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Friday, August 1, 2014

A Reading About a Friend's Marriage

This post contains a reading for a friend who is going through significant challenges related to her marriage.

My friend has been separated from her husband for over a year. He says he still loves her, but is battling psychological issues that prevent him from living with her (or anyone else, apparently) in the role of partner or husband. He has said he will not file for divorce. A recent “meeting” with him was extremely disappointing for my friend.

I am using The Prague Threshold Spread, which I believe was created for use with the Tarot of Prague by Karen Mahony and Alex Ukolov (The Magic Realist Press).

I am using a deck gifted to me by my dear friend and former blog partner, Helen, when I met her in person on my recent trip to Australia. This is the Llewellyn Tarot by Anna-Marie Ferguson (Llewellyn Publications).

Here is the layout:

3               5

(1) Current situation
(2) What lies on the other side of the gateway (outcome)
(3) and (5) Issues that need to be considered or actions that need to be taken
(4) Influence that lies over the steps being taken

Let’s see what the cards can tell us about my friend’s relationship problem.

(1) Current situation: FOUR OF WANDS
This card is often seen as indicating a celebration, sharing, equilibrium, and contentment. Anna-Marie Ferguson writes “virtue, vigilance, and restraint are rewarded.” To me, it seems like the opposite meaning is more appropriate here. My friend thought her marriage met all of the above criteria but found out that the “sharing, equilibrium, and contentment” was an illusion. I suppose it is possible that this card refers to an underlying stability that remains between her and her husband in spite of all that has happened. The number four can also suggest stagnation, and the relationship has been “on hold” for more than a year.

(3) and (5) Issues that need to be considered or actions that need to be taken:

My friend needs to call on her inner strength and convictions in this situation. Ferguson writes that STRENGTH means the “ability to endure failures, losses, and disappointment, and yet keep the faith.” My friend must rely on a balance of reason and passion.

I see JUDGEMENT here as, literally, a “wake up call” for my friend. She needs to “wake up” to the reality of this situation. Ferguson writes that this card means “having the courage to make necessary changes to bring about growth and purpose.”

(4) Influence that lies over the steps being taken: JUSTICE
It is encouraging to see JUSTICE in this position. Key phrases used by Ferguson include “honesty and honour,” “the triumph of reason,” and “favourable judgment in legal matters.” The truth will out. Fairness will prevail. Negotiations will succeed.

(2) What lies on the other side of the gateway (outcome): ACE OF PENTACLES
Aces usually represent a new beginning, the start of a new phase or stage in one’s life. We have the suit of Pentacles here, which tells us this new start may take place in the physical, material realm, which includes money, possessions, and health. This suggests to me that unless current conditions change, my friend and her husband are likely to divorce and divide up their property so that she essentially “starts over” on her own, responsible for her own financial security and stability (Ace = 1).

The presence of three Major Arcana cards in this five-card set makes it clear that this situation is of great significance in my friend’s life. I don’t think anyone needs the Tarot to recognize that. I find it reassuring that JUSTICE appears in position 4. When a marriage dissolves, the best we can really hope for is that the outcome is fair/just.


  1. I liked your interpretation of these cards very much Zanna I also had one other thought about the first card for the situation 4 wands and I got a distinct feeling of being trapped, the four wands forming in my mind a barrier that keeps one enclosed not allowing them to proceed forward.

    1. Yes! That is what I feel as well, Helen. I just couldn't quite put it into words. It's similar to the "stagnation" idea but "trapped" is stronger and, I think, very accurate here.


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~ Zanna