Connecting to someone else’s energy in a tarot reading

“I love reading tarot, but I don’t always know how to connect to my querent’s energy. Sometimes I feel like all of the messages in the cards are actually for me. How do I move past this?”

This is a problem I hear quite often.

Sometimes readers deliver a reading that doesn’t land with the querent at all, but instead sounds like it might apply to one of their friends instead.

Or the cards seem to be directing their messages to the reader themself, rather than offer any personal insights for the querent.

So what’s going on when this happens?

There’s a popular narrative out there suggests the cards are in charge of the reading. That somehow, a tarot deck has such a powerful consciousness that it knows what everyone’s friends and neighbours are up to, without being prompted. Or that cards act as though they have a mind of their own, deciding to derail a reading and ignore the querent entirely.

Let me challenge this for a moment:

Tarot doesn’t work on its own. Cards need readers to interpret them. As the reader, you act as the translator, or the filter, for the messages that are present.

You’re the one determining what the reading is saying. Which means you are also the one in charge of the reading. It’s up to you to lead the way, and to ensure a reading accomplishes what it sets out to do.

That means you have a responsibility for how the reading is delivered.

What does that responsibility entail?

  • Be clear about the question or intention. Know the purpose of the reading before you begin. The reason behind the reading is the assignment for the cards that are being pulled. Trust that the cards that show up are there to answer the question that has been posed, and to represent their positions in a tarot spread.
  • Keep the reading in context. What is the specific question or intention for the reading? What do your spread positions entail? Whatever it is you are trying to divine – a piece of advice, a prediction, an outlook, a point of view – should be what your interpretation speaks to.
  • Stay on card. If the interpretation is not speaking to the question or intention set from the beginning, or if your reading is wandering off into unexpected tangents, you might be going off card. When this happens, come back to the cards that have shown up for the reading.
  • Interpret the reading. This is where the question of energy comes in. Your job as a tarot reader is to read your cards. They contain vast amounts of information. A tarot reading doesn’t require that you tune into a querent’s energy. Instead, the aim is to literally read your cards.

Tarot isn’t something that happens outside of you: It comes through your ability to stay centered, grounded, and present with the question at hand, and the cards on the table.

If you find yourself performing a tarot reading that doesn’t feel like it’s connecting, it’s up to you to get it back on track.

Ask yourself: What’s missing from the equation?

  • Do you have a clear question or intention?
  • Are the cards you’ve pulled ones you’re not as familiar with?
  • Does the topic of the reading cover a different theme or context you’re not as familiar with?
  • Are you reading on a question you don’t have a lot of experience answering?

These questions are common reasons readers can experience a disconnect when performing a reading.

“But sometimes it seems like the messages I’m seeing are meant just for me.”

Yes, but that’s also dependent on the filter you’re putting the cards through. Work on seeing your readings through a context outside of yourself if you struggle to keep an emotional distance as you read.

I acknowledge there can be times when we’re reading for another person and we realize we’re going through similar events as our querents.

But that’s not license to turn the reading on yourself, or to bypass the querent’s questions altogether.

Next time you’re feeling at odds with a reading, give these steps a try:

Trust that the energy between you and your querent is flowing just fine, and trust that the cards that appear are there for a reason. Then come back to the question at hand, and ask yourself, “How do these cards best relate to what I’m trying to find out?”

Hope this helps.

Until next time,


p.s. Ready to level-up your tarot skills and learn how to give compassionate, insightful tarot readings to others? Check out my free, on-demand masterclass to learn how! Details are here.


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