The Worst Question to Ask the Tarot

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Some questions are better than others – some are totally useless.

I have noticed lately that a lot of people have been coming with the kind of question that, if answered, often ruins the rest of the reading.

“Is it possible to speak to the dead?”
“Is it possible for people to be twin souls?”
“Is it possible to get the winning lottery numbers in a dream?”
“Is it possible to be cursed?”

Will you fall in the creek of life or find the road to happiness?
From the Gaian Tarot

The problem isn’t whether or not we can answer these questions – mystics have been doing so for as long as people have been around. It also isn’t that these ideas are superstitious or impossible.  The only answer to these questions can have to them is, “Anything is possible.” It is also possible that we are stuck in the matrix, living in a dream of some larger consciousness, or that reality is all an illusion.

The challenge is that once the door is opened to what is possible in the whole of creation, clients often struggle to accept a different answer in relation to their reality. Is the answer to their question true in their life.  Are they cursed? Is this person their twin soul? These are questions we can be definitive about.

Of course the examples I have shared so far are dramatic and maybe don’t come up very often depending on your life, or clients. “Is it possible I’ll get a promotion at work?” “Is it possible they will come back?” These questions seem more reasonable to most people, but can be exactly as damaging if they fail to go deeper. There is a deeper and more sophisticated approach that we can be bring to this conversation as readers.

Not all possibilities are the same. How likely is it? Are the cards giving the person a 100% guarantee of success? Great! Then we can say, “yes.” But how much of a “possibility” is really a “no”? If I am reading for a person who is contemplating waiting for an ex to return and there is a 5% chance is that a “no”? How about a 20% or a 1.8976% chance? Being very clear around how likely or unlikely an outcome is is really important to helping people assess whether it is worth going for or not.

Once we know how likely something is, then we can then take the reading into an exploration of how to improve the odds of what they want to happen.

Being a reader is sometimes about being a trickster.

I think as a reader we also need to consider who is in front of us and what their nature is. Not that we can take full responsibility for what they do with the reading, but we can often be more aware what is going on with a client than they are. The way a question is put can reveal a lot of hidden information. If we look at the question with a different wording we can perhaps reveal more of its potential insidiousness. “Is it possible they will come back?” might actually be, “Is there any chance they will return?”

In some ways “possible” and “any chance” can be synonymous, but the latter is often delivered with an added level of desperation. As the reader we need to explore the way in which things like desperation, attachment, obsession, fear, avoidance of healing and other issues play out in the person we are working with. I have seen people wait for years on the possibility of a theoretical promise someone made them way back. In readings like this we might want to explore adjusting the projections based on how the person will take the reading.

Here are a few thoughts on tilting the answers based on the client.

Try taking a stronger stance and read what is not possible to include what is only slightly possible. A 5% chance might be best expressed as a solid “No.” Occasionally, I have read anything less that a certain “yes” as “no.”

We can emphasize the necessity of an interim step to the process. “He might come back if he returns your call in the next month. If you don’t hear from him by then it is certainly over.”

We can refuse to answer the question at all. This can lead to challenging them on their unhealthy attachments. It can also go horribly wrong so tread carefully.

We can distract them with something shiny. If the cards reveal something better we can turn their focus towards what is more likely. “It looks like a wonderful relationship is coming to you in the spring.” Only try this when there is something great coming out in the cards. Otherwise you are just lying.

In the end I see my job as helping the person move forward in their life. Sometimes this means acting in their best interests even when they don’t know what they are. It certainly means for me not feeding their problems by answering a faulty question.

Let me know if you try it. If you have other approaches I’d love to hear them.

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“Question” image by Colin Kinner used under Creative Commons License.

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