I recently wrote a piece called Questions Are Empowering. This is true if they’re open-ended questions. An open-ended question invites a descriptive, conversational response rather than netting you a “yes” or a “no”. “What does the optimal path to earning $75,000 per year through my business look like?” is far more helpful than, “Will I be rich?”
In my work with tarot clients, I discourage yes/no questions and encourage open-ended inquiries. Beginning a question with “how” or “what” is proactive. Including a reference to oneself or to one’s situation keeps it clean so that one doesn’t end up prying into other people’s lives. “What is the most respectful and inviting way that I can ask Mike out on a date?” will be bring a more fruitful answer than, “Does Mike like me?”
Some tarot readers are OK with asking yes/no questions that don’t carry too much heft in their lives. “Should I include spinach with the main course?” or “Will I enjoy Buffy’s party if I attend?” won’t garner a life-changing reading, so they figure why not ask. They might lay out five cards and notice how many are upright and reversed, gathering their yes or no from that. Some people might pull a single card and through the card’s even or odd number determine their yes or no.
The only time I can see a yes/no question being helpful in a tarot consultation is after all the pros and cons have been assessed, helpful resources and worst block revealed, and all the tarot information has been weighed alongside what you already know yet you still can’t make up your mind around an issue. A quick yes/no procedure can be the tie-breaker. The trick, however, is to notice your emotional reaction to the answer that the tarot gives you. That’s your real anwer. If the card you pick says, “Yes” and your heart sinks a bit, then the true answer for you is, “No.” If the tarot says, “No” and you feel really good about that, your feelings tell you the response.
A more empowering yes/no tarot process is a simple (yet somehow deep) two-card tarot spread:
Card 1 = “Yes, if…”
Card 2 = “No, if…”
For example, I’m asking, “Should I publish this blog post about yes/no questions? Card 1 is The Tower: Yes, if I want to catalyse a conversation filled with strong opinions. Yes, if I want to stir the pot. Yes, if I want to take down or reform some old ideas about the tarot. Card 2 is The Hanged One: No, if I want tarot to stay in limbo. No, if I feel like procrastinating. No, if I feel that someone will punish me in some way for my ideas. In this moment, the active, catalysing energy feels better than putting things off and even the idea that someone might punish me for my ideas. Who cares?!
Ultimately, my preference is to avoid yes/no inquiries. There’s always a “what”, a “how”, or a “where in my life” lurking somewhere not too far beneath the surface of such an question. The questions behind the questions, the open-ended, conversational queries interest me and they’ll make your journey to fulfillment much richer.