Years back when I first started doing professional readings, I learned an important lesson in Tarot divination. I learned this lesson … the hard way.
Allow me to share with you a story. A story of tragic outcomes.
I had a client who I had spoken to on several occasions. A nice lady who was asking me to do readings about her relationship. Unfortunately her partner was going through a hard time and had become depressed, moody and was drinking heavily. He had recently told her he wanted some time apart from her. My client was very upset and confused. She no longer recognised the man she had been in a good relationship with for three years.
Every time she tried to talk with him he was ether depressed and non responsive, or he was drunk and rude towards her. She could not work out what had caused this change in him. She asked him to get professional help for his depression but it was to no avail, he just stayed in his house all day drinking.
One day my client phoned me and asked for a reading. She told me she had some great news. Her partner had contacted her and for the first time in weeks he was no longer sounding depressed. He was being warm and friendly like the man she use to know. He told me he still loves me and wants to work things out, she said. She asked me to do a reading on whether it was a good idea to visit him, uninvited, later that evening.
I cannot recall exactly what cards came up in the spread, but the whole reading was positive and supportive to her going round to see him. There were positive Cups cards, the 6 of Wands, the 6 of Pentacles, and I remember the Star card and Magician card being in the spread. The only problem was the 3 of Swords as the outcome card.
Perplexed, I pondered on this reading for a while and decided to do another spread, just to double check. The second spread was similar to the first; Really positive cups, wands, pentacles and major arcana cards, but this time with the 10 of Swords as the outcome.
After much deliberation I decided to throw caution to the wind. I told her to go over to see him that very night with a bunch of flowers and a box of chocolates, and a reconciliation would take place.
She happily agreed. She excitedly started to prepare her self to see him thanked me for the reading and asked me to wish her luck. All in a good days work I thought to myself.
The next morning my phone rang. All I could hear was the faint sound of someone sobbing, “Hello who is this?” After some moments a hysterical voice shouted “He hit me.”
It turned out that when my client went round to see him he was very drunk and in a bad mood. He took great exception to her uninvited arrival and physically assaulted her on his door step.
Not one of my best readings.
My client did not blame me for what happened. She said she would have see him that night regardless of what I said.
The Importance of Outcome Cards
The lessons I learned that day were the irrationality of drunks and the importance of outcome cards.
Since this disastrous and extreme reading I always pay close attention to outcome cards. Particularly when doing readings on specific questions. If a problematic card comes up as an outcome such as the 10 of Swords or 5 of Cups regardless of the rest of the reading, it is always good to advice caution.
I recently came across this with a client who wanted to know if it was a good idea to invest money in a business. He was very enthusiastic about this venture and said it just felt right. The reading looked great apart from a 5 of Pentacles outcome. In this situation there can be a heaviness in giving the reading the benefit of the doubt. In my opinion this is not a good idea. I told him not to invest. He found out a week later the business went bust and he would have lost his money if he had invested.
Some people might be thinking this is just obvious. The outcome card is the card that defines the answer to any question, and that is true; but when the pressure is on and the client really has their heart set on a positive outcome, and the rest of the reading suggests that is going to happen, there can be an enormous temptation to overlook a bad outcome card.
I guess it depends on what type of spread you are using, but with basic spreads or the Celtic Cross, I would always use the outcome card as the indicator of what outcome will actually materialise in reality.
Reading Tarot cards can be very difficult. I hope by sharing this story with you some terrible readings, broken relationships and tears can be avoided.