I perform 99% of my Tarot readings via email to a worldwide clientele. On my website’s reading page, I offer helpful advice on framing questions, and most of my clients do a great job of crafting appropriate queries. Sometimes, though, I may need to break down a compound request into separate questions.
Other clients simply share the complex issues weighing on their hearts and minds, and I sift through the intricacies to create simple, straightforward questions to ask the Tarot.
In the past, some have asked me “How do you do it? How do you take a lengthy email sharing problems, confusions and heartaches and make it into a clear reading to offer clients?”
And it’s a great question that I’m pleased to finally address.
Right this moment, I’m in the process of creating questions for two comprehensive readings for the same client (one a New Year Reading which examines the upcoming energies for the next twelve months, and the other a Whole Enchilada Reading which addresses multiple issues in a thorough manner).
You see, I rarely use pre-created spreads for my clients (Celtic Cross? Totally worthless, in my experience and opinion). Instead, I customize a spread for each client, which may range from four questions/cards to as many as it takes to address all the facets of the issue (fifteen or more).
I’m going to share a few samples with you (names removed for privacy) to show you—step-by-step—how I create questions for the basis of a reading…which I hope will help those of you, too, who read mostly via email (or want to begin doing so). Before I do, though, I want to stress one of the most important things to remember when creating questions/spreads for a client:
Keep it simple and singular.
For example, a client has asked:
How can I best go about discovering my dreams, desires, and the best use of my time and energy at this point in my life?
This question needs tweaked because discovering desires and the wise use of time are two separate issues. If I were to draw a card for this question, what part would it be addressing? Dreams? Desires? Time? Energy?
So I broke it down into two separate questions:
How can I best go about discovering my dreams and desires? [Dreams and desires are similar enough to be addressed together]
How can I discover the best use of my time and energy at this point in my life? [Likewise, time and energy are interwoven so I’ve kept them together, as well]
Here’s another sample from the same reading. The client asks:
What do I need to know to best address my “want it to start now” anxiety and desire to meet a good man with whom we share a mutual deep attraction and desire to create a long and happy committed relationship?
What do I need to know about my relationships with Person X and Person Y to minimize the chances of my next relationship ending?
It’s obvious that the client wants to glean lessons from her relationship with two separate people to help her make a wise choice for her next relationship. But she also wants to try to minimize her chances of disappointment in her next relationship…perhaps even using the information to try to prevent a future romance from ending.
As we all know, however, there are no guarantees in life. And as a reader, you can feel free to share that sentiment with your client before or during the question-crafting process.
So I kept the client’s first question, where she wants insight into how to ameliorate the anxiety and impatience of wanting a good man yesterday. However, the second question needs to be changed because there are three distinct issues here:
1. The client’s relationship with Person X
2. The client’s relationship with Person Y
3. The client’s concern about a future romantic relationship
Here’s how I handled the second compound question:
What strength do I bring to a relationship?
What may need addressed/changed in my approach to romantic relationships?
It’s obvious she wants an optimal relationship and hints at wanting avoid a repeat performance in her future relationship. However, rather than simply, and sharply, asking, “How do I sabotage relationships?” I chose to ask, “What may need changed/addressed?” Yet, I want to encourage and empower the client, too, so I’ve decided to add the question about the greatest strength that she brings to a romantic relationship…placing it first to assuage any discomfort she may feel at the second question.
What do I need to know/learn about my relationships with Person X?
What do I need to know/learn about my relationship with Person Y?
Because she asked for insight about her relationships with two different people, I’ve broken it up into two separate questions. Otherwise, how would I know which person the card drawn refers to…Person X or Person Y?
Here’s the last example, from the same client:
What do I need to know to bring about my optimum physical, mental, and spiritual health this year?
Again, we have three issues: physical, mental and spiritual, so I simply created three separate questions to cover each area. For the physical question, I will repeat the caveat already included on my Ethics page (and unless you’re a qualified health practitioner, you’d do well to say something along these lines, too): “I’m not qualified to give health-related advice, but I will draw a card offering insight on how you can best promote your physical well-being at this time”.
If you read for someone on the phone or in person, you would be able to discuss the nuances of the questions and the cards drawn as it happens. But with email readings, clarity is of utmost important to minimize the amount of time and frustration for both client and reader. The simpler and clearer your questions are at the start, the more direct and accurate your reading will likely be.