First Readings


There’s something particularly odd about first consultations. Two people meet. They want to make an exchange. On one side, there’s someone with a problem. Something that makes her/him uneasy. On the other, there’s someone who is there to talk to them and try to show them how to overcome said problem. Neither of them knows what will come out of that session. There are expectations to manage. The querent, wants to shed light on hir matters. The reader, wants to give something meaningful to the querent, even if at first he or she doesn’t know what or how. And so the game begins…

Each side tries to analyze the other. On one side, just how trustworthy is the reader? Is he truly capable to look into a set of drawings and draw meaning from them? To use them to say something meaningful and pertinent? On the other, what type of answer does the querent expect? A full answer? A short answer? Does he/she want to actually know what the cards have to say? Or does he/she only want to hear pretty things? Comforting things?

The first question is made. Or maybe, it isn’t. Maybe the querent just asks to open the deck and to say whatever the reader sees… As the session progresses, both parties start to loosen up. To become more comfortable in their roles. The reading starts to adjust to the needs of the querent. And things start to flow…

I’m mentioning this, because I truly find January one of the most challenging times to read cards. The year has just begun and people, most probably motivated by their recent vows to change their life, start flooding my practice. You probably know the type. Someone decided things needed to change, and he/she doesn’t quite know how. So, let’s make it easy… Let’s do a tarot reading and see what the cards have to say. So they schedule an appointment, not quite knowing what they are going to get. Most of them, won’t come back to a second appointment, even though it would be in their best interest to do so. Either because they didn’t liked what they heard, or because they lack the will, the determination to act on what they discovered. No matter how satisfied they left, they were, at best, shown a possible path to follow. Solutions might have been discussed, but nothing has been enforced. That’s the querent job. To act upon what he/she heard/found out and to make decisions accordingly.

But if they aren’t willing to act upon the reading, why do it? Do they want to feel like they actually made an effort, even when they didn’t? Or do they prefer to convince themselves that it is “not possible” / “not worth it” / “pointless” / “preferable to just let things stay as they are” / “the cards just got it wrong” ? Maybe there’s a bit of both. As any reader knows, life is not about static. It is about movement. Balance. About going forth and facing whatever problems we might have as best we can. Sure, we might have some tough times. Some hard challenges. Sometimes, we might face something so big and powerful it almost seems impossible to succeed. But as Nature shows us, if we want to evolve, we have to face these odds. We have to find a way and we can be sure there is a way!! And when we get to the other side, when we made it to the finish line and look back… There is such a feeling of accomplishment and self-development that we just can’t stop ourselves thinking about how that particular situation made us evolve and leave us with the comforting feeling that we’re now better prepared for what comes next…

I’ve come to find out that a first reading isn’t really about giving answers. For that people can have the second and the third and how much more they want. The first reading is about giving something more important: is about showing people that whatever they need to face up /change / address is not only feasible, but also within their reach. About showing them that whatever made them come to a reading in the first place actually matters and should be valued. It’s about giving them the confidence to go out in the world and face things for themselves.

I usually spend more time in a first reading than in any subsequent ones. I like to try to understand who it is I have in front of me and why they think the tarot might help. It is only after this that I open the deck and start drawing cards. Even then, my first question is just “what do he/she needs to know at this time?” I’ve felt this to be the most important question one can ask. And, if there isn’t any time to explore anything else, at least they got the main themes covered. And they can leave with something that can actually make a difference in their lives.

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