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To know the Question or not know the Question?

Thread originally posted on the Aeclectic Tarot Forum on 19 Apr 2002, and now archived in the Forum Library.



Rhiannon  19 Apr 2002 
In a thread originally generated by ashleigh she indicated that a friend of hers wanted a reading but didn't tell her the question. A few people were impressed by this and I thought we could address it further here....

I've done a few readings without knowing the question in advance. They do take a bit more intuitive work, ESPECIALLY if you don't know the querent personally. And if I do know the question, for instance "What's going on with so-and-so in our love life?" then I really don't want to know all the details because I feel it makes the reading biased. Perhaps because I become too sympathetic with their problem and I want to tell them something to make them happy instead of what the cards are really trying to say.

I find I do best when I do generalized readings. For instance if my querent doesn't really know what they want to ask I'll say "What do the cards have to tell us now?" and I get great feedback from them (the cards and the querent)!

I generally treat my readings as therapy sessions though. ;)

Anyone else have any thoughts?

Rhiannon :) 


truthsayer  19 Apr 2002 
i usually read w/o knowing the question b/c knowing makes me do a more subjective reading when i want to be objective. i explain prior to beginning that i want him/her to get a question in mind but the cards might choose to answer a different quesion or address a different issue. when i'm finished i asked if i was close to the question or another issue.

another thing is to realize all questions are probably about health, relationships, money or self. sometimes i can intuitively pick up what issue most concerns this person. 


kayne  19 Apr 2002 
I usually do generalised readings without knowing the question for people I know fairly well... in which case I will usually do my variation on the Celtic Cross because I find this spread gives a really broad view from many different perspectives.
If I know the question I will usually choose a spread that supports / compliments the question. 


Scorpion  19 Apr 2002 
Hi, Rhiannon and Truthsayer

I used to think knowing the question would be easier, but as you've pointed out, it tends to pull me away from an objective view as I find trying to fit what I see to what I've been asked. And there's definitely an expectation from the querent that you're going to give a "yes" or "no" answer, which I particularly don't like doing - if the querent believes that the cards are setting out a clearcut answer, they're not taking responsibility for making decisions. I prefer to think of the cards pointing them in the right direction and letting them do the work.

I have found that some of my best readings have been general ones. Then the cards can decide what's important to that person - and quite often it isn't what they would have asked about. There's a definite trend for people to come along with one thing in mind and they want to act as if the rest of their life doesn't co-exist with it. I guess I need the freedom to consider their life as a whole and see my role as trying to get a balance. Being presented with a question limits how much you can take into consideration.

I'm coming down on the side of no specific questions!

And I definitely agree on readings as being a form of therapy - I think I've said before that it really is amazing how people will open up to a stranger with a deck of cards and then admit that they can't talk to their families or friends - which is a great shame. 


MystiqueMoonlight  19 Apr 2002 
Most people do ask about career, relationships, health, money etc. They do expect a yes or no question and they expect to hear about that "tall, dark man or svelt sexy blonde whose about such and such an age, they'll meet them at the Go Go Bar at 12.15 next month when buying a cocktail at the bar" sort of scenario.

To some extent maybe we can read some of this information in the cards, but most of these expectations I mentioned above are derived via those carnival card readers who are there for the money and the gimmick.

I prefer the querent doesn't ask a question, but to read the cards straight off the bat. I sometimes use various layouts for the one sitting, but mostly one I adapted for myself a layout that is suitable for most readings of this type.

Usually I find that when I do a general reading the querent will then have a specific question in relationship to that reading and then I'll go further into another layout to "hone" in on that aspect of the reading to elaborate further.

So I suppose what I'm getting at is I don't expect the querent to ask a question at the beginning, but if a question arises as a result of the initial reading then I just expand on that aspect of the reading further by doing another. 


Original Destiny  19 Apr 2002 
most of the time I don't know the question, but if i know then I can really focus on the problem. It is a bit like a shot gun; blast away and you might hit the target a bit; by knowing the focus of the problem it gives a better coverage...I can hit the target and give what is wanted..:TFOOL 


MeeWah  19 Apr 2002 
I prefer to do readings "cold". Without information about the nature of the concern. On occasion, I have done readings otherwise. Information can be distracting & can inadvertently slant a reading. In addition, what the client may have in mind may differ from what the cards choose to address. I have received some interesting results when that occurs--from timely warnings to other things.
I also prefer to do general readings. The results produced usually extend to various areas of the life. Depending on what I see, I may do a second, smaller throw for clarification or to isolate the dynamics of a situation. Usually the initial throw is sufficient. 


Melvis  19 Apr 2002 
Posted by MystiqueMoonlight:
Quote:
Usually I find that when I do a general reading the querent will then have a specific question in relationship to that reading and then I'll go further into another layout to "hone" in on that aspect of the reading to elaborate further.

I like this approach, Mystique! Its a way to work actively with what sometimes happens by accident in my general readings, with questions coming out partway through the reading.

I'll have to try that in future readings! Thanks for the idea!

Peace,

Melvis
:TSTRE 


Mojo  20 Apr 2002 
Ah! MeeWah... yin to my yang (or is that yang to my yin?)

