Tarot: Yes/No Questions

Tarot Yes-NoAlong with questions about the timing of events, Tarot practitioners often consider binary yes/no questions to be some of the inquiries that Tarot is most ill-equipped to handle.  After all, using Tarot to answer questions isn’t really the same thing as flipping a coin.  Or at the very least, it’s like flipping a 78-sided coin — no easy task!  But there are still ways of getting these binary queries addressed…

You can assign the “Yes” answer to, say, the Yang Suits (Wands and Swords) and the “No” answer to the Yin Suits (Cups and Pentacles), and then if you draw a card from one of those Suits, you have your answer, and if you draw a Major card, you simply push past it and keep going until you pull a Minor.

You might also allow all odd numbered cards, including Majors, to represent a “Yes” answer, and all even numbered cards to signify “No” (let The Fool be card 22 rather than 0 if you go this route, so as to preserve equality between the Yes and the No).  Treat Court Cards as having no numbers at all, or treat Pages and Queens as odd numbers, and Knights and Kings as evens.

You can field the binary queries — you just need to assign some values beforehand. Tarot…is there nothing it can’t do??

TT banner Jan 2016

13 comments

    • Thanks so much, Miss! I’m happy to have you on board, and I’m glad this recent wave of “Tarot Tip” posts is meeting with a kind reception. Thanks so much for sharing your feelings here, it’s very encouraging!

    • You’re welcome, Cheryl! I hope this tip proves useful for you. To be honest, even with this technique in the arsenal, I don’t use Tarot much for yes/no queries, but it’s helpful to have something in your toolbox for those occasions when you do want to go that route. Thanks for commenting!

  1. I did something similar to this when I first started working with Tarot, using upright cards as a “yes” and inverted ones as a “no”. Since then, I’ve really moved away from yes/no questions, and now I always encourage querents to ask more reflective, open-ended question. It’s not really a matter of me thinking that Tarot can’t answer those questions (because after all, if you ask “Should I take the job?” and something like the Eight of Swords turns up, you can get a pretty clear “no”). It’s more that I think asking those kinds of questions misses out on so much of what Tarot can do. For me, Tarot is better not at providing answers but at stimulating querents to ask (themselves) the right questions. I’ve always been most satisfied with readings that looked at description, explanation, and analysis, because I think that’s where Tarot really shines.

    • Thanks for the thoughtful comments, Jack! I actually follow pretty much the same course as you in this: I lean almost exclusively on open-ended questions, as I agree that that’s where Tarot’s greatest strengths lie, and I love to feel that any readings I’m performing are empowering a querent to find strong answers for themselves, instead of just essentially telling them what to do. It’s not for me — or for Tarot itself! — to tell someone what to be doing with their lives! But I do feel that lots of people want to use Tarot to address yes/no questions and either don’t know how to go about doing that, or have been told that this isn’t cool, smart, and/or possible to attempt, so I wanted to offer up the technique here as a possibility.

  2. I love this! Every once in a while, I like to ask a broader question and then use the suits as “Yes” or “No” indicators for that question. I’ve had lots of fun reads like that! Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks for commenting, Katzi! Interesting to hear from someone who does do more of the yes/no analysis using Tarot, too. Like I said earlier, I wanted to offer up the technique here, but I don’t end up using it all that much in actual practice, myself. Maybe I should circle back to it!

      • 🙂 I did a read for myself that started off pretty generalized. I wanted clarity but I drew clarifiers in a different way. I assigned Cups to issues dealing with myself (since Cups are emotional) and Swords to issues to help people dealing with their stuff (since Swords deal with communication) and I used Pentacles for “Yes” and Wands for “No”. It was very interesting what came out since it was mostly Swords and Pentacles that appeared and they directly applied to a situation where someone came to me for help shortly after the reading I did! It was a lot of fun and I would love to experiment like that again! I’d love to see your experiments with it!

      • That’s a really interesting approach! It’s pretty innovative, as I sure haven’t come across that exact method before. I’ll have to think about how to apply it, and will let you know what might come of it. Thanks for sharing your work here, Katzi!

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