We had a Great Query, on our FaceBook Group, from Wulfie Shado, about Tarot Certifications:
Hi, I have a question. I’ve seen some tarot readers/writers called Grand Masters. Is that a degree or some sort of certification? If so where and how was it earned? Or is more a term of respect for someone who has been in the field for a long time? (I think it was a rank in the ATA?)
First of all, The American Tarot Association (ATA) does not certify, at all. There have been certification boards that have come and gone over the years. Most, if not all, are now defunct.
There were often many levels, from Certified Tarot Reader (CTR), even Certified Tarot Apprentice, through Certified Tarot Master (CTM). These were earned through varying qualifications, depending on the certifying organization/board.
The Certified Tarot Grand Master (CTGM) was usually an honorary title, bestowed on Certified Tarot Masters (CTMs) and others, who are well known in the Tarot Community, for their significant contribution to the community.
I know of at least one board, the Tarot Certification Board of America (now defunct), that offered the CTGM through a qualification process, in addition to an honorary one. (So not just as a title of respect.)
Some Tarot organizations, such as the Australian Tarot Guild and TABI have certifications within their own organization. However they don’t certify people outside their own membership and are usually a single level of professional certification.
A Google Search will yield over 420,000 results, because Certification in the Tarot World has been a hotly debated concept for a long time now. It’s split 50/50 between those who want certification and those who strongly do not.
Many feel Tarot is too diverse and that, as an art form, certainly can’t be quantified. There is no national regulation on the practice of Tarot, and many people want to keep it that way, for their own reasons. However, as far as I can see, all other professionals have certification, in one form or another – even those that, like Tarot, have no regulation!
For instance Hypnosis – anyone can be a hypnotist, without certification (in most areas – yes, there are a few local governments that have statutes – but nation-wide, at least in the US, there’s no regulation). Yet every Hypnotherapist / Hypnotist I know has voluntarily gone out an gotten Certified – it adds professionalism and credibility.
Reiki Practitioners – again no national regulation, yet nearly every Reiki Practitioner I’ve met is Certified ….and there’s many other examples.
The Tarot Guild offered Tarot Certification many years ago. The debate over certification was stirred up once again, when we did, but has since died down. We stopped offering certification, and instead created an Endorsed Reader Program for our members…
However, there doesn’t seem to be a week that goes by, without some of our members asking about certification. Like Wulfie’s questions today (thanks Wulfie! – terrific questions, that I bet were on other’s minds as well).
I completely understand the position of those against certification – and, as with Hypnotherapy, Reiki and many other profession, NO – you don’t have to be Certified to Read Tarot. However, many Tarot Professionals want Certification. They give many reasons for why they want it as well – many who have gone through our Endorsement Program or have been Certified say it gave them confidence. Others wanted to be more professional and add credibility to their practice.
I used to have one or two groups/boards I could referred folks to, when I got these questions, requests for certification – ones that were reputable, but they are gone now.
Searching on the internet, you may find some places offering Tarot Certification, but they are groups that no one has ever heard of. They are fly-by-night websites that have just sprung up, and are only interested in taking your money and sending you a piece of paper…
Alas, Tarot Certification is currently in a BAD state world-wide. There are no reputable certifying bodies/organizations any more (I am not including TABI or the ATG here – organizations that offer in-house certs).
Yet, we still constantly get requests for it, from our members and others — so, for 2017, we’re just going to have to bite-the-bullet and bring back Tarot Certification from The Tarot Guild!
We are the only reputable, well-known and established organization around, that’s willing to take this on…
You won’t have to be a Member to apply. Guild Members will get a significant discount however. The levels will be simple, not 25 different levels like the TCBA had – A Certified Tarot Reader (CTR) level – Certified Tarot Professional (CTP), Certified Tarot Master (CTM) and CTGM…
The basic CTR level won’t be based on Reading styles, accuracy, etc. – but rather their ability to perform a professional, insightful, informative Reading. Was the Reading helpful? Would I go back to this Reader? Would I recommend this Reader to a friend or relative? There will be of course a basic knowledge test.
Higher levels will be based on continuing education, professional work, contribution to the Tarot Community, years of experience, etc.
Be on the-look-out for more on this soon! …and of course, if you ever have any questions about Tarot Certification or any questions about being a Professional Reader, don’t hesitate to ask! Email me, message me on Facebook, make a Post with your question(s) on our FB Group!