A tarot card reader’s top 3 tips for getting the most accurate reading

I’m a fan of getting my tarot cards read, but I’m also highly anxious about it. This means while in the midst of a session, I’m simultaneously analyzing what the reading means for me and whether the tarot reader is judging me, as a person, for the way my cards fall. So when I came across a recent Reddit AMA with Tarot Card Lady Theresa Reed, my eyes lit up—especially when I saw she nailed down her big tips for getting the most accurate tarot reading possible.

“Be clear about what you’re coming to the reading for,” Reed says. “Don’t play games. Be open to the information. Listen. Don’t interrupt. My favorite clients are the ones who are direct because I’m a direct person. My least favorite are the ones who say ‘Oh I don’t want to tell you too much…’ which always gets an eye roll from me.”

It makes sense: To get accuracy, you can’t skimp on the details you offer, and you also have to trust the reader. And though I do trust this reader, I decided to get a second opinion from intuitive energy reader and spiritual advisor Alexis Alvarez about how to get the most accurate tarot reading possible. Below find a few pieces of advice she wants you to keep in mind to get a reading that’s Good with a capital G.

1. Be clear, concise, and open-ended with your questions

Whether it be a live card reader in front of you, a FaceTime reading, or a pre-recorded one (all of which are available options, by the way), the nonnegotiable for getting an accurate tarot reading is to, as Reed suggests in her AMA, be clear and concise with your questions. Look inward, and focus on where exactly you want guidance, and be open to taking “advice” over straight “answers.”

“While yes or no questions can be addressed directly, I suggest framing your question in a more open-ended format,” Alvarez says. “Instead of, ‘Am I ever going to marry to Joe,’ you could ask ‘What would be the outcome if I marry Joe?’ That would help garner advice as to whether Joe is even marriage material or if this relationship is even for your highest good.”

“We desire a specific outcome so much, we can block ourselves from receiving the help and guidance we actually need. To prevent that, take a moment to flesh out your questions.” —Alexis Alvarez, spiritual advisor

The tip’s applicable to pretty much every situation. For instance, “Will I be rich and famous?” can be re-worded to “What should I focus on, in order to reach great financial success?”

“Because we desire a specific outcome so much, we can block ourselves from receiving the help and guidance we actually need,” Alvarez says. “So to prevent that, take a moment to really flesh out your questions.”

2. Ground and center yourself

Alvarez, who offers pre-recorded intuitive readings that incorporate tarot, says she starts all of her sessions with a short grounding and centering sound-bowl meditation. She leads the client through breathing techniques to calm their mind, thus allowing them to focus on their questions. “Even though the reading is not happening live, the person getting the reading is able to come down to a relaxed mental state that is ideal for being able to listen to, perceive, and truly understand the messages they are about to receive.”

Whether the reading is live or not, make sure to take a moment to facilitate calmness beforehand. This can be as simple as taking a few deep breaths.

3. Be open-minded, and have fun with it

Remember that the deck is not law. “Know that nothing is end-all,” says Alvarez. “Just because the cards say something doesn’t mean you’re predestined to live that fate. You have free will and can control any situation in your life. Simply use the reading as helpful advice to get you through when you’re stuck on something.”

“Know that nothing is end-all.Just because the cards say something doesn’t mean you’re predestined to live that fate.” —Alvarez

Okay, great—but what can you do if you get a truly awful reading? “If you don’t like what the cards say, make sure to change the energy around that situation,” she says. “Take action and make some changes so you don’t have to go down that one, unwanted path.”

Don’t panic: This is why the Death tarot card can actually be a good thing. And if you’re trying you hand at doing a reading yourself, here’s how to shuffle your tarot cards for the best accuracy possible.