Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Using the Cards for Yes/No Questions

I would say that, in general, I'm more a fan of using Tarot for gaining deeper insights into the variety of situations in which we encounter ourselves in life.  Using Tarot to provide guidance, to highlight major energies or themes that influence us and the decisions we make. Sometimes to take a look at where our current paths our leading us.  But yes/no questions?  Not so much.

Deviant Moon Tarot
Patrick Valenza, US Games 2008
I know that a lot of people have differing opinions on this, and some are very much in favor, while others feel it's a poor use of this sacred tool.  So I decided to experiment.

You could do an Internet search for this topic and find numerous blogs and websites that will give you 82 different ways to determine the answer to a yes or no question using the cards.  Some are very simple: pick a card, and if it's upright the answer is yes, if it's reversed, the answer is no. Some are more complicated: select three cards, and if the majority are upright or reversed, there is your answer! But if it's a Pentacle instead of a Wand it might be a maybe!  Well, you get the idea, anyway. Some people reserve special decks for yes/no questions, or won't consider the influence of the Major Arcana at all. I find that if it seems too complicated, it probably is.

Deviant Moon Tarot
Patrick Valenza - US Games 2008
I use reversals, so to me the easiest way to test out yes/no questions is to draw a single card.  If it's upright, then it's yes, and if it's reversed, then no.  I also would consider the message of the card itself for additional information about the energies involved. Clearly in order to test this out it's necessary to ask a question whose answer can be determined in a relatively short period of time (and I would not test this out on a client, preferring to use my own life as the guinea pig).

I decided to ask if I would hear from a friend in the next 7 days.  This is a friend I normally don't keep in close contact with, though we've known each other for many years, and it's been more than six months since our last conversation.  Now I felt that this would be an obvious "no." So I asked a formal yes/no question: "Will I hear from this friend within the next 7 days?" I shuffled and cut and…

Deviant Moon Tarot
Patrick Valenza - US Games 2008
...the first card I pulled was the Magician, upright. Well that certainly looked pretty "yes-ish." I peeked at the next card, which was Strength, also upright.  Hm. Another strong "yes" card. Just to be absolutely SURE, I looked at the card below Strength, which was the King of Swords, upright.  Really?  I glanced at the card at the bottom of the deck: King of Wands, upright. Well okay, apparently my cards were saying - no, screaming - YES!!!! But I didn't feel like it would be a yes.  So I thought, "This will be a showdown between my reason and my cards. Let's see what happens!"

King of Wands - Deviant Moon Tarot
Patrick Valenza - US Games 2008
So I put my cards away after having documented those that I'd drawn and my thoughts about the whole thing.  And I went to bed.  I woke up the next morning at 6:30am and grabbed my phone for my morning ritual of Facebook-News-Weather-Time, and noticed that I had an email, too. When I opened my inbox what did I find?  A message from my friend.

So what did I learn from this?  Just maybe I can use my cards for yes/no questions after all.  Now if I'm going to be sciency about it (which I am) I'll be doing many more of these little experiments to see what happens, how things feel, how things turn out, what subtle nuances come across, and how to understand and interpret them in the context of this sort of concrete, straight-forward question. I'm not going to take this show on the road anytime soon, but I am at least open to exploring this "other" reading technique….. :)




8 comments:

  1. There's an excellent book by Mark McElroy called "Putting the Tarot to Work", which suggests a number of these sorts of experiments in a very science-y way :) I tried it, and did very well on the predictive readings, yet will admit that I rarely work with them. Mainly, I think, because it doesn't feel particularly useful to me. I'd rather think about why I might choose to do something, or how I can change a potential outcome, than just what is most likely to happen unless I act.

    I guess it's about wanting to feel proactive. After all, you were clearly thinking about your friend, which might have influenced the situation. (My mum and stepdad had an affair nearly 40 years ago, and then separated for about 20 years. Still, every time she thought about him, he'd contact her within a day or two!) And you could just as well have actually made contact with your friend yourself :) Just a few thoughts...

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    1. Oh interesting, I will check that book out! Yeah, over all I agree with you. I avoid yes/no because it seems (in most cases) to avoid the core of the issue, to just skim the surface of a situation without ever offering something of substance. And I'm all about substance. It's been interesting to see what is possible with Tarot in this kind of capacity, though in terms of using it with clients, I would probably never entertain a yes/no question. And you're right - I was also thinking that perhaps my friend just heard my thought and responded :) So the experimentation will continue :)

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  2. I agree with Chloe and I do think that you were telepathically connected with you friend
    You could try this with dice or sticks or a plain playing card deck or whatever, but I wouldn't like to use tarot for this. For me tarot is more about guidance and giving options. I don't do predictive readings either. It is not that I think predictive readings aren't. possible. I just don't want to know in advance what might happen
    Interesting subject :D

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    1. Haha, that's so true, Ellen! Who REALLY wants to know the future ;-) It's quite possible that I gave my friend a psychic knock on the door (or vice versa - maybe it was her thought that pushed me to ask that question)! All good things to consider. I agree with both of you that the true, sacred use of Tarot is a tool for guidance and insights, and even healing. But I do want to explore what is possible, and will keep going with my experiments, just for fun. As I go I will post my results, and see if there is any true rhyme to this :)

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    2. I am always in for experiments so keep me posted :)

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  3. Hi Olivia! Your post is very interesting and useful to me. Sometimes I ask for yes or no, because I'm a bit anxious :) So I'll take it into account. Thank you! and Muchas Estrellas!!!!!!!

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    1. Hey there! Thanks for stopping through :) And good luck with your own yes/no questions!! :-D

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