I generally prefer decks that hand out unvarnished truth rather than affirmative pleasantries (which excludes many oracle decks, and especially “angel cards”). The Thoth is the granddaddy of them all in that regard, and each of its various clones is no slouch either. For example, unlike the ambivalent 8 of Cups in the Waite-Smith deck, the Thoth 8 of Cups reeks of decaying satisfaction and is in fact titled “Indolence,” with an appropriately gloomy vista. Lenrormand decks, by their very nature, have no such compunction; they aren’t afraid to call “a spade a spade,” or more accurately, “a club a club” in light of their meanest suit.
There is a modern tendency to seek the best in every negative situation, no matter how unlikely its appearance. Granted that the goal is to empower our clients and not dismay or discourage them, there is something to be said about a sober warning delivered in time to be of help in heading off disaster. It doesn’t benefit our sitter to talk about the efficient debris-removal capability of the Tower when the collapse of the structure is still looming on the horizon. “It’s all good” is weak encouragement when our client is looking for a “magic bullet.” My impression is that the psychological tidal wave that swamped all manner of divination beginning in the 1970s pretty much neutered any “balls” the old-time prognosticators may have bequeathed us. Of course, it didn’t help our cause that astrologer Alan Leo was convicted of “fortune telling.”
Empathy in dealing with our clients’ dilemmas is one thing, but bending over backwards to make them “feel good” is quite another. It’s both a disservice and in some cases an outright lie to withhold unpleasant details that make themselves known in no uncertain terms. If the cards are shouting at me, I don’t try to throttle them down to a whisper, although I will deliver their message in the most sensitive and supportive way possible. I’m not the tooth fairy, I just read the cards.
Just sayin’ . . .