I am a lifelong learner.
In an alternate universe, where such things might be possible, I went to college and stayed there. Majored in every subject. Took every elective. The picture above is a sketchbook (I think) which I took a picture of for my traditional photography class. If I wasn't in a class, I was in the darkroom or the ceramic studio.
At the same time, I love getting my hands dirty and figuring things out for myself. In high school I taught myself how to "tat" (make lace).
I am also a self-taught tarot reader. And I'm proud of that.
On the other hand, I make it no secret that I trained in mediumship with Amanda Linette Meder. I'm proud of that, too. Technically, depending on your definition, I'm a "certified" medium, and also a certified color reader.
I bring these things up to give you a picture of where I come from on the subject of certification.
This question is a common one among beginner tarot readers, healers, and mediums:
"Do I need certification? Should I get certification? Will it help establish my credibility?"
I can't definitively answer this question for anyone else, but I can give you some potent tips that will help you grasp the answer for yourself.
1. Don't ask yourself if you need certification. Ask yourself if you want or need a guide.
I never considered tarot certification for myself because I felt that it was wholly within my power to learn and grow all by my lonesome. Mediumship training was something that I jumped on early because it felt out of reach. It was territory that made me nervous, and I wanted a guide.
The certificate itself doesn't bestow upon you anything tangible - it's the training that does that. Yes, having a certificate can be lovely for your confidence. I'd be lying if I said I didn't like having the physical paper certificates that I do, but it's what they represent that's most valuable. They represent the time and effort that went into expanding my abilities.
Certificates and certification in the spiritual arts are a bonus, because...
2. Credibility can be established without a certificate.
Outside of spiritual professions, there are some careers that require that certificate, or degree. But there are also plenty where X years of experience, or X level of skill are comparable. It's the same in a spiritual career.
If you can do the thing, then you can do the thing.
Having someone else's stamp of approval doesn't change your abilities.
It's true, it may matter to some clients that you have endorsement, but it certainly won't matter to everyone. If you're confident in your abilities, then own them. By the same logic, if you're not confident, then seek out certification that meets your needs, because beware...
3. Not all certification and training is worth the time and cost.
Each program should be weighed on its individual merits. Here are some tips to help you evaluate your prospective certification before you lay down any big bucks:
- What do you walk away with (besides the certificate) when it's all said and done? Go ahead and list out the tangible and intangible benefits. Weigh that list against the cost. Look good? Seem lopsided?
- Do you jive with the instructor(s)? Do you admire them, or find consistent value in what they put out into the world?
- How deep is the material? Will you leave the course feeling like you need another program? If the price is right, you might not mind a scenario like that, or you might feel that you should've taken a different program with subject matter more aligned to your needs.
At the end of the day, I'm neither for or against training and certification as a whole, because there are too many variables to take one particular stance. I believe that your individual circumstances and needs will determine whether or not certification is right for you. Get clear on those circumstances and needs, and you'll have your answer. Best of luck!