Could you imagine having a cookbook that gave you the keys to the perfect reading? While that doesn't exist, certain ingredients are a must when you are trying to give the best reading possible. While improvisation can sometimes have incredible results in both divination and the kitchen, it is always good to have a few staple items (or in this case tools) that you can rely on to always have something to put on the table. Keep reading to discover what are the ingredients of a brilliant reading.
Have you ever begun to cook only to find out while you are halfway there that you are missing a key ingredient? (Like the soy sauce for that poor attempt at thai udon last week? Is that only me?) Well, if you can relate to this, you have learned the hard way that you better make sure that you have all the ingredients before getting to it, and this is why preparation can be a game changer!
How to Prepare?
I am not a big fan of ritual and I prefer to keep things short and simple. This is by no means exhaustive and you can of course add your own. Two things are essential to me in preparation for a reading. The first one is to have a trusted tool, this is, a deck that I know and am familiar with so that when the time to read comes, I can identify the cards swiftly. The second is a question - a good one, that is.
There is always a question. Even if the querent says there is not. Even if they want just a general reading or "whatever comes up". The fact that they don't have a question doesn't mean that you can't ask it. Have a question so that you have a foundation upon which you can build your reading. Change "whatever comes up" for "What does my querent need to know the most right now?" or "What will their next 3 months be like?". This way you are still giving a general reading, but you are not entirely in the dark about what you are reading on. If there is an actual question or matter at hand, all the better! I suggest getting started by giving a general look into how the situation is going (the Nine Card Tableau is AWESOME for this purpose!) so that you can offer insight into the matter at hand and open up the doors for more specific questions to be asked! Also, in those instances when your querent gives you a lot of information at once, I suggest verbalizing back what you have heard to make sure that the both of you are on the same about the information that you are receiving and what you are going to be looking into.
Once you have your tool and your question, it is time for the next step: The reading. For this, there are only a handful of "ingredients" that you need to deliver the best reading that you possibly can. These are; Context, system, analysis and prediction (with the optional ingredient of a dash of intuition, since not every reader thinks of themselves as an intuitive reader!).
Context and its interaction with the cards and the question is vital. When you look at the cards that you have -or don't have- on the table through the lens of the context and question and pay attention of how these three things interact, you gain a lot of valuable information. You can see if the cards seem to favour the situation or if, on the contrary, they present opposition. As well, you can see if they are the ones that you would expect to draw in a determined set of circumstances or if, on the contrary, you have something different that highlights other possibilities.
Knowing your system is, in my opinion, one of the most valuable ingredients in a reading. If you know your system, you will always be ready to give a reading without depending on your intuition kicking in or whether or not you feel like it -which is necessary, especially in a professional context-. This helps you be confident in your ability to deliver under any circumstances, and as I like to say, if you manage to be at least a mediocre reader in your worst day, you are actually not doing so bad! Analysis doesn't only refer to analyzing the cards on the table, their correspondences and any patterns, but to an analysis of the situation. Using a multi-layered reading style like Tableau allows you to make a first pass through the cards and gather information about the current situation before jumping into prediction. This offers your querent an expanded perspective of what is going on and helps them make informed decisions.
Prediction is the next step. Once you have established what is going on and how the querent came to this point, you can jump into looking at the possibilities that open up from here, not only offering that wider view that was pointed out before, but insight into the potential future, what will make your reading thorough and rounded. Last but not least, your intuition can -or will- be the cherry on top, the force that guides you towards the specifics and that helps you tap into your psychic potential. Of course, not all readers are intuitive and they are still brilliant, so this is the chocolate sprinkle on top. It can be your special touch and signature, and it often seals the reading with that unique imprint, but you can still deliver great quality without it (and keep your querents coming!).
Finally, and as it happens with food, sometimes it will be your star dish and sometimes it will be merely edible. Keep working at it! Be willing to practice, ask and receive honest feedback, and continue to hone your reading skills until you can't have enough of it. What are your secret ingredients for a brilliant reading? Let me know in the comments!