Yesterday I was out to lunch with an old friend (23 years to be exact), and I pulled out my cards to tell some stories. When the waiter came by he was curious, and we got to chatting about what people ask the cards.
“It’s always work and love,” I said. “After all, what else is there?” I added, quoting one of my life mentors.
“Play!” he said.
You’ve got to hand it to him. It’s always nice when someone makes an effort to respond in an original way to a completely rhetorical question.
But truly folks, could we not pretty much sum up most of what we turn to the cards for by classifying it under either love or work?
And love more than work.
One of the things I’ve been pondering lately is the old standby question of asking what the “other” feels/thinks/wants/will do.
I’m not here to say that cards can’t tell you. They can.
But I’ve noticed an energy shift in readings when the focus is taken off “the other” and put back on the client. I’ve noticed this personally when I myself do readings to try to “investigate” what’s going on in another person’s head/mind/intentions/body/anything.
I’ve noticed a physical lightening sensation and a sense of peace and well-being when I take the focus in my readings off “the other” and I shift it back to me and search for answers to things I am personally responsible for.
Again, this isn’t a post to say “either/or”. Examining both self and others in readings is worthwhile.
I think the focus-shifting from other to self can become particularly useful, however, when you find yourself reading (either for yourself or a client) about the same topic over and over. Perhaps we all have an example of a time when we kept going back to the cards for the same information, either because we felt we couldn’t control another person’s behavior (“Will he come back?”) or because we felt we couldn’t rely on information from our own gut instincts about a person (“Can I trust him?”). Asking these questions can be valuable. But if they keep getting approached continuously over a short period of time, that’s a bit of a red flag that perhaps we can and should shift the focus off of the other and onto ourselves.
In readings, as in life, we only really have control over our own decisions and our own behavior. (And sometimes not even those!)
That being the case, when we find ourselves asking the same thing over, and over, and over, it can be helpful to turn the tables and make those cards speak to what we need to know about ourselves (or what our client needs to know about their own inner and outer world, the areas they personally have control over).
Here’s a spread I designed to do just that. If you find yourself in a situation like this, give it a try and see how it shifts the focus, the insights and the information delivered by the cards, to a perspective that will most likely lift yourself or the client to a more empowered place.
I spread the cards out in a wheel or star-like fashion, sort of like spokes. I liked the idea that the first card was representative of putting the focus back on the individual in question (the querent, or you if you’re reading for yourself), and that all the other cards spring out from that central point or hub—you or the client.
Tarot is, I believe, most useful when we can put it to work for helping us to uncover truths and fallacies about ourselves, and how we can work with them.
1: (place this card in the center) Where I’m currently at in this situation (you can specify the situation if you want, such as Where I’m currently at in my healing journey, in my relationship, in my career, etc – whatever the central theme or catalyst seems to be that is sparking your recurring need to ask about the other).
2: (place this card to the upper right of the first card) Most important factor to be aware of in my interaction with the other (Here, we include the other person because obviously they are a focus of our energy and attention in wanting insight, but rather than the more typical “What are they thinking/doing/wanting” etc., we put the focus on us and our role in the interaction with that person)
3: (place this card to the lower right of the first card) My readiness for getting what I want in this situation (I realized that often when we or a client ask questions like “Will she come back?” “Does she love me?” etc., what we should also pay attention to is where we’re at currently in terms of being ready to receive what we hope for, or what our role is in terms of whether or not what we say we want is actually healthy or appropriate for us. Perhaps we aren’t “getting” what we want for a reason that we’re not yet aware of, and this can help to explore that idea.)
4: (place this card to the lower left of the first card) How can I strengthen trusting myself and my own instincts and intuition? (Essentially when we or a client are asking a recurring question, we most likely are ignoring what our inner signals are telling us. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read for someone asking “Can I trust him?” and wanting to say to them before even pulling cards: if you’re asking this, you already don’t. So asking “can I” is a question that perhaps can sometimes more usefully be rephrased into this one, that explores how we can strengthen our ability to listen to our inner wisdom and guidance and the voice of our Higher Self).
5: (place this card to the upper left of the first card) Advice/guidance now regarding this person/situation/etc.
I did a reading for myself using this template and that’s where the energy shift occurred. Rather than giving away my power and agency to the other, this reading helped me to re-focus my energy, intentions, and ability to act back to its origin: self.
Give this a try, and let me know what you think!