Using Education to Deal With the Energy Crisis
Tarot produces such extreme reactions in clients, they may start with the best of energies, and then when something private is revealed, even in a gentle and natural manner, they turn off. They wish to continue the reading but the cables have been disconnected. Reasons for this power outage? Let's explore a few:
1) Your client may be ready and willing for an answer but may be thrown into reaction by a certain card or answer that they were not prepared to accept.
2) Your client may not be ready for the answer, and they may not have realized this until an answer is provided.
With either one of these ideas you are left with an ethical question; how do I get them through this yet give them the reading they've requested?
Dealing with clients who start with the best of intentions only to get sideswiped by reality in a reading is an issue we might answer by implementing the useful tool of simplicity. Go pedagogic on them. Get out the chalk and warm up the PPT presentation and give them some of the tools for understanding that people like us stand on every time we unwrap a deck. Simple and effective, teach them a little tarot.
As I have discovered in acting, sometimes I am there to train people how to be an audience member, as a professor in the classroom I sometimes feel my main goal is to train students how to be college level students, and the same philosophy can assist us with clients who suddenly are not interested in any of the fabulous and well-intended connections we are so very ready to make for them.
Let's deal with the instance of our first challenge:
1) Your client may be ready and willing for an answer but may be
thrown into reaction by a certain card or answer that they were
not prepared to accept.
Let me explain this through example from a reading I did earlier this year. Client "A" is excited and open to receive their reading, they are cooperative and energetically available as we clarify or rephrase their questions.
The client loves the process and the first question is completed. They have just recently been divorced, a divorce they wanted, and they were curious about the time it may take to finalize the divorce papers.
The second question's process starts, "A" wants to know when they will be able to retrieve some personal items, some photos from their former spouse. The Three of Swords from the Albano Waite deck appears as answer. The card is so vivid, those three sharp swords spearing that poor heart, the client sees it and their energy cuts off. You no longer feel the connection you had, you their feel fear perhaps, or maybe you can no longer connect at all.
The client is visibly uncomfortable. It might even be a subtle difference, they may alter their non-verbal communication and use their arms to cover their heart chakra, or perhaps put their hands on their face or cross their legs. Something has altered and they may not be able to verbalize it because they are in reaction and have no perspective. But they are reacting to the image of the card for certain. This is an ethical issue. It is important to honor their energetic alteration.
For Client "A" I first felt the urge to go to humor. It is part of my personal style. I joked lightly with her about how the card popped up and she popped out. I sent out some probes, direct but gentle questions, to see how she felt and we acknowledged that the card was the culprit. I named her behavior in a very gentle normalizing and humorous manner, to which she responded beautifully.
I then decided it was a good time to remind her of the nature of tarot. I thought it would help to simplify. I further lessened the power she let Three of Swords have over her by going over some basics. I reminded her that the reading was true to this moment, and that every reading may alter the next time it is done, and that it alters partly due to her actions. I dealt with the card, gave her time to react and describe the card, and let her voice her emotional reaction. I then educated her about the difference between major and minor cards and all this information armed her in a way to deal with the reality of the answer in the moment.
Many of us educate our clients in manners such as this in almost every reading, and it is even possible she'd received this lesson previously, but our clients are frequently in altered states when they see us. They are focused on hearing what they want to hear, and they may not take any lessons away with them! So why not offer some up some tarot facts connect directly to their card(s) to minimize fear or anxiety and to make clear that nothing we say to them is an ultimate answer, just one of many, perhaps one that deserves some attention in the moment, but not the only answer, never the only answer.
As a result client "A" was able to take her tarot primer and use it to help her understand the uses of tarot, and how her reading reflects her and the forces around her in the moment, and how she can use that information to help herself and to take care of herself.
We took her Three of Swords and investigated what it was about the photos that would make it unbearable to lose them. Through the cards and her own introspection, we revealed that the photos would represent a closing for her. If she could have those photos in a box in her new apartment, then she'd truly feel free. So we explored other ways she might get that personal closure if she in fact could not retrieve the photos. It was an enlightening reading for her and she felt more powerful and in control after she made her own decisions regarding how to react to the situation. I know she appreciated the "lesson" because she told me as much.
I was lucky to have a client open enough to do so, but I had already done one question with her and seen her to be open and willing, so I took the chance that she wanted to be so.
What if she hadn't reacted to my use of humor and simply closed off even more. How to I handle the ethics of this, the delicate balance of does-the-client-really-want-to-know?
Maybe this client is number two from our little list:
2) Your client may not be ready for the answer, and they may not have realized this until an answer is provided!
Here a tarot primer is also useful. If "A" had not been open to participate as they had, I would have still used the tarot lesson to help the client lessen their fear. I would have given them similar information regarding the momentary nature of the reading, regarding the message as it applies to their free will, and regarding the nature of major vs. minor. I would ask them to offer their input as to how the card makes them feel and when in this case they can not respond, I ask them if they want me to provide them with the meaning of the card. I can not avoid the card, it is there in between us, so I put it to them that they have a choice. And I will continue to remind them that their own actions can alter the energy of this particular outcome.
I would feel it useful and good ethics at this point to help them see that other outcomes could be manifested. I would likely offer them different investigations with the cards. I would ask them if they'd like to try to discover why the three came up. I would ask them if they would like to pursue it or to move on to another question. I will remind them that the tarot works in many different ways and that we can alter the style of their questions in practically any way they wish. Here my tarot primer is combined with the idea that they can choose what to do. This way I give them clear reminder that they are in control. They want to proceed, and they are welcome to define how we do.
So by educating them, by simplifying the reading and making part of it a primer into tarot, I am able to uphold my code of ethics and do no harm. I am able to work through a difficult moment by defining tarot as the tool it is, a tool that will go anywhere the client requests, into deep or shallow waters. And I am able to let the client see how flexible and honoring the tarot can be. I am able to help them keep their energy open, keep those cables connected! And hopefully too, with all systems go, I am able to provide the client with what they came for, help with a difficult issue for which the tarot is perfectly suited.
Andrea has been reading tarot for over ten years.
She does intuitive readings in person, on the phone
and via the internet. She is a student of Mary Greer
and Rachel Pollack through LATS and MARS and is
currently working toward CPTR and studying a shamanic
pathway to energy healing.