Today I am doing a Tarot reading for a friend of mine and her husband about some issues they are experiencing in their marriage. I am not a professional marriage counselor or psychologist, and my friend knows this. However, she and her husband are interested in seeing what insights the cards can provide.
I am using the “Making Love Better Spread” that appears in Barbara Moore’s book Tarot Spreads (Llewellyn Worldwide). The deck I am consulting is the Mystic Dreamer by Heidi Darras and Barbara Moore (Llewellyn Worldwide). I like this spread because it doesn’t try to go into “what he is feeling” or “what she is feeling” but instead focuses on the relationship as a whole. The positional definitions and descriptions are direct quotes from the book Tarot Spreads.
“(1) Strength: The most significant strength of the relationship to draw on at this time. This is active energy that you can use.
ACE OF PENTACLES
My first impression: Stability, security, grounded energy, material or financial matters
Barbara Moore: “Unlike in other aces, the woman here is far away from the pentacle. Why?”
Thoughts: The significant strength of this relationship is rooted in the physical, material world. There is a strong foundation on which to build, along with a sense of security and stability (Earth). Barbara Moore’s question causes me to wonder if either or both of the people in this relationship have distanced themselves or might be feeling “distant” from the core strength and foundation of the marriage.
(2) Lasting: The element of the relationship that has lasted and will continue to last. This is solid energy that you can count on.
KING OF CUPS
My first impression: authoritative and rational (King), yet also emotional (Cups); body language and position seems “inward” or “closed” in some ways.
Barbara Moore: “This king is peaceful, sensitive, affectionate, and calm. He is generally friendly and caring, a very nice man to have around.”
Thoughts: With Cups being the suit of love and relationships, I see that area as being a “lasting element” of this relationship. Although the King can be overly sentimental or overly sensitive (Cups), generally he is in control of his feelings and genuinely supportive of those around him. The Golden Dawn assigns 20 degrees Libra to 20 degrees Scorpio to this king, which gives us a combination of somewhat detached yet cooperative and hospitable energy with keen sensitivity, strong passions, and a tendency to bear a grudge. This interesting mix is the energy this couple can “count on.”
(3) Weakness: The weak point in the relationship that could cause a problem or needs extra attention. This could drain energy.
KNIGHT OF SWORDS
My first impression: impulsive, heedless, reckless, sharp-tongued, charging ahead, communication problems
Barbara Moore: “This knight is single-minded and intensely focused. . . Do not, however, go to him with problems of the heart; he is generally impatient in the face of emotions.”
Thoughts: I was not surprised to see the Knight of Swords in the position of “weakness.” It seems that an unwillingness or inability to deal effectively with emotions is a problem for this couple. It is too easy to charge forward on a desired path or in a desired direction without noticing or respecting the feelings of one’s partner. Perhaps both partners are confident in their opinions and beliefs, expressing them often and firmly, without realizing how that affects the other person.
(4) Do: What you should do – something that will use the positive aspects in your life and relationship to their best advantage.
QUEEN OF CUPS
My first impression: compassionate, caring, nurturing, introspective, emotional, intuitive
Barbara Moore: “This queen likes to make a pleasant place for people to gather and wants everyone to be comfortable and happy. She is very sensitive to others’ feelings. . . She is kind, gentle, and nurturing.”
Thoughts: Along with her partner, the King of Cups, this Queen reinforces the importance of feelings and sensitivity to others. It is easy to see how actions based on this Queen’s characteristics could go a long way towards creating a happier environment.
(5) Stop doing: Something you should not do or stop doing. It may be something that seems right but is actually not best at this time.
FOUR OF WANDS
My first impression: Strong, stable, secure foundation (Four), optimism, enthusiasm, passion (Wands); celebration, marriage.
Barbara Moore: “If reversed, this card warns you not to celebrate too soon. Things appear very fine but you need to wait a bit to make sure.”
Thoughts: I did not use reversals in this reading, but in order to interpret a card that represents “Stop doing” I thought it would be good to consider reversed meanings for the card. The fact is, I was stumped initially, unable to understand why a card that is normally so positive would appear as something the people in this relationship should avoid doing or stop doing. The only thing I can come up with is that perhaps the cards are telling them not to take the relationship for granted, not to assume that issues will “resolve themselves.” Problems in the relationship need to be addressed and challenges overcome in order for the relationship to succeed in the long term.
(6) Guiding Star: Your highest and best hope for the situation, which can guide all your steps. If something moves you closer to this, then do it.”
My first impression: Nurturing, generous, growth, creation, cycles and seasons of life
Barbara Moore: “This card shows a time of natural growth. Your role is to nurture without forcing or neglecting your project. . . There is great potential for abundance if good care is given.”
Thoughts: Like the Queen of Cups, The Empress is nurturing and caring. The Golden Dawn assigns the planet Venus, planet of love and appreciation, to this card. If seems appropriate that a Major Arcana card would come forward in the position “Guiding Star – your highest and best hope for the situation.” With the help of the energy represent in The Empress, the relationship can continue to grow and flourish.
I am struck by this comment from Barbara Moore: “Your role is to nurture without forcing or neglecting your project.” If I had to give one piece of advice to this couple about their relationship, this would be it. I realize that striking a balance between “forcing” and “neglecting” is not the easiest thing to do, but it does hold a lot of promise if it can be done.