Tarot for the Modern Reader
7 Questions to Never Ask a Tarot Reader

The 7 Questions to Never Ask a Tarot ReaderOk admittedly, if you are reading this you are probably a tarot reader yourself, either new or experienced, but the title wouldn't be as catchy if it said "7 things you hate being asked". Or would it….
Well now, if you are reading cards for people for any length of time, sooner or later, the seven questions below will inevitably make their way across your table. Truthfully, this list could have probably been expanded to many more questions, but these are enough to get us started! This is a bit of a roundup, a few are my own faves, but after posing this question to a group of fellow readers, a few other great ones popped up more than once!
There are many reasons why we don't answer these questions.  Personally, I wish I could say, "because I just don't do that", or "that's not what the Tarot is for". The Tarot, in all of its divine wonderfulness, is truly a tool for self-enlightenment, understanding, direction, healing, empowerment, and many other things.  In some ways, yes, it can be predictive, but in no way, is it trivial or just a toy.
The seven questions below all violate the significant amount of respect I believe the Tarot deserves, either because they are frivolous, unethical or are really not possible to answer with any degree of certainty given other facts of the universe such as time and free will.
One major issue with each of these questions is that the Tarot is great for therapeutic purposes and even providing specific answers or meanings based on what cards you draw, but Tarot really isn't very well suited for Yes/No questions, or matters of timing.  YES, there are a few cards that have a timing element built in, and YES you can use suits to determine timing, but as a general rule of thumb, time is fluid, and things change, so matters of timing are actually not well suited to Tarot.
When it comes to getting the listed questions, a large part of the problem however is that the majority of people don't really understand any of these issues if they are not card readers themselves.  To others, Tarot cards are simply a party trick, and they do not understand the significance of the cards, or the respect and reverence they deserve. Try to be patient, but firm, when you get one of these!

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Scripts, Responses and Rephrasing for Bad Questions

