Interpretation is key to communicating the wisdom and
significance of the tarot images to the querent.
Inevitably, the tarot practitioner will eventually deal
with some sort of challenge, faulty interpretation or
plateau. The following are a few dilemmas that may
occur, with suggestions for overcoming them:
Situation #1: Unbalanced and Unfair Assumptions
This can occur when you interpret a card as relating to
how the querent's or other individual's behavior
has contributed to a problem without considering the
dynamics of the whole picture.
Suggestion: This often happens with court cards. For
instance, interpreting the King of Swords as the
querent's rigid partner who respects no one's
opinion but his own. The interpretation may have a
negative tone, and the card could instead be an aspect
of the querent's personality or attitude toward the
situation. You may want to just stick to describing
characteristics of the court card and confirm with the
querent if this describes another person (and whether
they are female or male). Never assume that if it's a
king it must be a male, or if a queen, that it must
indicate a female.
Situation #2: Card Meaning vs. Intuition
This happens when your intuition indicates something
very different from the standard card meanings.
Suggestion: This requires practice in knowing and
trusting your "gut" feelings. When your intuition
parts company from standard card meanings, explain this
to the querent and allow them to participate in the
reading. Card meanings are multi-layered. Consider
working with reversals, if you don't already.
Situation #3: Brain Fog
Drawing a blank on a card or feeling aversion to a
card. Uncertainty about how to interpret a card because
you forgot what it means or it seems irrelevant to the
Suggestion: This could be a way to get the querent to
open up. A good place to start is with the overall
energy of the spread. Discuss the other cards and come
back to the difficult one last. All cards are relevant
and this could be a huge growth opportunity, if not for
the querent then for the reader.
Situation #4: Plateau
This is a bit different from the brain fog in that
there is a sense of overwhelm. You may get a lot of
"This doesn't sound like me" or "I don't feel
connected" from your querent. Sometimes this is a
sign of "burn out."
Suggestion: This could be about being tired, clouded or
distracted. If you read a lot it can be exhausting,
and you may need a break. This could be an indication
of a need to review what tarot is communicating to you.
Limitations, even purely subjective ones, are a part of
life. The process of putting together the stories in
the cards can become daunting. Anyone who has read for
a long time will tell you to just push past the various
challenges that come with reading. It's well worth it
in the long run.