The ATA and Tarot Certification

Certification is a topic that has strong feelings and arguments on both sides.  The ATA's official stance on certification is to neither persuade nor dissuade Tarot readers from seeking certification.  The ATA's focus is on education, and to that end, the Free Tarot and Free Reading Networks and courseware are made available for study and to assist in mentoring.  The courseware is compatible with the 3 organizations that do provide certifications, should a reader wish to pursue it.

The following is an excerpt from the FAQs available on the ATA website.

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


[Editor's note -- it has come to our attention that the Executive President of the third organization, the American Board for Tarot Certification, passed in September of this year.  We offer our condolences to the ABTC at this time and have removed their listing from this article out of respect.]

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.

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Tarot Reflections is published by the American Tarot Association - Copyright (C) 2008

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