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Fear Inducing Readings


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I wondered something. Let's say I'm in a moment where I'm having a lot of fear about something. I do a reading during that emotional state, and the cards I pull tend to validate my fear, which makes me more afraid. But if I calm down and come back to the question later, I may get a totally different result. Maybe a positive one that puts my fears to rest. Do any of you ever experience anything like that? And if so, what do you make of it?

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I think that is kinda normal that the state you're in affects your reading. I find it hard to turn my emotions off and leave them out completely. I try to take a few minutes to check in with myself before a reading, doesn't matter if it is for me or for somebody else, and find out what state I'm in, to acknowledge what is going on in myself because it may affect my reading.

Maybe don't read when you're upset and wait until you're calmer? Or if you need something at the time you're upset, pick cards open and face up to find a positive anchor card instead to focus on?

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I find the desire to pull for myself when I'm stressing about something, thinking, if I can tap into something outside of myself, it will provide a sense of objectivity, but that doesn't ever really seem to work out that way. I'm starting to think that may not be a good strategy. But why do you think that is? 

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4 hours ago, Helena said:

I find the desire to pull for myself when I'm stressing about something, thinking, if I can tap into something outside of myself, it will provide a sense of objectivity, but that doesn't ever really seem to work out that way. I'm starting to think that may not be a good strategy. But why do you think that is? 

My theory. 🙂 

 

In this situation, you are the sitter. And, you are also the reader. The cards are just a conduit; a mirror. They may seem objective, but they are helping you to answer a question about your personal perception.

 

So, when you’ve got racing thoughts or nervous energy, when you read for yourself, you will not be experiencing objectivity. Without focus, calm, and the openness required to see an answer outside of where your mind is at, all you will see are your own fears. Fears will always find you! It’s just their nature, I think.

 

I can already see subjective cracks in the logic I spit above, but it’s my take on why this happens. I hope it helps 🙏

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I have no idea why that happens. Cards are contrary that way. I get the worst possible cards when I'm really worried, too. Always have. It's not subjective - I view the cards as positive, negative or neutral, none of this ambiguity stuff. And when I go looking for reassurance that maybe things aren't THAT bad, the cards tell me "BOMBS FALL, EVERYONE DIES." It's absurd. 

 

They work great any other time.

 

Don't take it seriously. The best course of action is to have a trusted friend who is a good reader. Let someone else do it. A small draw is all you need. That gets you a realistic answer that doesn't involve total annihilation. 😉

Edited by katrinka
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13 hours ago, vulprix said:

In this situation, you are the sitter. And, you are also the reader. The cards are just a conduit; a mirror. They may seem objective, but they are helping you to answer a question about your personal perception.

 

So, when you’ve got racing thoughts or nervous energy, when you read for yourself, you will not be experiencing objectivity. Without focus, calm, and the openness required to see an answer outside of where your mind is at, all you will see are your own fears. Fears will always find you! It’s just their nature, I think.

I think this makes good sense. It's kind of along the same vein as why doing a reading for what someone else is thinking or feeling can be flawed. Because your own energies are affecting the messages, and things can get muddled. I've done that before and gotten nothing but the 7 of cups, the 4 of swords, 4 of cups, or anything else that means, "The caller you are trying to reach is unavailable. Please try your call again later." lol 

 

1 hour ago, katrinka said:

I have no idea why that happens. Cards are contrary that way. I get the worst possible cards when I'm really worried, too. Always have. It's not subjective - I view the cards as positive, negative or neutral, none of this ambiguity stuff. And when I go looking for reassurance that maybe things aren't THAT bad, the cards tell me "BOMBS FALL, EVERYONE DIES." It's absurd. 

 

They work great any other time.

 

Don't take it seriously. The best course of action is to have a trusted friend who is a good reader. Let someone else do it. A small draw is all you need. That gets you a realistic answer that doesn't involve total annihilation. 😉

THIS. This is so accurate! Example: My neighbors had a sink hole under their house. Turns out, the surveyors said it's been there for some absurd amount of time, like 15 years, but they discovered it on a total fluke. So, I wanted to pull some cards about the stability of my foundation. What's the absolute WORST card to pull when worried about the stability of your foundation? That's right. The tower. THEN, I pulled the 10 of freaking swords! Good god! In two cards, I've fallen into a pit of death LOL. 

 

So, I waited a while and tried again. Got the 4 of wands lol, which I felt was a message of stability and strong foundations. I ended up just calling a foundation inspector that does free consultations and initial inspections. They're coming Tuesday. But that's happened to me several times, so it's quite validating to know that I'm not the only one. 

Edited by Helena
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Now I wish I'd kept a record of some of those. Elemental dignities can make a huge difference:


ETA: This wasn't one of those readings, just a test drive for a spread. But still...

