Here is a familiar scenario. A querent sits for a
reading and the Reader asks, "What is your question?"
The querent replies, "hmm..I don't really have a
question. Could you just see what my future holds?" or
"Would you just give me a general reading? There's so
much I want to know. What do the cards say?"
Has this happened to you? Certainly every reader has
had some version of this question posed over and over
again by his or her querents. There are many reasons
for this type of inquiry, ranging from embarrassment to
naivety or uncertainty.
In the realm of reading cards, it is always best to be
prepared. Our querents and clients have many things
going on in their life, as we all do, and so it is wise
not to assume they are being difficult, vague, or just
seeking to test you.
Many querents are savvy consumers of the divinatory
arts and understand how tarot works. Many seasoned
professionals have educated their clients on what to
expect or not expect from a tarot reading. Alas, even
seasoned readers can sometimes fall into the general
question dilemma when they get their own readings.
First and foremost, trust what the cards have to say
about the querent's life or situation. Tarot is very
efficient at pointing out the "truths" of life.
Often the question is there, but you may need to allow
the querent time to formulate exactly what they need to
ask, and not be too quick to rephrase their question.
Another thing to do is simply to ask questions, such as
"What brought you here today?" or "How might a
reading help you today?" Some querents may be
reluctant to share too much. You could also ask them to
specify an area of life in which they would need advice
by asking, "Would this be a general question regarding
love, family, money?" These suggestions may help them
formulate the topic of their reading.
If you work at fairs or parties and get those "just curious"
or "You're the psychic, you tell me!" type of querents,
you can use a two-card spread using a court card and
any other card from the deck. Use the court card to
represent qualities or characteristics, and the second card
to represent the area of life that could be of concern to
that court card in a storytelling-style reading. This will
tell an interesting story that the querent could find
applicable to some part of their life.
Another great technique is to ask, "What doesn't
concern you at this time?" This is a process of
elimination whose main purpose to home in on more
specifics. Instead of focusing on problems, do spreads
that speak to what is positive, and how they can apply
the strengths of what is working for them in other
areas of their life.
Finally, create your own general reading spreads with
positions that address the more common concerns of
life. Or you can pull one card and have the querent
examine it. Then ask them, "If you had to base a question
on the scene depicted in the card, what would it be?"
From there you can formulate or rephrase a question
and proceed to the spread.
Good luck and happy reading!