When You’re Not Sure If You Can Help Someone

What is the hardest question you’ve had to answer as a tarot reader?

In the time that I’ve been reading for other people, I’ve had my fair share of difficult questions.

Difficult, of course, is subjective.

Some people find questions like, “Is my ex coming back?” challenging because they are yes or no questions with an emotional charge to them.

Others find predictive questions difficult because their tarot reading style is less focused on the future and more on the present.

Tarot readers are always defining the boundaries of their work, and determining the best ways they can use tarot.

When I was starting out as a professional reader, there was a common piece of advice out there to turn down readings that didn’t feel like a good fit for your work.

There have only been a few times that I’ve turned people down, however. Sometimes, clients will come for tarot readings needing a type of support that just isn’t possible through tarot. Or, they will be insistent on receiving specific information without being open to alternatives.

The few times I have had to turn someone away were always because the clients insisted on questions that would have put me in difficult ethical situations and weren’t open to alternatives I could offer.

Sometimes the hardest thing about being a tarot reader is feeling helpless. While there is a lot of talk online about drawing boundaries around your readings and the questions you will entertain, I always encourage tarot readers to be compassionate towards their querents.

Sometimes questions that seem ripe for dismissal are veiling a deep desire for help, change, or a listening ear.

Several years ago a woman booked a reading with me to ask if she would ever win the lottery. Even though other tarot readers would be quick to advise me to cancel the booking, in my gut something told me to take it on.

I also knew that there were a lot of fraudulent tarot readers around who prey on questions like these, promising to sell you lucky numbers and money potions. I figured at the very least, I might be able to protect this person from falling into the wrong hands.

When I met with this client and asked her why winning the lottery was so important to hear, I learned that her family was facing financial hardship and she was looking for a way to solve it. I told her I couldn’t help her win the lottery – heck, if I knew how to do that I’d be millionaire myself – but I could do a reading to help her create a plan for financial stability.

Her eyes lit up at the suggestion: She hadn’t even considered that, because no one had told her that tarot could help with such things.

That was a big lesson for me in showing people patience and openness, rather than reactively turning clients away who might not have the “right” questions from the beginning. Not only did it give me the chance to help someone, but it also led to this client learning that tarot is about much more than its mainstream reputation of lucky numbers and lottery predictions.

And because I have pushed myself to take on questions that are often seen as unsuitable for tarot readings, my capacity to serve my clients has grown over the years. I’m no longer afraid of big or hard questions.

Because I’ve also learned that sometimes, people just want to be listened to without judgement. And sometimes, giving someone the opportunity to talk about their questions out loud is a very cathartic process in and of itself.

Not all of life’s questions have easy answers. Sometimes, there are many answers for one question, and other times we have to wait in uncertainty for an answer to become available.

But even just taking the time to hash out the possibilities of a situation can be enough to help someone.

So next time you get a question that you’re not sure how to answer, ask yourself: “Is there something else I can do for my querent instead? Is there another path I can offer them? Is there another angle we could take here?”

As a tarot reader, you won’t always have a perfect answer, but you might still be able to help someone with your presence, kindness, and compassion.

Until next time,



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