How Long Does A Tarot Reading Take? What to Expect

How long does a tarot reading take?

Whether you’re a believer in the power of Tarot card reading or you think it’s a bunch of ‘woo-woo,’ getting your cards read can be a helpful new perspective on your current circumstances. You can take from it what you want or remain a skeptic, but there is no harm in seeing how accurate they can get.

If you’re interested in getting a reading but feel weirded out or uncertain, this guide should ease any of your reservations. How long does a tarot reading take?

The duration can be anywhere from two minutes to two hours. It will depend on what kind of reader you’ve hired and how in-depth you want them to be. Mediums charge per reading or for specific-minute session. What to expect will depend on each individual, and what you’re seeking to gain from the reading.

Do not expect complete accuracy but expect to see your life through a new perspective. We will dive into all of the most-asked questions regarding tarot card readings like session-duration, cost, how to spot a fake tarot card reader, the mentality you should have going into the reading, and so much more.

You don’t need to be shy about your naivety on the subject because after reading this quick guide – you will go into your reading with a more open heart, feeling confident and receptive to what you are about to experience.

Before getting into the details, I want to point out the Related Articles section at the bottom of this post. I’ve included articles that fit nicely with this one.

Table of Contents

How Long Does a Tarot Reading Take?

My goal is for you to go into your reading without fear or uncertainty. It is an experience that countless people have experienced over thousands of years, and mediums date back to the beginning of time.

Everyone feels lost sometimes and doesn’t know what direction to turn into or where their next steps should lead. Asking people in your life for advice is one way to make decisions, and consulting a spiritual medium is simply another.

The time of the session can be broken down into common measurements for pricing, such as:

  • 5-minute reading 
  • 20-minute reading
  • 30-minute reading
  • 60-minute reading
  • 150-minute reading
  • 1-time reading at any length (priced by reading not by the minute) = it takes as long as it takes.

As you can see, there is a lot of flexibility in how long you can receive a reading and how much you’ll consequently be charged for it. The longer the reading, the higher the price, usually averaging to about $1 per minute but could cost more.

Some readings may be over in a couple of minutes, but this will commonly be in more casual settings like festivals. If you’re hiring a professional medium (Tarot reader), they will most likely set aside a more extended amount of dedicated time for you. This allows them to go deeper into your story and understand you and provide a more comprehensive reading.

If you’re a skeptic, you may say the longer time frame allows them to get to know you better and therefore understand how to lie to you better. It will all depend on the mentality you have going into the reading, which we will cover later in depth.

In my opinion, you get what you put into something. If you are assuming that the person providing the reading is “lying” or “faking” then you aren’t going to enjoy the experience. If you have an open mind and positive attitude then you are going to have a better experience!

I wrote a couple of other posts, that I will also link at the bottom, that you might also find interesting:

What to Expect From Your Tarot Reading Setting

You may be picturing the Moroccan rugs everywhere, crystals scattered around the room, and low lights with curtains draped around you and on the table. Your visual may not be far off in this case.

There is a particular style and appearance that a psychic needs to give off, and many will play to the stereotypes. You may need to research the right kind of psychic medium for you and find someone that is less ‘woo-woo’ or spiritual if you’re looking for a more high-class reading.

Sometimes the décor and ambiance are ways for fake mediums to appear more authentic. Try to read the situation and determine if the décor of your reading space is the medium’s general style or if she’s using flashy designs to distract you from her lack of skill as a reader.

If you’re being fooled by your environment, it’s much easier to scam you. So, don’t be fooled by the glitziest room or most bohemian vibe. The more important factor will be how you feel talking to the reader if you connect, and if you believe what they are telling you.

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If it feels like a scam, it’s probably a scam.

What To Expect During the Reading

You should expect the following to happen during your reading:

  1. The medium will probably take payment beforehand (this is because they don’t want you to hate your reading and refuse payment at the end). Although, I know some readers who won’t accept payment until the reading is done.
  2. They’ll sit you down in a chair and perhaps begin by hearing a bit about your situation and asking you a few questions.

You don’t necessarily want to give the reader too much detail when you first meet. A good reader will pick up on your vibe and your energy.

Your reader will want to connect with your energy and understand why you want the reading. Personally, I think it’s best to keep the initial discussion to a minimum.

If they pry too much information out of you, it’s hard to tell if they are really connecting with their intuition or just guessing based on your conversation.

