What makes the difference between a card reading and a card interpretation?
Here's a technique that can be incorporated into any introspective cartomancy reading style, whether tarot or other oracle cards.
One problem I see with card interpretations both amateur and pro, for self and for others, is that often, all that is delivered is vaguely general warm and fuzzy advice based on keywords.
The reason this seems to happen is that we latch on to the keywords of a card and don't take the reading any further.
For example, imagine a general reading one-card pull. The card received has a primary keyword of 'patience'.
In a self-reading, upon receiving such a card a person might say, "I guess I need to be more patient".
That's great advice for anyone, but is it a great tarot reading? Not at all, exactly because it is great advice for everyone. A tarot reading must be specific and individual to be truly meaningful.
The next step, that all-too-many tarotists miss, is to turn the interpretation into a hard-hitting reading.
One way to do that is to allow that key word to lead to the next logical question. This process of finding and forming questions is in itself intuitive. The answers can come from within, from logic, or from further divination.
To continue with our example, the question might be, "What is going on in my life that is particularly trying my patience?"
The answer might come from surround cards, the answer might be obvious, or might require some introspection or divination.
Further questions might include, "Why is this tying my patience?" "At what point should I be more proactive?" "What am I to learn from this"?
Very often this process will require more divination than that original one-card pull; I always say that if a reading is worth a single card, it's worth as many as you need.
That an idea, theme or concept like patience, success, communication, goals or relationships appears in a reading is standard. Yet the reading stops being a recitation of keywords and general bland advice and becomes a true process of personal exploration when we interpret not only the card; we interpret why we received the card.
The message is always important, but it is the reason for the message, the timeliness of the message, and the context of the message that makes a reading most valuable.