How to ask a good reading question

question photo
Photo by cogdogblog

The clarity and efficacy of our readings are greatly influenced by the questions we ask.  Often, what we think we need to know isn’t actually the crux of the matter, or relies on an untrue assumption or story.  When we ask these questions of spirit, we can get conflicting or confusing responses, leading us to doubt whether we’re really connected up and through.

Now, a good intuitive will be able to take an overly narrow or unhelpful question and translate it into something that can get a rich answer from spirit that can help us get the information we’re seeking. That’s part of the job. But it’s always useful to know ourselves how to phrase a question, whether for our own divination or general clarity.

A good reading question is:

  • open-ended (rather than yes-or-no)
  • can be specific, but allows for more possibilities
  • addresses the heart of the matter

A good question should itself leave room for a different viewpoint. It can be difficult to think in this way when we’re caught up in an emotional swirl, however. For example, if I’m feeling anguished and ask “Why do I always fail”, I’m unlikely to get a useful answer from spirit, because 1. “always” or “never” statements are rarely accurate, 2. This type of question is based on a story of general worthlessness rather than the actual situation that occurred, and 3. no  matter what answer comes, it’s unlikely to lead to concrete helpful action.  And that is incredibly important. Because we honor spirit by taking action on the information we receive.

Troubleshooting questions

A right question will resound with possibility, with truth. 

If you’re caught in why-me questions, keep going until you hit that ring of truth.

Have you asked this question before, and if so, how often?

Are you going in circles? Is it because you just really don’t understand something? (No shame in that — but it means it’s time to ask in a different way.) Or do you actually just want somebody or something external to fix yourself or your problem for you?

Sorry (and I say this with utter compassion): that’s not going to happen.

We can ask for aid, for support, for clarity, for help re-aligning, for gaining healing, for clearing and cleaning, for insight — but at the end of the day, we are the ones with bodies and free will here on this earth. If we want to experience transformation, we must move ourselves. Spirit will  help. But there is always a non-negotiable part that is up to us to perform. When we do our part, incredible things can happen as co-creators with spirit and the web of connection that runs through all things. But we must meet spirit halfway.

If you’re unable to take action on the information you receive, it could be that your question is too narrow.

Look at it again. Do the only responses rely on certain assumptions? Are those assumptions actually true?

If you can’t find the ring of truth in your question, or it’s too narrow, or if you run into any problems in assembling a reading question, start with your intention.  What do you want to accomplish or change as a result of this reading? What new energy do you want to experience?

In the end, “what’s going on here?” can be a better question than “why is xyz happening” (and certainly a better question than “why me”), because “why is xyz happening” relies on your interpretation of the situation, which may or may not be accurate.

Good questions lead to good readings, and can themselves give us a good deal of clarity before we’re even out the door.

Try it, see what happens!


Have you explored asking different types of questions in your planning or divination, and if so, what has happened? Did anything change? I’d love to hear your experiences. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email at isabella (at) iskantara.com