Featured Deck: The Rider Waite Smith Tarot Deck
Let’s face it, people are inclined to go to a divination practitioner (i.e. tarot reader) because they want to get some answers/information to certain questions on their minds. However, do we really think about the questions that we approach these tools with? It may sound a bit much to ponder about this, but asking the appropriate (or “right”) question can speak volumes to the quality of the reading you will gain.
Do I have to ask a question at all?
It’s important to address the fact that it is possible to do tarot/divinatory readings without any presentation of questions or information from you (if you are doing readings for yourself) or the querent. You can still get an adequate reading, however, it might lead you or the querent somewhere totally unexpected. Despite’s its wild nature, it’s also definitely a fun and very interesting reading experience for sure (my Let the Cards Speak session caters to this). However, asking an appropriate question can put the reading in a much more specific context, which can unmask different possible layers that a general reading might not be able to do.
Why does asking the “right” question matter?
It’s because we are able to get clearer and more profound answers and/or insights if we can phrase our questions in a specific and clear way. For me, the Tarot is a powerful tool for psychospiritual exploration and situational analysis so asking questions that are explorative can bring more resonance and empowerment to the querent.
To help you frame a more insightful question, here are some tips to consider:
Tip No. 1: Open-Ended Questions are the BEST
Will I get married before I am thirty?
Does (insert name here) like me?
Questions like these are what most people have a tendency to ask whenever they approach their divinatory practice or practitioner. There’s nothing wrong with this (because there are no right or wrong when it comes to the tarot) and there are automatic ways to answer it, which I am not as adept at (and frankly fond of doing).
However, these questions are limiting and it doesn’t necessarily give the querent any autonomy whatsoever. It also limits the descriptive and conversational quality of the tarot that makes it so great. Asking a Yes/No question is like treating the tarot as a Magic-8 ball.
Open-ended questions, especially that starts with “What,” “How,” and “Why”, are great because they give the querent an empowered way of looking at the situation. The cards then start to become a roadmap the querent can choose to follow rather than a prophecy they can’t escape.
Tip No. 2: Seek for an Action rather than an Outcome
In connection with the previous tip that stresses the importance of autonomy, it would be more beneficial for the querent to search for actionable steps rather than an outcome for a couple of reasons.
First, being able to direct your focus on possible steps or guidance on how to manage the situation rather than waiting for something to happen gives you freedom of choice. This freedom is empowering because you have a say in what can happen in the situation rather than being told how things will unfold (this also applies to time-based questions).
Secondly, I personally believe that the future is fluid and flexible that is why an outcome-based inquiry is not always reliable. “The future is not set-in-stone” is an old adage that really rings true to my beliefs about fate and destiny. This is the reason why I try to steer clear from the predictive form of this craft (although as of the writing of this post I am studying the old-ways of fortune-telling with the cards only for fun).
Lastly, if we focus too much on the outcome then we get so stuck thinking about it, that it ultimately becomes some sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Action-oriented inquiries give you more independence to do certain things in a guided way, whether it results in the outcome that you wanted or not. Again, having that choice to pursue the reading’s advice or not helps develop autonomy and independence within us.
Tip No. 3: Put the focus on yourself rather than other people.
In my practice, I deeply value the importance of centering the session on the querent and not on other people, especially without their consent, because it is against my personal ethics to use the tarot in such an invasive manner. It’s like using the cards as an intuitive surveillance system, which is just creepy and wrong to be perfectly honest.
There is power and effectivity in working on ourselves, rather than peeping in someone else’s life. Using this opportunity to ask the guidance of the cards to understand and/or improve one’s self is a time (and/or money) well spent.
Those are just some tips you might want to consider when asking your cards questions. It’s important to think about this because a well-rounded question can produce well-rounded answers. It takes lots of practice to actually shift the mindset to ask mindful and productive questions, so don’t be too hard on yourself. If all else fails, your reader (that’ll be me if you decide to book in a session) can help you phrase your question for you.
Now that we’ve got the basics of creating a question in the bag, are you ready to book a session with me?