Relationship Tarot: When Will We Be Able to Move?

So, every now and then I do a reading for a volunteer who doesn’t mind having the reading published here on the blog (normally my readings are confidential).

On August 23, X asked me to do a reading about when she and her fiancee, a mother with two children who just went through a divorce, would ever be able to move into a house together. They had made plans, but the plans keep falling through/getting delayed in various ways, and she is discouraged.

These are my original notes as I began to design a spread for X’s situation. I like to use post-it notes to design spreads–they are easy to move around and help me to see where the energy of the spread is going.

Hi X,

For your reading, I originally planned a spread that was shaped like an arrow–because I felt that you are trying to find a way to bring about quick action. But then, as I reflected, I decided to make a spread shaped like a house, because the house is the fundamental issue here. I used the Gaian Tarot, and divided the cards into the suits, using the majors for the foundation and roof of the house, and the suits as the four cards making up the house itself.

This is the completed spread that I did for X, with my notes set to the side of each card. The cards are from the beautiful Gaian Tarot by Joanna Powell Colbert.

So, at the bottom of the house we have the foundation of the situation: The Seeker, while at the roof of the house, we have the overall action that is needed: the Star. Let’s start by discussing them each in turn:

Foundation: the Seeker

Fundamentally, this is a crisis of faith. You and your fiancee are about to set out on a path together that is in some ways totally unknown. You can’t possibly know what challenges lie ahead and what twists and turns are in the path. It is scary to do that! Lao Tsu said that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. I would argue that that first step is the most important part of the journey–the point in time when you decide whether to go on the journey at all! You need faith for that. I feel like you and your fiancee are both looking at the path hesitantly and saying, yes, we absolutely love each other, but can this really work? It’s an unconventional path, according to some traditions (even though it’s a perfectly well honored path in other traditions), and there are people who will judge. Will those people interfere with the path that you and your fiancee want to tread together? The only way to truly find out is to take that first step. I actually think that you have already taken the first step, in some ways, by being together at all.

It’s okay, though, to take a moment before setting out on the path. I know, I know, that moment is stretching out into what feels like an eternity. And you want eternity together, but not to be just standing on the threshold all that time! You want to hurry up and get started. But starting a life together with someone, where you are planning to grow old together and raise a family together, tends to bring out all sorts of doubts. Many people experience a crisis of faith at moments like this. And they dither and delay and worry: can this really work?

It absolutely can–and especially in your case where you love each other so deeply. But for it to work, you have to both have enough faith to take that step. However, you do both have that faith, or you wouldn’t have made this plan in the first place, but, your fiancee, I think, needs this time to reassure herself that every detail is being attended to. I know there are real obstacles to get past too, like coming up with the money for the house, and in her case, with a house sale to manage as well–it’s a lot to accomplish. (It took me, personally, eight years to sell my house after getting divorced–and there was a lot of financial stress to deal with in the meantime.) Even though there are physical, real world problems to solve to make this happen, though, I believe that having a deep faith that things can and will work is very much the key for the two of you. (And don’t put this just on your fiancee, Ms. Anxious! You have been worried too.)

The Roof: the Star

I especially feel this way because the Star (guidance, inspiration, HOPE) came up as the roof of the house. And it seems to me, X, that the Star always comes up for you whenever we have discussed this relationship in the past. You have EVERY reason for hope. The situation is not now what it was three years ago. Things have changed, slowly but surely, and things are continuing to change. Also, the Star comes AFTER the Tower in the tarot–I feel like the two of you have been through the worst already. You just can’t quite make yourselves believe that, but I think it’s true.

What really strikes me, though, about the Seeker as the Foundation and the Star as the Roof, though, is that it makes me think of 1 Corinthians 13: 13: “In short, there are three things that last: faith, hope, and love; and the greatest of these is love.”

I feel that you and your fiancee already have that love. To protect it, to keep it forever, you simply need to wrap it in faith and hope–and that’s what this house represents for the two of you. It’s a massive act of faith and hope.

