Saturday, 6 February 2016

Cards don't match my life - are they wrong?

I've done more than thousand readings for other people and probably the double number for myself by now. I've also actively followed how other people read on online forums. Based on this experience, I've concluded that there are three major reasons where the reading can go wrong, meaning that the cards and the real life events don't seem to match.

The top three reasons why the events that happen don't match your cards:

  1. you ask when will someone else or the universe in general fix your problems.
  2. you assume that feelings will cause actions.
  3. you retrospectively change the question to fit the cards or read what you want to see. 

#1 - When will my luck change?

In my experience, this is the most common type of question to ask from tarot, and I've done it often - too often - as well.

Will X contact me or fall in love with me? Will X approach me after the fall out and make everything right? Will employer X soon tell me I got the job? Will I go for the trip I'm planning? Will I move house like I'm planning? Will my luck change soon? Will my life change soon? Will everything be better soon?

Of course, it's understandable to be curious about what will come. We can't always ask directly from people around us, so we turn to the cards to get some visibility and perhaps reassurance.

However, more often than not this seems to cause frustration instead of clarity. The cards might tell that X will not take any action, or not such action that would benefit or please us, which is bound to disappoint. Or, the cards do tell that things will change, so you just sit back and wait for the change - which never comes due to the lack of required action from your part!

The main pitfall is that if you ask what will X do about this situation, you're bound to get an answer that's outside of your control. And usually there's a 50-50% chance that the card is not positive. Because X is probably equally scared/hesitant/offended/shy to be the first person to take action, declare love, send a date invite, offer an olive branch or confess that s/he was wrong!

To feel more empowered and in control, it's always better to ask action-oriented questions, such as "what can I do to make this situation progress as I'd like?"

I like to use a simple 4-card spread for situation - challenge - advice - outcome to scope, what is going on, what is working against me or is difficult for me right now, what is the best course of action, and what is the likely outcome with the advice. That way I at least know what is within my control and what is not, and I have a chance to do everything I can to initiate the change I want.

#2 - If X likes me, surely s/he'll ask me out?

It's incredibly common to see people ask questions about feelings, get positive cards, and then get disappointed by the lack of following action. If person X likes me, surely s/he'll ask me out, right?

Nope. Having feelings for someone and actually acting on those feelings are two completely different scenarios. I personally believe that if you like someone and get hints about being liked back - and your cards are confirming this - then why not go ahead and make the first move yourself?

I've always been the one to initiate dates, because I'm so afraid of losing a perfect opportunity just because the other person might be too shy and afraid of rejection. Yes, I have been rejected. And I lived to tell the tale. Personally I find fretting about someone's feelings much worse than getting clarity, even with the risk of rejection. At least it's settled then, and I can move on.

If you're one of those people who think that your romantic interest should prove their worthiness by being the first one to make the move, then... why exactly is the other person the only one having to prove themselves and risk rejection? Surely you're not the King or Queen of Saba, who can't interact with mere mortals, eh? ;)

Seriously folks. If you like someone, make a move. Don't draw cards night after night after night. Same applies, if you've fallen out with someone, or need to make amends. Extend the hand, send the ball to the other side of the court by taking action. You'll feel much better afterwards, in the grand scheme of things, even if the answer is no.

#3 - What's going on in his/her life? Oh, we'll get married!

This is simultaneously the most baffling and the most understandable "reading mistake" to make.

You check how things are going for your ex and pull, say, 10 Cups - bliss, happiness, joy, family. Suddenly the reading looks like a promise for you to finally get back together. Or, you ask: when will I hear about the job I applied for and get 4 Wands - happy home, completion of a project. Wow, this looks like the job is yours! But wait...

Notice what happened there? The first question was about "what is going on in X's life", not "what will happen to X and me together in the future?". The second question was about "when will I hear...", not "what are my chances with this job" or "what is the result of this application process for me", or something along those lines.

So, the first card can mean that your ex is indeed doing fine, but the card does not include you, unless you specifically ask. The second card can mean: you'll hear the outcome in four days or four weeks (depending on how you time with tarot), but it doesn't necessarily say you'll get it, even though it is more positive than negative looking card.

I'm most surprised by many people's (understandable) tendency to interpret negative cards positively in relationship readings, in particular regarding ex-partners or romantic interests.

I've seen dozens of readings where a person asks: what does X feel for me? and the answer is, for example, 8 Cups - moving on, loss -, or 5 Pentacles - being without, lacking something. And these cards are then interpreted as signs of great longing and love: X is feeling lost and cold without me. Errr, what if it means: "X couldn't give a toss about you", which is my instinctive take on these.

I'm sorry if this sounds cynical, but I think it's better to acknowledge the truth, in particular if the "doesn't care" card is also reinforced by action or rather, lack of action by the said ex or romantic interest. There's no point in fooling oneself to see great love and longing in "walking away towards the new shores" type of cards; there's only heartbreak in store for that, unfortunately.

However, this same phenomenon works the other way too, and I've seen many readings where the person won't acknowledge the positive message when it's slamming them in the face.

The most important skill of a tarot reader is the ability to detach. From the question and from the outcome.

Whatever comes up, try to remember (or better yet, write down) the exact wording of the question and then examine the cards as objectively as possible in relation to that particular question. If the cards still don't make sense, record the reading and sleep on it - check back later to see if you'll figure something new out. As a last straw, ask another, more carefully worded question and maybe consider a positioned reading, where each card answers a particular question.

Cards don't match the question? Are you sure you remember the question you asked and are not trying to push a square block through a round hole?

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