What Is A Querent?
Querent (Kweer-ent or Kware-ent) is a fancy word for the person in a tarot reading who’s asking the question that the tarot reader will be answering. When you are reading tarot for yourself, you are the querent. I use the word client for a querent who is paying you for your service as a tarot reader.
Using Tarot Spreads
Spreads are a matter of taste. It can be argued that simply every card you lay down and look at while asking a question is a spread. I am going to be slightly more academic than that. To me? A spread is a method of laying down cards in a specific order in a specific pattern to enhance a reader’s ability to answer questions. There is an unlimited number of spreads that can be used. I don’t use anything more complicated than seven cards because that is the limit of the average memory span to remember packets of information.
I personally divide spreads into five categories based on their purpose. Having the querent decide on a category and then pick a specific spread from a list really helped us work as a collaborative team- and that collaboration made for a much better reading experience based on feedback I was given. I did not advertise myself as a psychic; I did advertise myself as a card slinging life coach.
- Forecasting: Spread is intended to predictively answer a question about the future based information regarding the past and present.
- Relationship Advice: Spread is intended to help the querent sort through the feelings and behaviors that shape a relationship with another person; it might address what can be done by the querent to shape the relationship differently.
- Problem-Solving: The querent wants to achieve a specific, tangible goal but there is at least one obstacle in the way. This spread will advise them on how to recognize and overcome an obstacle.
- Self-Development: Spread helps querent recognize current state of wellness and set an achievable goal for some kind of self-improvement.
- Creative: Spread is designed for a creative pursuit like overcoming writer’s block, inspiring a new story or drawing, designing a role-playing character, etc.
Asking The Good Question
Here are some of the best articles on this topic already out there on the web. First learning how to be a good querent will help make you into a great tarot reader. Mastering the art of asking good questions is also a skill that will simplify life when you talk to anyone about anything thereafter. Really.
10 Great Questions to Ask During a Tarot Reading…and a Few That Kinda Suck by Theresa Reed on Medium (Disclosure: Theresa aka The Tarot Lady is a Twitter friend and I’m biased in her favor; she really is a remarkable writer, podcaster, and reader though)
How to Phrase Effective Tarot Card Questions and Get the Most From Your Tarot Reading at Labryinthos.com
The Art Of Asking Powerful Questions In Your Tarot Readings at Biddytarot.com
Questions To Ask In Tarot Readings by Jessica Estrada on Well+Good
Vital Tarot Reader Etiquette
This is a topic I have strong opinions on. I set a high bar for social conduct on myself and want to get called on it when I fall short myself.
Don’t use slurs or hate-speech. Treat every querent with cheerful respect as your default right up to the point they lose your respect. Then cheerfully walk yourself out of the situation or ask them to leave. If they were a paying client, you don’t owe them a refund.
Recognize your own cognitive biases when they trigger. Recognize when something inside you is judging someone else too positively or negatively. Take a moment then to the best of your ability treat this person with ~impartial~ respect and goodwill.
Listen to how your querent expresses themselves. Pay close attention to make sure you understand them. Take notes if you need to. Don’t talk down or patronizingly but do moderate your word choices, tone, speech to make sure they can understand you too. The better you are communicating at the start of the reading, the better the reading is going to go from there.
Let your querent paint the canvas when it comes to how much or how little you both talk about spirituality and metaphysics. Keep an open mind. Respectively work with their personal truths as best you can. Make sure you say “This is what I believe” or “This is what I think” or “For me, I see it as...” rather than applying your personal spiritual or philosophical truth as something universal.
Do not exploit people for money or anything else. Yes, charge a reasonable rate or accept donations. Just don’t manipulate vulnerable people to your own selfish ends. Find a way to support people who support you. Be charitable towards one person less fortunate than yourself with whatever income your tarot work provides. This will help you keep a sense of humility and perspective. Also? If you do believe in spirits, guides or karma? You are probably going to learn that honesty, charity, and humility are a ~really~ good idea.