  • Next, they may read your palm first to gain a better understanding of your lineage, heart paths, and life-line.
  • At this point, they should begin to lay out the cards or have you place your hands over them. This is the transference of your energy to the cards, and your medium may ask you to engage with them in some physical way.
  • They may ask you questions along the way like, Tarot cards are full of symbolism and the symbols can mean many different things. It’s the reader’s role to interpret the symbols and how they relate to you, so expect some conversation to occur.
  • The more honest you are (without telling too much) the more you can help your medium (Tarot reader) provide an accurate reading for you.

The process will take as long as you’ve selected to pay for, and then you will leave with a new perspective.

After your first reading, you may leave feeling more skeptical than ever, but at least the process won’t be foreign to you, and you’ve gained a unique experience.

I’ve had friends who raved about their first reading and how accurate it was. I’ve had others who thought it was just OK.

Again, you get what you expect. If after you have your first reading, you want to purchase cards of your own and try it yourself, I would typically recommend the Rider Waite-Smith Deck for first-time Tarot readers.

This deck isn’t expensive and there is more written about this deck and its symbolism and meaning than most other decks. I also wrote an article that asks the question, Can anyone read Tarot cards?, to give you a little inspiration.

The Mentality to Take into Your Reading

Of course, I am not here to tell you how to feel during your reading. But since you are researching it, I will go ahead and believe that you want it to be accurate and are not overly skeptical about the process.

A bit of skepticism is good, as it will help you to notice if someone is scamming you. If you’re too ready to believe, you will believe everything they say without substantial evidence or proof.

Don’t go in too desperately to speak to a loved one or hear a particular fortune, or you may be easily fooled. Approach your reading with an open mind, that never hurts!

My advice would be that you enter the process with an open mind.

People consult professionals all the time for business advice or priests for religious guidance and forgiveness.  You are merely visiting a spiritual guide for guidance on your spiritual world and future.

If you feel the process is demonic or have been raised in a religious household that banned this sort of behavior as ungodly, then I recommend you release those judgments before entering your reading.

Take it for what it is.

You don’t have to sell your soul to the devil or believe a word of it if you don’t want to. You only have to sit there and see if there is anything for you to gain from the experience.

It’s not a religious conversion or a blood contract; it’s a simple conversation with a spiritually-connected person that wants to help guide you.

See it as a sort of “fun therapy” which you can take value from or not, depending on how accurate the reading ends up being for you.

In most cases, the reader is there to connect with her intuition and provide you with an answer to your question. Often that answer is something you may not have thought about yourself, or is something that you wouldn’t consider from a close friend or family member.

Reasons to Embrace the Tarot Process

Just to offer you some arguments for why you should go ahead and try out a tarot card reading are:

  • It may provide you with a new way to see your life and change the lenses by which you perceive your surroundings.
  • Not only is it a way to prepare for the future, but most readings will discuss your past experiences and how they’ve shaped your future. This means it’s a great way to make peace with childhood traumas or understand why you behave in a certain way. It may liberate you from past pains and help you with what’s behind you.
  • You really have nothing to lose. So you lose 20 minutes? 20 bucks? No big deal! If it’s a bad reading that didn’t help you at all, you’ve lost about $1 a minute and can easily come back from that. It’s simply not a huge risk, and if you want to be sure you get the most out of it, be highly selective about who you hire for the reading.
  • Anything is worth a shot once, and it may give you an entirely fresh start to your life’s purpose. Stranger things have happened.

Cost of a Tarot Reading

The time duration of your appointment will differ depending on the spiritual card reader. Some of the ways in which people price their tarot readings are:

  • Perceptual Readings, which is a service run in Houston, Texas.   Lauren K charges $19.99 for a 20-minute reading, and her pricing averages at all readings to about $1 per minute. She includes crystals in her readings and oracle sessions.
  • Patti Negri is a California-based medium that charges $35 for a 30-minute reading and then a small discount for the hour session, which is $60 (again, $1 per minute).
  • Professional and celebrity mediums like Theresa Caputo may charge up to $500-$1,000 for reading, but this is not common as mediums at this level often charge for tickets through larger shows instead of private sessions.

What you can gather from this is that some mediums will charge $5 a session, some $300. It will all depend on your reputation for quality and accuracy, as well as the duration you prefer for the session.

If you’re a top reader who nails it on the head every time and people notice that – you will be paid more. If you’re just making up stuff at a carnival for fun, you probably shouldn’t charge over $10 a reading.

Same goes for the purchaser of this reading: if the price sounds extreme and there is no reputational merit to justify the high cost, don’t fall victim to price gauges.

You can have a quality reading for around $1 a minute. So, just as the tarot card reader should not undervalue or undercharge themselves, you shouldn’t overpay as the customer. 

