FAQ - Avoiding Personal Interjection in Tarot Reading

I get the best questions from the kind folks who buy readings from me. One had to do with how I avoid putting my own personal interpretations onto my readings. This is a really valid and important question. The types of readings I do often have a characteristic of vetting various ideas. Now if you ask my personal opinion on whether you should ghost write the biography of a famous actor, write porn, or take a technical writing job -- well, I'm going to have my opinions. But my opinions don't and shouldn't matter for your reading. What's important is what the best option is for you to reach your goals, not what I think about it. So it's important that I don't apply my interpretation to your cards.

Eenie Meenie Miney Mo 

I've been reading since my teens, but for most of that time my readings were either for myself or for my friends and family. This situation meant that my objectivity was always challenged. So I've gotten very good at avoiding bias. Still, even with my customers who I don't know, it's important that I give them what they ask for -- an interpretation of what the cards say, not what I think. I admit I feel a weight of responsibility for readings for others. I can screw up my own readings and only I pay the cost, but if people are getting readings from me, it's important that I do my very best.

In any case, I thought it would be useful to share my process for reading, so that people can see how I work.

First, I clear my reading space with a short call. I ask that any harmful or disruptive spirits or energy leave the space. Then I ask for beneficial spirits and my particular chosen Deities to watch over me. Finally, I ask my grandmother -- in German because that's the language she spoke in life -- to help me read well and truthfully. She used to read herself, so I appreciate her watching over me.

Then I shuffle the cards, rotating half the deck, seven times while thinking of my grocery list or chores or something banal. Seven is the optimum number of times to fully randomize a deck of cards. Fewer doesn't fully do the job and greater is unnecessary. This acts to clear my mind and the deck of any previous influence.

I create and layout the position markers (pieces of paper with context information such as the life area, idea for meeting a goal, etc.). I use these a lot and they are almost always specific to the person I'm reading for (so I write them on cards or slips of paper or hotel stationary if I'm traveling).

Then I state out loud: [name of person] wants to know... blah blah blah, type and goal of reading here. So "John Doe wants to know what black swans are coming in the areas of family, finances, health, and the unknown."

Now I shuffle the cards three times, rotating half the deck once while concentrating on the position markers. The goal here is to deliberately de-randomize the deck for that person's reading. Finally, I cut the deck. This is the most important part of the reading, since where I cut the deck will impact all the cards that appear. When I started taking people's money for this, I'd sometimes get nervous. So now I cut the deck with my eyes closed, feeling for the hot spot in the cards as a guide where to cut.

This takes more time to explain than to just do it.

Then I lay out the cards quickly. Only once all the cards are laid will I go back and start the reading process. This involves documenting meanings and positions and then tying them together to get useful results. There's some interpretation involved here of course, but I try not to reinterpret the meanings of the cards. Instead I focus on themes, trends, and connections between cards in the reading. If a card has several related meanings, I use the cards around that card to help me figure out which one seems right. I rarely stray far from the standard meanings of the cards.

If it's a reading in multiple parts where some cards go back into the deck for the next stage, I put those cards back in the deck and restart at the 'shuffle three times' stage. I like this technique because it allows the same cards to reappear in different parts of the reading, which often draws clear connections or highlights important points.

There's one other thing that sometimes happens when I'm writing up the reading. Sometimes, information comes to me that is only barely hinted at by the cards (or sometimes not at all). I've learned it's best to take the risk of being wrong and share this insight. The feedback is usually that I was correct (and variations of "how did you know that?"). This doesn't always happen, but when it does I get a chill. The strongest it ever was, I got so cold that I had to take a hot bath afterward to warm back up. This kind of sucks, but it provides useful information for people (and its not like I can keep it from happening and still read well).

I will admit to short cutting the woo a bit when I'm reading for myself or at a party, but for my clients I make a point of following my process every time.

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