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How to Get a Good Tarot Reading

Pic 7What is the Purpose of a Tarot Reading?

A tarot reading provides the space and time for you to reflect upon your life. The cards are like a mirror showing you the situation as you see it and the probable outcomes of your current course of action. Actions come from thoughts and feelings so on a deeper level, the tarot can show you how your view of life is either helping or hindering your goals, dreams and wishes.

The tarot can also give you a sense of the tides of life (rather like transits in astrology). The situation you are currently experiencing may be offering you a deeper message, a transformational opportunity.

The Tarot may show situations that you were previously consciously unaware of and can offer you profound insight into your life. It hopefully empowers you to move forward with confidence and perhaps even suggests new ways of looking at the world which lead to new paths opening up. A good tarot reading gives you a sense of clarity and often a feeing of being connected to a bigger pattern.

I believe that all of us already know what is best for us on some deep level. We all have a soul and a whispering inner spirit which guides and guards us. Sometimes we may choose to listen and other times we may choose to ignore it. The tarot shows the truth of the situation. It shows what is, not how we would like things to be or fear things to be. The role of the tarot reader is to accurately relay the messages contained within the cards and make the picture clear to to the Querant.

Is the Future Already Set?

Over the past 30 or so years of working with my cards both for others and regularly for myself, I have noticed one very important factor: the vast majority of the time, the ‘outcome’ is governed by what you are thinking and feeling. That said, there are a few situations which cannot be influenced, however, how they impact upon you is governed by your response to it. I do believe that there are some paths we are supposed to take and some paths best walked by others. These situations may stem from karmic agreements or particular life-lessons which we have come to learn.

Sometimes the situation we want to happen may happen in the future but will depend on the actions we take now.

Why do People have Tarot Readings?

People request a tarot reading for all kinds of reasons. They may be curious or just want a giggle over something ‘spooky’. For the most part however, people come for a reading when they have a dilemma, when they are unsure of the next action to take, when they are concerned about their relationships or just want to see if they are on the right course of action. A tarot reading can also be helpful if you are embarking on a path of spiritual and personal development. A tarot reading for me is less about ‘what will happen?’ and more about ‘what can I do to change things?’.

Questions, Questions, Questions

The tarot responds well to specific questions. Opened ended questions such as ‘will I ever get married’ are too vague because that situation may need to come about by a myriad of events, many of which are up to you. Marriage may be far off in the future.

What about life now? What do you need to do now to get there? A question such as ‘will I ever marry?’ also carries the underlying feeling that you somehow have no control over your life, that life simply happens to you. That isn’t the case. You are an active player. The tarot teaches you responsibility (which is just the ability to respond!). I also personally find yes or no questions don’t work very well with tarot cards. Perhaps things are rarely so black and white.

Many times I am asked ‘what does this or that person think/feel about me?’. Sometimes if this is relevant, it will show up in the reading however the reading is for you. I understand that we care about what others think about us, especially those we love but it’s what we think about ourselves that matters most. The cards most often will focus on you. After all if you really need to know what someone thinks about you, ask them!

Certainly there have been times when I have thrown down my cards and asked (or rather shouted!) ‘what is going on?‘! We all go through periods of life where everything seems confusing and nothing seems right. Everything may seem intertwined with everything else. The tarot can respond to this well – giving you an overview initially and then focusing in on the aspects of life that need addressing. Sometimes it can help break an endless vicious cycle of thinking. If I really cannot think of a specific question, I visualise a doorway opening and ask ‘what do I most need to know at this time?’.

Should I Tell My Reader Anything?

Some people who request a tarot reading believe they shouldn’t tell the tarot reader anything because it’s ‘giving information away’. I know from experience that when a reader says something that they just couldn’t possibly have known, it does have that ‘wow‘ factor and gives me the feeling that they are connected to something else, that there is a creative sentient force – a God or Goddess if you will. But I don’t need to keep secrets in order for that to happen. A succinct question or statement that gives the reader an idea of which area of life to focus on can still bring the ‘wow’ factor. This happened to me recently when I asked for a reading after arguing with someone very important to me. I told the reader exactly that – “I’ve had an argument with someone I care about and I’m not sure what to do next or what the real problem is”. The reader knew exactly what I was asking about. In their reply, the very first line they wrote told me that they had connected to me. It had the ‘wow’ factor. But most importantly, the reading allowed me to view the argument from a detached perspective, recognise what part of me already knew and dissipate my anger and confusion so that I could see the situation rationally and with compassion for the other person involved. Happily with a two of cups ending, the situation was resolved 🙂

