How to Do a Yes/No Tarot Card Reading
Love it or hate it, you’re going to be asked a Yes or No question at some point in your Tarot card reading career. And even if you’re not a Tarot pro, you’re probably tempted to ask personal Yes/No questions every now and then. So, let’s sharpen our skills with five sure-fire ways to give a Yes/No Tarot card reading.
But first, let’s answer a common question: should we do a Yes/No Tarot card reading in the first place?
The Fickle Nature of the Yes/No Tarot Card Reading
There’s much debate around whether Yes/No readings mix well with Tarot, as some well-respected Tarot enthusiasts question their accuracy.
Here’s my take: the future is not set in stone, and you are its creator.
Sure, we can get an accurate Yes or No at one point in time…but as time marches forward, we assert our free will, make different decisions, and that Yes or No can easily flip-flop.
Yes/No questions can also limit the richness of the message. The beauty of Tarot is that it uncovers what lies beneath a situation, the surrounding energies and influences, and the best actions you can take to either stay the course or shift direction. A Yes/No answer left unexplored can be quite limiting.
By now you can guess my preference. I prefer not to do Yes/No Tarot readings. Instead, I use the cards to get to the heart of the matter and examine options and actions to take.
Still, I’ve been asked many times for a Tarot card reading that will give a clear Yes or No answer. And I’ve developed sure-fire ways to give a Yes/No reading while honouring the deep insight of Tarot. Here are my Golden Nuggets:
Upright vs. Reversed Tarot Cards
To use this technique, make sure your deck has a balanced mix of upright and reversed cards. Always cut the deck, turn the cards 180 degrees from top to bottom, and then reshuffle. Repeat a few times to get an equal number of upright and reversed cards.
It’s a really simple technique, but it gives you a really simple answer, and doesn’t allow for a more in-depth reading.
Give ‘em a Yes, No or Maybe
Go through your Tarot deck card by card. Place the cards you feel are more likely to mean Yes in one pile. In another pile, you’ll have your No cards. In a third pile you’ll have your Maybe cards.
For example, you might flip over the Sun, which is a pretty safe Yes. Maybe you flip over the Tower, which is a pretty strong No. Now, the Seven of Cups, with the guy vacillating between all the possible choices, might be more of a Maybe.
It’s important to decide your personal list of Yes and No cards before you do a Tarot card reading, otherwise you might be tempted to change your answer according to what you’d like to see.
It’s always fun to test your connection to the cards by making your own list, but if you’re crunched for time or want some reference, I’ve created a downloadable PDF of the cards I think form a Yes, No, or Maybe.
Favourable or Unfavourable Cards
Turning a definite Yes or No into a more flexible Favourable or Unfavourable plays into the notion that the future is not set in stone. Using language such as “favourable” or “unfavourable” leaves room for circumstances to change and shift as they are apt to do in life.
You can also say it’s likely, or it’s unlikely, or it’s very unlikely as a way to soften Yes/No answers and add extra wiggle room if, like me, you feel some discomfort delivering a definite Yes or a definite No.
The Yes, If…No, If
I believe that Yes and No answers in Tarot are often conditional, meaning it might be Yes, if this thing happens, or yes if a particular situation stays the way it is.
Let’s say you want to know if you’ll buy a house this year. You draw the Seven of Pentacles, which sounds favourable. Now, add a “Yes, if” to your interpretation. So, Yes, if you’re willing to put in the work over the long term and Yes, if you’re willing to save money and use your savings.
Now, let’s say for that same question you draw the Tower. No, if something unexpected happens. An interpretation could be: “It’s looking unlikely that I’ll buy a house, maybe because something else is going to happen that will put things upside down a little bit.”
You can go even further with it. You might actually draw one card for Yes, If, and another for No, If. Let’s apply this to our example. We draw the Seven of Cups for our Yes, If, which implies there are a number of options you’re exploring. And it’s letting you know that if you want to buy a house this year, you need to make sure that you’ve got lots of different options. Then you draw another card for No, If and get the Three of Wands, which might be a sign that you’ll be moving or traveling overseas—not the right time to buy a house!
What an interesting way to respond to Yes/No questions, because now you’re starting to really tap into the potential of the Tarot cards, giving the client more options and leaving the decision-making up to them!
Interpret the Card Straight Up
Let’s say we get the Six of Swords for our house-buying question. Now, the Six of Swords might be on your No list of cards, but, because you’re asking a question around moving, you may look at the Six of Swords and think: “Well actually this person is moving. They might not be particularly excited about moving, but they’re moving.”
If you are comfortable with some ambiguity and uncertainty in your Tarot card readings and you’ve mastered the card meanings in such a way that you can read more fluidly, this is a great technique!
So, there you have it—five sure-fire ways to answer Yes or No Tarot questions. Let me leave you with a few words of wisdom…
- Be disciplined. Don’t keep drawing extra cards if you don’t like the answer.
- Be prepared. Don’t ask the question if you don’t want to know the answer.
- Be wary of questions skewed to a negative outcome. Someone might ask: “Am I going to lose all my money and be poor for the rest of my life?” Is that really the question they want to ask? Or would it be more advantageous to know “How do I make sure I’ve got enough money to sustain my lifestyle or to live comfortably?”
- Be on the lookout for two-fers. Check out the question above: “Am I going to lose all my money and be poor for the rest of my life?” You’ve actually got two questions. Am I going to lose all my money and am I going to be poor for the rest of my life. To get a direct Yes or No answer, you’d have to ask this as two separate questions.
I suggest reviewing these tips before you do a Tarot card reading to help them become second nature.
And with that, I will set you free to try your hand at some Yes/No Tarot card readings! Give it a go and see if Yes/No readings are for you.
For more inspiration on decision-making spreads and readings, check out my book, Everyday Tarot: Unlock Your Inner Wisdom and Manifest Your Future.