Starting a Reading with a Question
Despite the great number of tarot decks that exist around the world, not to mention the number of psychics who read with tarot cards, I think it is safe to say that most tarot readings usually begin with the question, “What can I look at for you?”, or, “What would you like to know?”
In my experience as a reader, there are many answers to that question. Some clients are very specific and know exactly what they want from the moment the call begins. “Lately, the man that I have been dating seems like he is pulling away from me,” my client, Anna, said. “When I ask him if anything is wrong, he says everything is fine, but I know something is different. Is he lying to me, and can you tell me if he is seeing someone else?”
Or if the question has to do with career, it might sound something like a client I had several years ago. “My parents have been insisting that I become a doctor because we come from a family of doctors. But that doesn’t seem right. I’ve been thinking about dropping out of school. Can you tell me if this is the right path?”
Then, there are the other occasions when I get a client who says, “I’m not focused on anything in particular. Things are good. Just take a look at the cards and tell me what you see.”
Your Reading, Your Way
To be clear: there is no wrong way to ask a question in a reading. As a client, you have a right to connect to the cards in whatever way is meaningful to you. As I personally see it (and every psychic is different) my job is to interpret the tarot spread and share the wisdom that has been made available to you through spiritual or divine guidance. As I shuffle the cards, I specifically ask my guides to place the cards in the order that gives you whatever information and insight you are looking for.
The Benefits of a Cold Reading
When you ask a tarot reader to read for you without giving any information or focusing the reading in a particular direction, this is often called a “cold reading.” Clients who request a cold reading may also begin the reading by saying to the psychic, “Just tell me what you see.”
One benefit to this type of reading is that the client may feel more confident about the reading if something comes up that they recognize, having given no details to the psychic. For example, I had a cold reading earlier in the year and saw that most of the cards were coins and upside-down, next to the Emperor who was also reversed. I asked the client if he’d lost or recently left a job and was concerned about finances, and he confirmed both. But there were also some other cards that related to his love life and he wasn’t interested in talking about that. We were eventually able to focus the reading on what was most important to him.
The Cons of a Cold Reading
In a cold reading, some clients, once they get some information they recognize as true, will then fill in more details. As I said, these readings are fine, but I often see them as similar to asking your child to find something you’ve put in the attic. You have a set of books you read as a teenager and you’d like to share them with them. “I know they’re up there. They are in an unmarked box somewhere. Keep searching, you’ll find them.”
Eventually, if they open enough boxes, they’ll find what they’re looking for, but they’ll also find a box of old cutlery, some photo albums, a pair of ice skates; more than they needed. That experience is very different than if you had said, “There is a box all the way at the back near the window, and it has “books” written on it. What you are looking for is in there at the bottom.”
Another example: Imagine driving in a car for a cross-country road trip and programming the GPS for where you want to go. There is a big difference between typing in, “somewhere out east” and “42nd Street, Times Square, New York.”
Guiding Your Reading
In other words, while there is no exact right or wrong when asking questions in a reading, there are ways to get the most out of a reading and your experience working with a psychic. A specific question that lets the reader know, “I am thinking about starting a business and I want to know what you see” can make all the difference. We will then fill in the details.
There are times where you may not know what your exact question is, but you have a general idea. Even explaining that the reading is about “love and relationship” versus “career” can be helpful. I’ll explain with a sample reading very similar to one I mentioned at the beginning of this reading with Anna. She wanted advice about a relationship with a man she’d been dating for several months. She asked to know what the future held. I saw the four of wands, and the four of swords. I also saw the Emperor and the King of Coins upside down.
Our first reading began with a “cold” spread, but I felt intuitively that this was a reading about a romantic relationship. In that context, my advice to her was that while I knew she had a connection with this man, I felt that at times he was taking her for granted and she needed to confront him. I was right, but the cards that I turned over, in the context of a career reading, could have meant that she was frustrated with a boss, felt unappreciated, and needed a break to consider her options. I also saw new opportunities for her if things didn’t work out. Same cards, different interpretations.
Focus Your Thoughts and Intentions
Here is my advice, as someone who has been on both sides of the “psychic” table: take a moment before you read to focus your question. If you decide to go general, that’s okay, but be prepared to get more specific. As a psychic, I read from your concentration, so as you focus, I am able to channel that energy into your reading. As I am also empathic, I respond to what moves and motivates you, what makes you happy or sad too. If you are indifferent about your question, the cards may reflect that.
Consider asking questions that lead to other interesting questions. A question like, “Will I get a raise at work next week?” is fine, but yes and no questions are pretty absolute. But asking, “Can you tell me about my raise and anything that is helpful in my work situation?” gives my guides room to consider possibilities that may be happening in six months.
And finally: one of my favorite readings is someone who says, “I don’t know what direction to go in my life. I believe I have talent, but I don’t know how to express it. Can you please help?” This may seem very general, but actually it is a very specific call for guidance, and I know that my guides, through both the tarot and astrology, love to respond to “vision” and “purpose” questions.
A Satisfying Reading
The right way to focus a psychic reading is to keep in mind which questions when answered will make you feel the most satisfied when the reading is over. A psychic reading is a co-creative process where a psychic and a client work together. We rely on you, and you can always go deeper, change directions, or shift to a different topic altogether; remember, you’re in the driver’s seat. But like any kind of driving, it always helps to know where you want to go!
The stars know you, and we know the stars.
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