We have so many things in common in how we read and interpret the cards - I'm smile a lot when I read your interpretations because we seem to look for the same stuff in the cards... we just look from different angles!

I'm the exact opposite of most of you. I always prefer to have a question out there to ponder. It makes it so much more fun for me because I get to weave the cards together into a meaningful and yes, even dramatic, story for the querent. It's what they come to a Tarot reader for! They want to be amazed. They want to suspend all belief for a half hour to an hour or so. It's mysticism, it's emotional intimacy, and it's a little bit of theater.

Doing general readings is ok, but getting right at what's ticking inside of them is the real treat.

My family is Sicilian/Italian (with just a touch of Romany thrown in on my Mother's side), so I'm a story teller at heart. Tarot is where the stories come from for me. And I need total cooperation of the querent in order to make the story meaningful. 


MystiqueMoonlight  20 Apr 2002 
Quote:
Originally posted by Mojo

I'm the exact opposite of most of you. I always prefer to have a question out there to ponder. It makes it so much more fun for me because I get to weave the cards together into a meaningful and yes, even dramatic, story for the querent. It's what they come to a Tarot reader for! They want to be amazed. They want to suspend all belief for a half hour to an hour or so. It's mysticism, it's emotional intimacy, and it's a little bit of theater.

Doing general readings is ok, but getting right at what's ticking inside of them is the real treat.


I understand your point regarding the "theatrics" of reading, however personally it's not for me. (maybe I'm just not very good at theatrics)

When I'm doing a general reading (ie: a reading without a question at the beginning) usually I do get right into that issue that may be "ticking inside" of the querent. This may eventually lead the querent to asking a specific question/s or I may end up getting right into the nitty gritty of the "issue" in any case.

This is not to say that I do not allow the querent to ask me a question right from the start. Sometimes that happens and that's ok, but a lot of the time I begin by casting the layout and getting right into it. More often than not I have struck the issue and the querent will start to blurt out a question to steer me further in a specific direction. Most of the time I get to the issue in any case and will suggest doing a further layout to bring it forward and open it up more.

Blessed be.... 


blumoon  20 Apr 2002 
i do a reading now and then for a friend of mine, and 99% of the time she either can't think of an area of her life she wants info on or she can't think of a question or she doesnt want to tell me on purpose (i think she still tests me), she says she doesnt think that much happens in her life anyway, though that's the complete opposite most of the time LOL
anyway i end up doing a general "whats going on in her life right now" reading, and it gets a bit weird because she may have 3 different things going on and i get mixed up cards, i read the cards and she then says that makes sense, oh yeah this happened recently..etc, and then she will end up thinking of a question and i do another spread, with her thinking about the question as she picks the cards...and the cards that showed up in the general spread make alot more sense!

:) 


Pollux  20 Apr 2002 
I generally ask nothing. I prefer to start reading the cards as they come, and according to how they inspire me, and give an overview of the situation in this way - as well as making my own ideas about it...

Probably one thing I need to know is the area of concern to the querent (i.e. Love Live, Money, Relationships...). If I can't understand it from the reading, I tend to inquire about the specific "field" the querent is concerned about, and move my reading consequently - I don't think it would make so much sense otherwise...

If I really can't go on, then, I want to know the question! :) 


MeeWah  20 Apr 2002 
There are merits to both approaches, & both can work very effectively. What matters is the result. As Mojo has pointed out, the results can be the same or similar. (Thanks, Mojo--I like that we are yin & yang--or is that yang & yin?)
I understand where knowing the general area of concern can be helpful in narrowing the wide target field--as in Original Destiny's apt comparison to a "shotgun" blast.
I also see a reading as being therapeutic (hey, Rhiannon & LouiQ). Clients often feel more comfortable confiding in or unburdening to a stranger. A stranger can offer a neutral zone, with none of the judgement or criticism that someone they know may tend to offer as "advice" or feedback--though that does not necessarily mean the advice is faulty.
I also can understand incorporating a theatrical approach. Folks see a reader not only for advice or guidance, but hope or understanding. Being counselled in an entertaining fashion can lift the spirit; inspire a different mood. To an extent, readers *are* story-tellers. The pages of the book we read are the cards, enhanced or embellished by our vision or imagination. If a client can leave in a better frame of mind or feel empowered rather than helpless, then we have done our job. 


DeLani  21 Apr 2002 
Hi all,
I'm also of the school of not knowing the question. For one, as it has already been eloquently stated, it allows me to be more objective as to what the cards are telling me instead of what I think they are supposed to be addressing.
Also, I find that I usually "hit the nail on the head" anyway, and people are amazed that I could know so much without even knowing what their question was. It gives them a satisfaction that they got a *real* reading, from a *real* reader, as opposed to the kind on TV (i.e., phone psychics. No offense to any who may be in this field, but I just find that's how my clients respond).
I read for a lot of strangers, at fairs & by appt., and I think it helps me to get right down to the issue that really needs addressing, as opposed to just telling them what they want to hear about. This is, as it was said, very theraputic. And a lot cheaper than a therapist!
DeLani 


The To know the Question or not know the Question? thread was originally posted on 19 Apr 2002 in the Using Tarot Cards board, and is now archived in the Forum Library. Read the active threads in Using Tarot Cards, or read more archived threads.

 
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