Like love, tarot is a mirror: It doesn't always show you the thing you want to see. As my tarot mentors once told me, a mirror does you no good if it won't show you the egg on your face when you leave the house. Approach your tarot card meanings and your love life with clarity and honesty. Even though the cards never lie, in our most intimate partnerships, we might want to twist the truth to make it what we want to see. But deception isn't of any use to you.
Cards like the Lovers and the Three of Swords are super commonly referenced for love readings, but every single card in the deck can hold a lot of meaning for your relationships when it turns up in a spread. You don't need the major arcana as evidence that your relationship is on a karmic path, and the Death card is not the only sign of change and the loss that comes with it.
These five cards I'm about to detail come up a lot in love readings, but they aren't commonly referenced as relationship cards. Even though I've done my best to articulate their meaning here, keep in mind that in multiple card spreads, no card exists in isolation. They talk to one another and inform the meaning of the whole reading. Also keep in mind that no two tarot readers have exactly the same interpretation, and the interpretations change when they appear in reverse. If you're in doubt about what your cards are saying to you, ask a tarotist you trust.
1. The Ace Of Swords
In fairy tales, the fate of your life is described as a thread that is spun by three old women. But fate is not just a thread: One of the crones also holds a pair of scissors, which she uses to snip the thread when your fate is done. The Ace of Swords is this pair of scissors. When it appears in a love reading, it means that a decision is going to be made that affects your life, but is ultimately out of your hands.
In the Rider-Waite deck, the Ace of Swords pierces a laurel wreath, symbolizing consciousness. This wreath also encircles the woman in the World card, which I'll discuss more later. The wreath appearing in the Ace of Swords indicates that this slice of the crone's scissors will expand your consciousness. Swords represent communication, and the Ace means this severing will put you in closer communication with the spiritual realm.
For couples who are on the verge of breaking up, the Ace of Swords usually indicates that one or the other is going to take matters into their own hands and decide something once and for all. For couples whose relationship is more stable, the Ace of Swords speaks to a period of separation due to travel, family, or other obligations. And for those who are single and who are wondering about their love life, it means that you are finding the tools to break old patterns of harm, abuse, or self-denial. Talk to the spirits and ask them what they need to teach you. Pay close attention to messengers appearing in your life at this time.
2. The Page Of Wands
The pages don't actually work for knights, but for the Magician. Each one of them represents a different apprentice. They aide the Magician with assembling all of the different elements — swords (air), cups (water), pentacles (earth) and wands (fire) — successfully on his table and learned how to channel them into manifesting his intentions. The Page of Wands is therefore emblematic of the period when the Magician is still studying his fire, the element that correlates to passion. When the Page of Wands appears in your relationship tarot reading, it usually means that this relationship is teaching you something important about the nature of your creative life through sex.
And if you're not having any sex at all right now, know that being without fire also teaches you something about what it means in your life. Do you actually need it to keep warm right now, or are you able to withstand these cold months on your own? Whether you are single, in a couple, or exploring with an open relationship, your sex life right now is giving you important information about what you do with your passion that is of the utmost vitality to the actions you initiate.
3. The King Of Pentacles
The King of Pentacles signifies abundance and the manifestation of worldly goods. When he appears in your tarot spread, it means that your partnership is bringing you a great deal of stability. In this relationship, the both of you are able to find a great deal of nourishment.
If the King of Pentacles is pulled for a specific partner, it means that they like to take on the role of provider in the relationship. It's important to this person to be able to support their family and to sow seeds for an orchard that will provide sustenance for generations to come. Whether this is an immature relationship, one you don't expect to last past cuffing season, or even if you are currently single, the King of Pentacles means that someone is approaching their love life with an eye toward the long term.
4. The Eight Of Cups
In tarot, water or cups represent spirit. The Eight of Cups shows a person leaving behind a stack of cups — symbolizing a measure of joy — in order to journey up a mountain in solitude, guided only by moonlight. This figure is actually the Hermit on an early stage in their journey. When they venture up the mountain, this figure is in search of some starlight to put in their lantern, which will illuminate their spiritual quest.
When the Eight of Cups appears in your reading, it indicates a time when you are leaving behind some relationships in order to seek fulfillment on your own. You might be staunchly single during this time, without a great deal of intimacy with anyone. Honor your reasons why it's not right for you to pursue a relationship right now or the reasons why you need more space within the relationship you currently have. What do you need to better illuminate your spirit? What will prepare you to return to the world of love with greater intimacy?
5. The World
The World card represents the woman who lives at the beginning and end of time — the mother of the universe. All the feminine figures in the tarot deck culminate in her. When she appears in your reading, she symbolizes the completion of a cycle: Life, death, and life again have all played out in your relationship. The World card does not fear loss. She lives between this realm and the spirit realm; for her, loss is a portal she passes through. Your losses mean your relationship has ascended beyond what its early stages had to offer you.
Breaking up might not be the only portal your relationship might have passed through. You might not have grown out of the relationship, but grown together and moved into the next stage of commitment. Even if you miss part of your past life, you are more excited about the future than anything. You can move into this next stage joyously, with appreciation for what you have learned from your past. The woman at the beginning and end of time dances on the edge of the World and laughs.
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