If you tell your reader that you want a general reading when actually your job is on the line and you’re terrified that you’re going to get fired then you aren’t giving your reader the best opportunity to do what they do best. Sometimes once a reader knows the situation to be addressed, they can design a specific spread to answer your questions, tailoring their reading to your concerns. Letting your reader know the basic query is not ‘giving information away’. Going for a tarot reading isn’t about testing how ‘psychic’ the reader is. It’s about being open to receiving helpful information.

I trust my cards will show me the situation as it is and the fall of the cards may show what area of life we are dealing with but humans are not infallible. A tarot reading is a dialogue between you and the universe (or you and your higher self if you prefer to view it that way). It provides the time to explore what you are thinking and feeling in a safe environment facilitated by the cards and the reader. It is not the time or place to play guessing games.

Can a Tarot Reading Be Given Via Email?

Absolutely. Readings are beyond time and space so whether face-to-face, on the phone or by email, each format is valid. Before offering audio readings, I conducted many email readings and also have had some excellent readers read for me personally by email. Email readings are not better or worse than the quality of a face to face reading or telephone reading. They are just a different experience, a different way to access the information your need to know.

How do Tarot Cards Work?

If someone was to ask me how the tarot cards work, my answer would be that they work through the concept of synchronicity. Over the years I have noted certain patterns that relate to certain situations, certain cards that have come to mean certain things to me. There are also established meanings to the cards as well as my own personal meanings. When you ask me or someone else for a reading, the cards that come out in the reading mean something to the reader through their deep connection to the images. It’s my belief that how that happens is through synchronicity. To me the universe is an intricate web, everything is connected to everything else. A reading opens the doorways to the universe and asks it to communicate in a language we can understand. Sometimes the connection is subtle and sometimes obvious. The cards work like dreams where multiple layers of meaning can apply to the situation.

Essentially this is the magic in a Tarot reading and this magic is all around us. Life is in constant communication with us. Everything that occurs in a reading is known on some level by the Querant and this is why it speaks true to us.

But What if the Cards Don’t Ring True?

Firstly think carefully. Is the reading really making no sense or is it that it isn’t telling you want you want to hear? My cards tell me what I need to hear, not what I want to hear.

If you still feel the reading isn’t correct then tell your reader! We are not infallible, sometimes we all make mistakes. Sometimes we find it hard to connect. Sometimes the universe may decline to offer you a reading because you already clearly know the answer or perhaps you need to make this decision on your own. Sometimes it is too soon after a previous reading and the previous pattern is still yet to be played out. Your reader may restart the reading for you, or alternatively they may say that they cannot read for you and return your money. Sometimes it may be that you are meant to speak to another reader. It doesn’t mean that the first reader was bad or that something terrible is about to happen (!) just that the issue needs to be addressed by someone else. All readers have different areas of expertise and life experience.

How to Choose a Tarot Reader

Word of mouth is perhaps the best way to choose a reader. If someone else has had a good experience then it might be worth following their recommendation. The internet is full of tarot readers – some are wonderful, others are not so good. After word of mouth, the next best way for you to assess a reader is by their presence on the internet or in publications. Have they been published in magazines or written a book? Do they have a blog or website that clearly shows they have studied the cards and understand their meanings? Do they involve themselves with the rest of the tarot community? Are they a member of a professional association? As human beings we all have our own areas of expertise and interest, our own way of approaching readings. Take your time to explore and then pick the reader who feels right for you.

When someone asks me for a reading, I believe it is my sacred duty to do the very best I can for my client: to get myself out of the way, to make no judgements or assumptions or project my own ideas onto them. I am essentially there as a translator. I remove myself from this reality and enter another in which the universe speaks to me through the cards and my role is to relay that to the client as clearly as possible. It is a honour and a responsibility that I am happy to share. As always however, you are in charge of your own life. Take what you can from a reading with an open heart and make the decisions you need to make for yourself.

Trust your own intuition and let it guide you to what feels right.

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Image – Detail from The High Priestess – Rider Waite deck