I like to think of a tarot reading as a little bit like a dance. Two people - reader and client - connect and open up a conversation. Sure, it's a little different by email to meeting up face to face, but both parties still have opportunities to be heard, to ask questions, and to bring their ideas to the table.
To make sure my customers get the most out of every reading, I bring knowledge of the cards, tarot experience, willingness to assist you, and almost the most important thing, an outsider's perspective. What can you, the client, bring to the reading? Firstly, a willingness to engage. This one's all about attitude - being curious about what the cards have to say, and being open to hearing their feedback and advice.
The second tool you can bring to make sure you get the best out of our time together? An empowering question.
You may have gathered that my readings are all about putting you in the driver's seat (read about how one of my favourite spreads helps you take control of your purpose here). There's no doubt that the cards will occasionally offer us a prediction, but by and large, my focus is on taking action rather than passively waiting for a set outcome.
So, how can you ask an empowering question? Here are my tips.
1. Avoid the Yes/No Trap
In my time as a reader, I have often been asked, "Will I get that job?", "Will my ex come back?", "Will I have another child?". It's human nature to want to mitigate uncertainty, to crave predictability and to reduce risk and doubt. Wouldn't it be nice to know for sure what was coming down the pipe? Then, we could sit back, relax, and wait for the promised outcome to fall in our laps!
Sadly, reality doesn't really work that way, and while I can do you a predictive yes/no reading, I usually advise such things to be taken with a grain of salt. Why? Because the future is made up of thousands upon thousands of choices - your choices, your ex's choices, the choices of your barista, your mother, your bus driver, your doctor, your neighbours, that person you pass in the street and never see again.
As you can see, not all of these choices are under your control, but even the ones that aren't could have an impact on your future. Welcome to life as we know it! Unfortunately, there's not much you can do about that.
Don't worry so much about asking will it/won't it, and start thinking about how you can take action to get the outcome you want.
2. Start thinking about Whats and Hows
So, what can you control? You guessed it! Yourself. Your mindset, your attitude, your preparedness, your decisions (that's what I mean by an empowering tarot reading). We can use a tarot reading to guess at whether you'll get that job, but if you don't actually submit an application, your chances aren't good. Similarly, you might get back together with your ex, but if you don't unblock their number, will they even be able to reach you?
All readers are different, but I know my cards just love a question that opens with, "How can I..." Maybe that's just because I have a personal bias towards giving practical advice over hard and fast predictions, but if it ain't broke, don't fix it!
If you're searching for that new job, think about asking your tarot reader, "How can I put my best foot forward in my job search?" Or, you could ask, "What aspects of my professional self should I most emphasise to my prospective employer?". Or, "What mindset should I cultivate going into this job search?". Similarly, you could ask, "What action can I take to reconnect with my old lover?", or perhaps, "How can I improve my relationship with my ex, because I hope to get back together with him/her?"
All of these questions invite a response that is action-focused and practical. We've already acknowledged the fact that you can't control every aspect of your future, but you can take charge of your own attitudes and behaviours. With the right attitude and course of action, you increase your chances of creating the future you really want. And what is tarot for, after all?
3. Decide how much detail you will share
The right approach here depends on who is reading for you, so this one is your call! Some readers prefer minimal detail in a question. Some readers will say they get a better read without the clutter of a detailed backstory.
When it comes to my readings, I tend to think that if you put general in, you get general out. If you ask a vague question, the answer will often be less specific than you hoped. It doesn't mean that your reading won't give you some insight into your situation, but a small amount of detail in your question really helps to hone the specific advice your reader can give you.
For example, a question like, "What do I do next in this situation?", will naturally lend itself to a pretty vague answer! On the other hand, asking "What do I do next in order to end this difficult business partnership?" or, "What do I do next in order to get that promotion I want?" will mean the advice that comes back to you will be specifically tailored for the situation you have described. You don't need to write an essay, but a little detail goes a long way to making sure your reading is specific, personal, and empowering for your situation.
Do you agree? How do you empower yourself through questioning? What kind of questions do you ask the tarot? Share your thoughts in the comments below!