Whenever I read for somebody new, I begin with two questions. The first is ‘Have you had a reading before?’. The second is ‘What do you expect from me as a reader today?’.
I ask these questions because you can never assume that a new client ‘does’ know what to expect.
I once read for a woman who had experience of just one reading before mine. In the previous session, the reader had told her she’d be dead by 30. I am happy to tell you that when I read for the lady, she was 35.
A friend I once read for had seen a tarot reader in Camden. The woman had cocked her head to one side during the session and, in a strange and cackly voice, told her that her dead grandmother was with her in spirit. Both of my friend’s nans were alive, well, and living in North London.
These are the kind of events which lead people to become suspicious of the tarot and it’s interpreters. I like to be upfront with people before I read with them. I tell them that I will not predict death or illness and that it’s highly likely that they won’t receive a message from their deceased Aunt Flo. Some readers may provide these services, but I don’t.
A tarot reading is a pattern. There are many ways in which the cards can fall, which is why the shuffle we begin with is so important. Within the illustrations, we will find stories. Because the tarot cards contain imagery which covers the experiences in most peoples lives (births, deaths, love, disappointment, and successes), they can become uncannily familiar or accurate for some. When this happens, there is a buzz between myself and a client. This is possibly why people leave my table and say ‘there is no way that he could have known that’. Well, get this – I didn’t! I can only tell you what I see in the images. People who know little about tarot reading expect me to read their mind. I can’t.
My tarot readings are based on two things – what I know about tarot and what I feel from the cards. What I know is based on my study of the tarot and it’s systems. The rest is down to the trusting of my intuition. I will explain what cards mean in their positions and then offer my intuitive reaction to combinations in a spread. From there on, the reading becomes a conversation between a querent and myself. For example, I might tell you that a woman (the Queen of Wands) is in your past, for this is the position in which she has fallen. Therefore, her presence in your reading means she is still significant. However, it is only the client who can make earthly sense of this lady and give her real form. The tarot provides as many questions as it does answers. Who is this woman? Why is she here? Can she help you? If so, how?
My job as a reader is to help. This is my main aim. If you walk away from your reading feeling better than you did when you sat down, then I am happy. It is not my job to provide false-hope though. It is my goal to help you see your life and the possibilities within it in a different way. Not everyone will recognise those situations which the tarot is mirroring. They may not be aware of those people who can help. A tarot interpreter is there to help them make sense of not just the possibilities on the table, but the potential within them self. An empowered client makes for a successful reader.
There are many times when a reading will just not make sense to a client. However, this does not make the information wrong. Many people test a reader by those things said which only they could know, but miss what could be potentially useful. In some situations, a reader will hit on something very personal, but answer me this – what point is there in being told about the things you know already? Would it not be more useful to find out about the situations and opportunities in life we are not immediately aware of?
When a reading seems so far from what is believed to be true, a client will begin to doubt both the reader and the reading process. Unfortunately, this is usually the point where the link between them is lost. I believe that when we don’t understand what the cards represent straight out, they hold the most important messages.
Quite often, those things I tell a client might not be easily understood in the present. But believe me, I have had many calls and messages from people who made sense of the messages not long after. I am not telling you this to massage my tarot-reading-ego. A lot of these people found a use in being forewarned and were therefore able to deal with difficulties head-on. If I tell you that you could be facing monetary difficulties at a time when your bank-balance looks healthy, there still might be good reason to check out the figures and keep your financial wits about you. Does everyone who’s relationship ends know that their union is in trouble before their partner pulls the plug on it? Of course not. The tarot will make suggestions and it is a person’s choice whether to act on these pointers or not. Quite often, their intuition will pick up on problems or potential, but their own bias or wishful thinking might prevent them from accurately deciphering the messages presented.
I have received negative comments online about my use of the tarot. I have had warnings about using cards by Doreen Virtue, have been told I will die a miserable and lonely death for using tarot cards, and that divination will send me to hell. For anyone with opinions similar to these, I will tell you this. My main objective is to help others. Period. Sometimes, people would do well to not worry too much about the cards, how they are used, or whether Jesus would approve, but instead think about the aim of a good reading – which is to provide options and help someone to live their life in the best possible way. I do not pull the information from angels or the Devil or through any means of deception. I find possibilities and suggestions within the energy of the person I read for during the time we spend together, locating road-blocks and opportunities within a series of ornate pictures.
I will try to help anyone who sits in front of me, but a lot of people forget that it is not I who maps out their future. It is them.
© Steven Bright Tiferet Tarot 2014
Photos from my own readings, posted with kind permission of querents