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    Question Number 1: When Will I Die?
    Seriously? No. Just no. Even if I COULD see that in the cards, I wouldn't tell you.  That's just morbid and unnatural. Ok, maybe if you are dying and only have a few days or weeks to live you might actually ask this but for the other 99.9 percenters, no. First and foremost, it really is quite unethical to tell someone they are going to die, or when!
    Again, time is not static, choices we make EVERY DAY cause effect on future events. What if we foretold of someone's death and circumstances changed? Of course that would be favorable, but think of the panic and discontent a person would live with during that time. Also, many times when we read the cards and receive an outcome, we inadvertently change our actions, thereby changing the outcomes.
    And I truly believe that we are not to know when our time is up, until it is. The Tarot, or the Universe for that matter, just doesn't give us answers to questions like that. Even if we DO ask. A friend and fellow reader shared a great joke on this subject. When a client asks when they will die, the response is "you will live to be 100. If I'm wrong? Come back for a refund!"
    Question Number 2: Will I Win the Lottery?
    And my other favorite variation "Can you tell me the winning lottery numbers"?  Again, SERIOUSLY? First of all, if I actually had the winning lottery numbers, wouldn't I be out there playing them myself?? And no, I can't tell you if you are going to win the lottery. Do you even play the lottery? If not, I don't need the cards to answer your question.
    Really though, that's just not how the Tarot works. That would actually be like cheating, and the Tarot (and again the Universe) just doesn't work that way. I'm not even sure how I would do that…pull cards and match up the numbers on the tops? Although again, non-readers don't really know what our cards look like or what numbers are on them, they just know they "tell the unknown".
    Question Number 3: What is the First Letter of the Name of my Soulmate?
    Or what is the name of my soul mate, or person I will marry ect ect? Well first of all, we have many soul mates, people who meant different things to us in different lives. Maybe you are going to get married more than once? Maybe the person you meet actually goes by a nickname so you pass them over because it isn't the foretold name or initial? Again, so many variables. Again, we make so many choices everyday that affect the events that unfold in our lives.
    What if I told you that you were to marry a man named Jim? What if that was going to unfold in a certain pattern, but armed with that knowledge, you altered that path by making different decisions based on what you thought would put you in a better position to meet up with this "Jim" and thereby missed your meeting? You may then spend many years alone waiting for someone who now no longer exists for you. What if, time being fluid and all, your fate changed, yet you didn't know it, so you passed up someone who you were truly meant to be with, or missed a connection with someone you were meant to connect with, while waiting  for "Jim"?
    What if, you ARE to marry Jim…10 years from now AFTER you marry and divorce Bob? But by passing "Bob" over waiting for Jim you have again changed the tapestry of your life, and the prediction. Let me share with you a quick personal story here as an example.
    How I Met my Soulmate
    I am now spending my life with the person that I truly believe to be my romantic soulmate that I was destined to spend this lifetime with. His name is Jeff. I am in my late 30's and was in my mid-thirties when we "met". The reason I put the word 'met' in quotes, is because we had actually met before. Several times starting at around age 17.
    You see we lived in neighboring school districts growing up, worked at the same job as teenagers, and had friends, partners and siblings all in the same social circles. Yet we never really knew anything about each other except the other's name, or uttered more than a "hey" in passing.
    Over the years, we crossed paths at our children's sporting events, or picnics of mutual friends exchanging the usual pleasantries. My daughter even once knocked on his door selling Girl Scout cookies, though his then wife at the time had already purchased cookies from another girl in my troop, another mutual friend. Around and around it goes.
    If someone had told me back then as a teenager that I was destined to spend my life with a "Jeff" I may have tried to have a relationship with him back then. But we were not ready, or yet destined to have that relationship. There were other lessons in life we had to learn first, each of us. Growing that had to be done, before we were ready.
    I often joke that we would have never succeeded in growing old together because I would never have put up with 20 something Jeff! Truthfully, I had many life lessons that I had to learn to be a good partner as well. We were not destined to have this life together until we both married, and divorced, others. We likely would not have survived, and would have missed our destiny. We certainly wouldn't have all of the wonderful blessings we have brought with us to each other, as well as the ability to survive the lessons we are bringing to each other, had we not had all of those years to grow first.
    Last scenario, what if, and this is a big one folks, there IS NO PERSON ALREADY ETCHED IN STONE, and your partner that you are to be with, is going to be determined by the chance meetings you have based on the choices you make everyday by way of free will?
    Question Number 4: Does John (ex) Really Love his New Girlfriend?
    Third party question. Unethical and inappropriate. This is just one of many forms. First of all, third party questions are a bit like cosmic snooping. You are gaining information about another person that they did not give you or necessarily want or authorize you to have. Secondly, and I have found this out first hand when I first started reading, when you ask a question that isn't really related to you, the answers come out garbled. Clarity of answers from tarot readings depends on clear questions.
    I have already asked questions that weren't anything I would consider snooping but because they were not directly related to me, there were potential outcomes that I couldn't account for or understand. In the case above, there is an assumption that John is actually WITH this new girlfriend. What if he is not? What if they broke up or are not what you think they are? You may be asking for an answer to a question that doesn't even exist.
    Question Number 5: Am I Pregnant? (Bonus Points for is it a Boy or Girl?)
    Now admittedly, this one isn't TOO far out of left field or inappropriate, it just isn't possible to answer with an absolute degree of certainty, and more importantly, I would never answer questions that pertain to medical situations. That's always a no-no.  Now your best friend wants to know if she might be pregnant?  You may be tempted to pull a few cards, but the problem with that is that tarot REALLY isn't suited for Yes/No questions.
    There are ways of getting yes/no answers, spreads that are meant for that, but I would not look to answer such an important medical question with that. It's one thing when you are reading for yourself or your best girlfriend and give it a try, knowing that it's not going to be a big deal. Maybe the Empress comes out, heeeeeeeyyyy!
    But Tarot really is best for deeper meaning, how-to's and best courses of action, advice and thought-provoking concepts. If a client whom you really don't know has PAID you to answer this question and you pull out the 5 of Swords, the 7 of Wands, the 4 of Cups ect ect, what will you say? Or worse, you pull the Tower. It's also awkward not to be able to accurately answer a question, which can happen with yes/no, boy/girl type questions.
    Question Number 6: When will I get Married? (or Meet my Soulmate ect)
    In this scenario, first refer to the example above regarding asking about the first initial or first name of your soulmate. All of that information applies again here! But as a fellow colleague stated on this, one of the biggest problems here is the assumption that you will. The assumption that you WILL get married, that you WILL meet your soulmate.
    There is no guarantee that is going to happen, so the answer could end up being very murky. You are trying to interpret for timing the cards indication of never. Not to mention again, that time is fluid, and the actions we each take every single day may cause ripple effects in our lives and in the plans for our lives.
    I could tell you 2 years and actions you take (maybe even based on that knowledge) could change that timeline. Now in this case, there are TWO great alternatives to this question, two help you get the answer you are looking for, and you will find them both in the Swipe Copy for Rephrasing difficult questions.
    Question Number 7: Just Tell Me What You See? ( I Don't Have a Question)
    Now this is one of my PERSONAL favorites. I must say, this doesn't actually violate any "rules" if you will, it doesn't "bode ill with the universe", I just don't like it! You may feel perfectly at ease working with this question, and that's ok! I find that with 78 Cards, there are so many meanings, between both the upright and reversed, that not having a clearly defined question, or at a minimum, a topic, such as relationship, career, money  ect that you would like insight on, it's kind of like shooting in the dark.
    Sometimes the cards will make it clear what they are talking about and then the querent will jump in on that topic. As we progess in our tarot reading skills, this may become easier, but in the beginning, it will be easier to read the "answers" when you know the "questions". Especially when you have a querent that isn't saying much.
    If I ever ask a querent what they want to know, what is troubling them or what is on their mind, and they respond with "You're the tarot reader, you tell me!" I politely decline. I let them know that I am not a psychic or a mind reader. My favorite example: You would not go to the doctor and respond to "what seems to be the trouble today?" with "You're the doctor, you tell me!" would you?
    That's a wrap…
    Remember, I've created a SWIPE COPY just for you, to use if you find yourself being asked any of these questions. It includes sample dialogue for EACH SCENARIO of what to say to either politely decline the question, with an appropriate explanation, or in many cases, gives a suggestion of ways that you can help your clients rephrase their question into something alternatively more appropriate.
    So there you have it, those are a roundup of my top 7 questions to never ask a tarot reader. In the future, I may do another post with another 7! I would love to hear what question YOU hate being asked, please share in the comments below and I'll use the most frequent offenders in our follow-up post!

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    Scripts, Responses and Rephrasing for Bad Questions

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      I'm Liza, professional Tarot reader, writer and mentor, and this is Tarot Liza. Everyday we're working to bring our mission of delivering more value and Tarot education to the Modern Reader to life! Welcome! Read more...

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      • Alla

        This is such a great guide! I made the mistake of asking the cards *if* I’ll ever get married when I was in a very emotional and distressed state (I know, I know) and received what I believed to be a straight out ‘NEVER’ from them, which then made me feel even worse. In hindsight, asking yes/no questions on such important life events especially when you’re upset will not get you a clear answer. Sometimes I think the tarot has a personality of it’s own and has a laugh if you annoy it that way. However, it’s reassuring to know that circumstances can change depending on our decisions and paths we take.

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