In a recent Facebook dialogue we were talking about the practice of letting the cards in a spread “hijack” the reading, taking the story-line well away from the focus of the original question or topic. The usual scenario is “You asked about that but the cards are saying this, so let’s go this way with the reading instead.” The upshot is that, while sitters may still receive valuable and useful information, they won’t get their specific question answered. They may be perfectly fine with that, but I let them make the decision. (My working model is that it’s their reading, I’m just the translator and facilitator.) It’s a common assumption among experienced readers that the cards will answer whatever they choose, whether the question is stated plainly or merely lurking deeper in the sitter’s subconscious, and that the answer will invariably be “right.” I’m of two minds about it: I recognize that the Universe doesn’t always dance to our personal tune and may have something important to tell us that we didn’t know to ask about; on the other hand, a sitter usually comes for a reading to gain insight about a particular matter and may go away unfulfilled if the reading diverges in an unrelated direction, however interesting and instructive.
In my own practice, I will let the alternate narrative run as long as the sitter concurs, but I ultimately try to work it around to “home base” (the original topic) by drawing inferences between the question asked and the one apparently answered, thus eventually imparting closure to the issue the sitter brought to the table. I find that it occurs most often when the individual has purely mundane concerns but the cards insist on delivering psychological abstractions. In the final analysis, this testimony may show them the way to cope with their practical dilemma by adjusting their attitudes and behaviors, but it must be rendered into terms that make sense in the original context, which should be treated as a baseline assumption. The answer may well be there but it has to be tied to the situation in a meaningful way. Without a reliable “anchor” it’s too easy to become unmoored and drift away on the tide.