Why Every Tarot Reader Should Have a Professional Name

by - November 30, 2016

Lady Gaga's born name is Stephanie Joanne Angelina Germonotta. 

Miley Cyrus's born name is Destiny Hope.  

Reese Witherspoon's given name is Laura.

Mila Kunis's born name is Milena.

Emma Stone's given name is Emily.

Vin Diesel's given name is Mark Vincent.

Josh Lucas uses his middle name as a last name (it's really Maurer).

Michael Caine's given name is Maurice Micklewhite.

Martin Sheen's given name is Ramon Estevez.

And his son Charlie Sheen was given the name Carlos Estevez at birth.

Christopher Walken's given first name is Ronald.

Julianne Moore's given name is Julie Ann.  

Jodie Foster's given name is Alicia. 

Sissy Spacek's born name is Mary.

And we all know that the gorgeous Marilyn Monroe's born name was Norma Jean Baker (thank you to Sir Elton John for making a song about this--otherwise I would had never known!).

Hundreds and hundreds of people go by a chosen professional name every single day.  And most of those people live their names 24/7, not just at work, but that's because they are famous personalities.

So, what about other, lesser famous people? 

Well, Grav3yard Girl from Youtube goes by the name of Bunny, when her born name is actually Rachel.

Other Youtube personalities go by various stage names such as Pewdiepie (Felix), Captain Sparkles (imagine a tarot reader who's name is Captain Sparkles! LOL--his born name is Jordon, btw.), Jack Septiceye (who's given name is Sean) and, Markiplier (which is a play on his given name of Mark). 

And then we have authors, like Nora Roberts, who writes under the names J. D. Robb, Jill March, and Sarah Hardesty.  And even Nora's real name is Eleanor (which Nora is short for). 

And then we have me.  My born name isn't Emma Rayne.  This was the name I was going to pick if my oldest child had been a girl, and when he turned out to be a boy, I've been using it as a professional tarot reader name ever since. 

But what about you?  You may never be famous, so why would you want a professional name to work under?

Well, for a few reasons:

  1. The biggest reason is: safety.  Let's face it, whether you read tarot online or in person, there are going to be people who do no like what you do.  And the best way to protect yourself is to use a professional name (and to make sure your personal details are nowhere for others to see-like your address, family members' names, etc.).  I will say it's rare, but I have had my life threatened online before by someone, because they believed the tarot to be the "devil's work".  You have to be careful, both online and off, and having a professional name is a great way to protect your privacy.
  2. Sometimes your born name doesn't really go with your brand.  So picking a professional name (as famous people do) can take your brand up a notch.
  3. Professional names separate you from you work.  I've talked about before how "you are not your brand", and this will definitely help you separate the two.
  4. If you're a professional tarot reader, you probably wear many hats.  Using a different name for personal life and business life can help you slip into your business persona much better than trying to switch gears as yourself.  "I am mommy in the morning, business professional in the afternoon, wife in the evening" (this would be for a stay-at-home-mom who works from home and has a full-time working hubby out of the home--like me!).  So in the morning, your name is mom, in the evening your name is your given name, so should you not have a persona name for your afternoon work as well?  (yes, I know, you're always mom, and always wife--I am just using this as an example)  Even if you don't have kids and aren't married, this still applies.  I have my tarot name, my author names, and my given name, all used in different areas of my life.  There's no reason why you can't, so if this interests you, then do it.  I tell you, it really helps you shift into gear when you're working with clients.  "I am now (professional name), and my job is to (insert mission statement here)".
  5. And last but not least, it's just damn fun.  Who absolutely LOVES their given name?  Okay, that one person in the back does, but most of us do not.  Who has always dreamed of having an alter ego?  Or leading a secret life?  Not that reading the tarot should be a secret, but for some of you?  You may have to.  And having a professional name can give you just that: a world of your own invention where you can be anything and anyone you want.  You can even create a character for your name---not that you should be fake in the least.  Always be honest.  But what if you're shy and introverted and your tarot persona is outgoing and fun?  You can put on that hat every single time you go by that name.  And who knows?  Maybe one day you'll want to legally change your name to your professional name and become this amazing person you invented (because aren't we all just inventions of our own minds?).  

While having a business persona may be fun, please do not use this as a way to play a game with your clients.  Like "Miss Cleo" who dons a "gypsy look" and pretends to read the tarot.  No, that's not what I am talking about in the least.  That, my friends, is dishonest, and will get you labeled as a con-artist

Notice I say "professional name" not "fake name".  And I say "given name" not "real name".  Because professional names are not fake.  And given names aren't always real.  You may feel 100% real in your professional name, that it's your true name, even.  Our parents just thought up a name and gave it to us.  There is no process for this.  You just say "oh, that sounds nice" and call your kids that forever.  So, why can't we pick our own names, even if it's just for business?  That's the beauty of a professional name--we aren't playing "make believe" by forcing everyone around us to call us something different (and even if we did, that's still not playing make believe--though some would accuse of us that), we are using it when we do a certain thing.  Just like Nora Roberts has FOUR author names she uses, we too, can have a name for every hat we wear.

I mean, when our kids call us "mom" or our siblings' kids call us "auntie" (my kids called their aunt "nana" when they were little), we don't wonder why they're not using our given names.  That's our mom and our auntie hats we wear.  So put on your tarot reader hat and pick a professional name that suits you and your brand.

Do you have a professional name?  How did you choose it?  If not, are you thinking of using one?  Share your story below!

(UPDATE 2021: I do not read tarot for others anymore, professionally or otherwise...though I do use my professional tarot name for my brand--my website and my classes--and for my books, so all of this still applies.)

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