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Forming a Question for the Tarot
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Forming a Question for the Tarot

Forming a question for a Tarot reading can be a little confusing at first. People that have no prior Tarot experience, tend to think of the Tarot primarily as a fortune-telling tool. “Will I marry so and so?” “Is so and so cheating?” “Will I get this job?” We hear questions like these all the time. And when we first started out, we probably asked all the same questions. Let me share a little about what I’ve learned regarding question formation for the Tarot. As always, your mileage may vary…

It is always OK to ask for insight into a situation that involves you

A lot of readers (myself included) tend to shy away from questions where you are essentially “spying” on another person. Tarot questions should have you, the Querant, at the center of the reading. We are surrounded by other people every day and may truly need insight into how to handle a situation we are facing. For example, your daughter is doing poorly in school. Would I advocate asking, “Will my daughter fail such and such class?” No. But would I support asking “Please give me insight into how I can help my daughter succeed in school”. Absolutely! This is precisely the sort of question that the Tarot is designed to answer… It provokes thought and helps us focus on positive action.

Yes/No and Should I/Shouldn’t I questions

A Tarot reading can be very empowering. It can help you see your strengths and highlight areas that are concerning you. But it’s never a good idea to place the responsibility for a decision on the Tarot. Decisions should be made by you, and you alone! There is no substitute for thinking for yourself… the Tarot only offers insight. If I want to know whether I should take this job or that job, I would ask the Tarot for insight into how I will mesh into those positions… or whether there are things I need to know to be successful in this job or that one… The Tarot offers guidance and helps us make better-informed decisions, but it should NOT be relied upon to make your decisions for you.

Fortune telling with the Tarot

Many people start out with the assumption that the Tarot is a fortune-telling tool. I think of the Tarot as giving you a snapshot in time of the energies surrounding you, or the situation you are asking about. The future is a very fluid thing… change one decision and we’re talking about a whole new future. The Tarot will tell you what is likely to happen if things progress on the current path with no changes. I feel one of the best uses of the Tarot is to help us see when we are heading down a path we may not like, but the future is not concrete. It can be changed, and very often is.

Asking the Tarot about medical concerns

I have been asked before to do readings to tell people what their health problems are, or whether they have a certain medical condition. Many readers will not read concerning health issues (and I would be one of them). These are questions best answered by a medical professional. If you insist on asking the Tarot these kinds of questions, you might simply be procrastinating doing what you know you should (which is “Get thee to the doctor!”). That said, provided someone is under a doctor’s care, I have no problem asking the Tarot questions such as, “What do I need to know about how this will affect my family?” or “What emotional issues may come up for me regarding my condition?”

The Tarot as a tool for personal and spiritual growth

This is my favorite use of the Tarot. Let’s look at those patterns that keep us from progressing as human beings… that keep us failing at relationships or in our careers. The Tarot is a fabulous way to look at what ails us mentally and spiritually and help us break out of those patterns. The first step to growing as a person is identifying the needed areas for change. Some of the most powerful readings I have done for myself have been those that showed me a pattern I was repeating that was detrimental to me. I whole-heartedly advocate the use of Tarot as a counseling tool. Sometimes it’s difficult to look deeply into ourselves, but it can also empower you to break out of the old way of doing things and find a new path. The Tarot can encourage, enlighten and help free us to do things differently.

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Laura Ty

my 5 top tips on forming a question:

1. Narrow your focus. If you want a specific answer, ask a specific question. Don’t make the mistake of asking about love and money and family, etc. in a single question. The poor cards won’t know which way to turn!

2. A more general question is fine if you really don’t have any single issue to address. A general reading will tell you about the current and upcoming trends and conditions in your life.

3. The cards will never tell you what you should do; they simply will not let you off the hook by allowing you to avoid personal responsibility! Rather, begin your questions with:

– What will happen if…..?

– What do I need to know about….?

– What is the likely result of….?

