Tuesday, July 5, 2016

What's wrong with this tarot reading?

I'm in quite a few Facebook tarot groups now and it's a great learning experience to see how others read and interact with their tarot cards. "What's wrong with my reading?" seems to be a predominant theme for discussion. Readers are struggling to get the "right" answers from the cards. Here's my perspective on common tarot reading mistakes.

Tarot Everywhere deck (purchase HERE)

Using the wrong spread for the question. This is a very common mistake. You're asking a guidance question (What action should I take?) but you're doing a past-present-future reading. The past-present-future spread will only give you an outcome answer, not a guidance answer. 

Not using the visual image. Are you going by the traditional meanings for the tarot card and ignoring the card image? The visual image on the card is there to aid your interpretation and, in many cases, there's some specific information you can receive if you just look at the image. It's fine to blend the image with the traditional meaning, but it doesn't make sense to ignore the visual. Learn how to use the visual image with the story method of interpretation.

Putting power in your cards and not your abilities. "My cards are broken." If you can't interpret your reading or you don't feel your cards are "speaking" to you anymore, don't blame the cards. They're just pieces of cardstock. It's more likely that you haven't devised a clear system of centering yourself and interpreting the cards.

Asking two questions at the same time. "When will he come back and if he does should I let him move in with me?" This is two questions: a timing question (when...), and a guidance question (what should I do...). Different types of questions require different approaches. Of course, there's a way to choose just one card to answer both questions but if you haven't established HOW you will do this before you shuffle, you may not be able to interpret the answer. Check out this post on the seven different types of questions.

No question. Questions give context to the reading and interpretation. The same card can have a multitude of meanings depending on the question. Have a method for answering general questions. You can get a reliable response by asking a question without any context but you must have a reliable methodology or spread you use to do so. Read 10 Questions, 1 Card to understand how to use context to interpret the cards.

Relying on psychic ability instead of the cards. If you're claiming to do cartomancy, then read the cards. Don't let your intuition contradict what you're seeing. So often your intuition may be giving you a feeling or helping you to empathize with the client but your empathy will not give them an accurate answer to their question. 

Judging instead of reading. "I don't care what the cards say. I can't support adultery so I can only see devastation in your relationship with this married man." Or, "that's a stupid question." There are no stupid questions. Just questions that seeker's need answered. And that should be your only concern. If you're reading tarot for others, you're a service provider which means your job is to provide the service, not serve up judgement. Keep your opinions to yourself and read the damn cards!

A limited view of the tarot card suits. One of the most common questions I hear is how to interpret Pentacles in a relationship reading. If you're still associating Cups with just relationships and Pentacles with just money, you're headed for trouble. Instead of using the suits to represent different arenas of life, see them as actions instead. Check out these posts to learn to read suits in new ways:

The Role of Tarot Suit Emblems
Use Tarot Suit Combinations To Find The Reading's Theme
Tarot and Your Handwriting

All of these errors boil down to a couple of guidelines. 
  • Read the cards. Get your emotions and judgement out of it. 
  • Begin with a question even if the question is "What do you need to know right now?"
  • Look at the pictures. That's what they're for. 
  • Interpret based on context.

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