Changing Gears: Recovering from a Weak Start

(These observations apply to face-to-face reading; on-line reading is frequently performed in a vacuum with no opportunity to “check-and-adjust” the narrative through interactive feedback from the seeker.)

Those of us who read for others sometimes sense that we’re about to “fail open” like an electrical circuit breaker when the responses we’re receiving from our sitter seem to be totally out-of-sync with the insights we’re getting from the cards. This is usually accompanied by a litany of “No, that’s not right,” “That doesn’t fit,” and “What gives you that idea?” Pushing the panic button, we’re apt to pull more cards and dig ourselves a deeper hole.

My response in these situations is to take two mental steps back and a deep breath, then rethink the perspective I’ve been pursuing with the cards already on the table. As I’ve said before, I look at the practical aspects of a matter first and seek validation from my sitter regarding the probabilities associated with that angle of inquiry. Once in a great while, though, the cards throw that gambit right back in my face and I have to work around the disconnect. A classic example is seeing an abundance of Major Arcana cards in a spread and waxing eloquent about the grand scheme of things when all the sitter really wants to know is whether it’s a good idea to buy a lottery ticket today or wait until tomorrow. The only “archetype” they’re interested in is how many triple zeros follow the lead digit in the winnings projection.

If there is no obvious synergy between the practical testimony of the cards and the sitter’s own awareness of his or her private reality, it’s time to change gears and explore the human aspects of the situation. This usually involves focusing on individual characteristics, attitudes or behaviors that may be prudent for the sitter to either adopt or avoid in handling the circumstances suggested by the reading. This isn’t as immediately personal as yelling at George of the Jungle “Watch out for that tree!” but it can still stand the sitter in good stead for fielding any unexpected situational curve-balls with equanimity. A well-prepared frame of mind can be just as valuable as quick reflexes when the outlook tends toward the speculative rather than the concrete.

This is standard practice when dealing with the court cards because there are many instances where they don’t represent people, but it can be just as effective for making sense of trump cards that don’t conform to more mundane considerations. Minor cards I can usually shape into a rational understanding without too much “psychologizing,” especially if I treat them as background energies rather than straightforward developments. One of the most satisfying things for me as a reader is to see the light of comprehension finally dawning in my sitter’s eyes when I’ve struggled to retrench and beat back the clouds of misapprehension.

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