Fill your cup get your money's worth in a tarot or astrology reading
Seeking a reading is going to someone with a cup. The emptier that cup is, the more you’re able to fill it. Is there a hole in the cup? Is the cup already full, so when you try to fill it with something new, that new liquid starts to go in but mainly just ends up spilling off over the edges and making a mess everywhere? Should you just get a bigger cup? ...

Seeking a reading is going to someone with a cup. The emptier that cup is, the more you’re able to fill it. Is there a hole in the cup? Is the cup already full, so when you try to fill it with something new, that new liquid starts to go in but mainly just ends up spilling off over the edges and making a mess everywhere? Should you just get a bigger cup?

If you’re just here for the tips, skip to the list at the bottom.


When I read for a well-known divination house, I didn’t choose my clients. I didn’t even see these strangers if they phoned in. (It is, by the way, completely possible to read energy remotely.) I used to get really annoyed if I sensed a client was calling while driving, walking a dog, stoned, drunk, futzing around or only half paying attention.

Sometimes I called them on it, but as they were paying by the minute, and I was working for someone else, I usually held my tongue. These were people coming to me without the capacity to receive. There was too much stuff in their cups to take in anything more, yet they were persuasively demanding more.

Yes, it is certainly possible for some to multi-task while talking. And yes, a good reader should not emotionally invest in whether or not someone takes advice. Objectivity is part of the gift required to read in the first place. People have free will. A reader is and always should be just a guide, otherwise the client is usually giving their personal power away.


My beef: these folks were paying me, I could feel their desperation and vulnerability, and I was frustrated for them because even if I told them specific answers, truths, confirmation, they would likely never integrate any of it in a meaningful way. I valued them more than they valued themselves, i.e., I cared too much. And, the feeling of knowing someone is unnecessarily pissing away time or money is not pleasant. I also knew these were the types to call back in about a week or so and often get the same exact cards popping up. (Yes, tarot cards can indeed be funny like that.)

It frustrated me the most because it’s all so preventable. These clients would rather pay to project their rebellious feelings of being neglected onto a perceived authority figure instead of valuing their own time, let alone the time of another. And they don’t even realize they’re doing it.


Their shadow is screaming for help, but they don’t have the energetic capacity to take the full step, because they didn’t prepare for having a session. They feel neglected by a partner, a parent, God, the Universe. So, instead of helping a client over an often manageable hurdle, the magical reader is resigned to simply play the part AND receive the projection of that unfeeling, insensitive archetype plaguing the client, and the session turns into theatrical psychodrama. I would literally see the client’s face, body language, voice, and mannerisms regress to some aspect locked in another point of time.

The client offloads emotionally onto the reader without creating the space and presence to effect positive change. In a matter of time, the client will feel a need to offload again, without really changing, and the cycle continues. Is it any wonder, then, why psychic burn-out among readers is so common?


It’s a similar energetic with the people who feel they shouldn’t have to pay or even barter for a session. These individuals are so paradoxically disempowered and entitled that they feel you and the world owes them answers without them having to do a damn thing. Again, most don’t even realize they’re doing it. And it happens more often in this field because so much of it feels intangible.

Maybe magic is fake, or maybe they’ve had a bad reading before, so since there’s no concrete value in what comes from it, an even exchange between practitioner and client shouldn’t matter. On some level they’ve already decided there’s no space for change, because their cup is too full, and they’re looking for a magical pill that they don’t even have the capacity to swallow.

You don’t go for a haircut and suddenly start spinning around or bobbing and weaving in the chair. You sit still. You also don’t just expect the hairdo to be free or run off without paying. In a hair salon, you’re sitting in front of a literal mirror the whole time. In a divinatory reading, it’s a symbolic one. Your presence and receptivity is a big part of the result.


The good news is, when you can’t sit still, or when you’re behaving in a chronically entitled fashion, you’ve identified your problem: your cup needs some cleaning before you’re ready to make use of a real reading. If you know this and just want to blow some money on good, cheap, disposable fun, that’s your prerogative, and there are probably plenty of readers ready to entertain you.

Entertainment value aside, if you’ve got a cup full of funk, an informational reading is unlikely to do much for you, because you can’t listen even if you wanted to. You’re presently afraid to change your life and resolve situations in a sustainable way, so you (usually unconsciously) create diversions to really connecting or committing to a balanced and present dialogue and exchange with your reader.

