What to do when… You burn out

Make no mistakes, tarot reader burn out is a real thing and if you read tarot cards on a regular basis you’re likely to experience it at some point in your life. When it happens, it can be scary. You can feel like you’ve been thrown off kilter, like you’ve wasted hours, days, weeks and years of your life studying the tarot, and like your energy has just been sapped.

What is tarot reader burn out?
It’s different for everyone, but I know that when it happened to me I started to doubt my abilities as a reader. I felt like an imposter. If I couldn’t get an interpretation straight away I’d beat myself up over it. My personal readings lacked clarity and I just started to lose interest. I was tired of constantly refining my own interpretations and pushing myself to see more in the spreads I was doing. I was exhausted at the thoughts of coming up with a new spread. In short, where my free time was once happily spent playing with my cards, all I wanted to do was sit down in front of my TV and switch off.

How do you manage tarot reader burn out?
The thing with tarot is that it is an intuitive art and if you’re feeling burned out, that’s a pretty big sign from your intuition that you need to take a step back. The easiest way to get over it is to just stop putting pressure on yourself. I think as readers, we’re so dedicated to service and holding space for others, that we often feel bad or guilty for putting ourselves first (it comes with the territory of any kind of healing, regardless of the medium you use) but this is one time where we shouldn’t feel that way at all. So don’t feel guilty about taking a break. Put away your cards for a bit. Read something else instead of tarot related books. Switch on the TV and space out like I did. Find what soothes you, and do that instead. Your cards will always be there for you when you return, even if you don’t return for a few weeks, a few months or a few years. And it’s like riding a bicycle. When you finally do return, you won’t forget what you’ve learned, but you might be surprised by the new insights that crop up as if by magic. Sometimes a little bit of space can be a very powerful thing.

The importance of self-care for readers
With all of that being said, and with the understanding that while we can’t actively stop tarot reader burnout from happening, there are small things we can do to help us feel supported and balanced while we read. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Use supports – Think about things that would make you feel supported as you read and endeavour to actually use them. When I’m reading for myself, I don’t really need anything special but when I’m reading for others I like to diffuse lavender oil to keep me calm and do some deep breathing to ground and centre before I even touch my deck.
  •  Call in help – You have spirit guides and guardian angels for a reason. Call them in and ask them to protect your energy as you read. I never start a reading without calling them in and asking them to protect me and also help me with the reading. I also request for the sitter's spirit guides to swing by too and help me so I can give them the reading that’s for their highest good.
  • Choose your environment – Make sure that the environment you’re in supports you. For example, reading in a crowded room is my idea of hell. When I read for others I like to be in a quiet, private space that has nice, soft music, some candles and a few of my crystals. That’s the environment I feel best in and when I feel my best, I can give a better reading. If I’m reading elsewhere, I always ask for somewhere that’s relatively private and quiet.
  • Be self-compassionate – Doing readings can be hard work and often while our querant may be perfectly happy with the reading we’ve done, we can be critical on ourselves. Self-compassion is a key component of reader self-care. Remember, you’re human too and you’re just trying to help.

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