I’ve now had several on-line clients since I posted my “Open for Business” article, and I must say that the practice of having them pull their own cards while concentrating on their question or topic area has been working out exceptionally well. My assumption has always been that if our subconscious has something to tell us that can’t be received via normal waking consciousness, shuffling, cutting and drawing the cards personally rather than having an intermediary (me) do it is always going to deliver a more effective “communion” with the deck and thus a more useful result. The “subconscious induction” I like to talk about is in full force and there is less opportunity for “side conversations” (reader’s bias) to cloud the picture. I’ve had to offer only a minimal amount of “process” coaching to provide a satisfying experience for my clients, and getting it right the first time makes my life easier too.
For one who is used to extemporaneous, face-to-face reading where random ideas and associations flit through my brain and some of them make it out of my mouth, having to capture everything in writing is both novel and challenging. Topic-area readings (as opposed to single-question readings) are the most work because I may have to interpret some cards in more than one way; court cards that can manifest as other people, individual characteristics or external forces are the best example of this. But all of them are more demanding than face-to-face work, except for the fact that I’m not under the gun to fill every second with meaningful jabber; that part I like since I can polish my output to perfection (and I’m a literary perfectionist). By offering a free follow-up communication to answer questions about the reading, I even get useful feedback, something that can’t be said about” live” clients after they walk out the door.
The next milestone will be to whittle my writing time down to a reasonable maximum. I have rough-draft production of a six-page typed Celtic Cross report down to around two hours now, but I’m never satisfied with that provisional level of quality. On the plus side, all of the subsequent editing both sharpens my writing skills and increases my inventory of ideas for the cards themselves, so it’s a “win-win” scenario all around. At some point (probably after the first of next year) I’m going to have to revisit my fee schedule to see if it makes sense in light of the amount of time involved; $30 for a half-hour face-to-face reading vs $35 for a 2+ hour written reading may not be a sustainable margin. Some of my professional friends start at $50 and go up from there, but they already have a reputation and I’m still building mine, so that isn’t going to happen. The alternative would be to shorten and cheapen the report, but I can’t in good conscience go there.
As a long-time critic (and skeptic) of remote reading, I’m pleasantly surprised at how this is working out.