Tarot for Relationships
How Tarot Can Help in Relationships
You could be forgiven for wondering how a clutch of cards with pictures on them could help anyone with their love-life. Surely it isn't possible for someone to pull out tarot cards at random and expect any meaningful information to be delivered? It does seem somewhat unlikely, but I have a theory... well, I have several theories about how and why tarot works. But this is the simplest: every card in the tarot can reveal insights about a person. Therefore, it doesn't matter which cards show up—any and all can give you valuable information.
Another idea is that the truths portrayed in tarot are applicable to everyone's life, and somehow, between intuition, psychic vibration and the collective unconscious, the pertinent cards always show up for the situation under consideration.
As a professional tarot reader for many years, I would say that two-thirds of my readings are about relationship issues. We have relationships with every single person in our lives, whether that be close family or someone you chat with on Facebook. In modern life, relationships are how we define ourselves; without other people to reflect back to us, most of us would find it difficult to function. So it is no surprise, then, that so many people have concerns and questions about relationships.
Here's the message I tried to impart to my clients—it's always about you. The most important relationship anyone will ever have is with themselves. Get that bit right first, and romantic love and healthy relationships with others will follow, as sure as night follows day.
Let's examine how using tarot cards can help with that.
Tarot and Your Relationship With You
Without going into too much depth, I have a view that each person has two aspects—the physical human who is reading this right now and a spiritual, non-physical being who is your true self. You are, of course, already your true self, but when you die, you revert back into your non-physical self.
When we feel joy, these two aspects are together and aligned but when we are facing struggle or are unhappy, then the two selves are far apart. Your spiritual being never feels discord, anger, hatred, despair or disappointment, so when you, in your human form, feel bad, it is because the gap between your current standpoint and your spiritual self is so wide you cannot be in alignment with who you really are. When you are aligned you are irresistible to others. They are attracted to you and they don't always know why. You know people like this—they are great to be with and you always feel good after spending time with them.
Many people ask me “When will I meet my soul-mate?” or “I know that **** is my other half; why can't we be together?” Now you know about being in alignment with yourself, you will realise that your soul-mate is not someone else but is the other part of you. Learn how to close the gap between your bodily self and your spiritual self and you will soon find romantic love and deep friendships
Before bringing anyone else into the equation, I suggest you do a reading (or have one done for you) to show where you are in relation to your spiritual or 'higher' self. You need two points of reference so two cards will be sufficient.
Sample Reading: Your Relationship With You
I drew two cards for an imaginary client (I'll call her Anne). The first card represents where she is right now and the second is where her higher self resides. The aim of this reading is to show how the gap can be closed.
- Card 1: Seven of Wands
- Card 2: The Empress
The Seven of Wands shows a person in a position of defense. He or she, let's assume 'she' as my mythical client is female, appears to be fighting off six unseen adversaries. Although she is outnumbered, she does have the advantage of the higher ground. You'll also notice she is wearing mismatched shoes. This is a very action-based card indicating that Anne is feeling that life is a bit of a struggle right now. She's off-balance, and also feels completely unsupported. As far as relationships go, if she is in one, then that lack of support is a big issue. If she is not in a relationship, then she could be feeling that there is simply too much competition and she would be better off backing off.
You can see that with this outlook, Anne is far away from her spiritual self and not only that, she would not be in the right frame of mind to nurture an existing relationship or attract a new one.
The Empress is a Major Arcana and, therefore, has a very strong influence. That makes sense, given the context of the reading. This card represents Anne's true spiritual nature. The Empress sits peacefully in a field of corn, surrounded by cushions, blankets and symbols of abundance and fertility. She is very comfortable as can be seen by her relaxed posture. It is easy to see that there is a very wide chasm between the stressed-out figure on the Seven of Pentacles and the relaxed easy-going Empress.
The message to Anne from the Empress is that she needs to stop struggling, stop looking for support from others and simply relax and find ways to enjoy herself. Once she drops the fight, others will stop pushing against her. If she takes on some of the characteristics of the Empress card, life will improve dramatically. Additionally, the Empress is very much connected with sexuality, so if Anne will relax, her current relationship will improve and she will be very attractive to potential lovers.
