Tarot Ethics

This is a subject that is hotly debated, but is really quite simple.
As readers we have an obligation to tell the truth as we see it in the cards. The querent has come to you because they want to know something. I don't feel that it is my place to decide what the querent can or can not handle.
If I see negative things, I tell the querent what I see, but I also look for ways the querent can work with the problem to change or influence the outcome.

I often see questions about whether it is right to accept money for reading, whether one should read for a 3rd party who is not present, or whether one should discuss the 3 D's (death, divorce and 'dultery (adultery)), if not specifically asked about them.
These questions must be answered by each reader based on their comfort level. What I feel comfortable doing may not be what you feel comfortable doing.
The key is to do what =you= think is right, not necessarily what you think is best (we tend to want to spare the querents feelings and soften bad news), but what you think you think is right in accordance with your beliefs. I also think that readings should end on a positive note.
If you see bad things, tell the querent what you see, but also tell them what they can do about it or why things are headed the way they are. Give them the tools to change. This is why reading the whole spread and looking for relationships between the cards is so important. You can show the querent how things got to this point, and where they are headed if no change or action is taken.
Knowing what caused our present situation shows us how we can prevent its recurrence. We hopefully learn from our mistakes and you as a reader are in an excellent position to point out things the querent can not see because he/she is so close to the situation.

As for charging for a reading, I see nothing wrong with being compensated for your time and effort whether it be by money, a loaf of homebaked bread or in exchange for something else.
Tarot is hard work. You have invested a lot of time in study and practice. To be compensated in some way is only fair.

Bottom line, be truthful to the querent and true to your beliefs. Reading for others is not always fun or comfortable. It is a huge responsibility that should not be taken lightly.
What you tell the querent will affect his/her life and probably the lives of those around him or her. Keep this in mind.