July 17, 2017

10 Questions every Tarot Seeker Must Answer


This list has been a long time coming mostly because I've been super busy editing the third draft of The Satanic Tarot, but you know what they say - better late than never. I had a lot of fun writing my list of 10 questions for every Tarot reader should answer, so here's another one just for Tarot seekers. 

And really look at what I just said: it's for people who get Tarot readings. If you don't read Tarot and get readings from somebody else, then this list is for you. But if you read Tarot and also get readings from somebody else, then this list is also for you. Do you get it? Doesn't matter who you are: if you ever get readings from anybody else, then this list is for you!

You can take from this list whatever you like, but my purpose in writing it is to encourage anybody who gets Tarot readings to think about their motivations and question the question. Peel back the layers of the onion that is your desire to divine the future and what do you find? That might not be a great metaphor, because if you peel back layers of an onion you just keep finding more onion, but you know what I mean. Think about the thinks that you're thinking about. It's important.

Why are you getting a Tarot reading?

Seriously. Why are you getting a Tarot reading? If you can't say exactly why you need the services of a Tarot reader, then what's the purpose? When you go to a doctor, he or she will ask, "What's the problem?" When you respond, "I just don't feel very good and I can't really describe it," he'll rightly prescribe you a couple of aspirin and charge you $50 for wasting his time. Likewise, when you go to a Tarot reader and you can't explain why you're there, chances are excellent that your wallet will be lightened but your mind will remain burdened.

Will your reason for getting a reading still matter next week?

I once knew a karate instructor who was fond of telling his students that when in a fit of rage they should stop and ask themselves: "Will this thing that's upsetting you still be important next week?" His logic was that if it won't still be important next week, chances are really good that it's not important at all. 

Same way, when you're feeling anxious, confused, or uncertain, is a Tarot reading really going to help? Seeing as I sell Tarot to pay my bills, I don't care how often you get a reading so long as you pay me for it, but whenever I'm preparing to spend money for a Tarot reading I like to be damn sure I'm not wasting my money on a frivolous concern that'll be forgotten in a week's time. You don't like to waste money on frivolous purchases, do you? Of course you don't. Think about the reason for your reading - it's important.

What role do you expect your Tarot reader to play?

Have you ever met people you just didn't like very much? Of course you have. Some of you reading this probably don't even like me, and that's okay because I'm not going to be the best Tarot reader for every Tarot seeker. 

Some people want a reader who's strictly hands-off and doesn't do anything except communicate the message in the cards. Some people want a reader who's totally hands-on and provides lots of advice and instruction. Some people want a reader who's conciliatory or confrontational. The Tarot is what it is, but the cards are just ink on paper and can't speak for themselves. That's what your Tarot reader does: he or she filters the meaning of the Tarot cards through his or her personality. 

If your Tarot reader has a completely different world paradigm, uses an incompatible communication style, is more (or less) involved than you prefer, or simply rubs you the wrong way - you're going to have a bad time. Investigate before you hire: read the Tarot reader's blog, follow him or her on social media, and even send an email-as-interview so you know what role he or she most naturally fills in your reading.

What do you really want out of your Tarot reading?

Now be honest with yourself: what do you expect to receive out of your Tarot reading? The best way to have a successful reading is to define what a successful reading is before you start the reading. If you really want a general forecast, that's great - just be clear with yourself that's what you want. Or if you want specific advice how to resolve a love triangle without getting shot by the third party, that's okay too. Or if you want to know the exact temperature in centigrade of the next cup of tea you purchase at Tim Horton's including the day and hour when you'll purchase it, well, okay... I guess you can do that, too.

But the point is that you've got to be honest with yourself about what it is you want and how you're going to use that information! If you don't understand what you really want out of the reading and don't have any clear idea how you're going to use the information you gain from your reading, then you're going to feel lost at the end and be no better off than when you started.

What will you do if your reading reveals the worst-case scenario?

Speaking as a Tarot reader, I love to give good news. It's fun to be able to give good news in a Tarot reading, and I enjoy sharing happy endings whenever they turn up. But me being the reader that I am, and life being what it is, happy endings aren't possible for every person who consults me. Sometimes, the worst-case scenario turns up and the cards say that the only outcome possible is for you to take your lumps and get over it.

Are you prepared for the possibility that there is no happy ending to your story? If your Tarot reader does his or her best to tactfully break the news that there are no good answers to your bad situation, what will you do? Will you shut your eyes, cover your ears, and run to the nearest Doreen Virtue-style angel-card reader for a masturbatory dose of love and light?

If you're only open to hearing good news, then you're better off not getting a Tarot reading at all because chances are pretty good that you'll just be wasting your money when the 100% rainbows-and-butterfly-farts message you want to hear doesn't turn up. Pretending that the world isn't a difficult place is no way to go through life and you owe it to yourself to not only accept that the worst outcome might be revealed, but also to plan how you'll respond if it does.

How does it benefit you to read about other people?

Third-party readings in which you ask the Tarot reader to snoop around in another person's life aren't a safe topic for discussion among Tarot readers, but there's no reason that you the Tarot seeker shouldn't ask your Tarot reader if that's something that he or she does. In case you're curious, yes - I snoop with my Tarot cards and don't feel even a teensy bit guilty about it - but this isn't the same for every reader. For example, how do you feel about peeping Toms watching you undress? Or strangers going through your mail? Or the government secretly surveilling you without a warrant? If that makes your skin crawl, then you understand why there are Tarot readers who won't peep, snoop, dig, or surveil on other people outside the reading.

