Should you give back the money?

There has been a bit of discussion via the comments section in YouTube about being paid for a reading, and if you should give the money back if the questioner isn’t satisfied. Some say yes; I was taught differently.

I think we ought to remember that it’s just money; it’s not like it’s life itself that we’re giving or getting back. There are more important things to worship and care about.

I was told early on in my studies that payment is important because it protects the reader from messing up or complicating his or her own life by becoming a part of the questioner’s life – with all its ups and downs. We have enough to deal with on our own; we don’t need to absorb or take on other people’s problems.

If you’re a beginner, do a reading for 25 cents or some small amount in the currency of your country. If you’re worth more, charge more. You have to pay for cards and books and so on; you can use the money to become a better reader. What’s wrong with that? It’s not like the questioner doesn’t waste money every day anyway. If people can afford to buy chocolate bars or cigarettes, for instance, they can afford to pay you for a reading. They may also take what you and the Tarot say if they are paying for it; if it’s free, you are more likely to dismiss it.

If you charge $40 and the questioner isn’t happy, that’s too bad, but it sometimes happens. You might feel motivated to reduce your rate, and that’s up to you. Are you going to change your process because of a dissatisfied person? Doing something out of fear isn’t a good move. It leads to problems.

What if the questioner isn’t happy and you return the cash, and later he or she follows your suggestions. You have been robbed. Will the questioner come back and return the money? Probably not. So giving back the payment isn’t right in some cases.

What if the questioner isn’t happy because he or she is annoyed with someone else and is taking it out on an innocent bystander, as often happens. Do you say: Your problem isn’t with me, but with this other person, so go and be honest with them and leave me alone since I have done nothing to you. Or, knowing the truth about the situation, do you give in and return the money? Not such a good idea.

How many times have you given good advice to a friend, but they didn’t follow it and their problem continued? Someone once said something about insanity being doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome. Advice often involves change, but it is resisted.


Sometimes people just don’t want to hear, or aren’t ready, or resist, or it’s not quite the time, or it’s too soon to take action that will make a difference. If I’m in that condition, then your reading won’t do me much good – but this has nothing to do with you or your ability or the power of lack of power of the Tarot. This is neither unfortunate or fortunate; it just is. We can think that maybe I wasn’t supposed to get help – for some reason. That’s a valid point of view, I think.

There is a wise part of me as there is a wise part of everyone. Maybe that wise part of me doesn’t want me to do something right now – it knows it will cause more problems than I can handle. This can be why the reading didn’t work. The reader returning the money can be interfering. Who are you, the reader, to assume you know best? So I’m not happy. Can you keep your ego out of it?

If we’re going to become complete, we have to experience everything. Maybe “losing money” on a reading is part of that.

I am happy to discuss this, so if you have thoughts, leave a comment.


3 Responses to Should you give back the money?

  1. makitarot says:

    I agree with you definitely. But what about our friends, or relatives?

    • johnballantrae says:

      With close friends and relatives, there may not be so much a question of karma and indebtedness, but they can always show their support for your chosen studies by giving you some cash. It can make them value the reading more if they pay instead of getting it for free. There is also the wider question of: If you save someone’s life, are you then responsible for their actions, since if it had not been for you, the person would not be alive. In the same kind of a way, if The Cosmos or The Gods didn’t want the person to get an answer to their question, who are we to think we know better, and change the situation by returning the money? No answer is as much of an answer as an answer.

      • makitarot says:

        It is interesting point about karma and relatives…I thought there are strong karma between us and our relatives (especially mother, father, brothers, sisters…)

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