– What are the conditions effecting….?

– What does the Universe want me to know about….for my highest good?

– What do I need to understand about…?

– What is the meaning (or lesson I need to learn about) of….?

– How should I approach this issue for the best result?

4. Keep the focus of your question on yourself. The Tarot will always home in on the questioner and his/her own experience. The cards will not speak to anybody else’s motivations except as they deal with the questioner. Make yourself the central character of your question, even when other people are involved. For example: “How can I communicate more effectively with my spouse?” is preferable to “How come my spouse never listens to what I have to say?”

5. Try not to steer your question toward the desired answer. Be as objective as possible, rather than convincing yourself that your desired outcome is the only possible right answer. For example: “How can I improve my chances of finding my soul mate?” is preferable to “How can I find someone who is rich, beautiful and a genius to love me?”

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Melissa Martinez

My article consolidated from the other page

Tarot questions can be put to the cards to help us find answers and guidance. The tarot is usually consulted when we seek and answer to a specific question or when we are facing a problem or challenge. To find an answer to a question a Question Reading is done.

The question reading starts by writing down a question about your problem. As the cards are interpreted the answer is revealed. Tarot questions can help to combine the positions of the cards into an answer that can be more easily understood. Tarot questions can be about any issue or problem. Here is how to create a question reading for yourself.

Start by thinking deeply about the situation and the people affected by it. Then think about the options you have for the future – all the different choices you might make. Allow the mind to go where it wants to go, don’t judge or censor the information that comes to you. Make notes based on the thoughts and ideas that enter your mind, using your intuition, rather than logic. These ideas form the basis for all tarot questions.
Now you are ready to write down the tarot question. You can write a short phrase indicating what needs to be uncovered. Write the phrase in a way that shows you wish to take responsibility for the decision you make and ask the cards for more information and guidance. Do not expect the cards to tell you what to do!

Do not choose tarot questions that relinquish your personal responsibility such as yes/no questions or questions that start with “should”. Also avoid questions that ask about time such as “how long and when”. Below are some ways in which you can phrase your tarot questions to ensure that you are taking responsibility for your own life. * Can you give me insight into … * What do I need to understand about … * What is the meaning of … * What is the lesson or purpose of … * What are the circumstances underlying … * How can I improve my chances of … * How might I … are all appropriate tarot questions.

It is fine to be specific when you ask tarot questions as long as you keep the question as open as possible. Don’t be too vague or too detailed when asking a question but make sure that the question is focused. When you read the cards for yourself you are the main character in the reading so the question must be focused on you, not somebody else.

Try to stay neutral when writing tarot questions. This means don’t assume that one stance or another is correct before you even begin! Try to be as open as possible to whatever guidance is provided by the cards. The way to receive authentic guidance is to be non-judgmental, open, clear about your intent and faithful that the answer you receive is the one you need to hear.

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Theadore

I’m not going to get snooty and tell you that you should not ask about “petty” concerns such as your romantic life, your Wall Street prospects, or how quickly you’ll sell your house. I’m also not going to tell you to refrain from asking simple “yes or no” questions. (They can be skillfully answered although, depending upon your situation, they may not be the richest questions to ask. Use them sparingly and usually in conjunction with more developed questions.) And, although many readers steer away from giving advice about health, I believe you can use Tarot to help you learn how your emotions, thinking, and spirituality can support your health maintenance or recovery and stabilization. To the extent that you have (or your reader has) some creativity in working with Tarot layouts and with Tarot’s symbolic language, you should be able to get useful answers to any well-stated question.

A well-stated question is usually both deeply felt and well thought out. Now, usually a client shows up for his or her appointment with some idea of what he or she wants to ask. That idea may be general or vague or even quite specific; yet, rarely has the form of the question or questions been pre-planned. That doesn’t bother me too much because, after many years of working with Tarot, I can usually help a client find or structure the right question. Just as no two clients are alike, no two questions about, say, one’s love life is alike. So, I’m just going to suggest some general guidelines here that will help you improve the effectiveness of your questions. This list is primarily for Tarot clients but, if you plan to read the cards for yourself, you may find some or all of these steps valuable.

