Recently, I have been giving Tarot readings to people online. At first, I was uncertain if my ability to read the cards would translate. How could I possibly give an accurate reading without seeing the person in front of me, reading their aura, asking them questions, etc? I gave away some free online readings as an experiment and was very happy to find out it does work. The “how” (probably some combination of Jung’s collective unconscious and spirit guides) is a blog post for another day. I was just glad I am able to help people without seeing them in person.
The main thing I learned is that a reading is still a reading either way. The cards still have a story to tell each time. But there are some key differences in reading for someone online vs. face to face.
Who are you?
When reading someone face-to-face, I can usually get a sense of who someone is just by looking at them. I can tell their gender (usually!), age, and get a sense of their emotional state. Are they smiling and making eye contact or are they frowning and looking away with folded arms? I don’t see “auras” in the sense of colors, but I think I am a good read of people and I’ve recently discovered I can guess a lot about people based just on a photograph. This can make it easier to interpret cards in a reading when you have basic info about the person.
Is that Queen of Pentacles that shows up in the spread someone’s mom or their daughter? Is that 4 of Wands representing someone’s graduation or their retirement? These things can be more obvious when you have a frame of reference about them.I always meditate before a reading and ask my spirit allies to help me guide the person requesting the reading. Even if it means I have to ask them to help me give a reading to “Butterball666” or “HootchieMamaForU” because all I have is an email address or online handle.
Fortunately, the connection still works but it is very much working with a blank slate. However, there is something to be said for that. The readings still work and it can be very gratifying to know you can help a total stranger. And any personal bias or judgment is usually not an issue like it could be in a face-to-face meeting.
Instant vs. delayed gratification
One of the biggest differences is the exchange of information and energy happens immediately and in real-time with a face-to-face reading, while it happens piecemeal and slowly online. In person, I can see someone’s jaw drop when I tell them it seems they want to know about that new love that just walked into their life or that they’ve been having nightmares because of a bad break-up. I can see smiles, or raised eyebrows, or hear them say “wow!” as you are reading, giving you instant validation that you are interpreting the cards correctly. You really get that human connection and it is immediate and rewarding.
Online, you are on your own. You have to completely trust your intuition and your spirit guides to help you interpret the reading correctly. For the person asking for a reading, they are waiting and may not know when they will get an answer. For me, once I do the reading I am always eager to hear feedback. It my sincere hope that I’ve given someone a message that will truly help them. But I have absolutely no way of knowing that until or unless they send me feedback after the reading.
One advantage of online readings is I can do them when the time feels absolutely right for me. I can decide I want to meditate a little longer, or that I need to do some chores before I can focus. So it is easy to get into the right frame of mind. I can put on meditative music or binaural beats, light some incense, and take my time interpreting the spread in the comfort of my own room. Unexpected interruptions can usually be avoided… unless my dogs see a squirrel in the yard. Then all bets are off! But even then, I can try again later.
In person, I may be doing a reading in a crowded room with lots of other people talking. The room might hot, or cold, or noisy. Someone might have on perfume that makes me feel constantly on the verge of a sneeze. The person doing the reading might be checking their cell phone (ok this has not happened yet but I almost feel it is inevitable!). No matter what, I have to find a way to focus and give the best reading possible at that time and place. There is no second chance or do-overs.
Questions and Follow-Up
Probably the biggest difference is the inability to ask or answer questions when reading online. In person, if the entire reading makes sense except for one card that puzzles me, I can ask the person a question. Did you just have a fight with your best friend? Are you thinking about buying a house? While I can usually rely on my intuition, asking a simple question like that and getting an immediate answer can help give a reading that might be a bit more personal and detailed because I can seek clarity and follow-up with a bit of validation.
It can also be easier in person to know how to deliver a message. If the cards are screaming out to me “she better ditch this loser fast!” one way or another I’m going to have to communicate that (in a gentle, compassionate way). But if I’m doing this in person it is much easier to understand how ready she is to hear this news and I can choose my words more carefully or frame things in a different way.
What do you think? Have you experienced differences reading for others in person vs. online? Or have you gotten readings both ways and have a preference? I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments.