A few things no one taught me about reading tarot

Recently, I’ve been trying to think about how my tarot practice evolved into what it is today in terms of the habits and beliefs I’ve built around my processes.

There are so many things that we learn about practices like tarot on our own, through trial and error, experience and reflection.

It’s not possible to learn everything from a teacher, mentor, class, or book. Our knowledge builds from so many different sources, influences, and experiences.

Here are a few things no one ever taught me about tarot, but that I learned to do along the way all the same:

1. It’s okay to take a moment to study the cards you’ve pulled before delivering any messages.

When I’m reading tarot for someone, I don’t launch into the reading the moment the cards are pulled. I always take my time to see what’s shown up, look for patterns or other interesting details, and consider the elements that are present.

Sometimes this long pause makes querents nervous,...

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How to help querents ask effective tarot questions

Like any tool, tarot can be helpful.

But only when used correctly.

I hope this doesn’t sound controversial – it shouldn’t, because it’s true: Not every tarot reading will feel magical, special, significant, or even important.

That can apply to readings you do for yourself, as well as for others.

It’s one thing to have a reading fall flat for yourself.

But it’s a whole other ballgame if you’re reading for someone else. Even if it’s just for fun for a friend or family member, you might still want that reading to feel productive for them.

Often, the issue is not with tarot itself. Instead, readings can feel unproductive or unhelpful because the question being asked isn’t clear, or isn’t suitable for tarot.

It can also happen that the question is being asked far too often, or touches on something that doesn’t need to be explored for whatever reason.

Sometimes life is humming along just fine. Not all situations need to be...

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My Favourite Tarot Questions When You’re Not Sure What to Ask

Do you ever feel like you’re stuck on asking the same few questions whenever you pull out your tarot cards?

Like anything else, tarot can get stale over time. It’s not unusual for readers to get a bit bored or feel disconnected to tarot, no matter how much they love it.

We are human, after all, and tarot is like any other relationship. Sometimes we feel deeply aligned and in flow, and other times we might feel as though we’ve grown apart.

Over the years, I’ve had numerous moments where I craved tarot and was compelled to give myself a reading. But when I sat down with my cards, I realized I wasn’t sure why I felt that, or what I wanted to read on.

We don’t always have to go over the same topics or types of questions with tarot. There are popular go-to questions like, “What should I focus on right now?” Or, “What do I need to know right now?” that aren’t bad inquiries on their own.

But like anything else, they can...

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A tarot spread to discover your unique advantages

Tarot is an interesting tool because whatever we take into ourselves – our influences, beliefs, experiences, and knowledge – can become a new lens through which to filter the cards.

No matter how many outside ideas you learn about tarot…

No matter how many different tarot meanings you try to take in…

No matter how many different approaches you take here…

Every reading you do will go through you own point of view.

And that is something that is built through all kinds of experiences and perspectives.

Our experiences give each of us a unique vantage point from which we stand. If you read tarot, or you’re learning how, it helps to reflect on your personal advantages and how they might influence your readings, or allow you to connect with querents. 

It can be influenced by different jobs you’ve had:

Work gives us all kinds of skills. Many jobs help with people skills, and if you want to read for others, then it helps to be open and...

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Is there such a thing as getting too many tarot readings?

How much tarot is too much tarot?

There’s shared advice among tarot readers that readings need room to breathe:

Messages need time to unfold. Life has to happen. And there can be many factors and influences involved in a situation.

Is it always easy to wait? No. But like anything else, tarot requires balance.

But what happens when tarot becomes a crutch – something you’re relying on so much that you’re afraid to make a move without consulting the cards first?

Or maybe it’s not just tarot. Astrology and other types of divination or rituals can have the same effect.

At what point does a tool or spiritual practice become superstition, or even dependency?

Finding a balance here isn’t always easy. If tarot is so accurate and useful, why not use it all the time?

I wouldn’t say it’s common that someone develops a dependency on tarot, but it does happen.

This is one reason why many tarot readers have guidelines and policies for their clients...

