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The Answer Is Only As Good As the Question

January 15, 2015 4 Comments

questioning womanSome time ago, I offered free one-card Tarot readings, designed especially for people who were curious about having a Tarot experience, but not completely sure on how Tarot could help them. The intention, in the beginning, was that the reading could be done in-person, by phone, text, Skype, or e-mail.

The first day I put the offering out into the world, within five minutes of a post on one of my Facebook pages, someone submitted the first request—by e-mail. And every submission that followed all have been by e-mail.

Being a person who pays attention to how clients show up, I knew there was something here—which led to me turning that free offering into a readings by e-mail service—something I’d not done the entire 16 years I’ve been reading Tarot.

Part of the process is that the seeker must submit a question. It’s been interesting to see the questions that are being asked. And, just like I sometimes do with the clients I see in-person, or talk with by phone and Skype, there have been moments when I would have to have a conversation about the question being submitted before the actual reading could be done.

So, I thought I would share some of my thoughts about questions when it comes to seeking insight, guidance, and direction from Tarot—or any other oracle, for that matter.

Be Specific with the Question

In my experience, a specific question often leads to a more specific answer. If your question is vague, the answer you receive will also be vague.

Here’s a recent example I received:
“Tell me about my love life.”

I e-mailed the young lady back about her question, asking her what she specifically wanted to know about her love life, offering this reframe as an example:
“What do I need to know about my relationship with John Doe?”

Notice the difference between the two? The second question opens the door to information that may be direct and more helpful than the first.

Framing Your Question

Another thing to consider is the framing of your question. If you’re asking “will” or “when” questions, that’s a more fatalistic perspective, and can be very disempowering. A better–and more empowering way–would be “What do I need to know about…?” or “How can I…?”

Here’s an example I recently received:
“Will I ever get married?”

Now there were a couple of things I pointed out to the young lady who submitted this question. In my response to her, I first pointed out that she was asking a yes/no/maybe question, which would offer her no additional guidance.

The second thing I needed to point out to her was the question she was asking is assumptive. In asking the question, there’s an assumption that she’s already in a relationship, possibly one that has been long-term, and she’s waiting for her man to pop the question.

If that is not the case, then she’s putting the cart before the horse, and several events would need to happen before getting married.

Assumptive questions really don’t serve you, because, in my experience, there’s really another question that needs to be asked—and isn’t being addressed.

In the case of this seeker, she wasn’t even seeing someone!

So this was the reframe I offered for her consideration:
“What can I do to meet the man of my dreams?”

The second question empowers her with information that allows her to remain in control of her life rather than having her wait around for the phone to ring or for the Universe to have a man show up suddenly on her doorstep.

Some Other Thoughts about Questions

Another point I would share would be to avoid asking about how someone feels (I can’t tell you how often I get this one—or a variation of it). Most Tarot readers aren’t mind readers. I always believe it’s best to ask the person directly–rather than use the Tarot to figure it out.

Also, questions like that create an ethical dilemma for the reader. The question is really a third-party question because it’s about another person—a person who doesn’t know a reading is being done about him or her—and hasn’t given consent to the reading. I tell people that it’s an invasion of the other person’s privacy.

Along these lines, some questions will be none of your business. For example, asking about your ex-boyfriend’s relationship with his new girlfriend is a definite no-no. Instead, ask questions that focus on issues that are directly related to your life.

Be careful about asking health or legal questions because most Tarot readers are not licensed doctors or lawyers. Because of that, they can’t diagnose, prescribe, or give legal advice (which should be posted in their Code of Ethics). While they might be able to look at the energy around a situation, it’s always best to consult your health care practitioner or attorney for those types of questions.

And last–but definitely not least–this most important point: If you don’t want to know the answer, it’s best not to ask the question.

It’s my hope that the points I’ve shared will help you ask effective questions that will give you better results and insightful answers. For more of my tips for a satisfying Tarot session—whether in-person, by phone, Skype, or e-mail—check out my free guide here.

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About the Author:

I am passionate about dreams, Tarot, Reiki, personal growth & development, and self-improvement. I work with people, helping them understand the messages of their dreams, as well as read the Tarot professionally. All the work I do has the same common thread: to get people to become more self-aware, so they can improve themselves and live their best lives. My favorite quote is by Socrates: "The unexamined life is not worth living."

Comments (4)

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  1. Kimmi Toth says:

    Good morning, James,
    Loving this post…How are you, my friend?

    • James says:

      Hi, Kimmi!
      Thanks so much for checking out the post; I’m so glad you loved it!
      I’m doing well, and I hope things are going well for you too! 😀

      • Kimmi Toth says:

        Things are in fact going great! I definitely followed your sound advice, and things have been so clear…
        Would be nice to chat again soon -✨

        • James says:

          Oh, I’m so happy to hear that things are going so well for you since we talked, Kimmi! Wonderful news!
          I look forward to the next time we get to talk. 😀

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