On page 8 of the Strategic Questioning Manual, Fran Peavey writes, “An important task of strategic questions is to create the environment where people can see the solutions that are within themselves.”
Whether I’m working with a tarot client, hosting a council circle, offering a workshop, or sitting with someone in their motivational listening session, questions play a key role. Without clear, intentional questions, the tarot would be random cards on the table and the circle would devolve into a kaffee klatsch.
A good question, usually open-ended and that begins with “how” or “what”, cracks open our habitual thinking and invites something more spacious to come forth. Part of my work includes coming up with questions that get us closer to what we most need to know or learn about something.
Many times, a tarot card and a client’s experience of it in the moment stir questions in me rather than statements. When I pose these questions to the person, it’s an opportunity for hir to enter another layer of understanding connected with hir issue. The card images in partnership with such inquiries weave a richer tapestry than if I just sat there and talked at the client. S/He discovers hir own solutions!
Instead of me saying, “The World card can be about options, choices, multiples, and international experiences”, I can invite a client into the card with, “What story is happening in this picture?” If s/he describes it, “There a woman who is standing naked before all of nature, before all the natural creatures of the world”, I can ask hir, “In what ways might you need to stand naked before all of nature?” Such an unexpected question can lead to an equally unexpected insight.
When sitting in circle with my peers, I often sum up what I’ve heard in our collaborative conversation by formulating one to three questions based on what really stood out for me. Some of them do so, too. Not only does this practice efficiently summarise our time together, it provides us with seeds to plant in the next council. Infinitely more interesting, for me, than page after page of meeting minutes and a good path into the deeper wisdom of the group.
The Gaian Tarot‘s response to “What are the richest gifts that questions offer us?” is the Explorer of Air:
- Focused thoughts and words.
- A higher perspective and a longer view on what is happening.
- The capacity to hear la langue des oiseaux more clearly.