After having an…interesting client for my mo dice divination service recently, I decided to make a list of things to keep in mind to be a good client when receiving divination. Some of these are etiquette and out of respect to the diviner, some of them are to make the reading more useful for you.
The image sums it up, if you go to someone to get a reading on something, that’s it, don’t shop around until you get an answer you want. If you believe in divination, and the skill of the diviner, it isn’t their fault something crappy is in the reading, and if you avoid it, go to others until you hear what you want, then you won’t get anything out of it. You see enough people and eventually someone will tell you the future you want, it’s useless to go that route. The only exception I would say to this, is if you’re planning a major life change, and you decide before getting your first reading that you’ll see three people (or whatever), because then you’re going in knowing it’s part of a bigger picture, if you decide during/after the divination session you want more opinions, it’s because you didn’t like what you heard. Sadly reality doesn’t care if you like it, so you’re better of dealing with it. I can, and have, declined clients who mention that they’ve already seen another diviner, unless they’ve given me a good reason on why they didn’t trust the other reading or why another is warranted.
Know your question
Vague and broad questions can be useful for a very loose overview. “Tell me about my love life” “How do my finances look?” But for the most part your ability to get a good answer out of divination is having a clear sense of your question. A lot of good diviners (and I’d like to put myself in that group, at least for this category) will spend time discussing your question, and help you figure out what it is that you’re actually looking for. Not all can or will, but even if they will, you’re better off having a clear sense of what you want to ask. Think of it like any other question, how do you feel when you meet someone at a party and they say “So, tell me about you.” What do you say, that’s way too broad. “What’s your favourite Disney movie?” There is a question you can answer and actually engage. “What is the Sun?” That’s a really big question, what do you want to know? “How does the Sun build complex elements?” Again, better. Unfortunately not all diviners will help you work out good questions, but even if they will you should have a sense of what you’re looking to find out.
Question, don’t counter
Every once and while a diviner will say something that doesn’t line up, either in reality or your perspective. It’s an interpretive art, so maybe something was translated wrong. If you want a useful reading question that interpretation to understand it, don’t counter it as being wrong. If I say something about stress with your mother, and you have a great non-stressful relationship, don’t attack that mistake, ask if it could be someone else? Could it be someone you mother, could it be a nurturing woman in your life. Instead of shutting down because something is wrong, see if there is a reason they’re off, could it just be an interpretive mistake? Within reason. Always be critical of what other people tell you, especially diviners you don’t know, but there is critical and then there is contradictory.
They’re the expert, for this moment
You know your life, they know their tools and their reading. Nothing is more “dangerous” to a divination than having a client who somewhat understands the system. Each tarot card has dozens of ways it could be read in any circumstance, the thing is the diviner is the one tied into the reading. What you were taught a card meant, is often far less relevant than how the diviner is reading it at that moment. I know this could seem to contradict the point above, but this is about challenging them based on your understanding of the system. If they say the Four of Disks means something you’ve never heard before, go with it, they’re in the flow of the reading, it’s their deck, and their methods. If I might add my personal insult, the mo dice divination I use requires me to have received specific initiations, performed hundreds of thousands of mantras, and be practiced in a specific set of rituals. Yet occasionally when I do a reading someone who has read a book on the system will question my interpretation based on their text.
Listen, don’t reinterpret
We’ve all seen it I’m sure, the divination says one thing, and no matter what the reader says, the client twists it around. You can be as straightforward as possible, and yet they’ll reply as if you said something totally different. “Yeah, the cards say this relationship is a horrible idea and no good will come of it.” “So you’re saying we have to make sure we’re communicating our emotions?” “No, I’m saying the relationship is doomed.” “So it will take some work. Gotcha.” Do not get me wrong, as the one receiving the reading it is your job to make it apply to your life, but that is not the same as wildly reinterpreting it to say what you want. If you think it could mean something else, like I said above, you can question, politely and from a curious position, but that’s not jumping right from the Tower to “Happily ever after.”
One question/theme at a time
This goes back to know what you’re asking. It also depends on the type of reading you’re getting. I’ve had someone buy a dice divination session with me, which is quite clearly one question, and then proceeded to give me a list of fifteen different and vastly unrelated questions. They obviously didn’t know what they really wanted to know, and it took a lot of extra time on my behalf just to get to the point. (They’re lucky, in person my divination sessions are charged on an hourly rate) Also, for getting practical and useable results you’re better off focusing on a narrow set of things. So if you have 20 minutes with a tarot reader, don’t ask about love life, your job, your family, and your investments. Pick a theme, maybe two, and investigate them.
Talk with the reader
It might be interesting to really test a reader, see how psychic they are, just sit down in front of them and have them give it a go. Interesting, yes, but not the most useful. If I’m spending most of my time and energy trying to pick up details from the aethers, I can’t use that time and energy to help give you useful answers. Not only that, but you’re a complex person, your life is large, and sometimes there is stuff going on you’re not aware of. So you’re having trouble at work, and you ask me to be all psychic and tell you what’s wrong in your life, I tell you your mother is dying, you laugh cause she hasn’t mentioned anything wrong. So you don’t hear what you wanted to hear about, and might reject what I do tell you. If you tell me you have something wrong at work, then we can look at that. As my tarot teacher used to say to me “You don’t go to the doctor and say ‘I’m sick, guess what’s wrong with me.’ You tell them some symptoms.” If you want a useful reading, talk with the reader, give us feedback, let us know what you think is wrong, what you want to know about, and we can look at that. Otherwise we’re looking at your entire life, and trying to pull out relevant information to satiate your curiousity.
Use the information to make a plan
This is probably one of the most important pieces for someone receiving a reading, and if you ever get a live reading with me, it’s probably a big chunk of the session. Think for a moment, how many tarot readings and what not have you received? Now how many of them gave you relevant information? Now, how often did you actually make good use of that information? The thing is most of us, myself included, get the information and think “Oh that’s interesting” or “I expected that” or “Good to know” and leave it at that. Then events play out more or less the way they were going to anyways. Make a plan on how to use the information, and make it fast, or you’ll never use it. I usually get my clients to come up with one concrete action they can take within 24 hours. It doesn’t have to be major, but it has to be concrete, they can’t just say they’ll think about what to do with the information, no, they have to write it out. If it’s about something you can’t act on right away, then your action can be to make a to-do list for when you can act, set a calendar reminder on your phone, and start work when you can. Then along with the action in the next day I usually have them set out a concrete action for the next week, or month, depending on the scale of the reading. The important thing is to do something that sets into motion working with the reading, otherwise you just take the information and it is in one ear and out the other.
These are just a few of my thoughts on how to be a good querent and make the most of your readings. What other ideas do people have, both are readers, and those receiving the divination?