3 Tips to Phrase Questions for Tarot Readings


Will I meet a tall, dark stranger? When will I get a promotion? What are the winning lottery numbers for this week?

Hmm... is she being facetious? Why yes I am! These types of questions aren't suited for the tarot. Here's why.

Tarot works best as a map or forecast of the present situation. It does not do well with yes or no questions (and what’s the fun in that?), inquires into the affairs of other people, or specific timetables. Because we are constantly changing and our choices affect where we end up – thank goodness! – the future is never guaranteed. We can, however, see what general direction we’re heading in based on how we’re living now.

But fear not. Maybe you are curious about that tall dark stranger. There are many ways to reframe your question to get pertinent information about the situation.

I’ve outlined three tips to help phrase your tarot questions to get a clear and accurate reading.

1.      What do I need to know about…

Use this phrasing to open up a narrow question. If you want to know about that alluring man you just met change you question accordingly:

Is Mr. Handsome interested in me? --> What do I need to know about my growing relationship with Mr. Handsome?

Why it works: Instead of focusing on outcome (yes or no) this question focuses on you and the present moment. It’s much more constructive. With this reading you're not waiting for the yes or no prediction to come true. You get to see how your outlook and actions influence your relationship. Now there’s something you can work with!

2.      How and Why

Use how and why to expand on the journey ahead (how) and your motivations (why). For example, say you want to move and are wondering when you’ll get your act together.

               When will I move? --> How will my move unfold?

Why it works: the reading will reflect the process of moving – including your motivations, fears, incoming energies, etc. - allowing you to gain understanding of the things working for and against you. With this you can gain an idea of how long it can take and give you the opportunity to make changes to slow down or charge full speed ahead.

3.      Focus on Yourself

You may be tempted to ask the tarot about another person. You’re dying to know what your aloof coworker thinks of you. Why not ask the tarot? I don’t think so. Not only is this a fairly shifty thing to do, but it also bypasses the true connection that you as the seeker have with the cards. Use this to your advantage like so:

               What does Trisha think of me? --> Why am I concerned about Trisha’s opinion?

Why it works: You’re refocusing the question back on yourself, the place where you can make the most change. The cards will truly reflect your situation and not overstep into speculating about Trisha’s. If you're thinking that sounds like a boring reading to get, you're right. This exercise helps identify which questions are worth asking tarot. You might want to change your question and choose something more pertinent to you. Good boundaries = good readings. 

To Recap


DO Broaden the focus to the whole situation by avoiding yes and no questions.

DO start your question with “how” and “why” to get the most information.

DO keep it about yourself in readings about relationships with other people.

DON’T limit yourself with fatalistic yes and no questions.

DON’T fixate on specific timelines.

DON’T ask for lottery numbers ;)

Still curious about questions? Stuck on something you’re trying to phrase? Let me know in the comments below. 

For more information on the uses and limitations of tarot see my FAQ and Code of Ethics

Feel like you're got the perfect question you want to explore? I'd love to help answer it! Book a reading with me here