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Some tarotists feel that it is hard to give a reading around a specific issue if you don’t know the actual problem. It’s true that it is easier to put the cards into context if you already know what the context is.

However, I think it is a mistake to limit the efficacy of the cards to simply making comment on a situation as it is presented to us.

Some questions give more context than others.
“What do you see in my life?” gives less context than “What do you see in my job?” “I am having problems with a coworker and the boss is not supporting me, what should I do and what is likely to happen?” is the sort of question that gives a great deal of context.

In some ways, the more context we have the easier it is to interpret the cards and give helpful advice.

On the other hand, if we can just trust the cards and drill down into the reading, we will end up with the same valuable advice.

In some cases, the less we as readers know the better. Even when reading for regular clients I will often greet them with “Don’t tell me anything! I want to see what I see first.” That’s because as a reader I offer the messages of the Universe that come through the cards, not my own opinion.

So how do we drill down into a reading when we don’t have a lot of context?

The first is to have faith that the cards will tell us what we need to know. If you are asking me advice as a friend you better buy me a drink and tell me what’s going on. If you want a reading I can skip the drink and find out what is going on by looking at the cards.

Start by asking the general question, i.e. “What’s going on?” and pull a few cards. Interpret those cards to give you the general issue. From there, you should be able to figure out a more specific question to ask. Pull cards on that. Now the picture should be getting clearer. You can now ask even more specific questions about the stakeholders in the situation, their motives, what has happened in the past, what the options for action are and what the likely results may be of each possible action taken.

Suddenly, you are able to go from little or no information and context to seeing a complete story.

This is a great technique for working with clients who don’t like to talk a lot, or when you are about a situation where you and/or your client have very little information with which to start.