Are Outcome Cards Important?

by Ewen on April 9, 2013

Years back when I first started doing professional readings, I learned an important lesson in Tarot divination. I learned this lesson … the hard way.

Allow me to share with you a story. A story of tragic outcomes.

I had a client who I had spoken to on several occasions. A nice lady who was asking me to do readings about her relationship. Unfortunately her partner was going through a hard time and had become depressed, moody and was drinking heavily. He had recently told her he wanted some time apart from her. My client was very upset and confused. She no longer recognised the man she had been in a good relationship with for three years.

Every time she tried to talk with him he was ether depressed and non responsive, or he was drunk and rude towards her. She could not work out what had caused this change in him. She asked him to get professional help for his depression but it was to no avail, he just stayed in his house all day drinking.

One day my client phoned me and asked for a reading. She told me she had some great news. Her partner had contacted her and for the first time in weeks he was no longer sounding depressed. He was being warm and friendly like the man she use to know. He told me he still loves me and wants to work things out, she said. She asked me to do a reading on whether it was a good idea to visit him, uninvited, later that evening.

I cannot recall exactly what cards came up in the spread, but the whole reading was positive and supportive to her going round to see him. There were positive Cups cards, the 6 of Wands, the 6 of Pentacles, and I remember the Star card and Magician card being in the spread. The only problem was the 3 of Swords as the outcome card.

Perplexed, I pondered on this reading for a while and decided to do another spread, just to double check. The second spread was similar to the first; Really positive cups, wands, pentacles and major arcana cards, but this time with the 10 of Swords as the outcome.

After much deliberation I decided to throw caution to the wind. I told her to go over to see him that very night with a bunch of flowers and a box of chocolates, and a reconciliation would take place.
She happily agreed. She excitedly started to prepare her self to see him thanked me for the reading and asked me to wish her luck. All in a good days work I thought to myself.

The next morning my phone rang. All I could hear was the faint sound of someone sobbing, “Hello who is this?” After some moments a hysterical voice shouted “He hit me.”

It turned out that when my client went round to see him he was very drunk and in a bad mood. He took great exception to her uninvited arrival and physically assaulted her on his door step.

Not one of my best readings.

My client did not blame me for what happened. She said she would have see him that night regardless of what I said.

The Importance of Outcome Cards

The lessons I learned that day were the irrationality of drunks and the importance of outcome cards.

Since this disastrous and extreme reading I always pay close attention to outcome cards. Particularly when doing readings on specific questions. If a problematic card comes up as an outcome such as the 10 of Swords or 5 of Cups regardless of the rest of the reading, it is always good to advice caution.

I recently came across this with a client who wanted to know if it was a good idea to invest money in a business. He was very enthusiastic about this venture and said it just felt right. The reading looked great apart from a 5 of Pentacles outcome. In this situation there can be a heaviness in giving the reading the benefit of the doubt. In my opinion this is not a good idea. I told him not to invest. He found out a week later the business went bust and he would have lost his money if he had invested.

Some people might be thinking this is just obvious. The outcome card is the card that defines the answer to any question, and that is true; but when the pressure is on and the client really has their heart set on a positive outcome, and the rest of the reading suggests that is going to happen, there can be an enormous temptation to overlook a bad outcome card.

I guess it depends on what type of spread you are using, but with basic spreads or the Celtic Cross, I would always use the outcome card as the indicator of what outcome will actually materialise in reality.

Reading Tarot cards can be very difficult. I hope by sharing this story with you some terrible readings, broken relationships and tears can be avoided.



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16 comments… Let's discuss

Fred April 9, 2013 at 11:42 pm

This is great insight. I have a client that always asked me “What’s my next right step?” after a reading. I’ll often draw a single card to see if what advice it presents to answer the question. The extra card can add an extra element, positive or negative, once the summation of the reading is done.


Ewen April 10, 2013 at 12:07 am

Thanks Fred
That is a good idea to take an extra card to get more insight into the out come.
I once knew a very talented Tarot reader who did the same thing at the end of a reading but with the bottom card of the deck. She always saw the bottom card of the deck as being the most important card for the whole reading.
Cheers mate


Sharron April 10, 2013 at 3:39 am

Yes, I guess that the outcome card can be regarded as the buck stops here card… perplexing but overall what is the outcome. I often ask for another card to clarify a situation if I am not sure what is going on. I have also come across the interesting card at the bottom of the pack…


Ewen April 11, 2013 at 12:17 pm

Hi Sharron
Thanks for the comment
Its funny how some readings will give very clear answers to questions and other readings wont. These days if I cant understand the outcome to a reading even after looking at the bottom card of the deck I get the client to hold a dowsing pendulum over the reading. This can be a very accurate and cool way of getting a yes or no answer.


