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This post was written by Barbara Moore
on June 10, 2010 | Comments (13)

Tarotist Tierney Sadler suggests that I write about how our own situations may or may not affect the readings we give. For example, if we suspect we are projecting our own current life situation on the interpretation of reading, does that make the reading any less true for the querent?

I think there is a danger of projecting, of course. And I think it can be a danger. I think that even if a querent has the same problem, issue, challenge, or question that we have, the answer may or may not be the same. So if we let our own seeking seep into our readings for our clients, we could be giving them answers that are right for us but not necessarily right for them.

To avoid this situation, I do two things. First, I try to keep my life sorted (as much as possible). It is not necessary, of course, for anyone’s life to be “perfect” to be a reader, but I think having your life mostly together and stable does help you be a better channel for the Divine. Or I should say, it does for me. When I am scattered or distracted or troubled, it is harder for me to accomplish my second task as a reader.

My second task is that I try to keep myself clear and open as a channel. The wisdom and guidance being accessed is not necessarily mine (and sometimes what tarot and spirit advise a client is not at all what I might advise them), so I ground, meditate, and pray, asking the Divine to work through me.

Now, I think that readings are wondrous mysterious things. Magic and miracles can occur within that sacred time and space created by reader, cards, and querent. And so, can a reading answer both reader and querent? Why not?

That is an excellent question. But I’m tired of listening to my own opinions. I’d rather know yours. What do you think?

Reader Comments

Written By Zanna Starr
on June 10th, 2010 @ 11:18 am

I do think a reading can resonate with both reader and querent — because I have experienced that. However, my goal as a reader is always to address the querent’s needs, not my own.

I only do online/email readings. My approach is similar to what you described. I try to be grounded and “clear” before I start. Then, while I shuffle the cards, I close my eyes and concentrate on the querent’s name and situation (if they have given me their birth information, I sometimes include their Sun sign). Typically, while I’m doing this, a golden white orb appears in the darkness and I experience a sense of connecting with the querent (it’s a feeling like “Oh, there you are!”)

Does this work? Well, from the feedback I receive, I would say it does work much or most of the time.

It can be easy to impose our own perspective or judgments on a situation and that also colors our interpretation of the cards. But in a way, I think that’s fine. The querent is getting a computer-generated reading; they’re getting input from a real person who happens to read the Tarot. I think it all works out in the end.

Written By Zanna Starr
on June 10th, 2010 @ 11:20 am

Oh shoot — I meant “The querent is NOT getting a computer-generated reading…”

Written By Corrine Kenner
on June 10th, 2010 @ 12:27 pm

I love that you wrote about getting your own life in order before reading for others. I’ve never thought about that before, but it’s so fundamental! Call me judgmental if you want, but I don’t think you should get a tarot reading from someone whose personal relationships are a mess, or anyone who’s actively feeding an addiction to drugs or alcohol, or gambling, or engaged in any number of destructive, self-defeating behaviors. And yet … there are some tarot readers who don’t have any of their ducks in a row. Obviously, no one is perfect, and everyone makes mistakes. Even so, it’s not a bad idea to take your tarot reader’s personal life into consideration before you take their advice.

Written By Idun Duva
on June 10th, 2010 @ 1:28 pm

How much you project as a reader depends on your reading style as much as anything. If you read the cards to give out advice, you’re probably more likely to project. Training as a councelor made me aware of the dangers of projection. I tend to do a lot of active listening and let the client himself decide the best course of action – naturally using the information given. We do a lot of brainstorming together… Less of me, more of the client. I find this way of reading more empowering to the client, and the chance of projection definitely lessens.

I personally don’t see what the reader’s personal life has to do with anything. Do you inquire about your surgeon’s personal life before you go under the knife?

As an ex tarot professional, I can say that I rarely read professionally for people who had any knowledge or even access to information about my private life. Nor should they! This is a boundaries issues, and a very important one as anyone with a background in counceling will understand.

How we interpret information is bound to include a certain amount of projection based on our own experiences. I have also noticed a certain amount of synchronicity in that I attract clients that are going through something I have just navigated myself. I guess that’s why I’m quite happy to keep having transformationl experiences that make my life less than stable – it makes me better able to empathize.

I don’t believe it’s possible for anyone to read when they feel ‘scattered or distracted or troubled’ – and it is quite possible to feel this way even when one’s life seems stable and idyllic on the outside… so HOW exactly is the client supposed to make a judgment on the reader’s personal life?

