post I did a reading for myself because I was feeling nervous about something. This directly goes against what many people say about reading for yourself, that you should only do so when you don't feel too emotional about the subject. That, combined with readings on counselling that I've been doing recently, got me thinking.
The first thing I noticed is that I do quite different kinds of readings for myself at different times and in various circumstances. For example, last week I did a reading on a meeting where I was unsure if the meeting would take place, if I would receive documents before hand, if I would receive a follow-up appointment, and how I would get on with the person I was meeting. The reading I did accurately predicted the answer to all of these questions, which were all resolved within 24 hours.
On the other hand, the reading I posted was more about working through my emotions. In that sense, I see it as being related to counselling, in particular Gendlin's Focusing where he talks about a six step process of getting in touch with your bodily felt sense or implicit knowledge (= intuition?) around a particular issue:
Shuffling the cards = clearing a space/relaxing.
Framing a question = "felt sense" of the problem.
Examining the cards intuitively and trying to put into words what they are saying = getting a "handle" on "all that".
Going back to the cards and their relationship to the question = "resonating" between felt sense and words/images.
Trying to understand the relationship between the cards = "asking" for more information from the felt sense.
Accepting what you've got from the reading = receiving.
Although the parallels aren't exact, and though I'm sure a traditionalist would object to my comparison, I find it helpful in explaining how and why a reading for yourself when you are feeling emotional about the subject matter can work.
In this type of reading, I'm not trying to get to some objective truth or to predict the future. What I'm trying to do is better understand my own emotions, where they come from, and how I can best deal with them. So long as I don't get caught in narrow interpretations or believing the cards are telling me what to do or think, but rather see them as keys to help me unlock what is going on inside me, I think this type of reading can be very beneficial.
The point is to use the cards as a way of focusing on what is troubling you. Then you look at what particular people or symbols in the cards suggest to you as you think of this issue. You can use traditional meanings, completely intuitive understandings, or a combination of both. The question is to use the images and ideas to work towards comprehending what is bothering you, why it is bothering you, and what you can do about it, if anything needs to be done. Any kind of spread can be used for this, and any kind of deck. You just have to feel comfortable with both, yet not trapped by them into a single way of seeing things.
And, despite the title, this approach can also be applied when reading for others. The other person has to be willing to explore their emotions, and to get involved in the reading. It's also best done face-to-face, or perhaps via Skype. I think it could be done with a querent by phone given the right relationship between you. So far, I've only done this face-to-face, but it has generally worked really well.
Can you imagine doing this kind of reading, for yourself or for others? Or does it go against what you believe the tarot can do? I'd love to hear about your experiences...
Image is the High Priestess from Tarot of Vampyres by Ian Daniels.