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Sometimes, at the beginning of a reading, clients request that we filter information. Some people will say, “Don’t hold back! I want to know everything, good or bad.” Others will say, “I don’t want to hear anything bad.”

Of course, when I hear these requests I want to launch into a discussion about how we often create our own future and how there really is no such thing as good and bad, but I don’t. My clients have a right to request the sort of knowledge they are seeking. And, as much as I hate to admit it, they are correct about one thing.

We do filter our readings. There is an inherent difference between what we see and what we say. That sounds terrible, since people trust us to tell them what we see. However, the tarot filter is a necessary part of a tarot reading.

When we do any kind of psychic work, most of us experience the information we get on a visceral level. In order to translate that into useful information, we need to find the words that our client can hear and understand.

Sometimes we have to pick and choose which information we share. But how do we decide what to share, and when to stay quiet?

First, we need to consider the client, and the context of the reading. An entertaining reading at a fancy dinner party is not necessarily the time to delve into gory details about your client’s colostomy. A client’s anxiety disorder will not be improved if we merrily tell them of their impending job loss.

But we do need to deliver the truth of what we see, don’t we?

Of course we need to share the truth. Our filters help us decide the way we will share the truth.  Often, when we see something undesirable coming for our client, we can ask more questions and pull more cards to find ways to mitigate the problem.

For instance, if you see job loss, it’s easy to read further and see the resolution, or something good that comes from the loss. Aiming your vision a little further down the road will help you give the positive prediction of “a new opportunity” or “a reduction in stress”.

Time is another factor that may cause us to filter readings. In a professional setting, the length of time a particular reading takes may be limited and inflexible. In this situation, the key is to filter out the less important information in favor of what will be most helpful or most interesting to the client.

Sometimes, our clients want us to lie to them. They really want us to see a happy future in the love relationship that, from the perspective of the cards, is truly doomed.

While it is important to remember that no one can know the future with 100% certainty, it’s also important to tell the truth about what you see. “I am sorry I can’t confirm that for you.” Is a nice way to give disappointing news without completely dashing a client’s hopes.

While we do try to listen to our clients’ requests, we, as readers, have the ultimate authority to conduct our work in the way that feels best. The person who wants to hear everything, good or bad, may not be as thick-skinned as she thinks she is. The person who doesn’t want any bad news may be very capable of discussing strategy to handle an upcoming stressful problem.

A tarot reading isn’t just the rote interpretation of cards in positions. A tarot reading is a transformative process. As readers, we are fully in charge of creating and overseeing that process. Using the right filters at the right times helps us create the most informative, helpful and insightful experience possible.