Monday, March 26, 2012

To Certify, Or Not To Certify?

That is a common question! I'm hoping to avoid taking one side on the issue, as I have my own thoughts on it, but can understand both sides of the issue. The first question is, what does certification mean? Simply put, it means that someone or some organization has recognized you as competent and knowledgeable enough to read the Tarot for other people or yourself. There are a couple different organizations out there that provide certification, and the certification process is usually done by paying a fee and passing an exam. The American Tarot Association actually has varying levels of certification, taking into account both knowledge and experience.
The next question becomes pretty obvious from this- is it necessary to be certified? It is not necessary to read professionally- however, some people like to become certified, and if you want to call yourself certified, ethics state you need to identify who has certified you. But again, it's not necessary to have a certification to read for others. I myself did not certify, however I have read the certification requirements, and have completed them. Again, ethics prevents me from saying I'm actually certified- I'll go with able to be certified, but not certified. Some people do not choose to certify, for whatever reason. If you're looking for a reader, a certification can be a good indicator that this person knows what they are doing, but I find word of mouth tends to work pretty well also, and that there is no substitute for hard work and experience.
Ultimately certification as a reader boils down to whether you yourself feel it is necessary, either as a reader yourself or as a client. Beware any organization that claims you need to be certified to read; there is no nationally or worldwide-recognized organization of readers- no AMA for Tarot readers, so to speak. But what it all comes down to is how well a person can read the cards- part of this is intuition, and a part of it is research, I've found. Knowing the common meanings of the cards is a start, though there are multiple levels of meaning in each card, all tied together. This is where intuition comes in, as well as communication with your clients, if you're a reader, and communication with the person reading for you, if you're a client! Asking questions can help point you in the right direction, and help you to choose among the different aspects of each card, as well as establish an overall trend among the cards. Of course, before you can go off on a tangent, it definitely helps to have a good solid background knowledge of the cards, and their common meanings- these meanings and interpretations have existed for so long for a reason, but are not really absolute, and are subject to each reader and different directions they may take each card.
So in the end, it's not racking up a long list of organizations you're certified with, but rather what you know, and how experienced you are. And experience comes with time, and brings with it confidence.


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