This is, of course, a very incomplete and short overview, but you can see how it works.
How Tarot Can Help Save a Marriage or Long-Term Relationship
The key to this kind of reading is asking the right questions. My advice, if you are reading for yourself or are a beginner, is to keep to small spreads or layouts: no more than three cards at the most. Questions should be phrased so that the person looking for advice is always the subject of the reading. By this, I mean that you should not be reading for the person's partner because that is somewhat unethical if he or she is unaware of it. Good questions to ask would be:
- What do I need to understand about my relationship?
- What action can I take to improve matters?
- What do I need to change to make things better?
It's always a good idea to start with the “Your Relationship with You” reading as that will give you a solid platform from which to explore the options available to the person asking the questions.
Let's pretend that Anne is married but lately she and her husband have drifted apart. The attraction that held them together has faded and the marriage is based on habit and routine rather than romantic love. Ann knows deep down she loves her husband and she is sure he loves her but it has all become mundane and so boring that she thinks her only choice is to leave or have an affair. I'll draw one card for her, asking what she could do to change her attitude towards her husband.
Sample Reading: How to Help a Marriage
The Six of Pentacles depicts a rich merchant handing out gold coins to beggars. He holds a scale in his left hand indicating that he has carefully weighed out the gold before handing it over. How might the Six of Pentacles advise Anne to change her attitude towards her husband? Before going any further I would ask Ann whether she identifies herself with the merchant or with one of the beggars. Her answer will provide the basis for the correct advice. If she says she is the merchant because she is the one that gives in the relationship—she is the supportive one, the one who offers help, the one who holds the marriage together, then she needs to examine her feelings in detail. Does she feel resentment? Does she ration her affection? If so, then at this point I may suggest some professional counselling may be worth considering.
If she says she identifies with the beggar receiving the coins, then money may certainly be an issue. Perhaps Anne thinks her husband is mean with money? Gentle questioning may uncover the fact that her husband is careful rather than mean. Or that he feels responsible for not only his immediate family but perhaps other members of the family too. Perhaps Anne would feel better if she made a financial contribution to the family coffers? Maybe Anne has identified herself with the beggar who is not receiving the coins. This would indicate that she has low self-esteem and may be suffering from anxiety and a feeling of unworthiness. From here, it is a logical step to go back to “Your Relationship with You” in order to help Ann understand that for her relationship to change, she has to change herself first.
One card will probably not be sufficient to give Anne the answers she needs, but you can see how much can be revealed by one single tarot card. If you can get your client to really look at the card and start talking about it, many layers will be uncovered.
Using Tarot to Attract a Lover
This exercise should be treated as a fun game and it is not to be taken seriously. Get a strong piece of card and on it write a list of ideal attributes and characteristics you would like in a potential partner. Be as specific as you like. You might want him to be a certain height and to love children. You might want him to be wealthy and to enjoy socializing. Write it all down.
You could add a magazine photo too but be careful with this. I read somewhere that a woman created a vision board and included a good looking man who was holding a crystal glass of champagne. She did meet a devastatingly handsome chap whom she fell head over heels in love with. Unfortunately, he was an alcoholic.
Now go through your tarot cards and look for those that represent some of the qualities you wrote down. You don't need to use more than six cards. Place them face-up on the piece of card. You might weigh them down with some rose quartz. Put the piece of card in a safe place and light a small candle nearby. Let the candle burn down while you contemplate the man of your dreams. Once the candle has burned out, place your piece of card into a drawer or on a shelf. Leave the tarot cards on it. Within a month your man should turn up in your life. Well... you never know!
I have studied tarot since 2000, honing my skills on The Free Reading Network (American Tarot Association) and for World Tarot Readers. I was one of the founding members of TABI (Tarot Association of the British Isles) and helped develop and teach TABI's foundation course, as well as contributing to the newsletter.
Please note: all images on this page are from the copyright-free Rider-Waite deck. Pamela A version. They can be found in their entirety at SacredTexts.
Do you believe tarot can help with relationships?
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2012 Bev G