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When Readings Go Rogue

Welcome to the 2015 Imbolc Tarot Blog Hop. Imbolc is a Fire holiday that celebrates creativity, and the coming spring. For this round of the Blog Hop our wrangler, Karen Sealey, of Pure Blessed Tarot, is really working our creativity!

She has asked us each to discuss a time where we noticed something off, or unexpected, in our divinatory work, an “oracular anomaly”. This is a topic I write on often, and I can’t wait to see what my fellow bloggers have to say.

After more than twenty years as a full time tarot professional, I have seen my share of strange cards and stranger readings. Like all tarot readers, I have seen the cards come up in ways so poignant they make me cry, and my client with me. Also, like all tarot readers, I’ve missed things, and had a few things turn out differently than I had expectedly.

Since I care a great deal about customer service, I’ve spent a lot of time mulling over what went wrong on those few occasions where I’ve missed something that should have been obvious.

After all these years, I still believe the cards never lie. However, I know the reader sometimes gets it wrong.

For my contribution to this anthology that is the Tarot Blog Hop, here are three of the reasons tarot readings go rogue, and some possible fixes.

1.       Experience makes a difference.

There are some great young readers out there. Heck, some of us were young readers once. However, readers, like all professionals, learn from their mistakes. It’s easier for more experienced readers to sniff out important subtleties. Sometimes the difference between the energy of a new couple being excited about meeting each other and the energy of everlasting love may be hard to distinguish, for instance.
A seasoned reader has a better chance of detecting, either by nuances in the cards or their perception of the energy, these important differences. That’s because we got it wrong a few times, and learned from our mistakes.
Unfortunately, there’s no fix for this one, except time and patience.

2.       Degrees are hard to detect.

I’ve seen the Tower come up to predict a terrorist attack, and I’ve seen it come up to indicate coming down with a cold. Sometimes we see dark cards, or get a bad feeling, because tragedy really is looming. Sometimes those same cards and feeling indicate an inconvenience, or a momentary discomfort.
The fix for this is to read further. Ask more questions of the cards, either by interpreting further or by pulling more cards. Try to narrow down the nature of the approaching problem, and the degree of severity. Ask questions, too, about possible approaches, and ways to best get through or around the impending difficulty. Don’t get so hung up by the intense nature of the card that you neglect to dig deeper into its meaning.

3.       Sometimes people don’t want us to see the truth.

There are reasons you may not see that your client’s new girlfriend is keeping devastating secrets. Some people really are good liars. Basically, if they believe their own BS, the cards might reflect their confidence more strongly than their deceit.
If your client feels no reason to be suspicious, you might not pursue the matter, even if a card like the Seven of Swords gives you reason for concern. Often, as readers, we don’t want to upset our clients. If they assure us everything is fine, it’s hard for us to push the point. Generally, I think it is a mistake to let our clients railroad us. On the other hand, no one appreciates or benefits from a doom-and-gloom psychic.
The key here is, if you get the feeling that something is off, or that the client may not have the whole story, ask more questions of the cards. You can even ask questions silently, pull cards and reflect on them before speaking about them to the client. This gives you an opportunity to pursue possibilities to which your client might be resistant, or about which you may be hazy due to the energy of the person or situation. This way, you have an opportunity to get the full picture, even if someone doesn’t want you to see it.
Sometimes, too, our clients are just not ready to hear and accept what’s coming. I think sometimes the Universe gives the client the comfort they need at the moment – not by lying about the ultimate outcome, but by minimizing the discomfort of the path to get there.

Overall, the cure for rogue tarot readings is to read more – more cards, more introspection, more time, more focus, and more intuition.

We can become frustrated, insecure and confused when, after a series of hits, we have a miss. Often our clients forgive us more easily than we forgive ourselves.
Nothing – no system, no tool and no person, is perfect. Imperfection is the nature of the human experience that is so perfectly expressed in tarot.