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Why Third Party Tarot Readings Are Actually OK with Alison Wilkie

By January 21, 2016 July 16th, 2019


Note from Brigit: Ever wanted use the Tarot cards to find out what's going on in someone else's life? This is what is known as a ‘third party reading' and it tends to be a real ‘grey area' amongst Tarot readers. What is ‘ethical' and what is spying? Well, today, professional Tarot reader Alison Wilkie, shares her perspective on how we can ethically use the Tarot cards to understand what might be happening in someone else's life. Over to you, Alison…

Ah, the ‘third party’ reading. This issue’s debated a lot in Tarot circles. And my (possibly controversial) answer is: “All the time”.

Sometimes this is due to the third party being out of town, but usually they are just blissfully unaware. Or occasionally, like a recent client’s husband, they’re banged-up in jail. (And the Tarot advised her to leave him. So is she gonna take my advice? Hell, that’s a whole other post).

What most people debating this question are really wondering is: “Is it ethical?”

I reckon it’s unavoidable, as most situations involve other people. But I’m a nosy soul. Whether it’s the dreamy guy you’ve just started dating, whose motives you’re unsure of (cute), or the boss of the firm you’ve just had an interview with, or the bank manager you haven't even met, but is reviewing your loan request for your dream car: the whole of life is relationships, so it’s rare for readings not to involve others.

Yes, but is OK to ask questions exclusively about others?

Well, that depends. If your question was: “Will my driving instructor sell his house?” Or “will my nephew get divorced?” Then I’d suggest your driving instructor and nephew ask me themselves, as those aren’t your questions to ask!

But usually, 99% of the time, when you ask about other people, you aren’t really asking about them, at all. You’re asking about YOUR relationship with them.

Unless you have a loved one on their death-bed and you want to know if they’ll make it through the night, (in which case you don’t need a Tarot reader, you need a doctor, quick), what you actually want to know is how the other person’s actions/feelings/decisions are going to impact YOU.

Let’s face it, if you haven’t any interest in a relationship with that dreamy guy, would you give a stuff what was on his mind? If you didn’t want the job you’d applied for, would you give a toss what the boss of the company thought? If you didn’t badly want that car, would you have bothered to apply for a loan?

You get my drift. Other folk are usually involved, dammit! We need them to sell us stuff and fix our boilers and to offer us jobs. And (fingers crossed) approve our loan when we need want one.

So, how can I ask about ‘absent parties’ without it seeming like ‘spying’?

First remember you are not a helpless victim of circumstance or other people’s decisions! So your Tarot questions need to put YOU (your choices/your actions/your reactions) in the driving seat.

I specialize in readings for love and am constantly asked to read about absent parties, so here are some examples…

“Is my lover cheating?”

Well, apart from the fact that this is a Yes/No question (so a tragic waste of a reading!) I feel anyone distressed enough to be asking this question deserves to find out the truth.

Though obviously the emphasis of the reading needs to be geared towards the questioner.

So I would alter the question to something like this:

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“What do I need to know about my lover?”

With spread positions:

  • What you want to believe about your lover.
  • What you don’t want to believe about your lover.
  • The truth about your lover.
  • Advice/outcome.


Of course, to truly take responsibility for what we attract into our lives, it’s useful to ask questions such as:

Why am I attracting this situation?  What can I do to let go of this situation? What can I do to find healthy relationships? etc. etc.

But when faced with the question: “Is my lover cheating?” I feel the time for self-reflective examination is after the immediate concerns have been dealt with!

Another popular question…

“Should I get back with my ex?”

This may seem to be about the ex, but it is really the questioner asking about their happiness. (That may or may not involve getting back with the ex).

Which is reasonable, surely?

Although again I’d re-word it, to something like this:

“What are the pros and cons of getting back with my ex?”

With spread positions:

  • Pros of getting back with your ex.
  • Cons of getting back with your ex.

Likely outcome if you did get back together.

  • Lesson you need to learn.


…Because there’s always a lesson!

{Want more Tarot spreads for love? Grab the free guide here!}

So what’s all this guff about ethics?

I guess the real issue is intent. As in WHY are you asking questions about this person? Is your intention to cause them harm? (If that’s the case – guess what – no, of course I won’t read for you!) But how many times do you think I’ve had this issue? That’s right – zilch.

Because you know what? This is RARE. And is why, yes, I do read for other people in their absence.

All the time.


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