The role of the querent in the reading
It may at times seem that the only
role the querent (person for whom a Tarot reading is done) is to ask a
question and wait for the answer. And the reader does all the rest.
Well, yes and no. Often, in
my experience things are not even that simple. I find as readers we
often have to help formulate the question as well before we can start.
Sometimes the person knows what they need answers but are having trouble
putting it into words. Which is fine, and of course part of our
job. Also as readers, we are the ones who know how are cards work for
us, and we can help formulate the question into a form we know will
likely give the best answer. Sometimes formulating the question becomes
a joint effort.
And imo, that is really what a good reading is all about. Definitely a
joint effort. And one where the querent is definitely the most important
person involved in any reading. Our role as readers is to meet the
needs of the querent, which automatically means that their needs are the
most important part. We are there to reach out to them, to touch them
when we can, to help them see and understand their world and life
better. To find solutions, inner peace, hope, optimism, trust together.
And whatever else can help them to feel closer to and understand their
world better. To me any reading that makes the querent feel worse,
frightens them, confuses them, ....failed as a reading.
That doesn't mean that we need to blindly do whatever is asked of us as a
reader. Readers have codes of ethics and we need to stick to our moral
values and not take on any question that asks us to break with it. We
can and should refuse to read on something that does not seem right to
us. I believe we should explain why as well of course. For example, I
would never, and was actually asked to once, do a reading asking how to
take revenge on someone. I am not going to tell someone how to harm
someone else. All readers have had questions asked of them that did not
feel right for them to answer. You just get that feeling in your gut and
you know it's wrong for you to take that question on.
Unfortunately, there are some people who pretend to be readers who
aren't who even use that as a scam...do very inexpensive readings in
which they try to scare the querent about the future and then try to sell
them some expensive cure-all to heal their future. Even the act of
telling the querent they need something else afterwards is unethical.
Just not appropriate, so I thought I would add that in quickly as a
warning. If you ever run across a reading like that don't pay too much
attention to it. That is not really how Tarot works anyway. The future
predicted by the cards can usually be changed. And the cards can tell
you how and usually do tell you how to start to fix it. There shouldn't
be anything else you have to do or buy.
But yes a good reading is a teamwork. Querent and reader are in it
together. working hand in hand towards a common goal. Empathy and inner
caring are parts of being a reader as the answers don't just come from
the cards. They also come from within us and our hearts and souls and
There are various ways a reading can be of help. From sharing and
caring, to advice, to healing, to relief, to a greater sense of trust or
confidence... But not all readings are just information given that the
querent just needs to think about and problem solved. Some readings
take that path, others have more to them.
The querent has the role of deciding which info will most enrich
their lives as well. As they are the ones who decide what they want to
know. It's an important part of the process. We can make suggestions but in the end the choice is theirs.
The cards can answer anything at all and different questions lead
to quite different results. Eg if about to face something new, asking
for advice to help things play out in the best way will lead to a very
different answer from just asking what that future currently is. And
each reading may well lead to a different future as well.
Sometimes the answer comes in the form of advice. That leaves the
querent in a more active role. A reading can tell the querent what steps
to take to heal a situation. That answer can come in the form of if you
do A + B + C then you will arrive at D (the desired outcome). In those
kinds of readings the querent actually has to do the work to get to the
desired outcome. The reading can tell them how to get there but they
need to take the steps. in the same sense as if a doctor tells you to
take some form or medication to get healthy once again, these kinds of
readings are very much like that. They tell you what to do to make that
part of your life "healthy" again and where you want it to be. But you
need to follow the advice and do the work to get there.
So the role of the querent can be more
active than usually thought in those cases. And of course they can follow the advice given to get to the future they
wanted and watch things move more and more in that direction.
Coming next month: Tarot as something that isolates us vs something that connects us.