What to Do When Your Reading is “Negative” - Your 3 Step Action Plan to Changing Your Fortune


All of us have been there. You sit down for your reading, you concentrate on your question, pull your cards and BAM! A dark, scary, mean card slaps you across the face.

Okay, maybe I’m being a bit dramatic…but whether you receive the reading from another cartomancer or you’re just pulling your own daily card, there is a doom gloom feeling that can wash over us when darker cards turn up. We can be tempted to gently put the cards away and go on with our day, putting on our blindfolds so we don’t have to see the scary stuff. Sure throwing the cards back in the bag would be the quick, easy way out…but you’re still going to encounter that situation either way.

So, what do we DO about this negative reading?

I got you covered. We’re going to cover a 3 step action plan to transforming your negative reading into your best reading yet. So whether you’re a Tarot reader, Lenormand reader, or both, this post is for you.

If you’re curious about the difference between Lenormand and Tarot, check out THIS POST.

I did a Facebook Live on this post and you can catch the replay, below. Not into live replays? Just skip the video and keep reading.

An Unfortunate Scenario

Let’s go through one of these challenging readings together. Let’s say we’ve been hard at work planning a party and we want to know how the event will unfold.

We concentrate and ask the question “how will the party go?” With one eye open, we trepidatiously flip over our Lenormand cards:









What does this mean?

 It’s clear from this spread that there will be arguing, potentially from gossip that leads to doubt, confusion, and unhappiness. Yuck!

 What do we do from here? Well we can throw in the towel and cancel the party all together or we can take a few action steps…

Your “Negative” Reading Rescue Plan

Step 1: Take a breath and think of yourself in the 3rd person


When negative cards are pulled, our instinct may be to freak out. Why do we freak out? Because we are WAY too involved in the outcome of our reading. If you’re not coming from a clear-headed space, you’re going to read the cards in a biased or in an emotionally heightened state. This state is NOT good for interpreting cards. If you find yourself in freak out mode, then it’s important that we take a step back. Close your eyes and take a breath.

We can begin to bring ourselves back to an emotionally neutral state by box breathing. This is where you breathe in for 4 breaths, hold for 4 breaths, breathe out for 4 breaths, hold for 4 breaths. Rinse and repeat.

Once you feel your heart rate go down a bit, then it’s time to pull back even more.

The next step is to think of yourself in the 3rd person. I know it’s a bit weird…but it works! If I were reading for myself, I would say, “okay, this is Emily’s reading.” It can have the impact of making it seem like the reading is for someone else, somewhat distancing yourself from the outcome of the reading, and therefore, you’re less likely to freak out.

Let’s head back to our party example. Now that we are in a cool, calm, and collected space, we can remember the INTENTION of the reading. Without intention, we cannot craft clear questions.

Our intention was that we wanted to see how the event would go and what we could do to have the best outcome possible. Now with our purpose clearly in mind, it’s time to make some magic happen and change our fortune. Our next step is to… 

Step 2: Ask the RIGHT game changing question


When negative card pops up in your reading, it is here to SHOW you something. It’s here to draw your attention to an area that needs a little tender loving care from you! So, rather than moping, doom glooming, or smackin down like whack a mole, let’s think about what we can we ask NEXT.

After all, our futures are not set in stone. I think of time like Dr. Who, “it’s wibbly wobbley timey-wimey stuff.” 

One of my Tarot teachers, James Wanless, talks about the idea of Fortune Creation. This is the belief that divination such as Tarot/Lenormand can be used to form the futures we want to have and when we get a negative card, there is some wiggle room or opportunity to develop or practice skills to improve upon our situations.

So, with the idea that time is flexible and that we can create futures, let’s see if there’s a way to change our fortune by asking some questions…but not just ANY ole question…we need fabulous, on point questions. 

I created THIS FREE GUIDE to help you craft the perfect question.

Here’s one example of a great next question: “how can I influence a more positive outcome?”

This question is great because it focuses on the querent. What YOU can do. Since we can’t control other people, this is what we need to be concerned about, ourselves,

 As this question would be for advice, I think a Tarot, or an Oracle card would be appropriate.

Let’s go back to our party example and we ask “how can I influence a more positive outcome?”

