General Topic Reading and the “BS Factor”

On-line tarot reading, which is starting to pull me in after years of resisting its call, has become something of a crusade for me. When I first approached it, my long-standing beliefs about “how tarot works” ran head-on into what seemed to be the questionable practices of on-line readers as a group. There is an old Marshall McLuhan quote that goes “The media is the message,” which I take to mean that the form communication takes can become more important than the substance. So it seems with all forms of remote reading that aren’t presented honestly as unalloyed psychic “energy work.” There is a potential for shallowness that has made me suspicious of its effectiveness, and the proliferation of $5 tarot-reading offers in the electronic marketplace only reinforces that opinion. I know that some competent internet diviners consider under-pricing themselves to be a canny marketing move along the lines of the retailer’s “loss leader” promotion in which something is sold at a price well below its true value in order to lure customers into the store. But I seriously doubt that’s the primary motive for most cut-rate readers, who have to rely on a high volume of sales to turn a profit. This can lead to shoddy “cut-and-paste” output. I’m not saying that it invariably does, but it can.

For me, tarot reading has always been supremely interactive and personal: I look my clients in the eye and we have a dialogue after they shuffle and cut the deck in a form of “silent communion” with the cards. I don’t ask them in advance what their question is and clear my mind of all thought while expecting theirs to be full of what they want to know. It’s more than offering them complete privacy about their affairs, it’s a cardinal rule of mine regarding the application of “subconscious induction” that I’ve adhered to for over four decades now. About as far as I’ve gone is to ask them what the general topic area of their inquiry is when they don’t have a specific question in mind. Here is what I give them to start with:

Aces as Significators.JPG

Which brings me to the subject of this post. The on-line clients I’ve encountered so far have been unable to narrow the scope of their search for answers to a single issue, and have opted for the more general “topic area” approach. This is fine with me, but I still prefer that they shuffle and pull their own cards to attain the direct “communion” I mentioned above.  I now accept other selection methods such as using tarot apps for the draw or, if they don’t own a deck or an app, simply choosing a set of random numbers so I can populate the spread at my end. Although I like to say that the Universe doesn’t care whether we shuffle the cards or push a button, the key is that it must still be interactive even if not precisely “hands-on.” To do otherwise is to interject my own subconscious assumptions and preconceptions into the equation and devalue the link to the clients’ superior awareness of their own reality. Simply put, I won’t go there if it can be avoided.

They send me the list of cards in the order pulled and I create the layout, reading the cards in an inclusive manner that speaks broadly to the area of life in question. My job is to paint a wide-ranging picture of the topic under review and clients must then “connect the dots” to their actual life-circumstances in ways that make sense to them. There are unavoidable risks in this approach: while I am meticulous about offering no “intentional BS” in my observations, “accidental BS” is always a possibility that only the client can clear up through feedback. I provide one follow-up communication at no extra cost to answer questions and help them zero in on the single most significant aspect of the reading as it relates to their area of interest. In this way, I’ve found that I can deliver the same reading experience and level of value that I strive to bring to  face-to-face readings.

So far, so good.

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