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Every tarot reader, and every diviner, has their own style, and their own preferred way to work with their self-readings, their clients and their tools.

I have noticed that a great many readers prefer to begin a tarot session with a specific question. Some readers discourage “general readings.” A general reading is a reading that begins without a specific question or area of focus. I have even heard tarotists complain that they feel like doing a reading for themselves but can’t think of a good question. To me, in that case, the obvious question is no question at all. Or, more clearly, “What does the Universe want me to know?”

Many times, clients want to have readings because they have questions. A tarot reading is a wonderful way to explore relationship dynamics, career options, personal growth, creative inspiration and spiritual understanding. Often these are the sorts of questions that spark the need for a reading, and that create the questions around which a reading is framed. A good reader will have multiple techniques which allow them to offer answers and insight around these areas of concern.

Yet, sometimes the best readings happen when we begin without a question, and simply open up to what the Universe has to say. This process can happen in a couple of ways.

Sometimes clients choose to have readings simply because they feel ready to hear some wisdom and insight. Sometimes they are feeling a bit antsy or confused, but don’t understand why. Sometimes they have so many questions they don’t know where to begin. Often, they have questions but are willing to see what shows up in the cards first.

Very often, when we, as tarot readers and clients, are open to whatever comes up in the cards, we easily receive communication from loved ones in spirit, inspiring messages, confirmation of things we already know, and forewarnings of future events. Had we been solely focused on answering a specific question, these things might not be made known to us.

When self-reading, we can approach a general reading with a curious mind. We can be open simply to the messages of the Universe.

There are three important tools that can help us give great general readings. The first is a good technique. My favorite is a large comprehensive spread, such as a Celtic Cross or an Astrology Wheel. This helps us see what is going on in many different departments of life.

The second tool is the ability to interpret each card in more than one way, and to find even more information from reading cards in combination with each other.

The third is to be both interpretive and intuitive in our readings. That is, to use classic reading skills but also to be open to the voice of spirit as we interpret the cards.

Very often the general reading will ask questions as well as answer them. Often, after a large spread is complete, it is appropriate to do some smaller spreads, dialogues, or card pulls to answers the questions that come up. I am a firm believer that, most often, a tarot session should not be limited to a single spread. Rather, we should be able to incorporate a number of techniques, and as many cards as it takes for us to feel complete.

Sometimes both clients and readers shy away from the general reading style out of fear that it will be too vague and not helpful. The reality is that, with good skills and techniques, a general reading allows spirit to give insight, and allows us to be open to receiving that information.