Tarot Readings: How To Ask Your Question

One of the things I’ve learned since I’ve been offering tarot card readings is that people often have difficulty wording the questions they want answered. They frequently have a very general idea, but sometimes they need a little help in putting their thoughts into words. I find that tarot can be very useful when you need to make an important decision, but need some help finding the best direction to take. However, some people just want some general guidance about a certain area of their life, such as their career, love-life, etc.

SignpostBecause I’ve been asked so many times for help putting together a question, I realized that I hadn’t provided enough guidance on my website about how to do it. I’ve now hopefully fixed that by providing a How to Ask Your Question page.

On that page, I’ve also added that instead of asking a specific question, I’ll also do readings “on a theme,” for those who want more general guidance on one area of their life. Tarot is an effective tool for me to use for certain types of questions, and not so effective in other cases, and I’ve outlined that too.

Of course, as always, if you ever have difficulty with this process, I’ll be happy to help you. Just drop me an e-mail at tarotbygraham@gmail.com.

 

(Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

The Dangers of Deck Collecting

I recently bought a deck of tarot cards. What’s so unusual about that? Well, the deck I bought, The Jean Noblet Tarot de Marseille is the same as two other decks I have. It’s my “working deck,” the deck I use for all my readings. I bought my third copy so I would have a second backup should anything happen to the first then the second copies. It’s like being a craftsman and having a favorite tool. My cards are my tools, and I want to make sure I always have them available when I read for someone. A number of years ago, I discovered that this particular deck resonated with me, and I’ve used it exclusively ever since.

Tarot Decks

There are many decks of tarot cards available, and more are created all the time. There’s always a market for them because there is always someone who has to purchase the latest creation. Some people have many decks in their collection. Some of the images in these decks are wonderful, so I can understand loving the art on the cards and so wanting to collect them as beautiful objects. However, I believe that some people use the purchase of new decks almost as a substitute for learning to read the cards properly. I can certainly relate to wanting to find tarot cards that “speak to you,” but I fear that some people will never settle on one deck, but will constantly flit from one to another, looking for that mythical “perfect deck.” It’s a bit like someone who keeps buying new guitars, but who will never get beyond noodling a bit on them and learning to play properly.

If you want to collect decks of tarot cards because of the beautiful art, that’s great! But if you want to read the cards, my best advice is to pick a deck and stick with it until you get proficient with it. The “magic” is in you, not the cards.

Testimonials Page Added

Testimonials   Tarot Readings by Graham

I’m feeling particularly blessed right now. It was pointed out to me that I might have been hiding my light under a bushel somewhat by not including a “Testimonials” page on my website, highlighting some of the lovely things that my clients have said about my readings. When I’m shopping for services myself, I know I like to see things that real people have said about them. So, I started going through some of my reviews for my readings on Fiverr.com. In addition, when I mentioned on my Facebook page that I was working on a Testimonials page, some of my clients came forward and volunteered to write something about my services. To be honest, it was difficult to pick out which ones to include and which to omit. Which is why I’m feeling blessed. I’ve added the page, so please see for yourself.

Time For a Tarot Reading?

watch imageSometimes when I’m looking for ideas or inspiration for a new blog post or business direction, I’ll turn to social media to see what’s being said about tarot. It can be time-consuming and sometimes frustrating, but occasionally a gem will appear. Doing such a search on Twitter a little while back, I found a post from someone who said she thought she was going to go get a tarot reading the following week because “it felt like it was about time.” I’ve been on Twitter a long time and I’m guessing she was probably bombarded very soon after with messages from tarot readers offering to do her reading. I was not one of them. I just felt like reaching out to her and saying that I would hope any decent reader would likely tell her that she’s wasting her time and energy getting readings under those circumstances and to go out and make her own destiny!

In my experience, treating tarot like a game to play when you’re bored, rather than using it as a tool when you have important decisions to make, usually results in frivolous answers… which will probably bore you even more. Don’t get me wrong – you’re not going to somehow wear out the tarot deck by getting readings like this, but you could become disillusioned with tarot, which would be a great shame. That’s one reason I’m not keen on reading tarot at parties or similar events. At a lot of parties, the presence of a tarot reader is quite exciting, and many people will want a reading. The trouble is that a lot of those people won’t really know what questions to ask because they’re not at a stage in their lives where they need to make a big decision (which is, in my opinion, the best time to get a reading).

When someone is first learning tarot, it’s common to want to do many readings. The temptation to read for oneself, for all one’s friends, for celebrities or even for fictional characters (it happens!) is huge. And in itself, it’s not a terrible thing. But some people take it to extremes, especially when reading for themselves, and a dependency on tarot can be the result; a situation where someone can’t make their own decisions without asking tarot, almost like asking permission to do the smallest things. And that’s not a good thing.

