In today's technologically advanced society, metaphysical practitioners of all types are benefiting from the ease and advantages of the Internet. No longer are we having to rely on in-person readings and word of mouth references to build a thriving Tarot or metaphysical practice. With the advent of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Etsy, and a number of other social media platforms, we're able to deliver our goods and services to clients and customers from around the world at just the click of a mouse. One of the greatest aides to come to Tarot professionals world wide is Skype. Now with just a simple download and a few clicks of the mouse, you can have a heartfelt, face-to-face reading with a client one, two, or several timezones away.
In light of this wonderful world wide web contribution, I wanted to dole out a few tips, tricks, and notes when it come to giving effective and personal readings via Skype:
1. Create Your Sacred E-Space
As with any reading (in person, Skype, e-mail, etc.), centering yourself is important. This could take place within a complex ritual, or simply by taking a few deep, focusing breaths. Before you even turn your computer on, however, make sure you work to keep all distractions to a minimum. Keep the pets out, the T.V. off, and make sure anyone home knows you're conducting a reading and require peace and quiet. Your client deserves to have your undivided attention, so be sure you do everything you can to see that they get it; now is not the time to run your noisy dryer that's just across the hall! Once that is done, light your candles, say your prayers, or do whatever it is you do (if anything) to prepare for your reading.
2. Be Plugged In (Spiritually AND Technically)
It may seem like an obvious step, but I'd be remiss if I didn't mention to remember to turn your computer on (come on, we all have off days!). Along with that, be sure that the battery life is adequate enough to last your entire reading; you wouldn't want it to be cut short (if you're using a laptop, I'd recommend keeping it plugged in just in case)! I'd also test the audio in Skype as well as your video preferences before your reading so that you can guarantee optimal visual and audio quality.
3. Let the Client See for Themselves
Even though it is a Skype reading, you client may opt to keep their video turned off so that they can see you but you can't see them. While this may seem a little odd, especially since Skype is mainly a video platform, understand that some people may not want to be seen. The reasons for this vary (shyness, technological constraints, even cultural differences or customs), but it's best to let the client do what they are most comfortable with and simply ask if they are able to see and hear you clearly.
4. Set the Time, but Don't Take the Time
If your Skype readings are like mine (shameless plug alert!), you have a set time; for example, 30, 40, 60 minutes per session. However, don't rush to start the timer right out of the gate. Once you've connected with the client through Skype, you're certain they can hear and see you, and all technological units are a go, stop to say hello, ask them how they are, and get to know them a bit. You don't need to dive into an hour long introduction, but taking the time to make it a little personal before you head into the reading will help to relax them and aide in building a connection between the two of you. Let them know that this little "Hey how are 'ya?" is not a part of their timed session and that it will begin once you start discussing what it is they want out of the reading. Once a little familiarity has been established, start a timer or stop watch and get the reading underway.
5. Show Them The Money! (Err..Cards)
Be sure that once they've stated their question(s) and intent(s) for the reading, you position the camera or laptop so that they can see the cards. I like to move my Macbook to my side so that the client is looking at the cards as if they were siting next to me at a square table. This way they'll be able to engage with the cards as you read them instead of looking at you looking down.
6. Have the Audacity!
I recommend downloading Audacity (you can find it here) so that you can record the reading's audio to send to the client once the reading is over. It may be a bigger file than you'll be able to send in an e-mail, but once you compress it to an MP3 (a lot easier than it sounds; find out how to here) you can use a site like Dropbox (find it here; go with the free option unless you're a business baller and want to pay $15 a month!) to download it to a link which can then be sent to the client to download as well (they don't even need a Dropbox account!). It might seem like some complex, complicated work, but it's all surprisingly easy and will allow the client to reference their reading as needed once the Skype session is over.
That's that! Skype really is the next best thing to an in-person reading, and with these simple tips, you can be sure to help give your client the best possible high-tech experience!