Ten Things to Know About Booking a Party and Hiring a Reader

Hiring a tarot reader or any other type of fortune-teller or psychic for your event can be easy. At least, we try to make it easy for you here at TarotPaths!

Here are the steps you should take to make your event the best it can be!

1. What kind of party are you having?
Are you having a huge party or a small party?

It doesn't matter to a reader how big or small your party will be. All the reader needs to know is how many people are expected to be read. You and your reader can discuss the types of readings and determine from there how long readings should be and how long you need to book your reader for.

For big parties, expect two to five minutes for a reading. Count how many guests you have, multiply by reading times and you will see how much time to book.

For other types of parties, you  may wish to have specified bookings. Ten minutes, fifteen minutes, an hour, etc.

For parties over forty or fifty people, strolling is often a fun option. This requires the psychic to circulate through the crowd instead of the crowd lining up to be read.

If you are having a tea-leaf reading party, allow fifteen minutes per guest at minimum. I find I need several minutes, sometimes even ten, to really "see" the leaves.

If there are speeches and presentations during the party, deduct those times from the calculated per person individual readings, as the reader won't likely be reading during these times. The reader is paid for being there but you can really screw up the reading times if you've alloted everyone five minutes and then there's a speech for twenty minutes which means that four people won't be seen that you thought might be seen.

Calculate approximate reading times per person based on activities, festivities, parades, speeches, dances, presentations, music, other entertainment, etc.

For example, Jane hires Lady Tarot for three hours and forty people at $500. Jane will pay Lady Tarot for three hours plus any travel, parking, and gas expenses; $500 plus incidentals.

The party may include half an hour of speeches so the actual reading time will be 2.5 hours or 150 minutes. This means that forty people will get readings that are about three to four minutes each, as you also need to allow for "travel" time to get to and from the table. The base payment is still $500 even if the speeches went for forty-five minutes and thirty people were read.

2. Does your party have a theme?
If your party has a theme, your reader may or may not be game to play along. Some readers enjoy dressing up, while others don't. You should discuss your desire with your reader so neither person is disappointed.

3. What does the reader supply?
At Tarotpaths, we will arrive with our own personal metaphysical basic table decorations and our tools. That's about it. We don't provide tents, tables, chairs, flowers, bunting, vases, tea sets, massage tables, etc.

If the hostess has a request for give-aways, such as each person gets a stone or card or written prediction, horoscope scroll, etc. it needs to be discussed and prepared in advance. Any additional tinkering must be agreed upon before the event. If the hostess wants give-aways, it should be decided who is buying and paying for the give-aways.

If you are hosting a tarot reader, you will need to provide a table and two chairs at the very least. The tarot reader will likely have table cloth and decorations and cards.

If you are hosting a strolling tarot reader, there is nothing to supply. The reader will bring the cards and other tools.

If you are hosting a tea leaf reader, you will need to supply your guests with loose leaf tea, tea cups, tea saucers, tea pot, and bucket to pour out the waste. The reader will have a table cloth.

If you are hosting a Reiki party, a separate quiet room is best. A chair where the client can sit or a massage table/bed/couch where the client can lie down for treatment are necessary. The host can provide relaxing music. The reader will bring Reiki hands.

The requirements for ghost hunting, seances, and other activities can be discussed on a case-by-case basis.

4. What does the host supply for the reader?
Sometimes the reader may need to change into a costume or use the bathroom to wash her hands and so on. Many readers wash and meditate before an event so be certain to show your reader the facilities when she arrives so she can prepare and get focussed.

A change room.
A bathroom.
A table and two chairs.

These are the basic requirements of a host. Of course, offers of food and souvenirs are always welcome.

The host can go crazy creating the reading area. There have been great parties where the host created giant tents, dens, castles, creepy rooms, fantasy princess rooms, under-the-sea rooms, etc.

If the reader hasn't been paid in advance of the gig, the cash should be given when the reader arrives so she doesn't have to spend the end of her shift hunting down the host for payment.

