Most every tarot deck comes with a little book that tells what each card means. The book may even suggest some spreads to use and what each position in the spread means. This is all very useful information. What does the card reader do now? What questions can be asked, whom can they be asked for, and how are they asked? This article will examine the who, what, where and how of asking questions of the tarot.
SOME TAROT THEORY
The tarot is a navigation tool for our lives. Symbols in the framework of a tarot deck provide direction.
A "reading" of tarot symbols gives you information about the present. Since the present is a seed for the future, the reading offers a vision of a "probable" future. Once the future has been glimpsed, it can be altered to either insure or deter what is seen. The tarot gives feedback about one’s location along life’s journey. The reading shows the possibilities, giving us choice and greater control over the destiny.
The symbols in the tarot are like symbolic clues we receive throughout life. Events in the world that occur seemingly at random, such as a gust of wind or a falling leaf, are symbolic guideposts of impending events. The tarot reading is simply the intentional allowing of synchronism to furnish a sign.
Who formulates and asks the question? Both the querent and the reader collaborate together in the formulation of the question. The cards that come up are for the querent, and the reader ‘s job is to phrase the question. I typically have the querent shuffle the cards until they "feel right" while the querent thinks about the final question. This bonds the card to the querent and removes the myself (the reader) from the answer.
It is the reader’s job to define the question and choose a suitable spread. In my experience the querent typically is asking about a specific question, gives no input on the question, or wishes to have a general reading. How the general reading is handled will be addressed in the "How?" section.
The specific question is handled like a doctor handles the reported symptoms of a patient. The reader asks enough questions about the question to formulate the "what" of the question. The reader then moves onto the "What?" stage of the reading.
Sometimes the querent gives no indication of their question. They may have a specific question or several questions, and it is up to the reader to deliver information from the reading that is most pertinent at the time. I call this "stump the psychic." A dear friend used to do this to me when I was learning to read. She would think of a question and I would see how close I would get. I do not recommend this approach. It can remove some of the potential "punch” of the reading as the reader scrambles to intuit both what the question is and what the answer is. "