Is there such a thing as good and bad questions in an oracle card reading? YES!
One thing that can be overlooked when learning to read is what kind of questions you or your clients might ask.
To get a “good” answer, you have to ask a “good” question.
Let’s first talk about answers.
What’s a “good” answer? For me, it’s an answer that gives you some insight on fixing a problem, helps you make an empowered decision, provides access to some sort of healing, or opens a door for you in some way to move ahead.
A “good” answer can help you determine what kind of energy is playing out in your life and give you clues on how to enhance or move past it.
So, how do you get a “good” answer? You ask a “good” question.
There are different ways to ask questions: who, what, why, when, where, and how for example.
What + How Questions
What and how (not to be confused with how long) questions are my favorites because they invite in insight and wisdom.
What is the lesson I’m being offered in this situation?
What’s the best action for me to take to move my project forward?
What can I do to develop a stronger relationship with _________?
What’s the best possible outcome in this situation?
What is my purpose?
What’s an ideal career for me?
What am I afraid of regarding _________?
*What should I do about ________?
How is Spirit communicating with me?
How can I meet my spirit guide?
How can I best prepare for my interview?
How does this ________ benefit me?
How do I incorporate this lesson into my life?
How do I tap into abundance?
*How should I approach this situation?
*Be careful with ‘what should I…’ or ‘how should I…’ (or similar) questions.
Asking the cards for insight into the best action or where it would be most fruitful to focus your attention is one thing and can provide clarity and help.
Asking the cards what you ‘should do’ can be disempowering, especially if you take them at face value and don’t do your own investigating.
Don’t let the cards (or a reader for that matter) make decisions for you — especially if you’re facing a hard decision that you haven’t been able to make. Rephrase the question so that you receive empowering insight that you can use to evaluate the best decision for yourself at the time.
The way that I do my readings (and the way I teach others to read) is always to empower the person receiving the information so that she can make the best decisions for herself to go forward. So I always guide clients on how to best phrase their questions to get empowering and clear answers.
Where questions can be good or not, and who questions depend on the deck being used.
For example, where can be used to ask about process, placement, evolution (which can be good questions), or location. Location-based where questions aren’t necessarily bad, but cards aren’t usually specific about locations (especially if you’re asking about local locations) so you may not get a very clear answer.
Good process-, placements, and evolution-based where questions:
Where do you see me in my career in the next year? (evolution)
Where do I fit in? (placement or evolution)
Where am I being insensitive in my relationship? (processor evolution)
Location-based where questions:
Where is the best place for me to learn _______? (this could also be a more etheric process- or evolution-based question. If so, I would rephrase it to be more clear)
Where should I go to meet my soul mate?
Where is my lost hat?
Be cautious with where questions and rephrase them if asking in another way provides more clarity. A clearer question will get you a more clear answer.
Who questions can certainly receive some helpful answers, but they usually depend on what deck you are using. For example, tarot decks (as opposed to Oracle decks) contain the court cards which represent people in your life, so tarot can answer who questions easily.
If you’re using a deck that doesn’t represent people well, you won’t get a clear answer. You CAN get an answer, but from the cards’ perspective, it’s likely to be vaguer than you might like.
The best thing to do is to play with who questions and your specific deck and see what kind of answers it gives you. (The more you play, the better your deck will answer and the more you’ll open up your psychic abilities to get answers even if they aren’t being shown on the cards)
Here are some who questions you might encounter. Again, depending on your deck, it might give you qualities and characteristics of the person you’re asking about. From that information, the client can watch for someone with those qualities to appear in her life, or determine if this is someone she already knows.
Who is my soul mate?
Who can best help me with my project?
Who is in my life right now to help me with this lesson?
Who is the best business coach for me?
Who am I here in this lifetime to be?
Who is my ideal client?
Who wants or needs my help?
Time questions can be when questions or they might be phrased as how long. The answer to these questions can vary widely depending on your deck.
Again, tarot decks have cards and suits that are associated with seasons, months, astrology and specific timing. Many oracle decks do not. If your deck has numbers on the cards or is somehow associated with time through seasons, cycles, moons, astrology, months, etc, you can receive clear information on time questions.
If your deck doesn’t have numbers or isn’t associated with time, you can program or evaluate your deck for time associations (which is an entirely different lesson), or avoid time-related questions in your readings (of course, you would want to be transparent about that up front with clients).
Again, the more you develop your reading skills, the better you’ll be able to tap into this information even if it isn’t presented on the cards.
Some time questions:
How long until…
How long before…
How long will I have to…
When will I meet my soul mate?
Be very careful with why questions. Why? (haha) Because they can be disempowering and are often asked from victim mentality.
Why did this happen to me?
Why do I keep doing this over and over?
Why do I have to go through this again?
Why does he act that way?
