The Art of Difficult Messages

There comes a time as a reader or as a medium when you need to give a difficult message. The way I read cards is rather point-blank in the sense that the systems I use tend to be pretty fixed interpretatively. In other words it isn't all that easy to embroider or obfuscate when something is being shown that is challenging. The same goes when receiving something from a spirit mediumstically - some spirits don't give up until it has been said, and said right.

So there comes a time that one has no choice but to give a hard message. As messengers throughout history have demonstrated this isn't all that easy. There is the inclination to try to please the client and certainly nothing quite as enjoyable as hearing a client wax-lyrical about your reading when it hit the spot for them. However, with certain difficult messages, especially messages that might dent the ego of the sitter, you can be pretty darn sure that the warm fuzzy glow won't be there at the end of the reading. In fact some people might get entirely huffy, or even outright argumentative. The ego does not like being exposed, mine included!

Then there is another variant to this problem; delivering what I like to call the "coded message". These often enough come directly from spirits through a medium but they can show up in a card reading too. The coded message is a message that seems to have a riddle-like quality, or the quality of being somewhat cryptic. The coded message acts like a spiritual time bomb. When the time is right it blooms in the consciousness of the client and with that comes that most potent outcome of any spiritual reading: personal revelation. A unique and profound insight transforms the client as the message aligns itself perfectly with a series of events that allow it to become decrypted in a luminous flash. A higher order of meaning comes out of this phenomenon - one quite impossible to deliver from mouth to ear.

Nonetheless, the coded message can leave the client a little confused and irritable. Everyone likes clarity after all. Delivering a coded message takes even more skill and confidence than giving a hard message because frequently the message is coded in such a way that it does not even make sense to the reader. Yet, the reader or medium knows it must be said. This can leave the reader feeling foolish as the client rolls their eyes and sighs in a critical puff. A way must be found to offer the coded message up in such a manner that it enters the mind of the client gently but firmly enough that when the time is ripe it can trigger revelation.

Therefore, when the client's back is up because what you said hit a nerve; or because you have given a seemingly cryptic message; or the reading has not proven to fit with their cozy expectations in some way, one comes to a critical juncture in the reading. Do you assert your point (and yourself), or do you back down? Either route can have troubling results if chosen poorly. If you press on tactlessly because your own ego is getting drawn into the fray you risk the danger of projecting something the client is unready for and therefore  potentially harmful. Readers do make mistakes, even if they don't like to admit it. Conversely, if you cede in an effort to pacify them you run the risk of not impressing upon the client the true and very vital message they were supposed to receive. The very reason they were brought before you.

Sometimes you have to take that leap of faith. You need to be firm and run the risk of pissing off the client if your experience and ability confirms that a message indeed should be heard. This isn't easy. The client will often enough get ornery and the session might end with some tension in the air, or worse with an unhappy customer.

But the fact is that a happy customer is not necessarily a well served one.

Eventually you have to stand your ground, with as much sensitivity and compassion as you can muster. There comes a time to blunt. If you choose that time well, what will happen is that in due course the client will return having seen the outcome of your message, and thereby been softened up by the fates so to speak. They will be more willing to listen with an open mind next time; and they will respect and appreciate your firmness as coming out of deeper sense of concern for them.

Our responsibility as readers then is to refine our communication skills as much as we can, and to listen to our clients and deliver that difficult but crucial message with as much tact and intelligence as possible.

It might just be the message that changes their life.


  1. Good post. I find being honest works best. "I hate to do this, it's my least favorite part of the job, but you've got some bad news. [bad news.] Man, that sucks. I'm sorry."

    Then I offer to help with whatever I can.

    If the message is personal, like this guy's an ass hat, I put it in a compliment sandwich. "You're an honest person, and while it can be a good thing, you really come across as an ass hat sometimes. On the plus side, you're smart enough not to act that way all the time, and you can get over it with a little contemplation and some compassion Work."

  2. Excellent post and one I can really relate to. I always tell the client beforehand that I never sugar-coat my readings and I will say either what I see, or what comes to me in other (I don't know what) ways. I always warn them again before I say something I know they probably wont like.
    The worst ones are when you read for friends. I can remember telling a close friend she could expect some news she wouldn't like. Two days later she was on the phone in tears and I felt strangely responsible. I suspect she held me responsible at that point too, as if seeing something meant I had made it happen!
    It is definately one of the most difficult things for any reader, unfortunately it comes with the territory. It's a great feeling when a client leaves really happy and you know you are going to get rave reviews (and great for the ego!) however, you can't expect to enjoy the sweet stuff without putting up with the sour later on!!

  3. I know what you mean about the problem of reading for friends, which I avoid as much as possible. I prefer referring them to someone I trust.

    1. I prefer to refer friends to other readers as well.

  4. The sad truth is that many times a honest reader can have some degree of difficulty in the interaction with the client , i'm speaking mainly about the type of client without any esoteric knowledge or culture . They are simply asking , not to hear the truth , but to hear what they like to hear , and it will take a geat deal of wisdom and patience to handle some difficult situations or reactions . Being a reader is not easy at all , many people think about us as having a "simple" and "funny" job , making money in a easy way . There a so much people around who always ask for free readings o very low price readings , and who stay for hours or write some dozens of emails , always thinking it is part of "one" reading . I'm mainly an astrologer and tarot reader , using even geomancy , runes and palmistry . As for ritual and esoteric work for the clients : i can give some suggestions and practical occult advice , but i never make any talisman , spellwork or ritual directly for others . Maybe it will be fine , dear Dhr.Balthazar , if you can explain in an article how it is in reality working spells for others , and what to do and what happen when the client is not happy with the results , and i'm sure that many of them will not agree to be happy even when they are good results of the work...Greetings from Italy , Roberto Minichini