Edited by katrinka
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@Helena, maybe for the times that you feel anxious and distressed it could be good, if you have a trusted deck of affirmation cards at hand. 

To read a supporting message will help you, to take a deep breath and calm down a bit and then get a better perspective of the situation.♥   

And yes,  as advised, do a Tarot reading later.

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If you are really upset and can't think straight then I would advice you to not read for yourself and to not have anyone else read for you either. It is very hard to process any type of reading when you are in that mindset. But if it is that you are feeling low and you think you could handle a gentle message, then perhaps do a small reading with a softer deck (or ask someone to read for you with one of their most gentle decks). There are many different kind of decks out there and some are more on the brighter and softer side. I do make sure to have one or two such decks in my collection, for myself and others when the situation calls for it. Some people that are still processing trauma or are struggling with chronic depression or grief might benefit from using only such decks for a while. It will be different from person to person, of course. But it is something to consider. 

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timtoldrum

I’ve never subscribed to the view that one should not read if you are too emotional or experiencing strong feelings such as fear. In those situations, however, you do need to be by-the-book as your neutrality will be low. I would also avoid certain packs — preferring more stark designs, such as unillustrated spot cards. 
 

Over time, I have found certain combinations will appear which tell me to put the cards away. It be these fear inducing readings include your back off signs.  Somethings are not meant to be known; seasoned readers will find these signs in their readings. 

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10 hours ago, timtoldrum said:

I’ve never subscribed to the view that one should not read if you are too emotional or experiencing strong feelings such as fear.

 

I never followed that, either. I always try a reading. 

What scares us is the worst case scenario, so we're already worried about that. 

Over the years I've discovered that I'm not fine china, I won't break. Or at least not until it's time to shuffle off this mortal coil. 😉 
It might be different for someone else, some people are more fragile. You have to know your limits. 
 

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In those situations, however, you do need to be by-the-book as your neutrality will be low.

 

Yes.

 

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I would also avoid certain packs — preferring more stark designs, such as unillustrated spot cards. 

 

That's an excellent suggestion. I prefer that to "kinder, gentler" Tarots. 
 

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Over time, I have found certain combinations will appear which tell me to put the cards away. It be these fear inducing readings include your back off signs.  Somethings are not meant to be known; seasoned readers will find these signs in their readings. 

 

That's a good way of looking at it. Occasionally the cards do leave us to ride things out on our own. And I've seen this concept in older writings, IIRC.
People have gotten away from it now, or rather they think they have. It crops up these days as "not becoming dependent."

What is, is. And I think attempts to modernize reading are ultimately futile, and just fuzz up the picture.
I like "some things are not meant to be known" much better. 🙂
 

Edited by katrinka
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On 11/19/2020 at 4:16 PM, katrinka said:

Now I wish I'd kept a record of some of those. Elemental dignities can make a huge difference:


ETA: This wasn't one of those readings, just a test drive for a spread. But still...

I've spent the last couple of days unpacking this one lol. I have questions...

 

So it would seem that the style of deck and one's belief in the historical philosophy of tarot would sway one in determining what elements they believe to be attributed to what suit...swords with water or air e.g.  Does the element have any bearing on the facet? In other words, does water always go with emotions? Or are swords intellect, logic, communication, etc regardless?  

 

The royal road of life spread sounds interesting, but I did some searching and wasn't able to find an example...only books of that name. Can you tell me more about this?

 

If we take my example of a panic spread, which has no real form btw, just me pulling two cards for info, which probably exacerbates the anxiety because it can be left up to such vague interpretation. And when ones intuition is taken over with fear,  the message is not going to come through clearly. 

 

@timtoldrum I definitely have my cards that say it's time to stop. The 10 of swords is one of them. It usually goes, 4 of swords - a gentle "give it a rest". Then the 10 of swords - "shut this sh-- down". And then death lol - "for God's sake, stop!" I have, on rare occasions gotten the devil or the magician. The magician in my deck is a big ✋ that literally looks like someone holding up their hand to say stop lol. This tends to happen when I go down a clarification rabbit hole. I'm still learning, so I really went down some rabbit holes. 

Edited by Helena
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@Mi-Shell @Raggydoll i generally like decks that are more balanced. So, I don't have any as of yet that are of the more gentle style...even my angel deck has some harsh ones. I feel like, if all the messages are positive, is there any point in asking for advice or, what have you? That comes with a big BUT though...BUT, that doesn't help when I am overly emotional or looking for reassurance. Because let's be honest, I'm not looking for objectivity in those cases...not really. I'm looking for comfort and peace of mind, if I'm honest. So, that makes me reconsider a deck meant to be one of reassurance. But then idk...because I don't like it when anyone just tells me what I want to hear. I'm not gonna go to the ever-pleasing friend who always takes my side no matter what for real, hard stuff because the perspective is truncated...you know? If I go to the logical, well-rounded, not afraid to put me in my place friend, and THEY reassure me, I'm going to trust it a whole lot more. 

