Updated: Jun 15
Tarot readings are often considered to be simply a tool for 'fortune telling'. But the truth is, the tarot is an insightful system for uncovering truths, learning about your unconscious, seeing into a situation, understanding your life lessons and - yes - discovering your potential future.
I say 'potential' because our future is made up of an infinite number of possibilities. We have a certain amount of free will and can make our own choices. However, I personally believe there are certain situations we will inevitably face in our lives that are meant to be, we call this 'fate'. The way I understand it, these are the situations we chose to experience before incarnating into this lifetime.
But that's a whole other blog post!
For this post, I want to talk about tarot readings and how to get the best out of them by asking the right questions.
What are the best questions to ask in a tarot reading?
Wording is crucial with a tarot reading. The tarot won't tell you what you 'should' do, but it will give you guidance that is for your highest good. It can show you what is unseen, what your unconscious mind desires or fears, the energy around a situation and what you could to do about it (if anything!) to achieve your desired outcome. It can also show you what is potentially heading your way if you continue on your path.
Here are some of the most popular reasons people get a tarot reading, along with some suggested questions you could ask:
1. Looking for love? Ask what you need to heal from in order to find a partner.
All too often I'm asked in readings "When will I meet someone special?" You can certainly ask this question, but it isn't overly helpful. What if the cards suggest you won't meet someone for a year? Would you sit back and think, "Well that's that! I won't bother to look!" You'd be giving your own power away if you did that. You are the creator of your own life, so if you want to meet someone you could instead ask what you need to do, in order to improve your chances of meeting someone.
This may be achieved by asking a couple of questions: "What do I need to heal from/let go of so that I can meet a new partner?" And "What do I need to do more of so that I can meet a new partner?"
It may be that you are still holding onto some pain from a past heartbreak, and you need to let go of that before new love can come in. Or perhaps the cards will show that you've got energetic barriers up that are keeping you safe from any potential future heartbreak and this is keeping you stuck.
2. Unhappy in your career? Ask the tarot what you need to know about your current work situation.
Rather than asking if you should leave your job, ask what you need to know about the situation so the cards can highlight what's going on beneath the surface. The cards may show that you are bored, as you aren't feeling intellectually challenged any more. They may show that something else is causing your pain - perhaps a conflict with a colleague that you thought was over, but unconsciously, it still bothers you. Or maybe you are struggling with anxiety that doesn't relate to your career, but you have projected the cause for your anxiety onto your job. This could save you making a hasty exit from your role, and then regretting it later.
Once you've established the true reason for your unhappiness, you can decide what to do. If you are bored, is there another role you could apply for within the organisation? If it's a fallout that is putting you off going into work, you may want to speak to your colleague or file a grievance. The tarot can also provide guidance around these different options as you can pull a card for each option, and choose the one that looks the most positive.
3. Unsure whether to take that job? Do a multiple choice reading to see how things will pan out if you take it vs if you stay put.
This is a very popular reason to have a reading, as taking the wrong job can lead to lots of unhappiness and stress. Pulling a few cards for 'stay' vs 'go' can give you an indication of how each option will pan out. You might want to specify 'for the next 6 months' to give some short-term guidance around each option.
4. Want to set up a business but unsure if it's the right time? Pull a few cards for different timings and compare them.
A multiple-choice option would be useful in this instance as it can show you how your new business will pan out if you start it now, vs if you start it in 6 months, 12 months or even 2 years. Weighing up all the cards, you can choose the most positively aspected cards before making your decision.
5. Unhappy in your relationship? Ask the tarot for guidance around how to improve your relationship, or whether it's time to walk away.
The tarot can highlight why you feel unhappy, and you can then decide whether you want to work at the relationship or whether to walk away. Although the decision is down to your own freewill, the tarot can provide guidance around what can be done to improve the relationship, as well as what you can do to heal from it and build the strength to walk away if that is your preference.
6. In a conflict situation? Ask for clarity on the situation and how to rectify it.
Conflict resolution is absolutely possible with a tarot reading. Getting clarity enables you to see the bigger picture - what is happening beneath the surface, what is the lesson you're being guided to learn, how might the other person be feeling. Pulling cards identifying what's happening on all levels enables you to get a bird's eye view of the situation and can take you out of simply being in your own perspective.
Additional cards can then be pulled providing guidance on how to rectify the situation, whether that's by standing your ground, speaking up, finding a compromise, escalating the problem (for example if it's a workplace conflict), healing old wounds, apologising for your part, or walking away from the relationship.
7. Want some guidance on your spiritual journey? Ask what is the next step to take on your spiritual path.
Our spiritual journey can be full of twists and turns! When we wish to lead a more spiritual life, that means changing viewpoints, seeing the bigger picture, letting go of old wounds, detaching from ego and releasing ourselves from situations or relationships that no longer serve us.
We can simply ask for guidance on the next steps to take on our spiritual path. Perhaps the cards will show us exercising more forgiveness. We may be called to meditate and be more present, getting out of our busy minds. Or perhaps we are being called to enter a space of solitude for a while, turning our gaze inwards. The guidance will change frequently as we move forwards through life, but each step can be accomplished easier if we recognise what we're being called to do.
Asking the right questions goes a long way to getting the results you need from your reading. Cosmopolitan wrote an interesting article about tarot with some more useful questions you can ask 💗
If you're wondering, "What's the difference between between a tarot reading, oracle reading or psychic reading?" you might like to read my blog covering the different types of reading.
Although I've learned to read the tarot using the traditional method, I also read intuitively. That's actually how I started out on my journey to becoming a tarot reader. I have a free workshop on this website teaching the basics of intuitive card reading, take part for free at www.melanie-stevens.com/workshops (sign-up required).