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The Crystal Gate - Tarot

The Crystal Gate - Tarot

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Certification - Is It For You?
by Bonnie Cehovet, TE

I feel very strongly about the need for certification in the Tarot world. I am currently serving as the Vice President, and Director of Certification, for the American Board For Tarot Certification (ABTC). I wish to note, however, that the opinions expressed here are my own, and not necessarily those of the ABTC.

Tarot has, over the past few years, truly begun to come into acceptance with mainstream America. As a result, more people are interested in becoming Tarot readers, teachers, artists, and authors. Through the auspices of the Internet, there are many tools available for aspiring Tarot readers, teachers, artists, and authors. The problem lies in how to assimilate the information that is available, and how to best use the tools being offered. Not everyone lives in an area where they can connect with other readers, teachers, artists, and authors. Many people end up with no support system around them whatsoever, and are at a loss as to how to proceed.

The certification process is not for everyone, and it is not only for professionals. In becoming certified, an individual avails themselves of a support system, of people that they can connect with within the Tarot world that they can discuss their issues with. With the very basic certification level, a student of the Tarot can reassure themselves that they understand the fundamentals of the cards, and how to use them. For many people, this is all that they will ever need.

The next levels of certification will reassure the reader, and their clientele, that they can perform a reading at a professional level, and that they have studied their craft. If an individual does not want to do anything other than do readings, then the second level of certification is all that they will ever need.

For those who wish to teach, there is a specific certification level for that. For those who wish to be recognized for their work within the Tarot community, i.e. as an author, artist, or speaker, that level of certification is also available.

Individuals who wish to be certified are encouraged to develop their own Client Bill of Rights. In doing so, they reassure their clients of what the environment for the reading will be, for both the reader and the client. At the minimum, an individual who is certified with a specific organization will be required to adhere to some version of a Client Bill of Rights. This acts as protection for both the reader and their client.

One final area that I would like to address is the formation of local laws regarding Tarot readings. Laws will differ from place to place, even within a single state. The ability to show certification within a professional organization will in the end, I believe, help us to have greater input in how these laws are formed. At the least, I believe that certification will help to differ the charlatans in the Tarot field (and there are bound to be some) from those who perform their work with honor and dignity.

It is not a necessity to become certified - it is always up to the individual. I found that it helped me to see myself, and my work, in the best light.

There are currently two certification organizations in the United States. Their links are:, and

November 2005

The Tarot Connection - The Tarot Podcast dedicated to the traditional, historic and modern Tarot.