A good Tarot reading relies heavily on the right sort of question being asked. The cards are not designed to be absolutely specific and their answers can appear to be nebulous. But look deeper and with the help of the right reader, you’ll be able to decide just how they apply to your life. But, given that the question is such a fundamental part of a good reading, how do you ask the 'right' ones?
The most prevalent form of reading is known as the Question Reading. In this, the querent sets the ball rolling by asking the cards a question. The reader may spend some time asking the querent about his or her situation and what they are hoping to glean from the session –which is perfectly normal. Through this, the reader hopes to establish a psychic link with the querent; the more they can understand about that person and their character, the easier that connection will be to build.
Once both parties are ready, the reading begins. The reader may choose to use a particular spread of cards to reflect the querent’s dilemma or he may ask the querent to make that choice. The querent draws the cards that are used and then the reader uses his intuitive and interpretative abilities to discern just which messages from the cards are the pertinent ones.
The Fool’s Journey
When we talk about messages, it’s not to say that the cards somehow communicate with the reader; the truth is much simpler than that. There are 78 cards in a Tarot deck, and when read in order they form a story known as The Fool’s Journey. The Fool’s Journey is an allegorical story, describing the journey of the Fool and the situations and people he encounters. The Fool is used to represent the querent and the cards drawn represent aspects of his life; the trials and tribulations we all face. Each card represents a small part of The Fool’s Journey, but comes with its own solutions to the problems faced in that particular encounter. As each part of the story is multi-layered, and it’s up to the reader to use their intuitive abilities to assess which aspect of the story applies to their client. One of the things that can offer them most help in this situation is having the querent ask the right question.
How to ask the right question
The first thing to acknowledge that the cards cannot tell you what to do. They can only offer insight into your situation and highlight the role you play within it. The first step towards asking the right question is to acknowledge that you have some responsibility in the situation, whatever it may be. This will already inform the type of question you ask. For example, instead of asking a question, such as “Should I ask that person out on a date?” try something along the lines of “What do I need to know to decide whether or not to ask that person out?” The difference is that, in the second question, you are accepting that you will ultimately be acting of your own volition, rather than blindly following the instructions of the cards; you are acknowledging your involvement in the set-up.
It’s also best not to ask ‘yes or no’ questions. The Tarot doesn’t answer in finite specifics. Instead, it offers us insight into our deeper feelings; the ones that are often hidden from ourselves. Consequently, the answers are likely to be more revealing than you may have thought and, in order to receive the full benefits of reading, you need to ask more open questions that will accommodate the answers. A simple yes or no doesn’t reveal anything to you and it also displaces any responsibility you have in the situation. What you don’t want to do is make a set of cards responsible for the course of action you make the choice to take. For these reasons, you shouldn’t begin questions with phrases such as “when will...” “Should I...” or “will I...” These are too specific and absent of responsibility for the Tarot to give you t he answers you need; they may not be the answers you want, but they will certainly be what you need.
Keep your options open
The best questions are those that show that you are keeping your options open’ you haven’t made a decision in advance. Knowing what you secretly want to do renders a Tarot reading pointless and will undoubtedly affect the reading, for the negative. Instead, you should be asking how a certain situation might affect you or what a person might have to offer you. Questions are better suited to a reading if they begin with words such as “how would...” or “how might...” Again, you are accepting the responsibility involved and demonstrating that you are open to whatever the cards have to say.
Finding the level of detail to ask is something of a balancing act – unless you employ the guidelines we have already looked at. Too specific and you’ll be reducing the capacity of the cards to help you out. Too nebulous and the cards will end up answering something else entirely; your question needs to tread the middle-ground, to give the Tarot room to breathe.
Your role in the equation
It’s also important to remember that the Tarot can only give you answers about yourself, not other people. You are the focus of the question. However, you can use the Tarot to enable you to help others, as long as you are asking about your role in that situation. For example, instead of asking “how can I help someone give up smoking”, you might want to ask what your role is in their currently being a smoker. Through highlighting your role in a situation, you should be able to understand more about yourself and how best to help that person out.
Finally, there’s no point in asking a question on which you have formed a strong opinion already. You need to remain as neutral as possible about the potential outcome. If you’ve already decided which side of the fence you’re on, then the reading won’t give you the information you need.