 

But the balance is key. This philosophy has led me to certain people who I thought were objective, but who were really just pessimistic a--holes. Live and learn, I guess. 

Edited by Helena
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37 minutes ago, Helena said:

@Mi-Shell @Raggydoll i generally like decks that are more balanced. So, I don't have any as of yet that are of the more gentle style...even my angel deck has some harsh ones. I feel like, if all the messages are positive, is there any point in asking for advice or, what have you? That comes with a big BUT though...BUT, that doesn't help when I am overly emotional or looking for reassurance. Because let's be honest, I'm not looking for objectivity in those cases...not really. I'm looking for comfort and peace of mind, if I'm honest. So, that makes me reconsider a deck meant to be one of reassurance. But then idk...because I don't like it when anyone just tells me what I want to hear. I'm not gonna go to the ever-pleasing friend who always takes my side no matter what for real, hard stuff because the perspective is truncated...you know? If I go to the logical, well-rounded, not afraid to put me in my place friend, and THEY reassure me, I'm going to trust it a whole lot more. 

 

But the balance is key. This philosophy has led me to certain people who I thought were objective, but who were really just pessimistic a--holes. Live and learn, I guess. 

There are decks that are softer but still contain difficult themes, its just that the depictions aren't as confronting and sometimes the message in the guidebook has more guidance and support to it than you'd normally see. That is how I define a gentle deck. I am personally not drawn to affirmation decks or 'all positive' decks. I want balance too. I would rather calm my mind into a blank state or do mindfulness meditations instead of citing affirmations, but that's just my personality. One deck that I often use when I am feeling overwhelmed is the Inner compass oracle. It is very balanced but never brings me down. There are others as well. You could try searching for 'hug decks' since many people call them that. I know there are youtube videos on the topic also. 

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1 hour ago, Raggydoll said:

One deck that I often use when I am feeling overwhelmed is the Inner compass oracle. It is very balanced but never brings me down.

This looks nice...I'm going to look into it more. 

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9 hours ago, Helena said:

I've spent the last couple of days unpacking this one lol. I have questions...

 

So it would seem that the style of deck and one's belief in the historical philosophy of tarot would sway one in determining what elements they believe to be attributed to what suit...swords with water or air e.g.  Does the element have any bearing on the facet? In other words, does water always go with emotions? Or are swords intellect, logic, communication, etc regardless?  

 

I'll defer to @timtoldrum on this, but for me at present, yes. Water is what it is, some people just choose to switch it to another suit. 
I'm taking a "when in Rome" approach. When using RWS or Thoth, Cups are still water because the decks were obviously designed with that in mind. But with the Thomson Leng/Tarot Fortune Telling Cards and the Eudes Picard, I go with Picard's correspondences. 

I don't believe there's a single "historical philosophy of Tarot".  People are people, and everybody had their own ideas then, as now. Trying to narrow it down...well, this is essentially a fantasy, lol:
 

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The royal road of life spread sounds interesting, but I did some searching and wasn't able to find an example...only books of that name. Can you tell me more about this?

 

 It's a spread that was included in the original LWB for the Thomson Leng:

00RR.jpg.5f57cb17e5b7d916932befc3d2ae6ac1.jpg

 

And that's all we know. 😉

The image you see above is from the reproduction available here: https://www.tarotcollectibles.com/store/p148/Thomson-Leng-Tarot.html

And back when I first got the deck, I blogged on it here: https://fennario.wordpress.com/2020/08/25/thomson-leng-where-have-you-been-all-my-life/

 

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If we take my example of a panic spread, which has no real form btw, just me pulling two cards for info, which probably exacerbates the anxiety because it can be left up to such vague interpretation. And when ones intuition is taken over with fear,  the message is not going to come through clearly. 

 

That's my issue with what people call " intuitive reading,"
Some intuition comes into play in any reading, but IMHO it should be grounded in actual card meanings.

 

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@timtoldrum I definitely have my cards that say it's time to stop. The 10 of swords is one of them. It usually goes, 4 of swords - a gentle "give it a rest". Then the 10 of swords - "shut this sh-- down". And then death lol - "for God's sake, stop!" I have, on rare occasions gotten the devil or the magician. The magician in my deck is a big ✋ that literally looks like someone holding up their hand to say stop lol. This tends to happen when I go down a clarification rabbit hole. I'm still learning, so I really went down some rabbit holes. 