Why is she so mean to me?
Use all of your senses when someone asks a why question. Feel the energy behind it. Listen to how the question is asked. Is it asked in a whiney, desperate way? Is it asked from a victim’s standpoint?
Imagine someone asking these questions above. They feel less like real questions and more like judgments with a question mark at the end.
If that’s the case, work with the client on this and rephrase the question to something more empowering, or pull cards regarding the victim mentality itself and help the person (if she wants it) move beyond it.
Sometimes why questions are genuinely someone wanting to understand herself more deeply, and that’s great! What you’re really reading is the energy behind the question. The questions below are all about blockages, so ask the cards about the blockages and help the person move past them.
Why am I afraid of connecting with people?
Why do I keep getting myself caught in this loop?
Why is it taking me so long to get my project done?
Why do I still feel this way?
Yes + No Questions
People often ask yes/no questions. These are fine in readings, but 2 things:
(1) although you can sometimes discern if the card is answering yes or no, oracle cards are geared more toward providing insight and information rather than yes/no answers, and
(2) people typically really want more information than just a yes or no answer.
Maybe more exploration will come after the yes/no answer, or maybe a different question needs to be asked instead of looking for a yes/no. Ask the client for what she really wants to know and help guide the reading in that direction.
For example, if the question is “will I get the job?”, a better question might be “what do I most need to know about this job?” or “how does this job fit into my spiritual growth?” or “how can I best present myself so that I get this job?”
When you have a deck of cards that doesn’t provide clear yes/no answers, you can program or evaluate your deck to find yes/no cards, or use another method of receiving a yes/no answer (hint: a pendulum is perfect for providing yes/no answers).
Bad Questions + Tricky Situations
Some would say there are no bad questions to ask in a reading. Sometimes questions are badly worded and can be more finely tuned to get clearer answers, but that doesn’t mean the question itself is “bad.”
In my opinion, though, there are some “bad questions” that I won’t answer in a reading.
When will I (or someone else) die? As a client do you really want to know that? That’s not something that I want to find out for someone because it can really put fear in people.
By the way, nobody (to date) has asked me this in a reading, but it’s something I would never pull cards on or reveal if the answer showed itself to me. It’s disempowering and it’s just not nice. I prefer to be nice… and helpful… (insert smiley face and cue the angels singing)
If the question is serious (because there’s an illness going on or something like that), I would do my best to provide understanding and comfort for the situation and guide the client to focus on something more helpful — spending time with loved ones, making the most of your time, spiritual healing, creative expression, etc.
I would be clear up front that I choose not to pull cards on that type of question. It’s one of the bad questions because it’s disempowering.
Early in my reading career I found myself in a tricky situation in a reading for which I wasn’t really prepared. Knowing what I know now, I would have approached it differently. (I would still have done the reading, just differently)
A woman who had recently had a stroke came in for a reading. She had to quit working. Her spirit was totally crushed. She couldn’t drive. Half of her face was droopy. She was pitiful and I wanted to help her so badly.
She wanted to know if her trouble was over, if anything else was going to happen, what was going to happen next.
We did a 3-card spread to start with and the card that indicated what was going to happen next was probably the worst card we could have pulled out of the deck.
(Note: the card is also a 10 which signifies the ending of something, but that wasn’t what the card was saying at the time in the position it was in, with the question she asked, and with the other cards around it)
I wanted to cry and throw up and not tell her a thing.
Based on the spread we did, the position of the card, and the question asked, she was in the middle of her storm. It wasn’t over yet and it was only gonna get worse before it got better.
And she saw it. “Does this mean it’s not over yet?!?!” She panicked.
I did NOT want her to have another stroke in my office while I was giving her a reading, and she was already at her edge.
So, I softened the blow. “No, no, no!!! This is showing what you’ve been going through already and now you’re moving past it. Don’t worry. It’s going to get better.” And I moved her on to the next card.
She settled down and I was able to help her deal with what was happening through the rest of the reading and do some energy work with her.
But she went on to have another stroke and went through a few more months of personal hell before anything started to get better.
What would I do in this situation now? I would have asked before the reading even started what I should do if the cards showed bad news, and made sure she could physically handle it before I ever agreed to do the reading.
If I thought she couldn’t handle it, I would have had her ask different questions and/or strongly urged her to have a healing and coaching session instead that would be more helpful and productive in her healing journey.
These questions and issues don’t come up often, but it’s worth being aware of their possibilities in advance so you aren’t caught by surprise.
As you can see, the question(s) asked in a reading can have a profound effect on how helpful you can be to the person asking.
Consider the questions carefully and do your best to let the cards tell the story.
Have you tried to get a good answer to bad questions? What happened? What have been the most helpful questions you’ve asked in a reading and how have the answers helped you in your life? Let’s have a discussion below!