The Yes and the No

I read yes/no questions because I make no distinction from one question to another, they are all questions and I ask the cards all manner of questions. The way I see it, nothing is fixed and as we move about our lives we are constantly making decisions and changing the realms of possibilities for ourselves. Outside of all paradigms, change is inescapable, just as death is inevitable. Reading the cards for the yes/no question can uncover interesting possibilities, helping you consider different routes which the tarot is excellent for. First, because it can frame the answer against what you want(desire), whether it is the answer hoped for or not. Secondly, it is interesting to see how the answer unfolds. In many ways, the answer is already contained within the question, between the lines, it is only a matter of unlocking it.

The basic recipe is:

Black suits (swords and batons)= no

Red suits (cups and coins)= yes

With a caveat:

Always read with the question in mind, context is what you will be looking at first. When you read with context, the yes/no is not always as clear cut, or red and black. Here is where your personal understanding of the suits comes into play.

For example:

Spiritual questions lead me to see how swords(the magical suit) and cups(the spiritual suit) interact. As swords delineate the magical journey and cups taps into the flow and the heart, watching these two interact can better elucidate whether the question is a yes or no.

Voltige Playing Cards
Voltige Playing Cards designed by Henri de Saint Julien & Jacques Denain Distributed by The D&D Playing Card Co.

Love readings are more direct, staying close to the rule of red and black. Since the red suits indicate heat and love, if there is no red, or the red is encased within batons or (worse) swords, then there is no love.

I associate coins with money matters, money requires work, which is batons. For work/career/planning related questions I am immediately tuned into how the coins and batons interact.

Voltige Playing Cards
Voltige Playing Cards designed by Henri de Saint Julien & Jacques Denain Distributed by The D&D Playing Card Co.

Here we come to another point, what happens when the question is about spirituality but no cups or swords come out? What if Majors pop into play? Well, the way I see it, our best tool in reading the cards, always, is our vision and the context, what we see happening and what the question is. Not our repertoire of meanings. How are these cards interacting? If batons show up in a question about spirituality, well how do they contextualize the question itself? More work (lots of batons), heaviness, detachment (less batons)? What are the cards around it doing? Are there court cards around? How are the Majors interacting with the minors? With force? Guidance? Direction? The elegance and potency of reading cards lies in its ability to hone our skill of seeing. How we are aware of what is around us, and how the elements around us interact. The goal with card reading and awareness is arriving at that point of detachment, being able to see what is happening without muddying it in guesswork. Where we are able to extricate ourselves from cultural/societal norms, and are hence able to witness the natural flow of interactions, between people, concepts, and nature. When we are able to tap into this awareness, then card reading flows, because we remove our self (our fabrications and notions) from the equation and read from our seeing. When approached this way, card reading is an excellent exercise that can be transmuted into many other facets of life, how we interact with others, how we approach our problems, and our goals.

At the moment of posing a question to the cards, the formulated answer starts turning the cogs in our self as we see how the cards interact and create tensions. How do the cards make up feel? What is verbalized from what we see is divination. Therefore, it is best to keep it simple, keep the question direct, and always think about what is possible within the realm of what is reasonable/logical.

For most of my cartomantic endeavors I stay away from using positional spreads. For yes/no questions, a simple 3-5 card throw is enough. I personally prefer odd numbers so 3 or 5 cards is the way to go.

Also, it is good to note that yes/no questions are good for when you are working with spirits, or spirit work.

I hope this has given you some food for thought, or at least led to cartomantic explorations.


La Maga Tarot

Published by Natalia

An eternal lover of the literary arts, I am fascinated by words and their power. I am a diviner that writes, reads, enchants, dances and dreams.

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