In this article, you can learn how reading the tarot cards can help yourself or others identify and resolve problems.
With its mystical ability to tap into the accumulated wisdom of the universe, I’ve found that Tarot can be a powerful tool when counseling others. It’s more than just predicting the future – when I sit down with someone who wants me to read the Tarot for them, the process is as much about my listening to them as it is about reading their cards – I need to really hear what they need, what they want to know, and what their problem is, so that we can use the Tarot together to find an answer.
The first, most important, goal as a counselor – whether it be Tarot or otherwise – is not to make the client happy. It’s to be of help to them, and that means sometimes telling them truths that they may not want to hear. Because of this, I’ve found that it’s important to have many of the same qualities of any other counselor. You’ll need to be patient, and to know how to deal with someone who’s in a crisis state of mind. And you’ll need to be confident in your abilities.
IDENTIFYING THE PROBLEM
When I counsel someone with the Tarot, I first talk to the subject to identify what the problem is that they want to deal with. If they’re unclear on what they want to work on, I’ll just let them talk and shuffle the cards as they speak about whatever it is that’s on their mind. I’ll turn up a card, tell them what it represents, and ask them if it strikes a chord with them. It’s amazing how often this simple technique will open the subject up emotionally and put them in touch with what they’re most concerned about!
Once you’ve honed in on this key emotion, the Tarot can be read in any spread that you like, or you can simply continue to shuffle as the subject talks and pull cards at random. Drawing cards as they think about how to resolve a problem will help to guide the reading in that direction, as will reading the cards as they consider various plans of action available to them.
For subjects who are unsure about what they want to work on, I like to give a general reading that looks at their past and present first, attempting to identify unresolved conflicts and problems that are lingering in their lives. The middle portion of the reading can focus on possible solutions to the problem, and what resources the subject has at their disposal to help them. The final portion of the reading can be used to formulate a possible plan of action that’s appropriate for them and their situation.
It’s important to remember that if you’re planning on advising others about their problems, you should be as prepared as possible to help them in other ways, if possible. Subjects may become angry, or start crying, and you’ll need to deal with that. In some cases, their problems may turn out to be much deeper or more complicated than either of you anticipated.
I keep a book handy with contact information for various professionals and agencies in my area, so I can refer people to others more qualified to deal with problems like domestic violence, grief support, child abuse, marital issues, eating disorders, depression, or drug and alcohol dependency. As a Tarot reader, I find that I can help people discover how they want to resolve their problems – but that doesn’t mean I’m qualified to give them the help they need to do that. You should have emergency numbers on hand, as well, and numbers for local police, crisis centers, child welfare and women's clinics.
If you find that counseling others through reading Tarot is something that brings you great personal satisfaction, there are a number of teachers who provide certification in Tarot counseling. Many of the counselors who use Tarot also educate themselves in other types of counseling, too, such as Reiki, dream analysis, visualization and breathwork – all are valid tools for counseling others, and work with each other in very specific ways.
I’ve found that counseling others has helped me become better at reading Tarot, and at learning how to resolve my own problems. It’s not for everyone, and requires great listening skills, patience, confidence, and enough life experience to be able to interpret both the cards and the subject’s reactions accurately.
There are ethical considerations, as well – as an adviser, we can only help people find their own path, not tell them what they should do with their lives. But tapping into the energy and knowledge of the universe with Tarot can offer untold benefits to both you and those for whom you read the cards.
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