That’s not something to feel bad about, as change can be destabilizing. It might not be a good time to pave the way for change until you’re ready to hold space for it. A good and honest reader is likely to even sense this immediately and let you know. Keep doing the same thing expecting a different result until you can prioritize opening yourself up. When it’s time to stop that hamster wheel, you’ll feel it.


“But I do listen,” you might think. Perhaps some deep inner anger or sadness is too loud, with perfectly justifiable reason. Energetically this means that when the opportunity to change your mind or behavior arises in your life, the avoidant and protective part of you pulls up and says, “Get in, loser.” You hop in its car and time travel back to childhood or a point of significant emotion elsewhere on your timeline to prevent you from executing change in the present. You feel lost, because part of you is.

Another problem is, in times of desperation, confusion, or feeling lost, people tend to suddenly subscribe to a very fixed predetermination, even when they say they don’t. They feel so unable to trust themselves that they need someone else to tell them exactly what to do. And then once someone starts giving suggestions, the inner child/authority rebellion described above often can get triggered. When this cycle happens frequently enough, the repetition can beget an addiction of some kind to further ground the habits and ensure that truth and change don’t manage to slip in and rock the boat.


Just as you might opt to do some grooming or pick out an outfit that makes you feel good before getting a headshot taken, a similar preparation can happen before a reading. With minimal preliminary effort, no matter what kind of cup you have, full, funky, whatever, your reader can meet you where you are, honor that, and still provide some useful insights, but it’s up to the client to allow that.

If, for example, you are willing to take even just a moment to meditate in stillness before your reading, it’s a good sign that you value yourself enough, you’re devoted enough to the process, and receptive enough to get something out of it.


  • Choose a reader that feels right to you. Do your research, ask questions, meditate on whether that person is a good fit for you and your needs. Feel into whether it’s the right time for your reading.
  • Clean your energy physically, mentally, emotionally, and even spiritually before the session in a way that feels right to you.
  • Take a literal shower or salt bath. Imagine repetitive thoughts, negative self-talk, projections of others, fears wash down the drain.
  • Play healing music, solfeggio frequencies, or whatever jams get you in a good headspace or feel right in that moment.
  • If you’re in your head a lot, journal before your session to help purge some of the mental-emotional static. This way you can more easily identify the questions and areas of your life that mean the most to you.
  • Go for a walk or connect with Nature, spend a moment barefoot on the Earth, get some space in solitude to separate from influences in your home or work environment that may have a bigger hold on you than you think. If Nature is not accessible to you, go for a drive.
  • Meditate, reflect on, or make a list of all the questions, topics, and areas of life that you would like more clarity on. Circle or underline the top three. Sometimes a session is a journey that takes on its own form, but if you know what you want to talk about, have a reminder of those things handy.
  • Eat light, healthy foods, drink plenty of water (and ideally have some water on you during the session), and stretch or do some yoga. Does this really matter? Yes. If your body isn’t flowing and circulating, how do you expect your mind and emotions to? How you maintain your physical vessel can often give insight to the nature of the symbolic vessel you’re filling up in session.
  • Don’t get drunk or high before or during your session. Substances have a bio-chemical agenda. If you want clarity, do yourself a favor by letting your actual energy be read. Depressants might make an individual feel like their opportunities are more limited than they actually are. Uppers might give unrealistic expectations. Hallucinogens might confuse your perception of time and what’s occurring in the present.
  • Unless your reading involves energy clearing or traumatic subject matter, record your session. You could also take notes. Please note that readings will reflect your energy at the moment of the session, just like a photograph. Sometimes it’s helpful to listen back at a later date, as elements of many readings have a timeless quality to them. In other instances, some of the information may become obsolete if you shift your energy in a big way, so please do not feel the need to overly attach to the information or put your life on hold waiting for things to happen. Use discernment.  
  • After your session, rest, hydrate, reflect, ideally with some silence and solitude. Your body is still integrating the new information, and if you’re relaxed, you’re more likely to clearly identify what resonates for you and what doesn’t. Information may continue to come through in the form of insight if you let it, and the days following sessions are powerful spaces to actuate positive changes and new habits.