I’ve been thinking a lot about boundaries lately, maintaining them, pushing them and saying no. In my counselling training, boundaries were a huge topic of discussion. We learned and discussed the importance of them, how to maintain them, why they were necessary and how to assert them. All very useful concepts for dealing with clients in a therapy situation. In terms of my Tarot work I have never felt my boundaries being tested more than in with readings with clients . Like seriously.
When I do readings I often have clients asking for more than what I offer, Ava pull a few more cards for me? Ava can you tell me what will happen when? Ava can we do my reading right now and on and on the list goes. In these times the process I go through can really vary. I know I need to assert myself and say no. I also know that I need to do that kindly, reiterate my rules and leave it there without long winded explanations about why I can do it or why not.
Keeping boundaries sounds tough, it can even sound mean and really unhelpful but that’s not how I see it. Keeping boundaries is ethical and makes reading Tarot a professional practice, rather than just something I do on the side for a lark. Making sure that I keep to my boundaries also ensures that I give my best performance, offer what I intend to and allow clients the freedom to talk and question the reading with me. I struggle with this sometimes because I’m afraid that clients will turn away (a nightmare for someone trying to build a practice) or that people won’t like me or think of me as competent and compassionate (Ouch!). But these mostly are my own insecurities and nothing anyone has said to me.
I decided to look at this using the Tarot. I asked the Laughing Eye Weeping Eye Tarot
What is the purpose of Boundaries in my work?
Four of Pentacles: The Four of Pentacles immediately makes me think of boundaries. Here we can see four pentacles behind a brick wall. It almost feels in a way like these pentacles are protected in a way both from the outside as well as from themselves. A safe haven is created. The Four of Pentacles talks about conserving one’s resources and using them wisely. It also refers to building strong foundations and not expending time and energy where it is not needed.
How can I best uphold boundaries in a thoughtful way?
Six of Cups: The Six of Cups makes me think of a gentle offering made compassionately to a friend or a family member. Here, it feels like a message from the Tarot is to uphold these boundaries but do so in a way that is gentle and compassionate. There is also a sense here that holding boundaries is a spiritual act or an act in self care where one appreciates that boundaries exist for everyone’s well being. The communication aspect of communicating these boundaries is also there in this card.
With that it seems clear the importance of boundaries to ensure everyone is on the same page and that I can continue doing this job for many years to come (goodbye, burnout). I’m off to uphold some boundaries (seriously, a girl’s got a job to do).