Often my clients are hesitant on how they should go about “asking” the tarot their question.
It’s a totally legitimate concern! And one that can really make the difference between a great reading, and a “meh” reading.
Luckily part of my job as a professional tarot card reader is to help guide the client in creating a question that will set them up to get the most out of the cards and their reading. Here are some tips you can use when forming your question for your tarot card reading:
Set the Stage: Clear, Realistic Expectations = Happy Clients with the Results They Want
1) Know beforehand what kind of reading best suits the kind of information you want to get from the tarot.
For example, if you’re simply wondering whether or not you’d have a better time on vacation in “X” or “Y” location, a straightforward 3-card reading works well. If your concern, however, is something of a more complex nature, such as wondering what you should do about conflict and doubt you’re experiencing in a long-term relationship, it’s probably better to go for a more in-depth reading. So, before you even start thinking about the exact question, try to pin down how much detail and depth you think you’ll need from the cards. Detailed readings with a higher number of cards can often answer more than one question, depending on how they’re set up.
So, don’t think that you have to “order up” to get the best reading. Choose the type of reading that best fits the type of information you want.
2) Think about the specifics of the information you’re looking for.
This is fairly simple. Sometimes you’ll want a reading on a very specific issue, and therefore your question will reflect the nature of what you want to know, and you’ll want to make sure that your questions are honed-in on that and not vague and ambiguous. At other times, you may just want a general picture or outlook about your life and where it’s heading at the present time, a sort of “check-in” reading. You might want to focus on a particular aspect of your life, such as career or love life, but not have any particular concern within those areas necessarily.
Knowing what you expect to get from your reading will help you choose the right type of spread as well as have your expectations in line with what kind of information that reading can give you.
Get Ready to Ask
3) What kind of information will give you the tools you need to move ahead/make a decision/take the next step?
While sometimes people do request a reading for a general picture, most often people come looking for information that’s going to enable them to make some sort of change, progress, or decision in their current life situation. If that’s the case, take a moment to consider what kind of information you need in regards to what you plan to do with it after the reading. Is your reading for personal growth or discovery? Is it to make a decision about what to do in a work or relationship situation? What do you want to gain from your reading? That helps the tarot card reader direct their energies into helping you have a productive reading that you can take back and incorporate into your daily life. After all, isn’t that the point?
4) Watch out for your wishful thinking. Be prepared for whatever comes up.
Ever heard “watch what you wish for, you might just get it?” I’d apply that to tarot and say “watch what you ask for, you might just get an answer!” Think a bit about whether you’re so invested in hearing a particular answer that you’re not open to receiving information about the flip side, if it does come up. Being open to whatever comes up is part of the process of the reading and part of the process that makes tarot such an excellent tool for growth and insight. But it can’t “do its thing” if you’ve got your heart so set on a particular path or direction or answer that you’re not willing to accept seeing something else.
Take a moment to ask yourself whether or not your inner guidance is already telling you the answer, and whether or not you’re ready to hear something different than what you’re hoping to hear.
Pop The Question
5) Expand your inquiry wider than a simple “yes/no” question.
In my experience, asking “Will X propose?” or “Will I get the job?” is just too limiting. It also often tends to assume way too much. For example, shouldn’t we take a step back and try to figure out what’s going on between you and X first? Getting to the heart of the matter and the root of the issue is what tarot is really for. Repeat after me: “Tarot is not a magic 8 ball.” Thank you. You can move on to number 6 now.
6) In order to get a great question, use a great lead-in.
Some excellent ways to start off your question include:
“What do I need to know about…?”
“What is the best advice or guidance in dealing with…?”
“What should I do in order to achieve…?”
“What do I need to focus on regarding…?”
“What’s stopping me or holding me back from…?”
“How does X view me in our relationship…?”
“What are the most important factors to consider in…?”
And so and and so forth. The point being, open your question up so that you can really let the tarot do its thing and give you the objective take on the situation that you’re looking for. And if you need help forming a specific inquiry, just ask! That’s part of the reader’s job!
The Morning After
No walk of shame around here, people!
Once you’ve got the information, be sure to ask any follow-up questions that occur immediately, and that relate directly to the original inquiry and the cards that came up.
Please, don’t launch a whole new line of questioning. Of course the information that comes up might lead you to want to explore other questions. But give it some time, let life progress a bit, and then if the questions persist, request another separate reading.
And, if all else fails and you just can’t seem to accept the information that came up in your reading, or you somehow feel it has nothing to tell you, take a look at this quick tips post by Theresa Reed, a.k.a. The Tarot Lady. She’s got great things to say about “When You Don’t Like the Outcome in Your Tarot Reading.”
What experiences have you had in forming questions for your readings? What tips can you offer, and what pitfalls have you run into?