We pull the Six of Cups.

This card can mean reminiscing on warm memories, innocence, idealizing the past. With this advice we know a safe topic of conversation could be the good ole days, bringing guests together and starting sentences with a wry smile and with phrases like “remember the time we…” Perhaps this warm tone could set everyone in a gentler mood and influence a more positive outcome.

We can even ask a follow up question to this. We can ask, “if I focus on bringing up warm memories at the party, how will this impact the outcome?”

This question can show us how the future may shift a bit if we were to bring this warm energy to the party.

This is a pretty rosy scenario that we painted. If you feel the card gives you affirmative advice that it IS indeed possible for you to influence the external outcome of the event, then you are on your way to changing your fortune!

However, if for our advice card is less actionable, then what do we do?

Let’s say we drew the harsh 2 of Swords instead of the sweet 6 of Cups as our advice for our party scenario. The 2 of Swords can mean a stalemate is at play and we may feel like we are forced to pick a side when both sides are wrong. When we get another difficult card like this, it’s time to go deeper.

Although we may not always be able to impact the overall outcome of an event as a lone individual, we can ALWAYS impact how we, ourselves, handle, process, and use what we have learned from a situation in the future. When we come to this point in a reading, we are being asked to…

Step 3: Pull up your higherself pants and get ready for transformation


Once we’ve pulled our advice card(s) following our initial “negative” pull and we learn that there is not much we can do to change the outcome, we may be tempted to just throw the cards down and go eat a cookie, watch a terrible reality TV show, anything to get us away from THAT card pull.

This is because our surface level self LOVES instant gratification and wants everything to be easy breezy. The tricky cards we just pulled are in direct contrast to this. Since there isn’t an obvious solution to the problem, we can deem it totally inconvenient and uncomfortable so we want just avoid it.

But…it is sometimes impossible to avoid uncomfortable situations altogether. One of my favorite quotes is from Brooke Castillo, “discomfort is currency of our dreams.”

If we’re not willing to get uncomfortable, then we’re not willing to accomplish our goals and transform ourselves into the person we want to become. We are shaped by HOW we handle experiences and what we learn from difficult situations.

Now that we have pulled advice cards and discovered that we are not able to influence a positive external outcome, we are given an opportunity. Yes…an opportunity (even if we kick and scream our way to it). Our higher selves are asking us to transform, to evolve and this moment in question is the vehicle by which we can do so. We are being asked to look at the cards as the circumstance, understand what is happening without judgement.

In our example, people at the party are not getting along. That is the circumstance we are confronting. We don’t need to add drama to it by thinking things like, “I’m a terrible party planner,” or, “why do I even try?” or, “can’t things just be easy?!” Instead, let’s get into action by asking a very important question:

 What do we want to THINK about the experience?

What do we want to think about the fact that people won’t get along at the party? After all, everything is created within ourselves.

We get to CHOOSE how we think about, interpret, and experience the things in our life. Even if we can’t change the external circumstance, we can still change our fortune by choosing HOW we will approach and experience this “negative” experience.  

We are, in essence, being asked by our higher selves to transform and simultaneously, we are given the opportunity to become a better cartomancer.  Being a great cartomancer involves accepting the duality of life. The positive and the negative. Over time, it’s clear that the negative in life shapes the positive experiences. It is a symbiotic relationship that is crucial to living a full life.

When we accept this principle it’s time to ask, “what is this situation here to teach me?”

Often, there is an essential lesson that we need from that experience to carry forward and apply to other aspects of our lives.

If we pulled a card for our party scenario asking, “what is this here to teach me,” and we pulled the Queen of Swords, perhaps this situation is teaching us how to draw boundaries. This situation, may be the perfect testing ground for this new skill. We will put it to the test in this environment so we can level up and put it to the test in a new, more challenging environment later.

The Key to Fortune Creation is in the Question

As you can see, your ability to ask clear questions is essential to getting clear answers and to flip the script on your “negative” reading. This is why I created my Free Ask Clear Questions, get Clear Answers Guide. This FREE, simple, step by step guide walks you through crafting the perfect question so you can act with clarity and confidence.

I hope these tips help you when you pull your next “scary” card!


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