Monday, April 21, 2014

The Omily Tarot: Before, During, After...Routinely Better Readings

Today I'd like to revisit a topic we've touched on briefly in the past: your personal tarot MO. A tarot reading is incredibly personal, and for most of us, sacred. No two people prep, set up, read, and defuse after a tarot reading exactly the same way. Maybe you already have a routine that suits you just fine. Maybe you're just starting out doing readings and know you want to set this time apart, but aren't sure how. Maybe you have rituals in place, but they aren't resonating with you like they used to. Either way, it never hurts to reconsider your options. And there are as many of them as there are readers!

An easy-peasy rule of thumb: whatever you do to prepare for and set up a reading should leave you feeling calm, safe, and clear-headed. It may seem obvious, but lets say you like to sleep with the deck under your pillow before doing a big reading, but then a friend calls you in tears, desperate for some tarot insight immediatly. Suddenly your once soothing ritual can become a source of anxiety that gets between you and a good reading.

Simply put, the more complex or intensive your preparation ritual is, the more likely that sooner or later, you'll be forced to alter it. It's important to remember that your rituals only have power because you give them that power. Many a tarot student has read that bit about keeping their deck wrapped in silk...and found out months or years later they've been wrapping their deck in a polyester blend all along. Does that mean none of those readings were good, or that the deck wasn't working properly? Of course not!

All that said spending a little energy on setting the stage can enhance any reading. If you have the time, you may find it nice to spend a little time meditating. Lighting candles, incense, or sage are also common ways of sanctifying the space and time. You may enjoy laying out a cloth, either the same one every time, or whatever is on hand, to lay out your cards on. Aside from being a reminder of special nature of what you're about to do, this also makes it super easy to rotate or move the spread as a whole if need be. On the other hand, this ritual can unduly emphasize the cards themselves. They're just cardboard, remember?
These are solid suggestions that may be useful to you, but ultimately, anything that centers you and leads to solid readings is the right ritual for you. A cup of tea? A rendition of the chicken dance? A big sneeze? Maybe just a couple deep breathes? If it works for you, stick with it. It may need revising one day, and that's ok, too.

During the reading, especially when you're first starting out, it can be really helpful to have a bit of a routine, too. Do you like to flip one card at a time, and then go back and look at the big picture? Maybe, like me, you prefer to flip all the cards at once, and take a moment to look for overall patterns or suggestions before zooming in on the cards one by one. Maybe you like to talk to the querent about their question before you even turn over a single card. Maybe you like to let the querent give their insights about the cards before offering your own. There are lots of ways to go. If you figure out which works for you best, you'll be less likely to feel stuck in the beginning of the reading, because you'll know exactly what to do first thing.

It may seem like after a reading, all there is to do is put the cards away and move on, but depending on how deep you went, sometimes a transition is needed, and it's nice to have one in your back pocket ready to go. The first thing I do is invite my querent to take a picture of the spread before I clear it, so they can take a look at it later if they want to. If they don't have a camera, and they want a picture, I'll take it on my phone, and e-mail it to them along with my summary of the reading. Once that's done, I don't rush on with my day. If I've already brewed myself a cup of tea, I'll stay put and sip it, letting my mind wonder. New insights into the reading may pop up, but I don't force them. Just like the deck needs cleared after a reading, I do, too. You may prefer to go for a walk, write in a journal, burn sage, or go play with you cat. If it works for you, keep doing it.

These are fairly simple suggestions. I'm not trying to set up your rituals for you. Rather, I just want to put a bug in your ear that having rituals in place can make for more consistently better readings, though on the other hand, overly complex readings can throw you off sometimes. If keeping your readings very casual and spontaneous is working for you, there's no need to throw in some smoke and mirrors to feel more legitimate as a tarot reader. We're all different, and that's awesome!

Do you have rituals you perform before, during, or after tarot readings? Do you think you'll start having one, or change the ones that you have now? Tell me in the comments!

No comments:

Post a Comment