I have a collection of different tarot and oracle decks, and am fond of many of them... the present favourite I have is the Fairies Oracle by Brian Froud.
I use them in readings for myself and for others, but more and more I am drawn to using ribbons and would love to have a proper, huge crystal ball. But you know, all these things, the cards, the ribbons and the ball, are just tools really.
There are some readers who link into the artwork and the book descriptions of each card. They are very knowledgeable about tarot's links to numerology and astrology. There are even other readers who do not use any tools at all, but work off energy / aura's / spiritual links.
Maybe sometimes tools though can be restricting; sometimes even for the person having the reading. There are some decks with some pretty dark looking "death" and "tower" cards for example, and even some of the fairies in the Froud deck can be a bit scary.
I got into doing readings for people in circles, where we just sat down and linked into the "quietness" as we called it, and then just simply gave what we picked up, to the person we were drawn to. And that is basically really how I like to work, in a circle. The other way I like to work more and more is face to face readings, but again in some ways phone readings can be easier as there are no visual distractions around. I was watching the tv programme this week called "Psychic Detectives", and one of the psychics involved in a case stated that he prefered to go in "blind". Really that is the best way of working...
Sometimes in a reading the person I am reading for chips in with bits of information. It is lovely to know that the person I am reading for feels comfortable enough to talk, but sometimes it shuts off the connection between us and sometimes what I want to say as a validation, I can't because they have mentioned it within the reading.
That brings us to another area really. A lot of tarot readers like to know a question as spreads can offer yes/no / time/ inside and outside factors. Often a tarot reader will use certain spreads to answer certain questions.
If you are looking for advice on something and you have no experience of the reader, why not then think about having a chat with them before hand to find out how they work. It may save you money and time. If again you are looking for long term predictions, certain readers have a reputation for doing that. And if you think about it the psychic detectives working on the police cases, are working on the things that have already taken place. Not working on future events.
I don't always find that there is a systematic approach, written in stone, that a reader can use with every single reading. People are all individuals. I read intuitively, and do not rely on book definitions of cards for example.
Cards, balls, ribbons are tools of concentration really. A means of connection, just like tea leaves, coffee granules, egg readings.
Gina and Jackory