Catherine Chapman April 10, 2013 at 2:16 pm

Hi Ewen,

Tough readings there and I’m totally with you. It’s easy to get carried away with a nice reading and gloss the ending. I think I may even have read somewhere that a positive reading reduces the severity of a negative outcome card. All these things remain to be seen as each reading is different.

One thing it does make me think about though is the turning of the cards during the reading itself, particularly face to face. If turning one at a time and all is going well, it’s going to bomb with a negative outcome card and a whole lot of either backtracking or retrieving the reading is going to happen, particularly the pressure to reduce the significance of the negative outcome card, as you rightly point out.

Turning all the cards at once can give a better overall picture. However, I often feel this method is somewhat collectivist and by its very nature reduces the other cards in the reading, not just the outcome card. so some other important messages may be lost.

Really looking forward to reading more of your posts!



Ewen April 11, 2013 at 12:36 pm

Hi Mate
I guess every one has got their own way and style of doing readings. Maybe it is all about getting in the zone.
I once meet a psychic who closed her eyes when putting the cards out and kept them closed throughout the whole reading. Dont really know why she did this as it was quite funny to watch but it worked well for her.
Thanks Catherine
Speek to you soon mate


Jenna | Queen of Wands Tarot April 10, 2013 at 2:53 pm

Excellent post. I absolutely feel pressure to read cards one way if the client is leaning so heavily towards a positive outcome, or the client will immediately dismiss what the cards are sharing because there are so many other positive cards in the spread.

Case in point, I had a client ask me if her car was going to last driving back and forth to the beach over the summer, we got Tower, 5/wands, and another one (can’t remember). She kept asking, “will it be at the beach or home?”, “will it be an accident or break down?” to “well… I DO have AAA…” finally, “you know I am just going to chance it, are you SURE that it won’t last the summer?”


Ewen April 11, 2013 at 11:47 am

Hi Jenna
It can be tough some clients just want to hear a positive out come to their question. There is a pressure to tell them what they want to hear. In the past I have given in to this pressure as meny readers do. These days I follow a code that I like to call the policy of truth. The policy of truth is not an easy option but it always leads to more accurate readings.
Recently I had a client who was angry and upset at me because I was not telling her what she wanted to hear she stormed out of my house furious over the reading. Sometimes thats just the way it rolls.
I also dont think there is any shame in telling a client that you dont know what the outcome is going to be. In my opinion many things are unwritten in life. The more readings I do the more I think that allot of the future is created by the thoughts and inner states we have rather than outside fate.
Let me know if you agree with that Jenna
Cheers mate


Sigrun April 11, 2013 at 6:39 am

Thank you for a very important reminder – I recognize the situations mentioned too well. The extra card sounds like a good idea which I often forget. About the bottom card, genious! S.


Ewen April 11, 2013 at 11:00 am

Cheers Sigrun
The old bottom card trick can really be a great help for getting an over all feel for the outcome.
Hope it helps your readings.


Richard Abbot April 11, 2013 at 6:39 am

Great article. As readers we must be ready to consider all possible outcomes, from spectacular to ruinous and everywhere in between.


Ewen April 11, 2013 at 10:52 am

Hi Richard
Totally agree mate
All possibilities need to be considered before a finale prediction can be made.


Theresa Reed April 20, 2013 at 1:33 pm

Excellent post! I was once advised by another reader to “never give a negative outcome”, no matter what the cards show. To me, that insults the client’s intelligence. If I see a negative ending, I’ll do a “bridge reading” to see if there is any advice on how to lessen or shift the situation but other than that, I tend to deliver the reading, warts ‘n all.


Ewen April 21, 2013 at 5:54 pm

Hi Theresa
Thanks for your comment
I agree just reading the cards good or bad is the best practise.
Thanks mate


Mary K. Greer April 20, 2013 at 6:49 pm

Excellent post. What I’ve found is that sometimes this points to an important lesson or stage that the person needs to go through. We can’t always avoid bad things – nor should we. My husband and I were set on buying a specific house years ago. I obsessed with my readings about it. Every single reading showed beautiful, perfect cards except the final one or two, which were always the 9 and/or 10 of Swords. I even did a reading to show a friend, announcing that the final two cards, not yet turned up, would be them – and they were. At the last minute the house sale fell through, leading to despair as we were on a timeline that could have cost us tens of thousands. But I found a house that had gone on the market the day I looked, which we bought and brought us everything the other cards had talked about. Going for the first house was exactly what I needed to learn about real estate and to hold off until this perfect house was ready. In your example, perhaps a terrible event was what the woman needed to finally let go of a bad situation she couldn’t fix? It’s not always right to steer a person away from a bad outcome.


Ewen April 21, 2013 at 4:55 pm

Hi Mary
I agree with what your saying, perhaps a negative outcome in a reading is sometimes something that needs to be experienced. Often negative outcomes can teach important life lessons and end up being blessings in disguise.
Cheers mate


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