How To Deal With A “Bad” Reading

First off, what do I mean by “bad” reading?

Here are some of the ways that I’ve and I’m sure most of you have been personally disappointed by readings

1. It doesn’t make sense to me or resonate

2. It doesn’t answer the question directly

3. It doesn’t give me the answer I wanted or hoped for

4. It is just plain wrong!

5. It is giving quite a negative message overall

So let’s take a look at these issues one by one,  and see how we might ‘deal’ in each situation:

1. It Doesn’t Make Sense To Me or Resonate

Probably the most common ‘problem reading’. “Huh?” you think. THAT does not relate to what I asked or the issue AT ALL

  • First off, are you clear about underlying card meanings? Have you made sure your interpretations have taken note of the context involved? This can be a problem if you are just using card meaning lists. Most of the cards, remember, can usually be applied to multiple contexts. Check out my posts about Card Meanings, and the importance of Context in your Lenormand readings.
  • Are you sure it’s not a case of  you not liking what you see because it’s just not giving you the answer you wanted or hoped for?
  • Are you closing your mind to possibilities? “That thing can’t be possible for me to do or even try because X.” Often this is because you are being a little too fixed and rigid in your thinking. Sometimes when this happens, I brainstorm for myself, away from the cards, using how questions. “OK, if this were true, how might it be? What are the possibilities?”
  • What frame of mind were you in when you did the reading? Were you distracted or was your question vague or woolly?

Personally, I would always note down the reading, regardless of whether I initially think it resonates or not. I am a great believer that you often subconsciously know the answers to things, even if you aren’t yet consciously ready for that information. You may find yourself surprised by that same reading a few months down the line. The only times I would re-do the reading is if I know I wasn’t fully focused, my question wasn’t clear, or something from a previous reading has seeped into this one.

And yes, I have often found that even if I draw the cards again, I often get a very similar message. You can do so if you wish, maybe with a reworded question but I would say that if you keep on and on redrawing the cards in order to get an answer you want (see Point 3, below) I’m not sure that you really need the middle-man of a card reading in the first place. You clearly already know what it is you want. So what are you going to do to go about getting it?

2. It Doesn’t Answer My Question Directly

The cards don’t always give clear yes/no answers, I find. Sometimes they do, but it’s why I generally think that yes/no questions aren’t all that empowering, and that what’s most interesting or helpful about Lenormand cards is what they have to tell you about what’s going on underneath.

  • Again, check that you are applying underlying meanings to your particular context and question. Sometimes the issue is the way you’ve interpreted rather than the cards themselves. You can find out more about this in How You Tell A Story with the cards.
  • Is it the case that secretly, you were hoping for a particular answer and you just haven’t been given it? Lenormand can sometimes be a bit like a tactless relative, offering advice and opinions with no social niceties involved whatsoever. If this is the case, is it worth you thinking about what really underlies your question? Is it telling you to explore another approach to the problem?
  • Are you looking to the cards to make a big decision for you? As I said in How To Ask Empowering Lenormand Questions I would generally avoid trying to place responsibility outside of yourself in this way. This is especially the case with fortune-telling or predictive type readings.
3. It Doesn’t Give Me The Answer I Wanted or Hoped For

I suspect that this is often the underlying reason behind Problem One, and sometimes Problem Two. Your reading is telling you something but you just don’t want to or aren’t ready to hear it.

If this is you:

