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Reading Tarot for Other Readers


If you are new to Tarot and have been diligently conducting readings via practice platforms or reading exchanges, you have probably done a reading for another Tarot reader—usually with the hope to gain valuable feedback about your practice as your personal Tarot study progresses.


This experience can be useful, or it can be discouraging—sometimes demoralizing if you are already lacking in confidence or fearful of even doing readings for others. After all, if another Tarot reader thinks we’re a failure and doing it all wrong, maybe we’re not cut out for this?


Let’s talk about it.


Thankfully, the vast majority of other Tarot readers who agree to be practice/exchange clients are super-kind and willing to offer useful comments in their reviews—they understand that you are learning…but inevitably, there are some very unpleasant eggs out there. These are often self-identified Tarot readers who declare they are far more experienced than you, and thus they feel the need to school you on your reading practice. Some of these critiques can be vicious and overtly hostile—rather than giving constructive insight, they offer demeaning observations. They can cause damage to one’s confidence—who wants to receive a damning review of one’s skillsets from a far more experienced Tarot reader? A few cutting words have the ability to wound deeply, and even compel some readers to quit practicing altogether. 


If this has happened to you in the first stages of venturing out and reading for others (or still is happening even after years of reading experience) I urge you to take these opinions with a grain of salt. A Tarot reader whose critique is valuable  will never-ever make you feel ineffective about the reading you have delivered to them. This person who offers you hostile words likely is learning, too, and wearing blinders of sensitivity. You see, a seasoned Tarot reader with authentic connection and respect for the art of Tarot and for the spirit-source which assists them…will understand that we are all on individual journeys and that the unseen world and the guides who inhabit it….operate efficiently through ANY reader—even someone who picked up the cards for the first time this morning.


Why are some other Tarot readers overly cruel with their critiques? Possibly it is just over-confidence about their own abilities, and simple human ego getting in the way. But, quite honestly, we don’t have to be trolls towards other readers to still feel as if they have delivered us a ‘wrong’ reading. It is the norm that when one Tarot reader receives a reading from another Tarot reader—they…mostly…disagree with it!


Let’s discuss why this is.


In learning Tarot, we all go through what I call the Page of Swords period—we have come to the point where we fluidly know the cards’ meanings, we have a little experience, we have prepared ourselves well—but…we don’t know what we don’t know about Tarot….because we haven’t had occasion to experience certain levels of ignorance yet! This is the time period when we begin to feel some over-confidence, little flags go up in our head when we see how other readers interpret the cards. ‘That’s not right!’ we might say—“they’re interpreting those cards WRONG!” And it certainly can be that what another reader ‘sees’ is different from our own vision. However, if you practice Tarot for very long, you will learn that Tarot doesn’t work upon principles of what is ‘right’ and what is ‘wrong’.


Our feeling that someone else is ‘wrong’ in how they interpret Tarot is most obvious when we are having another Tarot reader conduct a personal reading for us. The truth is, we Tarot readers do not always make the best clients. As readers ourselves, we view the cards through our own perceptive lens. When someone else reads for us, we can’t help but examine the cards as if we were the ones doing the reading. However….while Tarot does follow a foundation, the foundation is simple while context is vast, and our own spirit-sources have unique vocabulary to add to it all. The truth is…you do not know what you do not know about that other reader’s perceptions. For example, each time I have someone else conduct a reading for me, I see highly individualized cards show up that I believe to be my own spiritual guide communicating with me. Inevitably, the other reader does NOT see the same message I see—no, they have their own insight. Yes—we look at the exact same cards and have quite different ideas about what they say!


However, If we have asked another reader to read for us…..we should always respect how they interpret the cards drawn for us, even if their interpretation differs from ours. Tarot is an experience about a reader and the language they share with their own spirit-source—it is not about the cards as we-the-querent ‘see’ them. The manner of interpretation the other Tarot reader utilizes—it being different from our own—is meaningless. The message AS that reader views it and conveys it to us is what is important...not the methods used to interpret that message. This is because in Tarot we aren’t truly working with static interpretations referenced from a human-written Tarot book—we’re attempting to see through the veil which separates earth and spirit, and we readers are the bridge between these things….the cards are just a tool.


I believe—even if we are very experienced Tarot readers and we have someone inexperienced conduct a reading for us….we should respect and give credence to whatever message they deliver to us. If we see an ‘insider’ message from our own spirit-source appearing in their cards—we should take that personal message to heart because it surely IS ours…yet, we should have faith that our spirit-source is also—through this other reader—manifesting a message just as important, but delivered in a manner aligned with THEIR abilities and limitations. 


Things I unconsciously refuse to see (or reject) in the personal readings I conduct for myself…are likely to appear when someone else does a reading for me. My spirit guide has determined that since I won’t listen directly, she will utilize someone else to gift me this guidance I have been ignoring, and that person will express to me this guidance in the most perfect way I need to hear it. Therefore, even if a very inexperienced reader conducts for me a reading that appears a little awkward or unskilled due to their current level of Tarot knowledge—I accept their conclusions and interpretation with all seriousness and humility. If we Tarot readers have consented to a reading from another, we should remember that it is worthy and valuable, no matter the experience level of that reader.


And if you have been stung by unexpectedly negative criticisms by another reader, consider the source and do not take it to heart. Go forth with confidence, hone your style, follow your vision, seek your spirit-source and learn the language of Tarot as you are meant to speak it—don’t take any harsh critique or review too seriously and certainly don’t carry the burden of unpleasant experiences with Tarot trolls!



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