What to Ask the Tarot

Tarot TuesdayWith so many of us stuck at home right now, a great activity for my fellow witchy souls out there is to pull out those tarot decks and get in some reading practice!

(Or, if you are reading this article months from now, and are thinking about going to visit a local reader for a reading, or you’re connecting with a reader online, this advice is for you, too.)

For me, reading tarot is not about trying to predict or “read” the future. It is about the reader. It is about the one asking the question, the one who is seeking guidance. It reveals energies, influences, and patterns that are already at work in your life. I like to compare it to a friend without filters: the cards will often tell you things you already know, but don’t want to admit.

One of the most important steps to achieving a good reading isn’t about whether you have memorized all of your cards, whether you have finely honed your intuition, where and how you draw the cards, or even whether you picked the right deck. It’s in asking a good question.

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Three cards from the Dali Tarot – one of my favorite odd decks in my collection!

So, what makes a good question to ask the tarot? Here’s my advice:

Don’t Ask Yes or No Questions

There are ways to tweak a spread or pull a card if you really want to do that, but you are missing out on a great depth of potential advice. Other options that work better include:

  • Ask about the outcomes of two different choices to compare. I.E. Instead of “Should I start a business?” try “Should I start a business now, or wait until I have more money saved?”
  • Ask about the actions or influences around a particular outcome you want to achieve. I.E. instead of “Will I get a promotion?” try “What do I need to focus on to get a promotion?”

Keep Your Questions “You” Centered

You are in charge of your own actions and emotions, not those of others. Unless they are active in the reading with you, focus on you in your readings. The advice received will be a lot more useful. For example, instead of “Does he love me?” try “What should I focus on to make this relationship successful?” It’s not a yes/no question, and it will give you advice you can act on!

Ask About Influences and Actions, Not Events

Trying for a clear “this will happen in the future” answer is not something tarot is really good at. Instead, it’s going to alert you to patterns in your life, whether they are ones you are already in, or ones you need to watch out for. So trying to nail down whether (or when) a specific event will come to pass will be frustrating, especially for a beginner reader. Instead, try asking about actions you need to take for a desired outcome.

  • Instead of “When will I get married?” try “What is standing in the way of me having a committed relationship?”
  • Instead of “Will I find my dream home?” try “What do I need to focus on to find my perfect home?”

Be Careful When Asking Health Questions

Just a note of warning when it comes to health readings. Reading to find ways to break unhealthy patterns or establish healthy ones is a great support. But the cards are not a doctor to tell you whether or not you have a serious medical condition. Don’t use them as a replacement for medical advice or regular check-ups.

Clearly Know Your Question Before You Begin

Okay, we’ve got some basics now. Take the time to really think out your question before you start your reading. Knowing clearly what you are asking will give you better results. Muddled questions get muddled readings. General questions get vague answers. Be clear and be specific.

Don’t Keep Asking the Same Thing, Hoping for a Different Answer

I feel like at a certain point, the cards become that bitchy friend. “You already know what you need to do; why are you asking me?” The temptation may be there, especially if you don’t like the answer you go, to reword your question and try again. It’s one thing if one reading is unclear – maybe that is a sign your question needed rewording. But asking over and over will just make your reading muddled and useless.

What do you think? Have any additional advice on good tarot questions and what has or hasn’t worked for you? Let me know, and let’s get practicing!

What to Ask the Tarot