Nothing kills my passion for reading more than people who don’t understand the limitations tarot has. I like reading for people, but I’ve become very hesitant to even try over the years. Don’t get me wrong, I like to do it. I just prefer to do it for people who will work with me a little bit. It generally happens where they will ask a question that is hard to answer without a few more details. Many times, they want something general but give me no input as I pull cards. “Ummmm… well… This could be X… this also could be Y. Is anything like that going on?”. My job as a reader, is to try to see where the pieces fit. I look for the pattern. I connect the dots. I’m not especially bad at it, but I have an internal dialog when I read for myself that puts it in context. Without some detail, I’m grasping at straws. Sometimes it seems like they expect you to “know” automatically, without their participation. I am not psychic. Both the reader and the querent are part of the process, and often times their vagueness ultimately derails the whole thing. It makes me look bad, when I’m working extra hard to do right by them. People can be a bit nasty about it. It kills my hard-earned confidence.
I wonder if they’re seeing things they don’t want to see? Are the cards doing their usual trick of bringing up nasty things we know deep down in our bones, but would rather ignore and suppress? A bread crumb or two from the querent can make all the difference. It can open things up, making the patterns click into my consciousness… Snap! Crackle! Pop!
I did a reading for my friend J., and kept seeing that he was trying to overcome some bad habits that were keeping him back in life, locked in the same old patterns that weren’t working. He knows that it’s self sabotage, and he’s finally gotten to the point where he’s ready to do something about it. Of course, being a skeptic, J wouldn’t give me any detail. I thought it might have something to do with his patterns in relationships (it definitely applied). Later in the evening, while chatting with our other friends, he told us that he was trying to significantly cut back on his beloved herbal vice of choice. He was tired of it. It was no longer fun. It had taken over his life to where he couldn’t seem to do much else. This was a surprise to me… Mary-Jane is the love of his life, par excellence! And… Hmmmm… I wonder if that relates to the cards I pulled? Hmmmm? Enter Eye Roll Here. That bit of information would have changed the whole read. I bet that some of the parts I struggled with would have made more sense, and we could have probably explored more possible outcomes.
QUERANT… YOU GOTTA TALK TO YOUR GIRL ERIS, MOTHERFUCKER! Or, your reading will suck balls.
For fun, I checked out some of the Tarot “Social Networking” stuff on 78Friends. It’s based on the Touchtone Tarot, and is a fairly simple set up where you can do an online 3-card Past-Present-Future reading, using that deck with a tiny LWB style blurb under each card. Other users, or “Friends” can comment or give their insight on your reading. My issue is that it’s kind of retarded. Past-Present-Future was one of the first spreads I used, personally, and it’s extremely limited. There are lot’s of great questions that would not benefit from that kind of reading. I’ve recently figured out that most of my own internal blocks and perceived limitations about my ability to read has everything to do with primarily using that spead. 3-card spreads are great, but that’s only a small part. Bad spreads + lack of detail/context makes it rough. Also, I’m far too polite to ask. “Hey! Talk to me here, you schlub!”
For fun, I answered the following: “What will be the final outcome of my husbands sentencing?”
Past: The Magician
Present: The World
Future: 6 of Swords
I took a look, and determined the following-
“This looks promising… I’m not sure what the Magician’s role is, but off the top of my head I’m wondering if your husband might have a really good attorney who had a crucial role in the outcome? Someone who could talk the talk. The World, for that I’d say this last phase he’s been going through is at a close. There is going to be resolution, but to a very positive end but maybe not just on the immediate situation. I think it’s going to effect longterm aspects of both your lives in a good way. As for the Six of Swords… I don’t know the situation, but a lot of times when I pull this card, it means going through rehabilitation or healing of some kind. This last phase is OVER, and he’s going to get some time to rest and recoup. Looks like things will work out for him in the end.”
I kept seeing that he’d get some kind of court-ordered counseling or drug-rehab as part of a sentencing, but I didn’t say that.
“Those weren’t the words I was hoping to get. My husband is going to prison, because I put him there so I’m hoping that he will come to his sense and turn himself in, and leave me alone.”
This irks me. It’s a snotty response to a thoughtful answer. It could have been sentencing for anything, but I had no way to know for sure with a 3-card spread, and scant details. Maybe she is the one that will be resting and healing, possibly going through counseling. Maybe she is the one who will be having this situation resolved in a positive long term manner. Maybe he was the Magician in it’s shadow aspect? It completely changes this shitty reading. How it effects her is what she really wants to know. But that’s not what she asked. Maybe this is something that needs to happen so they both can move on, and heal.
If you don’t know what to ask, I don’t know how to answer.
Obviously, it annoyed me a little bit. I don’t like it anymore than the next person, but they don’t always tell us what we want to hear.
I’m not perfect either. I’m not always on my game. For a while, I was using little tabs I made with headings that had aspects of different types of spreads… “Outcome”, “Solution”, “Action to Take” ,”Determining Factors”, and a bunch of others. I’d take the question to ask, and pick out the tabs that would best help answer the question and make a mandala out of them. The result was creating a new spread based on or geared specifically for the question being asked. It was a fun system to play with. It was a good idea in theory, but a pain in the ass in practice. It ended up being too much work, especially for a complex issue. My friend P. let me test it on a few questions he had about friendships and romantic relationships. The System made doing a reading intensely convoluted and muddy. I promise him a reading… I powered through it. It was an awful mess. He was sweet about it, but I was really off my game. Totally my fault… a nice, precise spread out of one of my books or ghenked off of AT would have been better. Again, I didn’t have many details, but I know P well enough to be able to fill in the gaps.
I thought I’d gotten past that, until today. A local reader that MKG thinks is a good reader told my mom that I’m a good reader, so I can’t be all bad! I wish I didn’t need the validation of my own skills that comes from reading for others, but it seems like a natural progression for me, and it’s difficult for me to feel like I am doing something wrong when I am doing my best.
For years I struggled, thinking it would never click. I’d never feel confident enough to be any good at it, without my books by my side. Recently, I’ve made leaps and bounds of progress. Things are finally clicking… I am almost able to read in a more balanced way. Traditional meanings paired with intuition. It’s a lovely thing. Some people are all intuition, but I’m not one of them. It’s the Hierophant in me. If you want a Personality/Lifetime Card that sucks balls and annoys friends, neighbors, and enemies… look no further. Hierophant in the motherfuckin’ heez-zouse. I’ll definitely to an entry on that sometime.
Hmmmph. There is no moral to the story other than… People suck, and I am not reading for tarot-muggles for a while. They can suck my Ace of Wands, in all it’s triumphantly fleshy glory. Tarotistas, only!
I had a 7 of Swords day today, so this didn’t help. I bought the Tarot of the Sweet Twilight at the hippie shop today (they actually had a deck that wasn’t an RWS or Total Crap). Small consolation.