Decision paralysis is a thing.
I get it all the time when faced with one of those large, delicious sounding Chinese restaurant menus. At the same time, the Zen simplicity of a hibachi restaurant is just as delicious. I like having some choices. I have to follow a special diet, and some super small limited menus present a whole different kind of problem.
Just like menus, there is a sweet spot in the number of cards in a layout, and the number of layout choices available to you.
There are roughly a hoozillion different Tarot card layouts. You can write one for yourself, right now. All you have to do is decide ahead of time what you want each card position to mean, keep that meaning clear in your mind as you lay out the cards, then have at it. While that works great when you are reading for yourself, it can get confusing and intimidating for a new client. Decision paralysis sets in when they are trying to decide on a new reader or which layout to get (especially if it is their very first reading or if they aren’t familiar with Tarot work.)
If you charge per minute, the layout you use doesn’t matter so much. But I feel more comfortable (and I hope my clients do too) with charging per layout. We all know the full cost up front and have a pretty good estimate about how long the session will last in advance. There is no clock watching, no extending minutes, no connection fees, no waiting times, no ambiguity about layout meanings, no pulling card after card to make things run long….or any of the other things that might give psychics and Tarot a shady reputation.
I offer a variety of layouts. It gives you choice without being too overwhelming. I’ve tried to find the just – right “Goldilocks Zone” between choice and decision paralysis.
The layouts are organized two ways, price and detail. The layouts are roughly priced at $5 per card. The larger layouts cost a little more than that because more cards means more complexity and more loose ends to weave together. Larger layouts take more skill and experience to do well.
Based on my skill and 27 years of experience, the largest layout I offer only has 7 cards in it because larger ones beyond that tend to get confusing and contradictory and can muddy the waters as often as they are clarifying. Larger readings tend to lose the forest in trees, and neither of us want a session like that. The $40 seven card layout is the one used in individual sessions and lasts about an hour. It is always available by phone and email too.
On the other extreme, I have a layout of two extremes in 1 card. The one card meditation is just what the name says. On one extreme is a very broad, general idea, a bit of whole-life guidance for you to ponder. On the other extreme, this same one card approach can be laser focused, and quick, pithy update on a question IF you have recently had a longer reading on that question. Whichever context you bring to the reading, the price is right. This $5 reading is the most affordable Tarot insight around as far as I know. Even when in-person services return, this one is only available by email.
In the middle, there are two types of 3 card reading.
The Pathway layout shows the path you are on, simple as that with cards symbolizing lessons from the past, current energies, and ideas to move forward in the most empowered and positive way possible. It is $15, around 20 minutes or so in length, and is perfect for experienced spiritual seekers who just want to check in to make sure they are ‘still on the right path’
Zombie Cat YES or NO is one of my favorites, and also does just exactly what the name implies: it answers any ONE yes-or-no question with a 3 card reading. I do the reading through the “Zombie Cat” persona which gives us a little room for a tiny bit of snark and a dollop of humor. Zombie cat will take any question, he’ll even make it sound like a prediction if you really want him too as long as you realize there is a 50% chance he’ll be DEAD WRONG. Same price as as the 3 card pathway, only available by email.
And two types of 5 card reading
The Seasons of the Year is only available, well, seasonally. Look for it on the special offers offers page and in social media announcements. It has one card as a guidance or theme or meditation for each season of the coming year, no matter what time of year you get the reading done. Then there is a card to symbolize the overarching theme or energy of the whole year. This layout is $30 and is usually available winter solstice through lunar new year.
The Modern Oracle layout is named for my old website. I wrote this layout a long time ago when I first started reading professionally. It is specifically designed to show the path you are on, but another path readily open to you based on your choices. This is the best all-purpose sweet-spot layout of them all and the one I recommend if it your very first reading or if you aren’t sure which one is best. It is the closest thing to a one size fits all layout that I’ve found so far. Also $30, this layout is available both by phone and email.
All email readings are also available in a video recorded form that you can download. I usually use dropbox or youtube private share to send your video file, since they are too large to send as an email attachment.
One card and seven card layouts are available in special keepsake pen and ink (on actual paper sent through the actual mail). These “InkMagick” readings include glyph-like intuitive illustrations that I call “sigil elements” since you are welcome to use them in your own sigil crafting if you choose. Prices as marked, available in the TaoCraftTarotShop on Etsy.
All policies and disclaimers apply to all layouts.
Check back this week for a behind the scenes peek at how any session works, phone, email, or in-person (if we get back to that.) If you would like to see a rough example of how things go, check out the new video about a “career reading” on the TaoCraftTarot YouTube channel.