Reading tarot for people you already know


On occasion, I get this question: “Is reading tarot for people you already know hard to do?”

In most cases, having a strong, deep relationship with someone can lead to greater tarot clarity.  Because each card has many different meanings, knowing the sitter well may help you determine exactly how that card applies to their situation or question. You don’t have to play guessing games with a loved one or long term client. Also, when you work with someone for an extended period of time, you can get some profound healing happening.  Lastly, a long relationship builds trust.  This is essential for a good tarot reading.

BUT, in some cases, if you are unable to detach from your emotions, the reading can become biased – or you may have a harder time being honest should you see something “bad.”  (This is called being “emotionally invested in the outcome.”)

Another possible problem: the querent may feel as if you didn’t really read for them because you “already know” what’s going on.  These types may play games or sit there mute, waiting for you to tell them “something they didn’t know.” They also may downplay the reading and pooh-pooh any true insights you are sharing (“oh she just told me that because she knows me blah blah blah”).  I never read for someone once they come with that mindset.  It’s disrespectful and no matter how spectacular and accurate the reading may be, they will continue to dismiss it.

It all comes down to this question: can you be objective?

If you cannot, then it is better to refrain reading for that person.

The next question: will they treat the reading with respect or are they coming with a skeptical attitude?

If it’s the latter, you may want to say no.  It’s not worth your time or energy.

On reading:

Always have a grounding practice before reading for ANYONE.  Meditation or energy work before a reading gets you in the perfect tarot headspace.

Establish the energy immediately once they sit at your table.  For example, I like to have people pull a card from The Power Deck and take a moment to read the back.  This little ritual stets the tone that it’s tarot time.

Next, simply focus on the cards. Concentrate.  Tune out distractions – including looking at the querent for confirmation.  Do not seek validation or contradiction.  Just read.  This is NOT easy, especially if you’ve been trained to ask for confirmation.  But sometimes “just reading the cards” is the best path to keeping your emotions out of the way.

If you find yourself beginning to read in a slanted direction, pause.  Take a moment. Breathe deeply. Look at the cards as if you reading for a stranger.  What would you say to someone you didn’t know?  How would you interpret those cards?  Go from there.  See if that puts you back on track.

If you cannot get out of your own way, it may be wiser to refer them to another reader.

But if you can detach from your own inner emotional chatter and move forward, you may just find that these readings are the most meaningful of all.



© Theresa Reed | The Tarot Lady 2014

What about you?  How do you read for someone that you know well?  Or do you take a pass? Share your thoughts with me on Twitter @thetarotlady

image from stock photography

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