1. Think about why you have made the commitment to seek counseling at this time. Reaffirm that commitment. That’s a way to set your intention which, in itself, is a crucial magickal act. Your possible ambivalence about seeking counseling can create an energy that weakens, blocks, or complicates the reception of clear information. So, be sure you’re ready and willing to receive what the Universe is offering.

By the way, you Tarot professionals out there are probably aware that the client who cancels at the last minute (often without the courtesy of offering an excuse) or who doesn’t bother to show up for the appointment (or call) is revealing this ambivalence. In these cases, ambivalence has turned into out-and-out resistance. I want to work with clients who are ready to work with me; otherwise, it’s a major waste of time.

2. Think about (and, if you have time, write about) what’s going on in your life. Put your issues and possible questions in the context of your entire current life as well as your history, if relevant. As you consider all of this and write in your journal, previously unentertained questions will naturally arise. At first, they may be seed questions or somewhat vague, but these works-in-progress will help you get to the heart of what you need to know, what will be most valuable for you to ask. This review will help you clarify what’s important to you. Don’t show this writing to your counselor; it’s solely for you. However, it will help you decide what’s important to say to your counselor and what you need not say.

3. You don’t need to tell the Tarot reader your whole life story, but it’s okay to give your counselor some reasonable context for your question. “How’s my love life?” is a stark-naked, crazy-making question, and yes, I’ve heard it from a client or two. Can I answer it? Absolutely, but rather than my pointlessly jumping through hoops to do so, wouldn’t it be better if you said to me, “My girlfriend and I have been together for five years, and I haven’t a clue where this relationship is going. What do you see?” Then, I can work on a number of things: looking at the two of you as individuals, where each of you may be in your life process, where you’re coming from, what your Soul wants, what your patterns and tendencies are, your lessons and tests, your gifts and strengths. I can look at how you two work together, look at the aura of your relationship and gauge its prospects.

Or your question might be, “I’m not in a relationship right now and haven’t been for a long time, and I think IT’S TIME. What can I do?” Okay, then I’ll want to look at what time it really is. As for, “What can I do,” there’s always something to do–whether it be go out, be active, and meet people or go within and work on yourself. Of course, it gets more complex and interesting than that, but you get the idea. My answers get better with better questions that get to the point. “How’s my love life?” is a question you can ask of your newspaper’s daily horoscope.

4. Sometime before your appointment, spend at least ten minutes in quiet meditation. If you are still uncertain about your questions, meditate with the intention to allow your most important question or questions to be revealed. If you’re pretty sure you have your questions in place, meditate to ground, center, and relax yourself physically, emotionally, and mentally. Meditate to sensitize yourself and open your heart to the gifts of the Universe. Meditate so that you will optimize your ability to understand, process, integrate, and later use what you will learn from the counselor. Meditate so that you will become aware of the wise, loving presence of your own Higher Self. If you are so inclined, meditate to affirm your connection to a Higher Power.

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    Melissa Martinez

    Thank you for that Martians that was a good addon to what we stated above :).

    Reply
Hope Nemaste

When it comes to Phrasing Questions I have found that I get clear answers if I take a few moments to ground and center, and open myself up to the Goddess before I begin working with the cards. I make an invocation or a prayer. This seems to facilitate a sacred space that puts me into a receptive state. I can divine the meanings more easily than if I just sit down and turn the cards up.

The following questions are ones that have served me well over the years:

What do I need to be looking at right now?
Give me insight and wisdom into this situation.
What action would be best for me to take?
If I make Choice A, how will it affect my life? If I make Choice B, how will it affect my life?
What is the energy around this person or situation?

These kinds of open-ended questions open up a world of possibilities.

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