One topic I see come up again and again in Tarot books and online discussion is whether or not you should throw the cards more than once for the same question. I say “Tarot” here, but you can raise the issue with pretty much any form of divination, be it horary astrology, geomancy, or whatever.
Most Tarot readers will say “no.”
Me? I say “sometimes.”
Right out of the gate, let me tell you when you shouldn’t throw the cards.
Don’t throw the cards when asking the question has become a habit, or has otherwise turned into a mechanical or rote process. In a Tarot reading, you actually need to be open to what the Tarot has to say, and be invested in the answer. Once you’ve asked a question three, four, or twelve times, you can’t possibly care what the answer is.
Consider these two questions:
“What’s the weather going to be like today?”
“Should I buy that new coat I saw on sale?”
Either one of these questions would be fine to ask once, or even once in a while, provided you really want to know the answer, and are willing to listen to it when you receive it.
However, if you throw the cards every day looking for a weather report, you’re going to be disappointed. Wanting to know if your wedding will get rained out is one thing. Wanting the Tarot to play morning meteorologist for funsies in another thing entirely.
Similarly, if you throw the cards every time you see a new outfit on sale, but end up buying it every time no matter what the Tarot has to say, don’t expect the cards to take the reading any more seriously than you do.
If there’s a pair of golden rules for divination it’s these: You need to be seriously interested in the answer, and you need to take the answer seriously. If asking a question more than once is a clear violation of one of these two principles, you’re better off leaving the Tarot deck on the shelf.
The times they are a changing
Let’s say you have a friend named Alice. She’s been on a couple of dates with a man named Bob, and she wants to know if they have a future together. So, she asks you for a Tarot reading.
You throw the cards and see several positive signs. You tell her this, Alice is delighted, and she begins a very happy relationship.
However, six months later Alice comes to you and says that Bob has been a bit distant the last week, and she learned through a mutual friend that he had coffee with his ex a few days ago. She’s worried, and wants you to throw the cards again.
“Do I really have a future with him,” she asks.
Should you throw the cards? Let’s say you do.
This time, things don’t look so good. Bob is clearly getting back together with his ex, and Alice’s relationship is all but over.
Does this reading contradict your earlier one? Not in the least. Back then, Alice did have a future with Bob…almost six month’s worth of a future to be precise. And now, unfortunately, that future seems to be over.
What this is an example of is changing circumstances. While it looks like Alice asked the same question twice, in truth, her second question was very different from the first. Here, let me rephrase them to show you what I mean.
Alice’s First Question: “Will I get into a relationship with Bob?”
Alice’s Second Question: “Will I stay in a relationship with Bob?”
Whenever you’re wondering if you should throw the cards two or more times for the same question, you should always consider whether or not the circumstances surrounding the question have changed so much that it isn’t really the same question at all.
So many ways
One last thing I should probably talk about is consulting multiple divination methods for the same question. For instance, I not only read Tarot, I also make heavy use of astrology, including horary astrology.
Do I ever ask the same question of both systems?
All the time.
Frequently, when I’m using one of these systems to either ask a specific question, or to get a “read” on a specific situation, I’ll get the gist of the answer, but something will be…”off”. Maybe there’s an oddly-placed planet which seems important, but I’m not seeing how. Or there’s a card on the table which doesn’t seem to fit in with the rest of them.
I don’t much care for that sort of ambiguity, so I’ll turn to the other method and ask the same question, casting a chart if I had thrown cards and vice-versa.
When I do this, though, I have a very hard and fast rule:
The second reading has to look a lot like the first one, or else I ignore it entirely.
For instance, let’s say Alice came to me with her questions about Bob. I threw the cards six months ago, gave her the green light, and now she wants to know what’s going on.
If I was to do both a Tarot reading and a horary chart for her question this time, I should see the same general situation in each. I should see Alice and Bob splitting up, and Bob going back to his ex.
Different systems of divination each come with their own nuances. They should all provide more or less the same, root answer to any question you ask, but they’ll also provide their own specific details and shades of meaning.
When I use astrology and the Tarot to answer the same question, it’s those little differences in the details that I’m looking for. I’m not looking for a radical new take on the whole situation.
So if I do happen to get two wildly-different answers (which almost never happens), I throw away the results of the second divination and stick with the first.
Sometimes we just have to settle for the answer we’re given.
In the interest of full disclosure, I often ask the same question multiple times, even when I probably shouldn’t. It’s the issue I struggle with the most, and trying to restrain myself from constantly “nagging” my deck is an endless fight—particularly when I’m reading for people close to me.
I’ve often had a friend or family member who was struggling with some complicated and disruptive situation, and I’ve thrown the cards asking what I could do to help them.
“What does So-and-So need from me right now?”
That’s probably the question I ask the most. And I’ve sometimes found myself asking it multiple times a week, where “So-and-So” was the same loved one.
In almost all cases, though, the song remains the same. I see the same or very similar cards come up again and again, offering the same advice and support. This makes complete sense, because I’m asking the same question, and the circumstances surrounding the question haven’t changed. I should see the same cards, because I’m asking about the same situation.
In a way, I see this as strong evidence that divination works. I also see it as a reason not to worry too much that I might be getting on my deck’s nerves.
Any question is worth asking, so long as it’s sincerely asked.
If you would like a Tarot or natal astrology reading, please visit my Consultations page. I would be happy to help.