Most diviners have occasionally encountered sitters who are too shy, nervous or confused to come up with a single question to put to the tarot. My practice has always been to have them concentrate on what they want to know while shuffling the deck in a form of silent communion, although my goal hasn’t been to sooth their anxiety but rather to maintain strict privacy. The unspoken conversation that occurs is my business only to the extent that it influences the cards subsequently pulled in ways that I’m able to turn into meaningful observations. Usually the most I want to know is the general area of life where their main interests lie, many of which involve an important decision or opportunity: romance, work, finances, friends, family, education, well-being, etc. I have an elemental “punch-list” (posted previously) that I show them with keywords and phrases to help them zero in. Obviously, more detail will almost always come out in our dialogue but it’s a place to begin in any topical life-reading.
Yesterday, in The Way of Tarot (yes, I know you’re getting tired of hearing about that), I discovered a technique that may be even more effective. Jodorowsky came up with a list of questions that each of the trump cards might ask on behalf of a tongue-tied sitter. A “significator” trump is chosen either purposely or randomly before the main draw and a question is formulated based on the querent’s review of the list; in addition, any trump cards that turn up later in the spread could also be included as part of the interrogation. The rest of the cards in the layout will answer the question(s) posed by the trump(s). If selecting a significator at random, the hypothetical introduction by the reader in applying the list would be “Let’s see what the Tarot wishes to speak with you about.”
I took his set of questions and massaged them, both sparingly and liberally, to bring my own interpretive style into the mix (only the text for the Wheel of Fortune and the Devil remains almost entirely as he wrote it); in some cases I sharpened all or most of his wording while preserving its intent, and in others I appended my own experience-based thoughts. Although Jodorowsky, with his insistence on bringing in the mother/father/family dynamic, is more Freudian than Jungian in his psychological approach, my content is aimed more at situational awareness and individual action than passive self-analysis.
In the following pages all of the text that appears in italics is as Jodo wrote it, although I may have done some editorial pruning for grammatical purposes, while everything in plain font is my own contribution. I plan to have my stumped clients look at it to see if anything inspires an epiphany, thus opening the way for a more precisely tailored reading.