time
    At least once every other month I get a request from a client that wants to “test” me. This person may not believe in divination, or was ‘put up’ to getting one from their friends as a joke.  Or, someone might be testing my ability before they recommend me to a friend.  In every one of these cases it is very important that the reader treats the clients with the same respect as they would treat someone that is taking the reading very seriously.  There have been many times I have turned skeptics into believers because of my professional attitude and accuracy.Does this mean that all readings must be done with the utmost seriousness?  Not really.  Humor has its place in readings too.  However, being humorous should not also mean being disrespectful to the client, their guides, your guides, the tools and gifts you have and the Gods and Goddesses in a reading.


  1. Readers shall not diagnose health issues unless they are properly trained and certified to do so
    This is BIG TIME important. As a medical intuitive, I have on occasion gotten information about medical issues my clients are having.  But I fully recognize I am not a trained nurse or doctor.  Therefore if I am seeing someone having a medical issue, I will phrase it as “have you talked to your doctor about….?”  If they have not spoken to their doctor, I tell them the indicator that I am seeing, the level of intensity that I see it at, and suggest that it might be something they look into.  I NEVER, EVER try to diagnose something.  It’s not my place, and I don’t want to be liable.If a mental health indicator comes up repeatedly, or if I recognize a possible mental health issue (a field where I do have training), I might GENTLY suggest to the client discussion with a licensed mental health professional.  This is an area where you have to be very careful.  No one is going to be happy with you if you tell them that they are crazy and need professional help!  Instead, you could mention that speaking to a professional might alleviate some stress or pent up energy that they have regarding a specific issue.Another disclaimer – if someone is threatening to hurt someone else or themselves, take it seriously and report it.  You don’t have to let the client know you are doing it.  Just get as much information as you can, and report it to the proper authorities after the reading is completed.


  1. Readers shall not internalize the client’s reading and/or the client’s issues 
    This was SO HARD for me to learn.  Most readers have an empathic nature, if they are not a full blown empath themselves.  So when serious issues come up during readings, it’s hard not to internalize problems.  We want the best for our clients.  Therefore it’s hard not to get upset when something comes up.  But the reader has to do everything that they can to release that energy.  This has serious consequences for the reader, especially if it is allowed to build.  Regular spiritual cleansings, taking breaks between readings and letting go all of the information about the reading after it is over are all good ways to release that energy.  The reader should also recognize their own endurance here.  If I am constantly giving readings for several hours, I know I am going to need significant time the next day to rest and recharge.


  1. Readers shall forgive themselves for readings that appear inaccurate
    I have seen this come up a couple of different ways. First, I’ve had clients whose energy reads like a black hole – there ain’t NOTHING coming out of the cards, nor is there any energy coming from the client.  A second way is that I feel like I didn’t properly communicate the information or a concern that I was trying to explain to the client.  In both of those cases, I need to trust my guides and my gifts to do the reading and accept what is happening.  It’s happening that way for a reason.  I have to pull my feelings out of it and do my absolute best.  That is all I can do.
    Finally, I might be reading for a child, a person who speaks broken English or an older client that only accepts Christianity as their true religion.  In those cases I do my best to use terminology that I know the client understands.  I know I need patience, and I also may need to explain the same information in multiple ways using different terminology.


As well as adhering to those guidelines, I also try to present myself in a professional manner.  I dress comfortably, but in a more formal manner, as I would for a day at the office.  I also try to wear clothes that are lighter in color.

So that’s my list!  It has changed just a little bit over time.   I’m happy to know that there are tarot organizations out there that have guidelines similar now, but I still think these fit for the experiences I have had over the years.


Author: Karlesha

I am a martial artist, historical fencer, yogi, runner, intuitive / empath, diviner and pagan. My passion is learning about myself, where I fit in the world and where I can do the most good.

4 thoughts on “The Ethics of Divination”

  1. Though I don’t read for others often, these are great to remember. I love your caring style. Do you know what deck is pictured in the photo? It’s lovely.


    1. Thank you! This is the Fenestra Tarot Deck. This is the deck that tells things like it is. If a client wants a ‘cut to the chase’ type of reading, I pull this deck out. It doesn’t pull punches.

      Liked by 1 person

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