I’ve been reading for people for awhile now — a good four-ish years as a “professional” (meaning strictly on a paid-basis). Reading professionally has taught me a lot about people. Who people are, what they want, what they need… they all come to me looking for answers and I throw down some cards and try to make some sense out of the chaos of their lives.
Ninety-nine percent of my clients want to know about love/romance/partnership. They frequently word this as “soul mate”. Everyone wants a soul mate. Everyone wants to be a little less alone in the world. I’m fine with this (though the frequency of this type of reading is something of chagrin to professionals at the psychic water-cooler). What I’m less fine with is when someone asks for a “general” reading from me and I throw cards, interpret, intuit, etc., and then after the reading they say, “Well, um, is there anything in there about a romance (or a relationship/possible relationship/soul mate/boyfriend/wife/etc.)?”
This bothers me because it breaks some very simple rules for getting a great reading. The first rule is Be upfront about your expectations of the reading. If you’re going to a psychic for advice about love, say so! If you were going to a lawyer for advice on a traffic violation, you wouldn’t ask for some “general legal advice”, would you? No, why is a psychic any different?
Lots of people expect a psychic to know exactly what it is they want, and part of the test is to see if the psychic will figure it out. Unfortunately, the universe doesn’t work that way. I don’t work that way. I can’t read your mind (thank GODS), so if your burning desire is find out whether your partner is in it for the long haul, ask me! Don’t sit there purse-lipped and expect that the cosmos is just as emotionally invested in your love-life as you are! I’ve got a little tip for you, it isn’t. What is most frustrating and most fruitful about the tarot is that it is a tool that tells you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear.
That said, careful wording of your question and expectations of a reading can help focus your reader so that you can get the kind of counsel you want. Here are some tips to get you started:
- Let your reader know first thing what area of your life you’re interested in exploring.
- If you want to know about a specific situation, let your reader in on the specifics of the situation. The more information your reader has to work with, the better they will be able to synthesize the reading to answer your questions. He or she should be able to adjust the spread used to maximize your reading potential.
- Engage your reader with questions during and after the reading. It’s been my experience that my clients get more out of their readings if they are active participants in them. Some psychics hate this. I love it. If you are looking at the cards and have a sudden insight to offer to your reader do so! It’s your reading, after all!
- Don’t try to “trick” or “test” your reader. I’m always very confused when someone pays for a reading from me and then proceeds to try and test my psychic-ness. I dislike the word “psychic” anyway, since I’m of the opinion that we’re all psychic to some degree. My role is to interpret the cards, that’s it. In my mind it’s akin to going to a doctor but making the doctor guess what’s ailing you. I often want to ask these people what is motivating them to throw away their money if they don’t believe there is any intrinsic value in a card-reading? Alas, I bite my tongue since I’m the one the money’s being thrown at.
- If you’re on the fence about whether you believe in the value of a tarot consultation, share those feelings with the reader. He or she should be able to explain to you their exact process. Some people are uncomfortable with the method used (by channeling, for example. I’m personally uncomfortable with angel readings and readings involving dead relatives). In that case, you should seek out a reader with whom you share similar philosophies.
Buying a tarot reading (or any other kind of psychic reading) is a luxury for many people. Don’t waste your money on a reading you’re going to walk away from feeling empty. By following the simple tips outlined above you’re assured to receive at least some of the guidance that you seek.
Of course keep in mind that the tarot, as will all tools of self-discovery, does not always tell you what you want to hear. In that case, be open to the message offered in the cards. Give the reading some time to germinate and give yourself the quiet reflection time needed to fully digest what the cards have enlightened.