Here are the methods I know of used in Tarot reading, please contact me using the option below if you can think of any others.
Pull the handle and spin the wheels...
Computer software - just enter your details, press the button and wait for results.
If you believe that the Questor influences their cards by handling them, then this method must be pretty much a non-starter.
And if you feel instead that the cards, rather than helping you predict the future, work by helping you process conscious and sub-conscious thoughts to reach a conclusion, then just buy a set of cards yourself and learn how to read them for free, right here. A Reader may well also be attuned enough to pick up on your body language, and to help you find an answer through dialogue.
And if you think that the Reader has a part to play in the process through their experience and interaction, then silicon and plastic probably won't be an adequate replacement.
Make it up
This is where the Reader has no idea of what the cards mean, but just makes it up as they go along. Often a lot of 'everything-in-the-garden-is-rosy / this-time-next-year-you'll-be-a-millionaire' promises.
Sometimes it will be more of a 'You've got the Grim' warnings of fuzzy and unspecified doom and disasters
Either way, a pretty lazy and short-term way of going about things.
At the very first 'pro' readings I gave, a guest told me of a friend who gave a series of wonderful Tarot readings at a shopping centre. All went well that day, but at future sessions they had no idea of what they had said the time before to the victims who came back. Quite a few of whom were rather unhappy anyway, since the promised wealth and riches in abundance had failed to materialise...
'Cold' and 'Warm' reading
These involve a very clever mix of psychology, word games, flattery, common traits, research and bluff.
Someone experienced in their use can use any medium they like - cards, crystals, crystal balls, tea leaves, chicken giblets, star signs - whatever, and provide a frighteningly detailed and accurate profile of you.
To read more about how cold reading works,
or if you want to find out more about warm reading,
please click here.
Although we tend to associate normal playing cards with magicians, for some reason the same link does not seem to happen with Tarot cards.>.
This is a big mistake. Because of the mystery that surrounds them, the strong pictures and their relative scarcity in comparison with a normal deck, even basic card tricks with them are very effective indeed.
I've watched a magician/Tarot reader do an opening routine with the major cards, where he knew exactly which ones had been chosen (and no, I won't tell you how it works, just trust me - it does, every time).
And I use a really simple trick that can freak people out, although I'm careful who I choose and always 'come clean' about it being a trick (but not the method) afterwards.
Reading the cards - just the cards
This is where the Reader has actually done their homework and learnt the individual meaning of each and every card, how they relate to each other and what the overall spread of cards would seem to indicate.
There is no verbal interaction between Questor and Reader, no attempt to work together and forge a reading through asking questions as to how the cards could be relevant.
The result is pretty much the same as if the Questor had bought some cards, shuffled and/or cut them and looked up the meanings themselves
Reading the cards - working together
As well as giving the Questor the meanings of cards in themselves, and in the context of their positions, the Reader also works with them to establish a broader pattern. Some personal details may help identify secondary meanings, and shed more light on the bigger picture.
It certainly makes for a more fulfilling reading.
And, of course, there is the
Mix of techniques
It is quite easy to mix different methods together.
Don't forget that a magician may well be skilled in both mentalism and card tricks.
I'll be honest here and admit that there have been times when it seemed prudent, when parents asked to have a reading for young children, for me to back off from giving a full-on interpretation in favour of something a lot lighter in nature. I used a mixture of cold reading and making it up to give exactly the reading that the parent wanted to hear.
Other Tarot reading methods?
If you know of any other ways to perform a Tarot reading, please feel free to share it.