 

I would look for combinations that say "stop." Otherwise you're shutting down the reading every time a bad card turns up. 
(And yes, bad cards exist. They can be good in certain contexts, but they're still bad for whatever they're alluding to. Death is the end, the Tower is destruction, etc.)

And...clarification cards? If you're having trouble interpreting what's on the table, why would more cards help?
I'd be interested to know who started the "clarification cards" concept. I suspect they didn't know what they were talking about, but people just kept spreading the idea... 😉

Edited by katrinka
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24 minutes ago, katrinka said:

 

 

 

And...clarification cards? If you're having trouble interpreting what's on the table, why would more cards help?
I'd be interested to know who started the "clarification cards" concept. I suspect they didn't know what they were talking about, but people just kept spreading the idea... 😉

Lol the hearding cats was funny 🤭 and thank you for the spread...I shall give that a try. 

 

And yes...I've mostly abandoned the clarifiers for that reason. They rarely make anything any clearer. Depending on the position, I might ask for more of a specifier than a clarifier, if that make sense. 

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timtoldrum
On 11/21/2020 at 11:11 PM, katrinka said:

 

I'll defer to @timtoldrum on this, but for me at present, yes. Water is what it is, some people just choose to switch it to another suit. 
I'm taking a "when in Rome" approach. When using RWS or Thoth, Cups are still water because the decks were obviously designed with that in mind. But with the Thomson Leng/Tarot Fortune Telling Cards and the Eudes Picard, I go with Picard's correspondences. 

I don't believe there's a single "historical philosophy of Tarot".  People are people, and everybody had their own ideas then, as now. Trying to narrow it down...well, this is essentially a fantasy, lol:

 

On 11/21/2020 at 1:48 PM, Helena said:

So it would seem that the style of deck and one's belief in the historical philosophy of tarot would sway one in determining what elements they believe to be attributed to what suit...swords with water or air e.g.  Does the element have any bearing on the facet? In other words, does water always go with emotions? Or are swords intellect, logic, communication, etc regardless?  


Like @katrinka, I do not believe in a one-true school of thought in tarot. In fact, I am still surprised some still refer to standard meanings or correspondences. 
 

With regards to the elemental associations much depends upon both the perception and attributes of the individual element.  Like @Helena states many associate Swords with intellect and logic and air. Yet, air arises from the combination of heat and moisture — and for this reason, air temperaments (sanguine) can suffer from a lack of concentration and restlessness (their focus evaporates). 
 

So what air is the air of swords? What is the emotions of water — all four can be emotions, so what is the distinctive difference of the water emotion. 
 

To be honest, I find Picard’s water or Brian Williams’ fire closer to the swords’ energy. However, I have come to believe that such associations are all relative—they stem from interpretive techniques (dignities, health, timing)rather than the intrinsic nature of the suits. 

 

My first tarot was the Smith-Astrop Elemental Tarot. The suits are plain fire, earth, air and water. It remains a favourite of mine; however, when a couple of years later I acquired the Richardson-Stringer Prediction deck, I never bothered to translate the elements. I didn’t need to as I was happier with pip meanings I was using then (which I now know were taken from Pratt/Sepharial). 


With regards to stop combinations, mine involve Death and the Ace of Swords. Often if Death falls last, the topic is done and it’s not worth pursuing. Clarification cards seem to have grown from follow-up questions. It was common to pull 2 pip cards to answer a quick follow-up. 

Edited by timtoldrum
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On 11/21/2020 at 6:39 PM, timtoldrum said:

So what air is the air of swords? What is the emotions of water — all four can be emotions, so what is the distinctive difference of the water emotion. 
 

To be honest, I find Picard’s water or Brian Williams’ fire closer to the swords’ energy. However, I have come to believe that such associations are all relative—they stem from interpretive techniques (dignities, health, timing)rather than the intrinsic nature of the suits. 

 

I like this. There is food for thought here. 🙂

 

On 11/21/2020 at 6:39 PM, timtoldrum said:

Clarification cards seem to have grown from follow-up questions. It was common to pull 2 pip cards to answer a quick follow-up. 

 

That makes sense. They started as something useful, but eventually became the vestigial tail of readings, lol.

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timtoldrum
1 hour ago, katrinka said:

I like this. There is food for thought here. 🙂


It is something we have to ponder.
 

If someone associates fire with lightness, inspiration and vitality, then the esoteric interpretation will make sense. It fits with the GD style decks.

 

Yet, if one is familiar with the four qualities, they will know fire arises from heat and dryness. It’s contrary to life. Thus fire is choleric and associated with Mars, the lesser malefic. 

 

The reader is left to determine their view. After that they will need to use decks aligned with their stance. This is one reason I work with pip decks. You they can just eschew... 

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