  • Take a step back and think about what’s really going on here. Why did you ask the cards the question you did? Check out How To Get To The Root Of A Lenormand Reading for more on this issue.
  • What is the emotion you felt when you saw the cards? Annoyance? Disappointment? Sadness? What do those feelings tell you about your relationship to the issue at hand? Might it perhaps be the issue itself that you need to find other ways to work through in more depth?
  • Was your question empowering, one that puts responsibility for your own life and future in your own hands, or were you trying to circumvent that, hand it over to someone or something else, look for an easy answer to a problem? What are other ways are there you might try and resolve that problem?
  • What is your attitude to Fate and the Future? Do you see it as something set in stone and out of your hands – or do you think of it as something you create and influence yourself? Are there ways you can do so in this situation?
  • Are you being a bit of a Polyanna and just looking for the cards to confirm something you’re desperately hoping and wishing for? Are they perhaps giving you a warning or telling you to keep your feet on the ground so you don’t get floored by any of the inevitable problems and practicalities that come up in life as you pursue your goals? How would you handle problems if they arose?
  • Give it time. Think about and explore the issue a little bit more. What if the cards are correct? What would that mean in terms of practical actions you can take now on the issue concerned?
4. It Is Just Plain Wrong!

Ok, well, readings can seem a bit ‘off’ for all the reasons I’ve mentioned above. But what do you mean by “wrong”?

  • It was a prediction and it didn’t come true!
  • “This can’t be the case or a possibility because X.”
  • This isn’t the answer I wanted in this scenario and I don’t want to hear it. Hmm.
  • It doesn’t make sense with the question I asked (see Point One, above).

Well we’ve covered the last two issues already, but let’s talk about predictions. Exactly worded predictions with exact timeframes can be tricky, which is one of the reasons for being wary of doing entirely prediction-related readings or putting the decisions for your future outside of yourself and into someone or something else’s hands. (See The Future, Fate & Free Will in Lenormand Readings.) You’d have to know that YOUR interpretation of the combinations of those meanings for THAT particular question in THAT particular context are exactly spot on. I tend to find those types of readings overly restrictive, personally. Usually if I do a ‘predictive’ reading, I use the underlying meanings of the cards

On top of that it has within it an implication that the future and time is fixed and there’s nothing you can do about it, except to sit and wait for it to fall in your lap. I don’t find that a particularly empowering way of using the cards, especially not with big life issues. I tend to use purely predictive readings more for fun and to look at likely influences rather than exact events (although Lenormand can be oddly precise too, although mostly, I find, that’s about random things rather the things I can influence personally.) In terms of accuracy, if you do practice future readings, you can learn from your own mistakes by keeping a journal and going back and seeing where your strengths and weaknesses in making predictions lie.

Overly fixed, rigid thinking about how you want things to be and about what is and isn’t immutable in your daily life can also be an issue. Are you opening your mind to possibilities? If something seems impossible, you might find it helpful to brainstorm some of the ways it MIGHT be possible. I’ve found I’ve explored some interesting and fruitful life paths due to opening my mind in this way, and created possibilities I didn’t at first imagine were possible.

5. It Is Giving Quite a Negative Message Overall

This is a different kind of problem entirely. Sometimes we do get readings where we were hoping for a positive, uplifting message, perhaps to reassure us that we are on the right track, but it’s not always the case. Most of the Lenormand cards are fairly neutral and of course, we don’t have reversals like in Tarot, but an abundance of cards like the Snake, the Cross, the Coffin, the Clouds in a reading usually, depending on the context and my question, can leave me feeling a bit down, as the message is pretty clear: they’re a sign of negativity and problems involved in my scenario, usually.

The trick, I’ve learned, is to try to use these negative influences in a reading positively. Imagine, for example, you had a reading where you got the Clover + Snake card together in a scenario. In short, this indicates bad luck of some kind.

Now, there are different ways to react to this. You could think, “Right then, I’m – or this scenario is – clearly doomed. May as well take to my bed, give up and wait for the bad luck vibe to blow over.” OR you could take a different tack. “Well, I take this as a warning. I shouldn’t rely on luck to carry me in this scenario. I’m going to make a concerted effort to anticipate problems and plan how I will address them if they arise.” Which do you think will create a better result in the future?

You’ll see that an awful lot of so-called “bad readings” come down to using the cards in ways that aren’t as empowering as they might be. For more on this issue, check out my post on Empowering Lenormand Questions

Want More Guidance?

Go to my Lenormand Tips page for more tips about common issues and problems.

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