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A lesson I learned from a friend this year

I have been reflecting a lot on my own actions lately.

I have been having really amazing conversations with a very-wise high school friend I reconnected with this year.

He said something that stuck with me:

“No one should assume that their advice is SO AWESOME that everyone needs to hear it.”

I know this is true because I have been on the receiving end of unhelpful, unsolicited advice a lot in my life. Especially throughout challenging times, like the illnesses and deaths of my parents.

But when I think back about my side of certain interactions, I realize I am just as guilty of offering unwelcome or uninvited advice.

Instead of just listening to my friends, I used to find ways to make myself useful. I couldn’t just let them talk about their day jobs or creative ambitions, or whatever they were sharing with me.

I always had to assume the role of a coach, consultant or therapist, whether they were asking me to be that for them or not.

Ironically, learning to...

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Should you let people record their tarot readings?

I received a great question on Instagram a little while back: “What’s your feeling on clients recording their tarot readings?”

 

The first tarot reading I had was in the late `90s at a psychic fair. The reader recorded it on cassette tape (hellooooo nostalgia) and I went back and listened to it several times in later years.

Because that was my first experience with a professional reader, I always just assumed everyone recorded their readings, too.

But I soon learned recordings are not universal among readers.

In fact, a tarot reader who I have had numerous readings from never recordings their readings – and they’ve been in the business for decades.

I’ve also learned there are pros and cons to recording your readings. And logistically, it’s not always a feasible offering.

So here are some thoughts and learnings on the subject:

“Do readers have to offer recordings?”

NOPE! It’s always up to the reader to make this...

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Is it ever okay to turn someone down for a tarot reading?

Red flags are a hot topic these days.

And there a lot of good reasons for that. I bet we all have at least a handful of regretful or painful experiences that, in hindsight, could have been avoided if only we’d paid attention to the signs.

In service-based work like tarot reading, coaching, or other one-on-one offerings, there’s a lot of advice out there on how to attract your “ideal client.”

Because no one wants to sit down to read tarot for someone who turns out to be a less-than-stellar client, right?

Afterall, you don’t go into business for yourself just to feel like you’re being bossed around by a bunch of pain-in-the-butt customers.

Before I go further, I will say there’s a big difference between choosing “ideal clients” versus feeling like someone is a potential threat to your safety. Obviously, if you feel unsafe, that’s a red flag to watch for.

Outside of that, there are a lot of other recommendations out there...

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Do your tarot readings ever feel like guessing games?

A couple of weeks ago, I got an email that sounded like it should have landed in my spam folder instead of my inbox.

I didn’t recognize the name, and the subject line was vague: “Checking in” is all it said.

Still, I opened it anyway.

The email was short and read: “How are you doing? Are you busy? I need a little favour from you.”

I was about to hit delete, but I wanted to make sure this wasn’t a past client or student who perhaps had a question about something they’d purchased from me.

So I searched their name in my inbox, and an old message came up. The name suddenly rang a bell: It was a neighbour who lives in my building, and who I chat with whenever we run into each other.

But her surname had escaped me, having only seen it once before when she had emailed me in 2018 about donating some old books to a rummage sale.

I went back to her email. “Are you busy? I need a little favour from you.” The thing was, I was busy. I had a...

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The Ethics of Reading Tarot for the Collective

Do you follow any tarot readers who do group readings, or forecasts for the collective?

Or maybe you do readings like this yourself.

From tarotscopes to daily draws, to card of the day readings that are broadcast across all kinds of social media channels, collective readings seem more popular than ever.

I’m not sure if it’s just me, but I seem to be seeing these types of posts more than ever online right now. Maybe lockdown inspired more readers to get online.

But what I’m also seeing, and hearing, is that the lines seem to be getting blurred when it comes to how people are interpreting these collective readings.

The way I see it, a collective tarot reading is similar to following your horoscope. You check it to see what’s up, and take a little bit of inspiration from it if it makes sense to do so. And if it doesn’t, you move on with your day and look forward to seeing what tomorrow’s message may be.

I used to write horoscope columns and offer...

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