Reading Responsibly:  Getting to the Root Cause

By Peggy Firth, CTM

The visible or emotional impact of personal issues often creates a panic situation that drives our business, yet how often do we persist in uncovering the root of the problem? A root cause may exist for years or even decades, buried deep in the subconscious until something happens to unleash it into the conscious mind. 


A metaphor can be found in the medical world. Western medicine treats physical symptoms, but it rarely treats the cause or provides a cure. For example, a patient may visit the physician for high blood pressure and receive a prescription to chemically lower blood pressure, but the lack of exercise and poor diet which led to the spiraling high blood pressure is often not addressed. I feel that the same idea applies to the Tarot reader who divines the answers to often troubling questions, but does not look deeper to find the root cause of the situation.

As a spiritual counselor, I naturally attempt to combine my practice of reading the Tarot with my work in guiding the spirit to determine the root cause based on primal human needs. You may meet your querent anywhere along their path from survival mode on up through the higher levels of being which include the self-actualized person. 


As readers we often possess the qualities of self-actualization in order to accurately read the Tarot. Maslow, a psychiatrist from the nineteen forties, wrote about self-actualizing people who perceive reality more effectively than others. They have an accurate perception of what exists, rather than a distortion of perception by one's needs. Such people possess an ability to be objective about their own strengths, possibilities, and limitations. They judge experiences, people, and things correctly and efficiently, and have an unusual ability to detect the spurious, the fake, and the dishonest. They are not afraid of the unknown, and can tolerate the doubt, uncertainty, and tentativeness accompanying the perception of the new and unfamiliar. Since these traits are rare, we as readers who possess these qualities can assist those who are evolving more accurately


When you determine your querent's place in the "hierarchy of needs," you will be able to spot the underlying problem to guide your querent along the path to self-discovery. The cards can assist you in pin-pointing those areas which will strengthen and heal the situation. 

For example, if your querent believes that he or she is unworthy of a promotion, chances are that the underlying belief has to be changed no matter what the excuses are, or what situations exist in the workplace. The cards will reveal steps that can be taken to raise the level of self esteem. Searching for steps to be taken rather than focusing on the outer symptoms begins the healing process. 

Your querent will then begin the healing process which may take some time, like peeling an onion. Each step may also involve further healings and discoveries as the mind allows. I find it amazing how the subconscious hides pain, both physical and mental, until it knows just how much to release. 

Your work in this area of discovery may possibly uncover as much as a psychiatrist or psychologist can, in a much more inventive and creative way. Have fun with it.


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Tarot Reflections is published by the American Tarot Association - Copyright (C) 2008 

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