5. Keeping track of the guests
It is up to the host to determine how the party is to be run.

If the reader is strolling, the host needs to point out the approved areas to stroll. If the host feels the reader isn't circulating enough or if the reader appears to be "trapped" by an enthusiastic guest or two, the host should feel free to show the reader to another room with other people.

If the guests are expected to see the reader at a table, this can be dealt with in a few different ways.

The most organized ways are the best ways. You don't want your focus at the party to be unhappy guests waiting for their readings. You have way too much to think about than what the tarot reader is doing with your guests.

So the very best way to handle the guests is to have a list and have at least one copy of the list posted for all to see.

You should schedule the reading times of your guests. You can have guests sign-up for specific times or just join a "first come, first served" list.  Since it is worked out ahead of time how long each reading might take, the guests can figure out when to return to the table or room for his or her allotted time.

The best parties have someone in charge of the list. Whether there is one reader or five readers or more, if there is a list and someone is in charge of wrangling the guests, the reader won't be distracted from the service she is providing to look for clients.

The reader is NOT going to look for clients or chase them down. If the guest doesn't show up at the required time, the reader isn't going to go hunt them down in the party. The designated person in charge of wrangling the guests can have that honour. If no one is in charge, and someone misses their specified time, it's too bad. It may or may not be able to be made up, it depends on how the timing and payment plans are arranged.

6. The reader needs to focus on reading not babysit or chase around guests.
Don't dump the kiddies in the room with the tarot reader.
Don't expect the reader to hunt down people who miss their times.
Keep pets away from the reader.
If someone misses his or her reading, it's not the fault of the tarot reader. It's the fault of whoever is in charge of the schedule which is never the reader.

7. If you are hiring a reader as a surprise, be certain the surprise is welcome.
I've been in several situations where I was hired as a gift for someone's party, and that person hated tarot or was afraid of tarot and just didn't trust fortune-tellers in general. It isn't a joke to present someone with a tarot reader if you know they are afraid of readers or cards or other metaphysical concepts. Readings are fun and games for some people, and a serious, religious, spiritual tool for others.

8. Don't force readings.
If someone doesn't want a reading, don't force him or her to do it. Divination isn't for everyone. Some people are superstitious. Some people aren't meant to know specific things at a specific time. Some people think it's evil to use auguries. Some people aren't ready to face reality or the Truth. Respect your guests and their faith.

9. Pay in Advance
Reading is a service. If you've read this far, you likely already know and understand this. However, many people seem to think that readings should be free.


Many of us attended school to learn this trade, as in, yes, we've paid big bucks in tuition. Therefore, being paid for our service is no different than paying your dentist or mechanic. Being a reader is not a "gift," it's a skill that has been learned and honed through years of practice and training.

Just Google the cost of becoming a Reiki Master!

A non-refundable deposit is required for parties. Full payment in advance is great. Full cash payment is expected when the reader arrives at the party.

It is up to the host to decide how the financial aspects of the party will work.

Some hosts, especially corporations, treat their guests to the readings. That is, they book the reader for three or four hours, and anyone who wants a reading can get one. The length of the readings is determined in advance between the host and reader.

Sometimes, it's prudent for guests to pay. It is up to the host to collect the money from the guests in advance to pay the reader when she arrives at the party. Of course, some people may be late and will pay later. It is still up to the host to gather up all the money to pay the reader. The reader isn't expected to chase money around when she has to sit and focus on the readings.

Tips are always welcome from both hosts and guests although readers don't put out tip jars. A bill or two pressed into the palm are a great way to show appreciation!

10. Enjoy the party
As long as your reader has water and a pay check, you don't have to worry about him or her any-more. At TarotPaths, we've been working parties for twenty years. We know how to read for party guests and how to amuse people if the party is slow or unexpected numbers show up or don't show up. Your reader is somewhat flexible and wants to help you make your party a big success.

The more advice you ask us in advance of your party, the bigger success it will be.

It's never too early to book your party.

sephgiron @ gmail.com

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