Wednesday, 25 March 2015
FAQ: How to phrase questions
Part of the answer is, it depends on what spread you plan to use. If you are asking about a complex situation involving a lot of people, it may be best to use a Grand Tableau. In that case, the exact phrasing of your question matters a bit less, and simply thinking about the situation is sufficient, as the cards will be able to look at lots of different aspects and people involved.
If you are looking for something quicker and simpler, though, phrasing becomes more relevant.
Personally, I prefer to avoid questions that focus more on other people, or which imply that I have no agency in a matter. While some things are unavoidable, and while we cannot control everything (or everyone), I choose to focus on what I can change or influence. So, a general rule of thumb for me is to avoid "shoulds" and third-party focused questions.
With that in mind, I tend to stick to empowering and clear questions, such as: what do I most need to know about this situation, what action will most help me?
Another thing to avoid is questions that are too convoluted or unclear. As the saying goes, Keep It Simple, Sista'!
My suggestion would be to either use a spread specifically designed to help you choose (like the Choices spread in the Celtic Lenormand companion book, shown here), or else draw cards for each option. With the choices spread, you can draw as many cards for each option as you like, though I wouldn't go above five. I also find it helpful to draw cards for the wisdom you could use in making this decision, and also for a deciding factor, if two options both look good.
Another route is to simply draw cards for each option, in whichever format you feel comfortable with (a line or a nine square, for instance). Whatever you choose, make sure you have your question and your options clear before you start drawing cards.
Next week, I'll look at the topic of yes-no questions...