Thursday, 6 February 2014

too much information?

I was recently watching an episode of 'Spread This, Witches' on Allorah Rayne's Youtube channel. The episodes feature a lovely bunch of hardcore enthusiasts getting together and talking Tarot. They've given me so much to think about! During a recent episode, the discussion turned to how much information a reader should ask for from a querent before a reading. The overwhelming consensus was that a reading should be performed with minimal knowledge of the specifics or focus area so as not to disturb or influence the messages coming through. Many readers find that having access to the details tends to water a reading down or invite bias. This got me thinking about my own approach to client information.

If you've ever received a reading from me you'll already be aware that I take the opposite view in my own practice. For me, the details are divine. Occasionally, I'll come across a client who doesn't wish to divulge anything and this is usually when they book a General Reading and don't feel the desire to have a specific focus area. For those clients, I deliver exactly the same way I would for those who do offer some details and I'm always confident that the advice will be nurturing. But offering some notes with the purchase generally enables me to really home in on the issues and offer key questions and exercises which are tailor-made to the client's needs.

This has a lot to do with my outlook and approach to Tarot as a tool. I will always be a counsellor first and
foremost. Tarot is a device which principally helps me to use archetypes, symbols and universal messages to shape and deepen my guidance to others. In much the same way as you would offer some information to a therapist or psychologist before beginning a session, the same is true of a Tarot reading from me; dialogue and shared power is a vital part of the process. I can understand why those who channel guides or spirits for their work would want to be as uninformed as possible as to the nature of the client's query. I can also understand why those who favour the term 'psychic' would have a practical need to prove their ability to tune into the problem accurately without information. I know many awesome readers who offer essential advice from the cards with no back story to work from, and I've managed to do the same, but foundation knowledge of the client's main aim will certainly give one of my readings a 'kick' at the very least.

Is there such a thing as Tarot TMI? My clients offer notes which range from one sentence to one thousand words. What's important to me is that they feel comfortable with what they're putting across and, if they need a large word count to achieve that aim, I'm more than happy to read through it and select the key information to work with. Some clients exchange a few messages with me before purchasing to get clear on the kind of reading they need and what the expectations are. Again, this helps both of us to make the experience as potent as possible and ensure that they are in the right space to receive a reading if they're unsure. I feel that it's important to follow the querent's lead. Whether the reading is a business transaction or a birthday present for your mum, the same rule applies. Getting a reading is a deeply personal and potentially transformative experience, so it's important to start on the right foot.

Over time, a reader may adjust their perspective on how much information to ask for, if any. It will largely depend on their experiences with both kinds of reading and which they tend to work best with. If they find that too many details tend to muddy the water, they will ensure that they ask the client to refrain from elaborating. If they find that information and dialogue before the reading tends to improve their chances of maximum nourishment, they will always ask clients to provide back story. There is no correct way; there is only the magic of self-awareness. The more self-aware the Tarot reader, the more illuminating the reading.