I've blogged before about how important it is not to scare the querent when reading their cards. After all, what does it achieve? In this post from August I wrote the following:
"Assist compassionately, because that's what quite a lot of Tarot reading is - assistance. You're normally in a client's life at a time when they have questions or decisions to make and they feel they want to open up their mind to various options. Be down to earth, cater to the needs of the querent in terms of the questions they've asked or the subject that needs focus and, above all, make it clear that they are ultimately the ones in charge of their own destiny. You can clear the path as a guide of sorts but they're the ones that will put one foot in front of the other."
I stand by that 100%. Tarot is a tool which can inspire hope, action and positive change. Tarot readings are highly sought after by people who are at a crossroads in life and need to know that they can improve their situation and find the strength within them to continue. I've seen and heard of psychic readers who pull names and dates out of their minds - telling clients when they will die, when they're likely to become ill or marry, what the name of their next partner will be. But where's the benefit in this kind of reading? How does the querent get to the meat of the experience, which is being able to take something away with them which can be used to improve life in general and give hope when needed. Sure, if the psychic ends up being correct about all of it (something I've learned is rare) there's a sense of bewilderment and admiration. But beyond that, nothing truly useful. It is when the querent feels a sense of bewilderment and admiration at their own abilities that it's been a success.
The more Tarot genuinely helps and comforts people the more it's likely to shed its skin. Tarot needs a new outfit. It's stuck in an incredibly unfashionable and unhelpful guise of mysticism and soothsaying, whereas I know some impressive holistic therapists who use Tarot as the staple of their development work with clients, putting Tarot in a much more positive light and using it to instigate real changes.
All Tarot cards hold both positive and negative messages. All Tarot cards have a warning element. This is my view, at least. Nature is much more complicated than light and dark - these concepts were brought into being by monotheist religious institutions so that their followers would obey the rules and show docility. Tarot has no place for mechanistic thought - therefore every reading can come with a side helping of hope and encouragement, even those where most of the cards do suggest chaos, sadness or destruction. The way a Tarot reading affects the querent depends on the reader. If you're a reader who believes that our future is ultimately down to us, you're the kind of reader who'd help rather than hinder a querent's quest for answers.