Written By Barbara Moore
on June 10th, 2010 @ 1:36 pm

Ah, Idun! lovely comment! And as luck would have it, I will be posting about “transformational” experiences and how they help me empathize next!

I don’t think the client should or should have to judge if a reader is in a fit state to read (or know anything about a reader’s personal life). It is something I (as a reader) decide for myself. Completely separate from the client. In the same way that if a surgeon was feeling shaky or had a blinding migraine or something that made them unfit to operate, I’d hope they’d reschedule or something, but not that I need to know the details.

Written By Teresa Michelsen
on June 10th, 2010 @ 2:04 pm

I think both perspectives are true. I agree with all the comments about reading for the client, not the reader, and having your own house in order. Yet, I also believe strongly that clients are brought to particular readers for a reason and that there are things to be learned (on both sides) from the pairing – much in the same way that a particular deck may have a special message for a certain client. It is all part of synchronicity. So, I try to read for the client, but am open to the possibility that they are having a reading from me for a reason, which may have to do with my own life experiences, or something totally different, such as my philosophy or style of reading.

Written By Nina
on June 10th, 2010 @ 4:18 pm

Hi Barbara

Sorry to be off topic (and GREAT article, thank you!), but could you please tell me which deck the image above is from?

Written By Barbara Moore
on June 10th, 2010 @ 4:34 pm

No problem, Nina. It is the Dark Angels Tarot. Isn’t it stunning? http://www.llewellyn.com/product.php?ean=9780738720715

Written By Catiana Pina
on June 10th, 2010 @ 5:55 pm

As the querent knows too much about your private life tends to be judgmental, often it happens with my sister, and a good friend of mine Rita. And then I have to expend twice the energy to put them on line, and let them realise that I’m the one that is doing the reading not them.
Other people I read to do not have to know details of my private life, they just have to trust me as a professional, or otherwise they shouldn’t consult me.
Of course, if the reader is in total energy imbalance, can not provide effective counceling.
About personal input I like to think that I can focus on that which is proposed to center me in order to give a serious and competent answer. And believing in Synchronicity, what you say is what the querent has the ability to listen to (or need to hear) at that point of his / her live. Otherwise the universe would plot in some way that he / she wouldn’t came to me.

Written By Sue Wilhite
on June 10th, 2010 @ 7:06 pm

I agree that as a reader, I need to keep my own “stuff” out of my clients’, but I have no problem with the idea that the Divine can be delivering the same message to multiple people at once. I also feel a little like Miss Jane Marple, who found patterns in people’s behaviors and tendencies; if I’ve experienced a similar situation and have successfully negotiated whatever pitfalls there were, I find it to be useful to give my clients hope.

Written By Helen
on June 10th, 2010 @ 7:24 pm

I guess the thing is to try and remain objective when reading. When I read totally concentrate on who I am reading for and put aside my own personal view points. After all I am not here to judge the client, only to help them help themselves. Only once in all my reading career have I stopped and thought, hey that’s about me not the client!

It would be silly, I think to try and read for someone else when your mind is wrapped around a current problem of your own. How would you be able to concentrate on the client when you are turning over something concerning yourself in you own head? So the “get your life sorted” comment is very relevant. Don’t try to read when your mind is on other things could be a mantra to bear in mind.

Written By David Wilson-Steer
on June 10th, 2010 @ 11:37 pm

This is an interesting idea. Both Jung and Freud insisted that therapists should have therapy before they were let loose on a client and one can sense the rationale in this.

However, the psychiatrist Milton Erickson would say that it doesn’t really matter what you say to the client/patient; what is important is the way they respond to what you say. The client is not really hearing what you are telling them; they hear what they think you are telling them.

Hypnotherapist Robert Mathison uses tarot cards as a ‘distraction device’ to give his clients something to focus on while he talks to their unconscious. We used to have a regular group that got together to explore hypnotic phenomena. One night, Robert pulled out a deck of tarot cards and got everyone to pick a card at random. He then got each person to explain to the person next to them how that randomly picked card represented some problem in their lives. Each person did this very easily. The cards were returned and shuffled and then each person picked a new random card. They were then instructed to explain to the same person next to them how this newly picked card represented a solution to the problem identified by the first card. Everyone did it!

The human mind is wonderful and contains all its own answers.


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