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Tarot Reflections

October 1, 2004

Down the Tarot Rabbit Hole
Tracy Hite, ATA Treasurer, Networks Manager

Tracy began her own Tarot journey while recovering from her first son's birth on New Year's Eve, 1996. She tried to study on her own for nearly a year, picking up what she could from books and websites, but she had a lot of trouble piecing everything together. Through membership in  the American Tarot Association, she met the contacts and gained the expertise needed to gain her certification as a Certified Tarot Master.

Tracy is honored to serve as Manager for both the Free Reading Network and the Free Tarot Network. She also volunteers as Treasurer of the ATA and webmaster of the Comparative Tarot site.


Are you “curiouser and curiouser” about tarot? Then follow me down the Tarot rabbit hole each month in my new series. Whether you’re a long-time reader or you’ve never even seen a deck, I’m happy to share my tarot knowledge with you. I may not always be able to answer your questions, and ask you not to substitute my opinions for your own, but I’ll do my best to help. Let’s explore together, shall we?

One of the most frequent topics of questions to ATA Headquarters is tarot certification.

What is certification?

The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines the word “certify” as “to attest as being true or as represented or as meeting a standard”. Thus, certification is proof that you have mastered a set of skills in a field.

Do I have to get certified to be a tarot reader?

No, tarot certification is entirely optional.

Why should I get certified?

Being certified can reassure your clients that you’re a professional reader, and that you have the skills needed for the job. Even if you never plan on reading for anyone but yourself, tarot certification can serve as a way to measure your progress.

How do I get certified?

In general, you will need to pay a fee and pass some sort of proficiency test. You may be asked to provide written proof of your skills, or to perform readings and answer questions over the phone or in person. The exact requirements and fee structures for each certification level vary from agency to agency.

Where do I go for certification?

As far as I know, there are three tarot certification boards in North America:

Canadian Tarot Network (CTN)
PO Box 51175
Beddington RPO
Calgary, Alberta T3K 3V9

Tarot Certification Board of America (TCBA)
PO Box 6935
Albany NY 12206-0935

American Board for Tarot Certification (ABTC)
PO Box 247
Normal IL 61761-0247

Which agency does the ATA recommend?

We suggest comparing the various agencies’ requirements and deciding for yourself which one (if any) is best for you.

Do I have to take the ATA’s courses to get certified?

While our courses can help you improve your tarot skills, they are not required by any of these agencies.

Why can’t I get certified through the ATA?

Our purpose is tarot education, not certification. Professionals in many other fields (such as doctors and lawyers) are certified by agencies independent of their educational process, and we feel the same should be true for tarot readers.

Please send your questions to for consideration for future articles. Unless you prefer to remain anonymous, please include your first name and last initial, along with your location (state or country).


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Tarot Reflections is a publication of the American Tarot Association - Copyright (C) 2004
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