How do you give someone bad news?

When you give a reading, you are going to have to learn how to say no. In the past thirty years, I’ve told people that they were going to get divorced, that they would lose their jobs, that they would die.

This is serious stuff, tarot reading. We talk to people who feel scared and broken and fragile. We have a responsibility to do this with care and empathy.

We are NOT their mother, though. 

There is a way to be empathetic to your querent/client without swimming around in all of their emotions. You can give a good, thorough, and accurate reading without softening what you tell the, or taking liberties with the truth.

“But it’s haa-aaaaarrrd…”

I know it’s hard, but I’ve been doing this for a long time and can totally hook you up with some tips.

  1. If you feel you’re too close to the situation, refer them on. I don’t read for my husband. Well, he won’t let me but still.  If two of my friends are fighting, I don’t read for either of them. I’ve done this in the past and it’s no bueno.
  2. Keep your distance – emotional and physical. If you’re reading for a friend, try to take care of the reading at the beginning of your coffee date. I mean – they bought you coffee, right? You aren’t reading for free, right? ( Anyway, don’t get all involved in hearing the story. Do the reading first and maintain your distance until you’re finished. This can help you with objectivity. )
  3. Before you start reading, let them know that you’re going to tell them the truth, no matter what.
  4. Maintain your strong boundaries. After the reading is over LET IT BE OVER. No texting to follow up. No long phone calls pulling the reading apart card by card. 
  5. DO NOT read over and over for the same question. This is a useless exercise that will inevitably lead to your deck giving you the finger.
  6. Be kind. Even if you’re feeling slightly judgy about the situation. Even if YOU don’t think it’s a big deal, the person you’re reading for does. If you can’t be kind, don’t read for other people.
  7. Boundaries boundaries. Remember that you’re reading for them, but you’re not their mom, you’re not Oprah and you’re not infallible. Do your reading and then shut it down and don’t offer too much advice outside of the reading. It gets weird.
  8. Leave them with hope. Don’t drop a heavy reading on someone without pulling some cards for AFTER the Tower. Give them something to look forward to.

It is possible to give difficult, compassionate readings. Just remember who you are and what the point of a reading is – to become prepared for the things that lie ahead.


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