I’m currently tutoring in TABI‘s tarot course on their membership forum, and as we’ve been going through lessons on ethics and question formulation, I’ve been reminded of my own struggle as a student with the question of…the question. I started out being rather vague and internally introspective in my readings, largely because I’d been doing them for myself and a friend or family member for twelve years, and not for the general public.
Boy, was I in for a surprise when I began doing free readings for TABI! Most querents ask much more down-to-earth questions about their circumstances and relationships to other people; the “spiritual” or “psychological” question is just one of many possibilities.
The Ethical/Philosophical Aspect
So I had to learn to deal with these often predictive questions (“Does X really love me?” “How will my new investments do in the market?”) and decide on my own approach to them, given that I do believe we are the final arbiters and decision makers in our own lives, and that I’m not going to do deterministically predictive readings. On the other hand, I do believe that we are not necessarily totally free to create our own reality without influence from other people and the collective consciousness, so Tarot can give some insight into what’s going on around us, but I can’t tell you if X really does love you for sure, although the Tarot can give general direction on the potential in the relationship since the querent has influence there. Although I think the Tarot (and the reader) has an ability to tap into the collective energetic potentials planet-wide, there are so many free-will decisions involved that I wouldn’t ask it to give a deterministic prediction on a querent’s financial investments. That’s really not under its jurisdiction and I’d refer to a human financial advisor.
So, I believe the combination of querent, reader, collective consciousness, and Tarot symbolism can give indications of hidden or potential future situations directly relating to the querent and their question. Which leads me to the next part of the question: staying focused on the question.
Question as Context
So, given an appropriate angle for the question (“How’s my relationship with X going?” What’s my best general approach to creating wealth?”), the main thing I’ve had to learn as a reader is to not forget the question when I’m assigning meanings to the cards individually and together. I used to have a tendency to turn every question into an internal psycho-spiritual journey, and that’s not really what a lot of querents are looking for, especially if they are used to traditional fortune-telling methods. I’ve found myself often having to scroll up during a free email reading composition to check the question again to make sure I’m not going off track.
For example, say you have that first question, “How’s my relationship with X going?” Keeping it simple, let’s just put out a single card and say it’s the King of Pentacles. Now, Pentacles usually indicate issues involving health, wealth, nature, physical circumstances. And the King is often indicative of authority and control over whatever the suit theme is. In a health reading, I could take this card as indicating good health or even a call to get fit or otherwise exercise control over one’s health, but mostly it would indicate that health is good. Or, the King of Pentacles could be a call to reconnect with nature or enjoy the good things in life.
But wait! What’s the question? Oh, yeah, it’s about relationship. Refocus. 🙂 In this case, the King could definitely indicate a person (although he could be a person in other contexts as well), maybe even the querent’s significant other. One could simply take this to be an older, wealthy man, or a particularly protective one (if the querent were male, I’d think the card referred to him). It could also indicate that the relationship itself is based on practical considerations, or even that it’s an arranged marriage. The reader could also talk about what’s missing, since this is a relationship question, and there’s no sense of passionate attachment with this card, for example. As long as the querent is happy with a practical cast to the relationship and isn’t looking for excitement and hot sexual passion all the time, things are good. In the end, it will still be the querent who decides whether or not this type of relationship is what they want.
Overall, I like to think that the Tarot and I are partnering in clearing the mist (or peek over the top of the maze) that often surrounds an individual’s view of their situation (including present influences and potentials into the future) so they can then make their own decisions about what’s best for them.
This Week’s Favs
Anna Cebrian is working an interesting Tarot theme deck based on the Oz stories (you did know that there are lots more than just the one they made a movie out of, right? ;)). I like the collaborative comic book-artist perspective. You can check out the Shadow of Oz deck at the Kickstarter here.
Thanks to my Tarot buddy Theresa Reed (The Tarot Lady), I was introduced to Paige Z’s Tarot and Tea blog and generally fun site on both Tarot and the joys of aromatic teas. Paige has a wonderfully whimsical style that I really like.
So, let me know how you see the question of the Question and how you approach interpreting cards for different types of questions. 🙂