Sunday, 15 July 2012

time scales and the perils of the closed question

Many querents are looking for an exact time to note into their diary. 'I will meet the love of my life on the first day of the third month according to someone with a deck of cards.' Although there's nothing wrong with asking such a question and equally nothing wrong with attempting to provide such an answer, it should probably come with a hefty dose of caution for two reasons. reason 1: It could end up being wrong. 2: It's probably not the most that a querent could get out of a Tarot reading, in fact it's only scratching the surface of the tool's usefulness. If you're a reader who offers answers to questions about time scale, for example 'when will I have a baby?' or 'when will he propose?' you are taking on some degree of responsibility for your answer. Querents who seek the answers to these questions are living in hope, living in want of something, and the date they are given will mean something to them. They are likely to wish to cling to it as a time of great joy. A given time is a raising of a querent's expectations and if the given time doesn't bear the fruit they are after, it could lead to sadness and disappointment. I have witnessed some such responses to time scale questions which utilise the giving of conditions. For example, 'You will meet your future husband in the next three months but only if you're willing to change X,Y,Z variable.' This releases the reader from some degree of the responsibility of offering a definite time, owing to the fact that they have specified that the fortunate date depends solely on the actions of the querent himself. Although these kinds of conditional dates are readily accepted by curious seekers, they do run the risk of starting some kind of potential blame game in the querent's head, whereby they might feel they failed themselves by not doing what was suggested of them if their special date comes and goes without a husband to show for it. So, are conditional dates really good practice? Probably not.

Equally, many readers offer dates but like to stipulate that they are subject to change in accordance with the passage of time and the changing of circumstances. This is fine, if that's the case, does the given date matter at all? If it could change, why is it necessary in the first place? How about instead focusing on the intricacies of the querent's strong desire for a definite date? Does this desire suggest impatience? Desperation? A desire to rush into the future without considering the past or appreciating the present? If a querent is very eager to have a specific date on which to hang their hopes, isn't it possible that they could actually benefit from some support and deeper guidance from Tarot? If you are a reader who specialises in giving accurate time frames, you must be sure in your abilities and strong enough to deal with the fact that such readings may not always come good. Querents may return to you to discuss dates that haven't materialised in the way they were hoping and you'll have to engage in that dialogue with good grace.

The 'yes or no' question is another such slippery area in Tarot and both time scales and these kinds of questions are largely based around a belief in predestination and psychic ability working together to lift the veil of time and see for certain what will come. If you're a reader who doesn't consider themselves capable of this kind of thing, make sure you're upfront about it before you begin your reading. If you sell readings online, be precise about what you can and can't do. Plenty of querents who are looking for a suitable reader are not necessarily looking for a certain answer, but instead looking to find out how they can empower themselves to make a choice on their own terms. Don't ever feel that you need to offer a certain kind of reading to be considered credible or make money from offering your skill.

As with time scales, yes or no questions can be narrow when it comes to getting the most out of the cards. If a querent approaches you with a specific question, 'will be we together forever?', it might be worth also drawing cards to look into the deeper emotions at work and the pros and cons of the relationship overall. Although I do not personally believe that the future has been written, I would never presume to know that. It's just a hunch. Therefore, I would never denigrate a fellow reader who professes to be able to see the future. However, what I would suggest is that Tarot is never just used as a conduit for messages from the future as though it's a place that already exists, because whether it exists or not, getting there is a tough struggle for us all. A little objective, supportive guidance goes a long way no matter what our destination looks like.