what do I do when the spread only mirrors my question, rather than offering guidance?



Sometimes I will ask a question (usually situational), and I notice that whatever I pull just mirrors what I already know than giving me guidance. For example, I might ask on a relationship situation, asking for guidance on what I should do. I just get more cards that reflect how I'm feeling. That is ok for the originator, but it seems to also be the same happening for subsconscious, immediate and final outcome cards (confusion, conflict, etc).

One time I asked for guidance on how to work through sadness related to the end of a relationship. Well, I got a whole spread of "sad" cards. 5 of swords, 5 of cups, 7 of swords, 3 of swords, Devil, the Tower, etc, you name it. And immediate and final outcome cards seemed to suggest things will continue to be sad. Oh yay. It was, shall we say, less than encouragning, and I could not get any sense of guidance.

Why are the cards doing this? I try to ask as clearly as I can. Are there times Tarot just doesn't want to answer?


Sometimes the path life takes us on isn't very encouraging.

When a reading seems negative, what I usually do is look for hints in the cards as to how to change the outcome - remember, tarot is essentially a road map... it shows you where you might end up if you continue following the same path you're currently on. Look for reversed cards that you can turn right side up (figuratively, of course) or upright cards you can reverse in your real life.

For example, you mentioned the 5 of Cups... that generally talks to remaining in a period of grieving or mourning. The guidance would be to take the actions that would be more indicative of the reversed card, that is, starting to recognize that even though there was a loss that there are still things to salvage out of the situation, and that just outside your grasp lies a new direction for you to travel. By changing one of the situations in your life that the cards are highlighting, you can change the outcome.


I have had your same problem. But the problem isn't in the cards...it's in your head. Tarot tells us about our path...and when the path doesn't seem to change it means we aren't getting anywhere. You are just going in circles. I have fallen in the same trap of waiting for life to get better. But just remember that happiness just doesn't happen to you. You have to make the decision to take that extra step to get the ball rolling on a better life. Look at what your readings are telling you. In my experience if the readings just mirror your problem I think your cards are telling you that you already know the problem and every aspect of it....it's like a friend saying,"see how unhappy you are, why would you want to put yourself through that??" It took me 2 years to figure that out. Please don't wait that long. We all have bumps in the road of life. There will be times that we are experiencing unhappy events and it's beyond our control. But I believe that you can get through this time. Just make the change.


Can you give us the layout you used, and the placement of the cards? Sometimes you need another set of eyes to look at the same thing.


I can relate to what you're saying quan yin.

The other day I asked the cards for advice on what I should do to get through a difficult situation and in the key advice position I got the 5 of swords (I was using the crowley deck, and the 5 of swords in this deck is all about mental defeat) and the 7 of swords in the secondary advice position. At first I was frustrated, but when I thought about it, I could see they were advising me to not let myself get mentally defeated and to find another way of going about what I'm trying to achieve.
Anyway, this is just an example.

sometimes when I get "negative" cards which just seem to mirror the situation I try to think about the card in a different context. Also what destinyawaitsme said is very true. If you get negative cards, it's like them saying "this is your situation, you have to take the steps to change it, because it won't get better by itself"
I hope this helps.



Hi Quan Yin!
I've found the book "Tarot: Your Everyday Guide" by Janina Renee very good for letting me know course of action, thoughts, etc. I should take for any particular situation. I felt frustrated by readings that just mirror my thoughts/feelings (which I already knew). This book fixed that!!! Hope this helps. :)


Agree with Mojo & Destiny.
Also, in such instances, the cards are showing you what is, as a confirmation of the particular situation. There is no apparent change in the status quo nor movement because no decision has been made &/or no action taken. It is then up to you to make a choice within the context of those cards. It may be to use one or more of the cards as guidance to "a way out". There are always possibilities, though some may not be as apparent. It encourages thinking beyond what seems apparent, & may be as a wake-up call to do something differently.
Mojo's suggestion is excellent regarding approaching a card in the reversed or upright manner to precipitate changes. Once one takes a step, whether it be away from the situation or does something different, it changes the energy that holds the pattern in place.


Sometimes a reading tells you nothing. Maybe all it does is verify your feelings rather than add something new to the mix. Not every reading is going to have the answer to the meaning of life. Sometimes it's like watching reruns on tv.