Why get a Tarot Reading?

You may be considering getting a Tarot reading, but perhaps you aren't entirely sure about what will be involved, and what benefit it could be to you. Here are a few things to think about when considering getting a professional Tarot reading

What a reading can do for you

The types of readings I do are not simply concerned with predicting what's going to happen to you over the next few days or weeks. Although I can do this kind of reading, and I've always been reasonably successful at it, I don't think this is a particularly productive use of the Tarot.

Rather than trying to tell you what is going to happen to you, I think it's much more useful to tell you what's happening to you now. That is, to help highlight the aspects of your life you may not be fully aware of at the moment, such as what influences are acting on you, what conscious and subconscious control you are exerting on your life, and how these various factors may manifest in the future. I will put particular emphasis on what blocks you are currently experiencing (internally and externally), how you can act more effectively in your current situation, and what parts of your personality and life you are currently neglecting.

The Tarot is an excellent way of gaining a fresh perspective on your life, or on a specific situation. It can shed new light on old emotional problems, negative aspects of relationships, suggest parts of your life or personality you are neglecting, and help you to make more balanced, insightful decisions, going into the future. The Tarot is a superb analysis tool for getting a clear, detached view of what you are doing right now, and where you are heading.

There are various times when people seem to find it particular useful to have a Tarot Reading. These include:

  • When you feel stuck in a rut, or directionless – the Tarot can be very effective at suggesting new directions you could be exploring, or what unfinished business you have that is holding you in your current position.
  • When starting a new phase in your life – some people like to have a Tarot reading close to their birthday, or other significant event, as they feel it’s a time when they are moving on to a new stage of their life. The Tarot may be able to suggest what changes are coming, what themes are going to be more important, and what directions you should be exploring in the next part of your life.
  • When starting out on a new project – the Tarot can be very effective at suggesting what new factors need to be considered, what resources are available to you, what you may have overlooked, and what opportunities you may not have considered.
  • If you are struggling with a part of yourself, or your life, and wish for new insight– the Tarot is an effective way of getting a new perspective on old situations, or suggesting what issues you need to address about your relationships, attitudes towards areas of your life, etc.
  • When considering a major decision – you should not expect a Tarot reading to make a decision for you. However, a reading can highlight the most important issues to consider, suggest possible consequences of particular directions, and even suggest factors that haven’t been considered properly.
  • When you wish to think more carefully about yourself – a Tarot reading can give you a lot to think about when considering your own personality, the decisions you make in life, and how you interact with the world as a whole. If you intend to spend more time considering your life and the way you live it, a Tarot reading can be an excellent starting point.

Why not fortune telling?

I don’t think of the Tarot readings I do as ‘fortune telling’, although that is one of the things traditionally associated with the use of the Tarot. While attempting to predict the future for someone is interesting, and indeed I tend to think it’s possible, I’m not sure how valuable it is.

Fortune telling appears to work by taking account of all of the influences that are acting on a person at a given instant, and extrapolating from them the most likely course of events over the next few months. I don’t believe it can ever be 100% successful simply because there are so many random factors in day to day life so that although we may be heading in a particular direction today, there’s no reason to think something might not make us deviate from that path tomorrow. The very act of the reading gives you more information than you had before, which must surely influence the decisions you make from then on – if not, then the reading is entirely pointless anyway.

But mainly my objection to fortune telling is a philosophical one. I think a lot of people are attracted to fortune telling because they wish the reassurance that comes from being told that things are basically going to work out okay. But being told what is going to happen must surely reduces a persons sense of control over their own life, and may encourage them to abdicate responsibility for what happens to them. My readings are dedicated towards showing people the influences acting on their life, and giving them insight into how to take control of them. I may warn of possible consequences of actions they currently have planned, but the point in doing so is to give people the opportunity to change their direction, take control, and form a future that they choose – not one that I lay out for them.

What happens at a reading?

A Tarot reading is basically a very simple process. A Tarot deck consists of 78 cards, each of which has a specific meaning associated with it. To perform a reading the cards have to be shuffled, and then laid out in order in a specific pattern – each place in the pattern, or spread, represents a different concept or idea. Although there are several ‘traditional’ spreads, you can in fact make up new spreads, or adapt old ones, as seems most useful.

Generally when I’m doing a reading for a client I will start by discussing what I'm going to do, and what help I think I can be, then I'll ask the client to give a general impression of the kind of thing they wish to get from the spread. I'll then ask them to shuffle the cards, before laying out a spread of cards on the table between us.

By looking at which cards have turned up, their position in relation to each other, and their placement in the spread as a whole, I'll be able to talk to the client about different aspects of their life, and current feelings about the world. I will usually start with a very general spread that represents simple ideas like what’s happened in the recent past, how they are currently feeling emotionally, what they are currently thinking or worrying about, what their current hopes and expectations are, what influences are acting on them and what direction they are currently heading in.

This approach gives a good general background to talk about more detailed and specific issues. After the general spread I will usually ask a client if there is something particular they wish to discuss, and then I’ll perform other spreads based on these ideas. For instance, a client may be concerned about a particular relationship, may feel they are at a cross-roads of their life and want to know what each direction holds, or they may be having difficulty understanding a particular aspect of themselves and wish for some fresh insight. The Tarot is a very versatile tool, and when discussing issues with a client I can usually find a way of helping with most of the areas of their life that they are concerned with.

A full session with me lasts around an hour, and that usually gives time for three of four detailed spreads, and a fairly in depth consideration of the clients current concerns. I usually record my readings on tape for the client, so they can listen back later if they wish – I tend to give a lot of information in a relatively short space of time, and clients often find it useful to listen to the reading once more.

My aim is that at the end of a reading clients will have a lot of new information which they can then apply to make good decisions about what they are doing in their lives. A Tarot reading should leave a client feeling as though they have a much better grip on what is happening in their life, and why they currently feel the way they do. Hopefully this will allow them to make fast and effective progress in whatever areas of their life most concern them.

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