Going Pro: Third Party Readings

the lovers tarot sharman caselli third party readings
The Lovers (Detail), Sharman Caselli Tarot Deck (c) 2008 Connections Book Publishing Ltd.

One of those ethical dilemmas Tarot readers have to grapple with are third party readings.

There are different kinds of third party readings; some are subtle mainly found in relationship readings, others are more blatant, where the question doesn’t relate to the person requesting the reading at all.

One of those blatant third party questions I once got was How is my sister, and is her husband treating her well?

The lady, who asked was from the Asian community, and although I can only guess why she asked about her sister, it may have related to an arranged marriage.

I can completely sympathise with the querent; of course she wants to know how her sister is and if she’s okay, but I have explained already in this post that it is difficult to connect with third parties in a reading, and often as a result the messages from the Tarot can be confusing, unclear or even wrong.

Still, who wouldn’t want to put the querent’s mind at rest, reassuring her that all is well and her sister is happy.

But then I’d be guessing, at worst lying (what should I say, if I drew the Tower, Death or any other such card?).

Whatever I’d say about her sister couldn’t be validated, whereas a reading for the querent directly can be. That’s another reason why third party readings such as this example are risky and should be avoided.

Most questions Tarot readers get asked are about love and relationships.

Will he come back to me?

How does he feel about me?

What are his long-term intentions?

Is he cheating on me? 

are all questions focusing on someone other than the client, yet when it comes to a relationship it takes two to make it work (or not).

How many relationship spreads include positions such as What person A brings to the relationship/what person B brings to the relationship (and person B not being present during the reading).

Person B’s strengths, weaknesses and whatnot are analysed and dissected in a reading, while that person is absent; it’s very much talking behind someone’s back, judging them and making choices about the relationship without them, all based on a reading.

In my time as a professional Tarot reader I have noticed that questions about other people, especially in relationship readings, are deep down about the client.

When we examine in a reading what the other person is bringing to the relationship, I always point out that the answer is likely to be the perception of the querent.

For example, the Hanged Man is drawn in that position. Rather than saying “it seems like your boyfriend doesn’t want to commit or wants to take your relationship further”, I’d ask “do you feel your relationship isn’t going anywhere?”, “Are there circumstances that prevent you from moving forward together?”

Here you can see the difference between a third party (first answer) and a client-focused (second answer) reading. The latter can be validated by client and offers more scope to explore the bigger picture.

And yet, we still take the other person into account by looking at the relationship as a whole but from the client’s perspective.

Whereas blatant third party readings should be avoided, relationship readings that take into account both parties (where one of them is absent) can be explored by focusing on the feelings and perceptions of the client in relation to their partner. This way we don’t guess the other person’s intentions, and perhaps we can also help the client figure out for themselves how the other person is feeling.

How do you feel about third party readings? How do you answer them? Have you been using relationship spreads that include questions about the other – absent – person? 

I’d love to hear from you.

Warmest wishes,

Christiane

 

Transform your life this year:

Tarot Readings – Insightful guidance when you need it
Learn Tarot – A magickal, inspirational tool for life
Tarot eBooks – Great value, innovative Tarot study material

Make sure you subscribe to my feed to receive the latest news and Tarot articles straight into your inbox when published.

 

You can also connect with me on 
FacebookTwitterPinterestTumblr and Instagram

 

4 thoughts on “Going Pro: Third Party Readings”

  1. Thank you Christiane, that put words in a way that explain my own feelings and thoughts about this third party thing. I don’t mind relationship questions per se, but trying to find out things about someone who hasn’t asked or given permission is a different matter.

  2. While I do try to make it as much as possible about the client rather than their love interest, I will answer questions about the possibility of the love interest committing or not as the case may be. I do find the cards are quite clear about these things and have no moral issue with reading on questions like that but completely respect the decision of those who won’t. In an ideal world, we would all be completely honest and transparent in our dealings with romantic partners and then there would be no need to use the cards to divine where things are heading.

    1. If a client insists on wanting to know about a love interest’s long-term intentions, I’d always be happy to look into it for them, but I’d also advise them that the card drawn could reflect their own energy rather than the other person’s. For example the Ten of Pentacles suggests commitment, but it could also express the querent’s deepest desire for commitment. An alternative would be to look at the relationship as a whole: where is it heading? The Ten of Pentacles may indeed suggest it’s going to last. I’d just make the querent aware of these possibilities. At the same time, I do love good old-fashioned third party readings and wouldn’t hesitate to ask a fellow tarot reader to read this way for me, hehe 😉
      Thank you for leaving your comment, Lisa!

Thank you for leaving your comment. I will respond as soon as I can: