The Responsibilities around Tarot and Oracle Readings 1

There are common points in time during which people may look for a psychic reading or a card reading. It’s usually one of two possibilities: They are going through a period of difficulty, or there is no terrible difficulty, but they are ready (overdue!) for a change. The card reader in these moments serves a role that most of the querant’s friends and relatives cannot fill: to provide a very different and possibly more objective view of querant’s dilemma.

The potential vulnerability of some querants means the reader needs to be even more careful around their reading. This goes beyonds trying to make sense of the querant’s cards or energy (same thing in my readings); it is to be truthful about the potential pitfalls and opportunities that come up; making sure the querant understands that nothing can be 100% correct and predictive–by no means should a querant ever think anything is outside of their control, or that they are a victim of circumstance.

There is always a “best option/result”  that can be reached for in any dilemma. (I usually have one card that sits at the top of a spread as the highest good or highest potential of the situation.) It usually requires a transformation, realisation, or an evolution on the querant’s part. All challenges are, after all, opportunities to take responsibility and to grow.

Again because of the potential vulnerability of querants: any suggestion and advice given in a reading should be delivered with the caveat that it is the querant who needs to take final responsibility for their own decisions. The reader supplies information only.

The accuracy of the information is for the querant to judge, which is why a good reading includes describing the current circumstances with as much detail and nuance as the reader can supply for the querant to confirm. I call this the “parlour trick” portion of a reading because the cards can get pretty bang on, working on the principle that the universe is holographic and everything is connected. This part is also still consensus reality. Potentials are harder to understand and pin down.

My personal experience and training also tries to “up” the accuracy of card readings by preparing for readings–and the space used for readings–with shamanic techniques to connect with God/Spirit/Source and spirit guides beforehand.

Every reader is different. My style evolved with every new thing I learned. What I use now allows me to read with the feeling of safety and trust in myself. This trust and the strong feeling of connection also allows me to vary my reading methods and spreads, depending on what feels right for each query. Often the results can surprise even myself and provide quite a show for the querant (colourful, viewer-friendly cards help). This is why working with the intuition–as opposed to rote memorisation or fixed methods–is exciting, and watching other readers expands one’s repertoire.


I’ve got two ways of approaching boundaries in readings. One, strangely, comes from my Journalism background:

Don’t make up information that isn’t there.

It’s taken my meditation experience to know the difference between thinking and receiving intuitive information. Thinking takes effort; receiving is effortless. My mental focus is usually on maintaining awareness of my own state of mind, how the information is flowing, and if there is a way I need to deliver it responsibly and kindly–the only thinking I will entertain during a reading!

The other thing I watch is that:

I don’t impose my interpretation of the situation as THE reality.

It is presented as a possibility for the querant feel out: if the new information of the motivations of the various players sounds plausible.

This is a psychological boundary, leaving space for the querant to interpret and judge the information as useful or not. Again, in a strange way, my previous experience with narcissisic abuse have made me very aware about psychological boundaries, so I keep my readings clear of gaslighting, judgments, and any invalidation of the querant’s experience.

“Difficult” readings

There can be people who are hard to read for. Four years ago, in my first-ever angel oracle workshop that I attended, participants had to read for one another and I practiced with a woman who did not say over 5 words to me. She kept her head and her gaze down, never meeting my eyes, and in retrospect, was closed and self-protective with her energy. As reading experiences go, this then makes it hard to know if the reading is hitting the mark (not that a reader should ever massage the card meanings just to make querants happy) and on a serious note, makes me worry if the querant is even in a strong-enough place to hear and find benefit from the reading.

Years later at a spiritual event, I would run into another woman who, upon finding out that I read cards, said that she went to readers often but that none of them ever got anything right.

I didn’t offer, because I knew it was a futile exercise. Even statistically it was unlikely to be as she said; it was a lot more probable that she was not facing something; and I had no desire whatsoever to prove that I was better (or not) than the other readers she had gone to. Readings done for the ego (of the reader or the querant) just aren’t worth it.

“Best” readings

I’ve purchased readings myself, in addition to giving readings to others in the spirit of fun, or at worst, to confirm if I’m on the right track during a challenging time. Almost all of these have been wonderful, though this may also just be a universal rule when boundaries are respected, when I am clear on my own responsibilities and do not place crazy expectations on the reading to say only what I want.

“Worst” reading ever experienced

This was a strange one that I received for free, from someone who later showed themselves to have tendencies towards emotional abuse. (We had a friendly working relationship at the time of the reading.)

It’s not unusual for card readings that start with the querant shuffling the deck.

It is more unusual (but still within the norm) to also instruct the querant to draw their own cards within a reading.

It is NOT normal to keep telling them they’ve picked the wrong card. And that they’ve got to keep going till they’ve drawn the “right” one. And to have this happen multiple times during the drawn-out reading.

It’s needless because the reader can more easily do that, instead of forcing the querant off-balance with the exercise and giving them feelings of inadequacy. (Not to mention no querant should be expected to read their own cards if they’re paying someone else to do that!) Of course it would turn out later that this person liked reading like this, possibly part of their business strategy to push their healing/curse-removal services right after the negating and fear-peddling. And though I would usually hesitate judging other readers harshly, I would classify this style of reading and operating as crossing a line.

Last Word

I have found it good to centre and ground my querants right before and right after all readings that I do in person. In a shop full of singing bowls (in which I work every Sunday) this is fun and enjoyable; and ensures I’m reading for a person who is energetically “self-contained” and strong, rather than off balance. This strengthening can also be done with essential oils. The energies I want to work with, even in reading a querant’s, I want to be their “best”, and not their lowest, fear-driven or desperate thoughts and beliefs. The best answers for them will come from their guides and Higher Self, and I feel my role is not only to connect them with the higher guidance from their spiritual team, but to strengthen querants over the course of their reading.

Even at the same time I think I’m just a overglorified confidante sometimes. But you know what? That’s a fun role too.

About Janet Chui

Janet is the artist and creator behind the Self-Love Oracle. Drawing fantastical subjects since childhood and holding a B.A. in Journalism, she's worked in tourism and both print and web publishing. After her experiences with motherhood, divorce, Tibetan Buddhism, healing, and the supernatural, she pushes others to explore their creativity and to share their stories. She can be reached for her editing, illustration, and design services, as well as creative coaching, here.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

One thought on “The Responsibilities around Tarot and Oracle Readings

  • Col Jackson

    Gee Janet, youd be a great person to meet. I’d love it if you ever came to Australia to do a art and spiritually intuitive course on the Gold Coast near where I live. Seems like you might have learnt your lessons the hard way like a lot of us but you still have your quirky fun side…I really like that & it makes me feel better about MY quirky side lol. Great work, great Love & Life, Colleen x