When we read tarot cards, we are reading Reality. This is what is THERE. It isn’t always nice or what WE want, it is just what is there. This is sometimes hard to deal with. As Readers, one thing we MUST do: we must learn to suppress our own opinions and just read the cards.
This was a hard lesson I learned when I first began to read professionally at a psychic fair. A woman came to me with two children in tow (one about 18 months and the other about 3 yrs. old.) She was in love with a married man and had born him both her children, but he was still with his wife. I laid out the cards, sure they would say she should leave him and…. they didn’t. They were reassuring, comforting. Insisting that everything was fine and she should just wait. “You’re biting your tongue,” she told me. “Yes,” I said, “I want to tell you to pack up and get out. Run like Hell away from this guy, and the cards won’t let me!” She laughed, understanding exactly what I meant. I think her intuition had been saying the same. Wait for it, sit it out for now. She left comforted. And I was left scratching my head! I have puzzled over that reading for years: why would it be a good idea to wait on this man? He was married. It wasn’t a good relationship, was it?
Or was it? The man’s wife was very ill. He didn’t want to leave her, because of that. Maybe the wife really knew about the affair (or strongly suspected) and was relieved that he had someone to help take the stress of her illness away. Maybe—just maybe–his affair was actually a good thing.
We really don’t know anyone except ourselves. Because of this, we can’t—and shouldn’t–judge the actions of others. Crowley said, “Ain it harm none, do as thou wilt.” And maybe practices that are a little off the norm ARE OK, even positive. In this 21st Century we see open marriages, polyamory, even threesomes and other unusual permutations. The people in these relationships are happy. Who are we (the outsider observers) to tell them this is wrong, because it doesn’t fit the usual mold?
So we (as Readers) must learn to keep our opinions to ourselves. We are there to read reality and not judge what is going on with the querent. But sometimes someone’s reality is very sad or will be soon. Sometimes, we really want to lie about what we see or sugarcoat it, so the person being read goes away happier. We want to tell them that everything will be well. The married man will leave his wife (eventually) and come to them and they will live happily ever after. The ill spouse will get well; we want to tell worried husbands and wives, all will be well. Painful though it is, much as we are tempted to do so, we must resist.
We should always look for ways to make a bad situation better for the person we are reading for. We have free will, so there is usually an alternative that will help them escape the situation they feel trapped in. We should never leave someone stuck. But sometimes, the possible future is very bad. So you ask the cards for something good. Usually they will give you something. One woman recently asked about her grandfather who had stage four Cancer. I pulled a card and saw the sadness she feared right there. I could have been “nice” and told her that he would recover and go into remission and all would be well but that would have been a lie and, I believe, very unethical. Instead, I told her the truth: her grandfather was facing death. Maybe not immediately, but he was gravely ill (which she knew) and he was accepting it. That it was comfort enough for her: he was OK with dying and she would have to be OK with it too.
The toughest thing we face in our lives and in Tarot is Reality. It isn’t all sweetness and light, it is sad and brutal sometimes and hard to deal with. But it is Life. To be a Reader, you must accept all of life, not just the parts you want to believe or see. When I sit down to read, I ask for good news for the querent. However, if they ask about something that is sad or bad (a dying family member, a bad romance,) it is up to us to tell them the truth. We can say it tactfully, asking the cards to balance the bad with good, but we should not lie and tell them it is all well. That is not a good or ethical use of our Inner Vision.