Sympathetic Resonance is a term we use in music. It’s a harmonic phenomenon that happens when, for example, a string on your guitar vibrates when it’s not being played because you have hit a note that has a harmonic likeness.
We use the term ‘resonance’ when we speak of tarot readings and psychic work to mean that something that comes up in a reading affects you, makes sense to you, or brings you to an ‘aha moment’.
An interesting fact about that sort of resonance is that it can happen even when the reading is not specifically for you.
This happens in group readings like psychic galleries or social media live broadcasts. It happens when readers do general cards for the week, or for astrological signs. Sometimes a message, though it wasn’t specifically meant for you, lands home in a way that is impactful and helpful.
Any tarot reader who reads for other people, either casually or professionally, can tell you that this happens for us during our readings for others, as well. Sometimes we will be reading for someone and deliver a message that is pertinent to them, but hits home for us, too. Sometimes we will find, hidden in the cards like an Easter egg, a message that seems to be directed to us. Usually we will not reveal to our querent that this has happened. We will simply take the message and mentally file it away for our later rumination.
A mistake that some readers make is to assume that since the message so strongly resonated for them, the reading they are trying to give their querent is actually for and about them, not the querent. This can cause unfortunate and unnecessary confusion.
When we read for others, whether professionally or casually, we must be prepared for the possibility that, sometimes, we will receive a message for ourself wrapped within the reading we are giving our querent.
This can be a tricky situation. It is important that we do not insert ourselves into our clients’ readings. We should, in general, refrain from talking about ourselves, or thinking about ourselves, during the process of reading for a client.
The most profound experience of this sort of resonance I ever had happened many years ago, in the mid-1990s. I was reading casually for a co-worker at a part-time job. She asked about her brother, a teenager, who had serious kidney problems. The cards I pulled for him were not at all encouraging.
I silently asked the cards for another option. I received the Six of Pentacles, which is about charity, the Page of Cups, which can be an offering of love, and the Queen of Wands, my significator. I told my querent not to worry, that her brother would be fine.
The message I received in those three cards was clear. Five months later, I gave my co-worker’s brother my right kidney.
How can we tell when we are receiving a message for ourselves as we read for a client? I assume it feels different for each reader. The trick is to identify what it feels like, and then be willing to silently take and remember the message for later reflection, while staying present for the querent and their reading.
Very often, for me, the feeling is laser-sharp and unmistakable. It is one of the few ways I am clairaudient. It might happen that I will be giving a client some clear advice, and hear strongly within my ear a message like, ‘Physician, heal thyself’. There can be a physical sensation as well, that feels like a percussive thud in my heart chakra.
Good tarot readers have to do a lot of mental multi-tasking. Being able to receive the occasional resonant message delivered during a tarot session is just one of the many possible miracles for which we must hold space.