Thankfully, and largely because of the way I present my reading style, most of the people who come to me for readings do so when they have big life-decisions to make. It probably costs me clients, but I don’t regret taking my approach at all. Come to me for a reading when you’re ready, not when I’m ready.

 

(Image courtesy of Aleksa D at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

What’s This “No-Nonsense” Stuff All About?

No NonsenseI was recently approached by someone inquiring about a tarot card reading who said “I saw your tarot link on [Facebook] and I became curious about your nonsense answer”.

At first I felt a bit insulted, because I thought they were implying that I didn’t take tarot reading seriously; it took me a while to realize that English was not this person’s first language, and that they were referring to the “No-Nonsense” byline I use when describing my readings. Fortunately, I was able to explain what I meant.

I thought, however, that it was worth explaining a little about why I use that term, and what it means in terms of my readings. To me, especially when considered together with the concept of empowering the person being read for, it really sums up my entire approach.

Firstly, I always endeavor to demystify tarot. I don’t believe it’s anything magical, although the results often make it seem like it is. I don’t couch my readings in any pseudo-mystical, airy-fairy terms. I don’t wear special robes, burn incense or do anything remotely new-agey…although I do like to read with new-agey ambient music playing, as it seems to enhance my concentration (but more about that in future post).

My tarot cards of choice are the Jean Noblet Tarot de Marseille, which was originally created in 1650, and recently restored. Without the layers of occultist symbolism that have been added to tarot decks over the years, I consider it especially “no-nonsense.” The deck is not magical. I consider it to be the equivalent of a tool-belt, purely functional. I have no need for many different decks, unlike some tarot readers. This one does the job, and it does it well.

Like many European tarot readers, but unlike many American readers, I read using only the major arcana, the tarot “trump” cards. This is because I believe that the major arcana is like a scalpel that gets to the heart of any matter very efficiently, and that’s what my approach is all about. Similarly, I basically use one type of spread or layout of cards, because the way I lay out the cards also helps me get to the essence of the question.

In conclusion, you know what you’re getting when you ask me for a reading: No BS. No smoke and mirrors. Just some advice on the best path to take for you to achieve your goals. No-nonsense!

I would like to think that people would find that approach to be refreshing. What do you think? Please let me know in the comments below.

(Photo Credit: J Mark Dodds)

My Tarot Story

As promised in an earlier post, I thought I would share a bit about my background in tarot.

Like many people, I became curious about tarot, along with other esoteric stuff, in my teens. I think I found my first deck in a junk shop back in the 1980s. It came with a very slim booklet listing so-called “meanings” of what are called the “Major Arcana,” the picture or trump cards. I did quite a few readings for friends and family, writing the results in a journal. I actually still have the journal, and it’s quite interesting reading it now.

I remember buying a book about the famous tarot deck created by A.E. Waite, often known as the “Rider-Waite” deck. I bought the Rider-Waite deck a little later. Like many people interested in tarot, I bought several different decks as well. My problem was always that I had difficulty memorizing someone else’s predefined “meanings” for the cards. That restricted me to consulting the books when I did readings. Those “meanings” didn’t always make sense to me when I looked at the images on the cards themselves, either. My frustration eventually led to me gradually drifting away from tarot.

Looking at the Marseilles TarotFast forward to 2007. I once again became interested in tarot, after digging out my old cards and books. This time, however, I found a tarot website with an online discussion forum. I started from scratch, trying to learn the card meanings again. Again, I had problems. Fortunately, I stumbled across a little e-book that had been recently written by Enrique Enriquez called Looking at the Marseilles Tarot. It talked about how memorizing someone else’s “meanings” could be counter-productive; its central theme was using the images on the cards themselves and the relationships between them. That was the key that would unlock the mysteries of the tarot for me. I found the language a bit academic and difficult to understand at times, but I knew that I had found what I was looking for, so I contacted Enrique to ask him for a little help. What followed was a wonderful journey of discovery. He taught me, bit by bit, how he read tarot. More than that, he encouraged me to adapt his methods to develop my own reading style.

What emerged was my “no-nonsense” approach to reading tarot cards. In a very short space of time, I was doing readings for others; readings that were getting a great reaction. I also discovered that I could give effective readings via e-mail. Soon, I set up a website to offer my services. At the time, I was also working as a teacher. As I was not using tarot as my sole means of support, I had a “pay what you will” policy that worked well at the time. A couple of years ago, however, I was laid-off from my job, and since then I’ve been a full-time stay-at-home Dad. I also took a hiatus from tarot reading.

My daughter is now quite independent, and so I recently started looking for my next challenge. I also felt it was about time to contribute financially to the family again. Finding the Fiverr platform was the final piece in the puzzle. And so, Tarot Readings by Graham was born.

Do you read tarot? Have you ever tried? Whether or not you’ve been successful, please share your tarot story in the comments section below.