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Getting the querant to "participate"

Thread originally posted on the Aeclectic Tarot Forum on 29 Aug 2001, and now archived in the Forum Library.

Jeanette  29 Aug 2001 
Greetings to all. I am new to this, and just introduced myself. Jimilyn was kind enough to direct me to this section. I was wondering how to get the querant to participate, and not just sit passively across from you? I tried reading for my neighbor, and she just sat there, no comment on anything! Is this usual? How do I proceed? 

MeeWah  29 Aug 2001 
People may not participate for different reasons. They may not want to iinadvertently give information or influence the reading. May not feel comfortable. Do not know what, if anything, is expected of them. If talking is ok with you, you can indicate this. Some people prefer not to talk & to concentrate on what is said by the reader. I've had a few come prepared to take notes or bring a tape recorder.
How well you & your neighbor know each other may affect her behavior. Also her understanding of what a reading is. Was she eager for the reading, doing you a favor acting as querent or (please do not take offense) was she drafted as a guinea pig--did she have to be persuaded? & lastly, but certainly not the least: is it mutually understood that what is said between you is considered confidential & privileged?
You can ask her if she was comfortable with the experience; & why she did not talk.
As a reader, I do not mind silence; actually, I prefer it. 

Talisman  29 Aug 2001 

In her book, "78 Degrees of Wisdom," Rachel Pollack tells several funny stories about people who react to a reading like this.

Let me quote just a bit: "People who go to tarot readers often do so with a 'show-me' attitude. Since they look at divination as something magical (though not really knowing what they mean) they want the reader to demonstrate magical powers. The value of the reading for them lies in how accurately it matches what they know to be true. . . To make sure the reader is 'honest' they conceal as much of their lives as possible . . ."

Pollack suggests they may actually be scared by the idea of a reading . . . filled with fear and perhaps resentment.

If the woman solicited a reading from you, well, her loss. Perhaps her reading would have been far richer if the woman had participated. Perhaps not. If your intuition is keenly honed, like MeeWah's, the woman can keep her trap shut and you can see right through her, like you've got x-ray vision. And maybe you saw things that you didn't reveal to her.

But naturally you can't blame people for having fears, even if they can't admit them. I mean, gosh, we all do.


Mojo  29 Aug 2001 
I never have quiet querents (boy, say that three times fast!). To me, the querent needs to be fully involved in the reading for it to have any value. In any reading, I will always ask the querent what they see in certain of the cards. Particularly when it's a card that I get two or more strong feelings about.

I just ask them to look at the card and tell me what they notice first and then we talk about that and what it might mean. So it's extremely interactive. I want them to understand the divination process a little because I feel this makes the reading much more valuable to them.

There are certain cards which I absolutely will not interpret until I hear what the querent sees in the card. 3 of Wands, 5 & 7 of Swords, and 9 of Cups come to mind as examples. These are cards which to me have such a wide range of possible meanings that it's impossible to narrow it down without some input from the querent.

I always make it clear to people that I am a Tarot reader and NOT a psychic before I do a reading for them. 

Jeanette  30 Aug 2001 
I want to thank you all for your thoughts and advice on this subject. I must be one of those people who likes to interact and converse. Yes, my neighbor was "doing me a favor" by letting me do the reading; I don't know if she was skeptical or not. Afterwards she mentioned her grandmother used to interpret dreams for others, so I don't really know where she stands. I read for another friend and he was just great - going into detail about how every card I interpreted could apply to his situation. I guess practice makes perfect, and to try, try again!! 

tarotbear  30 Aug 2001 
I have never actually had a Querent refuse to participate, but (unfortunately) some people are there to see you 'Put On A Show'. Most people who come to me for a reading are looking for help, or are repeat customers, but I've never had a Querent just 'sit there'. Sometimes they start volunteering information before I even start the explanations! 

arizonagirl  31 Aug 2001 
Question for Mojo - do any of your querents sit beside you rather than facing you? Would this be a way to get a quiet querent to participate? 

tarotbear  31 Aug 2001 
arizonagirl- i always have the Querent sit next to me - that way they view the cards from the same perspective I do. 

Kiama  31 Aug 2001 
When I do a reading for somebody, I usually ask them to read the cards first: See what they think of the symbols, what they make of it, and apply it to their lives. Then I read in . I ask them to 'Weave' the story the cards are saying... I've never had a querent just refuse to do this...

I figure, this person has come for help, and to get help, you first need to help yourself, you can't just sit back and let everyone else do it for you! Tarot is a two way thing.


The Getting the querant to "participate" thread was originally posted on 29 Aug 2001 in the Using Tarot Cards board, and is now archived in the Forum Library. Read the threads in Using Tarot Cards, or read more archived threads.

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