I would advise that you trust your gut on prices. Shop around for a quality reader that is known to be accurate or have high ratings. They may be worth a bit more investment if you’re taking the process seriously and truly want to gain something from the session.

If price is a concern, you could always purchase your own Tarot cards and give yourself a reading… Like I mentioned before, Rider Waite-Smith decks are great. Each deck has it’s own imagery and energy. Check out: Light Seer’s Tarot deck, The Wild Unknown Tarot deck.

There are other decks, different than Tarot called Oracle cards. Universal Tart Pack, includes Tarot and Oracle cards at a very good price. Moonology Orcale cards have really nice imagery.

How To Spot a Fake Tarot Card Reader

There can be fakers out there. Some people are just good at reading people and filling in the blanks. If you’re an emotional wreck about a love interest, it’s easy for a reader to pick up on this and give you answers that sound accurate and may blow you away – but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re psychic.

However, the advice they give you might be something that you need to hear. You never know!

There is a lot of talent out there and a lot of scammers. My best tips for how to spot a fake are:

  • They ask you too many questions before the reading. I covered this one above, but if they’re trying to pry the answer right from your hands, they clearly aren’t coming up with these answers from divine sources. If they’re getting all the answers from you and offering little information in return – they’re probably just good scammers, not psychic.
  • They don’t really answer you. Sometimes you’ll pay for a reading only to leave and realize that they never really addressed the specific question you’ve asked. They may have bounced around the answer or dodged more direct answers, which is a sign they’re avoiding being too specific (AKA avoiding being wrong and then being exposed as a fraud).
  • They dis-empower you. This is another way to get more money out of you and give them an upper-hand in a power stance. A good reader will help you find the answer in a healthy way and not make you feel less sure of yourself than you did coming in the door.

A real sign of this is when you’re the kind of person that says, ‘I need to go to my medium once a week,’ or they build a codependent relationship from which they can financially benefit. I wrote an article about how often you should have a Tarot reading, read it here.

A real psychic won’t pour one reading into the next by making you feel reliant on their advice, but rather, empower you to have the strength individually by giving you all your answers in one session.

The psychic tries to get more money out of you.

Sometimes at the end of a reading, mediums can get pushy about driving you to purchase more minutes or saying things like, ‘if I just had more time, I could tell you the answer.’ This is a clear indication that they are only after your money and not interested in helping you.

Avoid these people like the plague, or they will suck a weak-minded or desperate person dry. Go in with your head high and a smidge of skepticism to avoid them trying to wring you out like a washcloth.

Tip: If they reader keeps repeating themselves all the time and starts going over things that they have already covered, then you’ve come to the end of your reading. No need to pay more, if you are paying by the minute.

Lastly, trust your instincts.

If it just feels like they are feeding you what you want to hear, they probably are. Always trust your gut as it rarely leads us astray.

Some energies will make you more uncomfortable than others, but your reader should be inviting and welcoming. If the feeling is heavy or forced, they are probably coming from a place of in-authenticity.

Final Tips on the Accuracy of Your Reading

If you’re paying a professional for their time, you want to feel that you’re getting an accurate reading.

What I would recommend that goes hand in hand with your mentality for the reading – don’t expect perfection or accuracy.

The job of the psychic is to give your small pushes in one direction or help you find the answer. They are not there to tell you precise instructions on how to handle your life.

The point of the reading is not to be given a recipe for life, but rather to provide you with clues to answers that you may have already known on the inside but needed a final nudge to listen to.

You need to be able to analyze many aspects of your life to have a successful reading and don’t take every card at face value.

For example, in my first reading, I got the card of death.

This isn’t a scary thing at all, and what it really symbolizes is the end of something in your life. You may be leaving a job, a long-term relationship, or experiencing some kind of metaphorical death in your life that leaves room for rebirth.

Each card should be taken in this symbolic manner, not read to precision, but instead, read for understanding. Relate it to your own life, and you will be able to piece together the puzzle of your reading into a specific message or take away.

Again, I don’t think the point should be to feel it was perfect, spot-on, or be blown away with the medium’s accuracy. I think you can be a non-believer and still walk away with a fresh take on your life and a new way to see your situation.

Take it as if a ‘Life Consultant’ just helped you work through a problem you’ve been facing, leading you to the answer but ultimately not handing it to you.

You don’t need to believe in spirituality or psychics for this – you only need to believe in yourself.

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I’d love to hear about your experience.  Please connect with me, after you’ve had a reading…

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How long does a Tarot Reading take
How long does a Tarot reading take
How long does a tarot reading take?




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