But more importantly, how will it help you to know what other people are doing? Here's a lightly edited question I was recently asked: John suspects his girlfriend Jane of cheating, and if she is cheating, he wants to know how to catch her in the act (but he still loves her a lot and wants to save the relationship if he can.) As it happens, I accepted his question (yes, she's cheating), but also asked if either possible outcome was relevant because he doesn't really sound like he loves her that much anymore. After all, if he really loved her then why does he want to catch her in the act? And for that matter, what amount of evidence would ever be enough to maintain his future faith in her fidelity? The fact that he's even asking me these questions says more about the quality of the relationship (and his true feelings for her) than anything else.

Unless you're going to lock somebody in a jail cell in order to control everything they see, hear, say, and do, it's impossible to have absolute control in life. Ultimately, you can only control yourself, and while it can be exciting and occasionally useful to snoop around, knowing other people's business is often much less helpful than you might think.

How will you translate your reading into action?

So all of the previous questions I've asked really build up to this point: What will you DO with the message you're given? If you go for a Tarot reading and spend a lot of time talking about your hurts and your sads but then don't do actually do anything with the message given to you in order to change your reality, that's just masturbation. You heard me: you're just flogging the dolphin. Flicking the bean. Playing pocket pool. Clubbing the clam. Choking the cyclops. Paddling the pink canoe. And that's okay! There's absolutely nothing wrong with masturbation, just don't mistake it for worldly success.

If you were a Christian, this is the point where you'd say I knew you were just a damned, dirty, perverted Satanist "faith without deeds is dead." Likewise, words without action are just self-abuse. Talk, talk, talk. It doesn't get you anywhere at all, does it? If you're not prepared to actually do anything with the message given to you, then you'll be happier if you just skip the Tarot and go straight to Pornhub.

What will you do if your prediction doesn't come to pass?

You want to know what your future will be, and you want to be sure about it. I understand. After all, that's what divination is for, isn't it? Certainty. But then, how much certainty can you really have? Consider for example that Michael Jordan and Shaquille O'Neal were professional basketball players and they didn't even land every free-throw they took, or that Tiger Woods is a professional golfer and he doesn't even play a great round every time he goes to the greens. So why do you expect your Tarot reader to give 100% accurate predictions?

And for that matter, what will you do when a prediction doesn't come to pass exactly as it was predicted? Are you going to sulk in a dark room while you emotionally masturbte over the loss of your predicted future? Or are you going to get up and do something about it? You're welcome to argue this point with me - it is the Internet, after all - but I don't think that accuracy should be the ultimate qualifier of a Tarot reader; instead, I think that the ultimate qualifier should be if the reading you received was stimulating, thought-provoking, and productive.

If the Tarot reading gave you the necessary stimulation to take action and do something productive, then I think that's much more important than whether or not prediction was accurate. After all, if your Tarot reader could predict anything with 100% accuracy, then there's no such thing as free will and you'd be powerless to change your future if you don't like the outcome.

If your prediction fails, will you ask the same question again next time?

Life is full of stubborn problems that bring persistent irritation and distraction. I understand. Really, I do - I've got persistent problems of my own to deal with - so I get where you're coming from. But so it's said, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over yet expecting a different result. If you've already asked the question that weighed most heavily on your heart and a message given to you turned out to be wrong or a prediction given to you never transpired, what good reason is there to ask about it again?

There's a lot to be said about how a Tarot reading is like the ritualized process of greater magic in its ability to purge the anxiety and uncertainty that inhibit your ability to focus and be successful - in fact, I'm writing an entire book based on that premise and it's called The Satanic Tarot - but self-medicating your sorrows with repetitive Tarot readings on the same subject is a recipe for dependency. 

Why haven't you learned to do it yourself?

Like I said before, I sell Tarot for a living so I'm selfishly interested in convincing you to purchase a reading from me, but I also happen to be terrifically stingy and I resent spending money for something that I can do for myself. I do occasionally get a Tarot card reading from another reader when I feel like I'm unable to give myself an impartial perspective, but the vast majority of all my readings I do for myself.

And if I were somebody who didn't read Tarot cards but enjoyed getting Tarot readings on a regular basis, I'd be financially motivated by the sheer volume of money I'm spending to learn how to read the cards for myself. Not only will this save me some money, but it'd also give me more control over the experience and not leave me feeling dependent on somebody else...

... unless the feeling of the seeker petitioning the great guru is part of your personal fetish? Don't misunderstand me: I think you should do whatever within the law is necessary for you to be happy and productive in life, and if a seeker-guru relationship with a Tarot card reader is part of that, then you should do it. But I also think that you should be honest with yourself that there's a reason why you get Tarot readings more than once a month yet still haven't learned to read the cards for yourself.

How much money do you spend on Tarot readings? If you add up all the money you spent on Tarot readings over the past six months, how much would it be? Would it be enough to buy a deck of Tarot cards plus a couple of new student courses? If you add up all the hours you spent getting Tarot readings over the past six months, how much would it be? Would it be enough to do the 20 hours of study you need to become highly proficient? If you do the math and it shows that the money and the hours you've spent on Tarot readings is more than enough to learn how to do it yourself - but you're not learning how to do it yourself - there's a reason for that. Be honest with yourself about that reason.

2 comments:

  1. You are a fucking trip lol....I read the cards myself and do Bone Throws, but I find that I unwittingly "influence" the cards when I draw for myself...so I had to yell at my Pendulum and say "I KNOW YOU LOVE ME BUT TELL ME THE TRUTH NO MATTER WHAT!" ...hehehehe

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, it can be difficult to remain impartial when reading for deeply important questions.

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Freedom of Expression =/= Freedom from Consequences.