The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth!
What do you do if you are reading someone's tarot cards and what they reveal is not what you know your subject wants to hear? Is honesty the best policy, or should you 'fake it'?
Although this may be obvious, you should never pass on false information to your subject. They may be desperate to be told that the person they are in love with returns their affections, for instance, but if the cards make it clear that this is not the case, it would not only be dishonest to tell your subject that it was, it would also be unfair.
Nevertheless, it would also not be a good idea to simply say "No, your affections are not returned. You need to forget about this person". Although it may be true, it is not going to help your subject and they are not likely to come back to you for any future readings or recommend you to anyone if your reading is as negative as this!
What you should do is study the tarot cards for a while and look for something positive to tell your subject at the same time as you explain to them that whatever it is they want is not likely to be possible.
For example, if your subject has their heart set on a job they've applied for and you can see that they are not going to be offered this job, it will help them enormously if you can say "Unfortunately, the cards seem to be saying that this particular job isn't right for you, but there are signs of a much more suitable job coming up for you in the very near future". This does not say outright, "You're not going to get the job", but it doesn't need to. Your subject will work this out for themselves from the way you have worded your 'prediction' and, by ending on a positive note rather than a negative one, you will leave them feeling hopeful and optimistic, rather than disappointed and unhappy.
If you cannot see anything positive at all in the reading, you can either try a different layout, or tell your subject that the cards cannot answer their question at the present time, as matters still seem to be undecided. Your subject may well guess from this answer that the signs are probably unfavourable, but it is better this way than actually hearing it put into words. However, if you look hard enough you should be able to find something positive to tell your subject, however small; it would be unusual if you were unable to do this.
As another example, if your subject were to ask you whether they are ever likely to be free of debt and you can see quite plainly that this is unlikely unless they learn to manage their finances better, TELL THEM THAT. Don't say something vague like "Well, things might get better in the future, but I'm not sure when". Instead, explain that it appears they need to improve their budgeting techniques and perhaps spend less on luxuries so they have more available for essentials. If you end by saying, "If you are able to do this, and from the look of the cards it appears that you can, you should find that your financial situation improves as a result", this should be enough to give the subject real hope as opposed to false hope and spur them on to try to help themselves a little more in the future.
Some readers actually start a session by pointing out to their subjects that they will only be telling them what the cards reveal, regardless of whether or not it is what the subject wishes to hear. Unfortunately, this is not necessarily going to make any difference if a subject has convinced themselves that something is real when it isn't.
For instance, you may tell your subject that there is no way their current partner is the one they will spend the rest of their life with (at the same time as also telling them that they will eventually meet the right person, of course!), but if your subject is convinced that they have already met their 'True Love', they will just assume you are interpreting the cards incorrectly and continue to believe what they want to believe. It won't be until their current relationship has ended and they meet the person you told them about that they will realise you were right all along.
As a Tarot reader, sometimes you must also be something of an amateur psychologist. As such, you need to realise that the reality of a subject's situation and what they believe to be the reality of their situation are not necessarily the same thing. When interpreting the cards, therefore, you must always remember to bear this in mind.
You should never tell your subject something purely because it is obvious it is what they want you to tell them. Although this may make them feel better in the short-term, in the long-term they are only going to end-up disappointed. Not only that, it will not do your reputation as a reader any good either. As long as you sweeten the pill before you ask your subject to swallow it, in the long run they will thank you for it.
© Julie E. Lewis