Conducting a tarot reading when the querent (client) is not present sounds a little woo woo. Most people think that for the reading to have any chance of accuracy, the person needs to be right there at the table, so that they can physically handle the cards. Back in the days when I started reading tarot, it wasn’t possible to find enough ‘victims’ to give me the practice I craved, so I turned to reading online. You can be sure that I was as surprised as anyone that an online tarot reading could be just as useful as one done in person.
I was reading for the American Tarot Association’s (ATA) Free Reading Networks and completing up to six free readings per night. Readers only asked for feedback in return for their time. I was really pleased with the encouraging responses I received and my fascination with tarot deepened accordingly. Bear in mind that I am in the United Kingdom, so it really was ‘distance reading’!
Later I set up my own website and offered paid readings. Again, I requested feedback by inviting my clients to ask further questions regarding their reading and to give their perspective. Many were glad to do so and keep the dialogue going. My friends and family find it difficult to believe that an reading can be given in this way.
So, how does a distance tarot reading work? This is what I think…
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The Collective Consciousness and Tarot
Many people don’t think that tarot cards can predict the future. I know of lots of readers who refuse to use the cards in this way. They prefer to use the cards for counselling, of gently encouraging their clients to discover their own inner guidance, and that is an excellent way of utilizing the cards. However, most clients are interested in a bit of fortune-telling, well, we all are really, aren’t we? So how is it that cards can point towards future possibilities?
The answer lies in the realm of the very small – quantum physics, where the common laws of Newtonian physics don’t seem to apply. The psychologist, Carl Jung posited the idea of a ‘collective consciousness’, where humans could tap into shared knowledge and memories. He thought this collective consciousness is responsible for what he termed ‘synchronicity’, also known as coincidence, serendipity, and being in the right place at the right time. Omens and signs also come into play within the collective consciousness.
Electro-magnetic field, time and the Global Consciousness Project
Since then, the collective consciousness has been linked to the electro-magnetic field, generated by the liquid iron core, that surrounds and protects the earth. It is thought that migratory animals make use of it… and of course, it follows that we are also affected by this field. Yet another theory is that thoughts, being electrical pulses, are actual things; packets of energy that can effect change in particles.
Time is also a sort of moveable feast. We can only live in the present, and we have neatly chopped time into bits that fall back away from now – the past – and bits that are coming towards us – the future. But what if time is more liquid than that, that time is just a human construct that we use to make sense of our lives. What if the future is happening at the same time as now, but our limited perspective prevents us from seeing it (and a good job too as we’d probably explode!)? Similarly, there could be strands of the past mixed into the present and future. The Global Consciousness Project (GCP) has monitored the output of 80 electromagnetically shielded computers since 1998. These computers, situated throughout the world, generate random occurrences of 1 and 0, the usual pattern is around 50/50 give or take. However during huge man-made and natural events, such as 9/11 and the 2004 tsunami, the numbers generated showed massive deviations. The really interesting part is that the deviations started hours before the events took place. It’s as though the energy or vibrations ‘leaked’ backwards in time giving credence to the idea that time is not necessarily linear. See GCP.
Jung expostulated that the whole (the universe) is contained/mirrored in the smallest particle, thus the expression, ‘as above, so below’, indicating that all things in the universe are somehow connected. Therefore, my feeling is that the cards, the client and the reader form a three-sided web, within the whole for the duration of the reading.
There’s not enough space here to go into everything that could link tarot to the collective consciousness and particle physics – but there are lots of resources out there if you want to explore these ideas more fully. I recommend starting with The Field by Lynne McTaggart.
So my theory is that when a person contacts me for a reading, we have a connection – a tenuous one indeed, but still a connection. And, if thoughts really are things; actual particles of energy, then these particles are bouncing around between us along the pathways of the web of collective consciousness. Scientists call this state, where particles can alter each other’s behavior, ‘entanglement’. Therefore, when I hold thoughts of a person in my mind, and turn the cards, then the results will relate to that person. I don’t even have to have details of the client’s situation, in fact, I’d prefer not to mess up the connection with any preformed ideas or judgment. I ask only that the client gives me their name, date of birth and general location to help me establish the connection. I also ask that they form a question so that I have something to ‘hang’ the reading on, although I often do a reading without a question in mind.
The mechanics of an email reading
This is how I conduct my readings. Firstly, the client contacts me and we have an initial discussion by email, whether it is to be a general reading or one focused on a specific question or issue. They give me the three pieces of information I need to carry out the reading. They also pay me 🙂
I tell them when I will be doing the reading as I think it helps to focus even more on the joint creative process. I prepare myself by thinking about the client and question and choose a deck that feels appropriate. I then shuffle the deck for quite some time, up to 10 minutes, continually thinking about the client, allowing space for any intuitive thoughts to trickle in. I then cut the cards, switch the two halves using my left hand (no reason, it’s just habit) and start to lay them out face up in the spread that feels right.
I look at all the cards, trying to see a story in them. Then I sit at the computer and begin to type. I describe the cards and scan each one, so the client can see for themselves what I am referring to. As I type out my interpretations and link them to the client, I make sure I link each card to its predecessor and successor. I also point out pairs and interesting combinations. At the end I put together a summary with conclusions and guidance. A ten-card reading can take several hours and up to 10 pages to complete. The hourly rate is very low – hence why I don’t do so many online readings these days!