Let’s look at what the suit cards had to say:

Cups (Water): Eight of Cups

What if the first step is the hardest because it’s covered with water and you have to swim for it? That’s what this looks like to me. As hard as it is, you have to dive in and so does your fiancee. In terms of the house sale and money: some people apply for a bridge loan to get them through the period of time between buying one house and selling the other. But maybe that’s not possible, for whatever reason. When I look at this card, I think of that–finding a way to somehow make it across that gulf without a bridge loan. I think that might mean finding a way to live together first, somewhere other than in the house that the two of you want to buy. This is also, by the way, very much a card of movement, of moving to a new location, physically. Let’s look at the next card:

Wands (Fire): the Guardian of Fire.

To me, this is you, keeping the home fires burning, so to speak. One thing you excel at is keeping your home very orderly. I think that your fiancee needs to understand that you are quite capable of being that nurturing person who helps to provide a suitable environment for the kids. She should already know that by now, but maybe she hasn’t thought this through in terms of connecting those dots and making the connection between X, whose home is always pristine, and the kids, who generally can benefit greatly from an orderly environment. What I’m trying to say is that if the two of you lived together, in your current home or in some other location, temporarily until you can move into the house, the burden of making that work would not fall entirely on your fiancee. She might very well think that it would, because she’s a mom, and moms are used to carrying the world on their shoulders. But she doesn’t have to, because you would be there too! I think she needs to know, and here is where the words come in, from the next suit, that you are there not just for her but also for the kids:

Swords (Air): the Child of Air.

This card represents the words that need to be said. And in this case, the words are that 1) it’s unlikely that the kids are benefiting from the stress of the divorce and everything being unsettled. They don’t need their physical home to be unchanging, though–they just need the safe emotional structure of the four of you being a family, anywhere. Your home together is any place that you are together, not just that house. The other words are that 2) you love the kids too, that you are there for them, that you are there not just in terms of loving them but that you are willing to do the work that is involved in taking care of kids. I am SURE that you have already said this, but I don’t think it has fully sunk in. You may need to add action to these words for her to start to get it, that you intend to help protect/nurture/take care of the family (as that Guardian of Fire). Can you offer to babysit, at your place? Let her see that you can handle this. Or if she’s not quite able to let go enough to do that (moms can be very controlling, I know, since I am one), then maybe try a tiny step: ask her to drop off laundry and do that for her instead. I just want her to GET that you are more than capable of being there day to day–and more than willing to be there for her day to day. Even I can see that that’s true and that you already are there for her day to day if she asks you to be–but I am far away–maybe she’s too close to see it. So keep saying it and pointing it out to her: “I am here for you. What can I do to help?” Tell her that she’s carrying too many burdens and that you would be happy to carry some part of that work for her. Or point out to her what you’ve already done (because you have already been a help to her), and say, “Did I do a good job? What else can I help with?” If she hears it enough, maybe she will realize that you are there and that she can, actually, lean on you.

Turning to what people tend to think is the hardest part, money:

Pentacles (Earth): the Seven of Earth

Here I see a woman planting a tree. I feel that the money is on its way, that your fiancee is doing her best to see to that in terms of managing the house sale, but it will take time. It won’t take as long as it takes this little tree to grow up, I hope! But it may still take quite some time yet. Moreover, we’re heading into Mercury retrograde, which is not a great time to sign a real estate contract anyway. However, the seed has already been planted, it’s grown into a small sapling, it’s been replanted, and it’s growing. It is just a matter of time, and it just needs to be tended a little here and there (trips to see the lawyer, negotiating over terms, etc.). Why don’t you start looking for someplace to live together with your fiancee for October 1? Mercury retrograde is a GREAT time to look for a home, and to pack and organize and plan. And Mercury will be direct again by the end of September. Even if you don’t intend to live in a rental together, even if you are dead set on waiting however long it takes for that particular house, the simple act of looking at other places can help to nurture the faith and hope that you both need. It would get you started talking about the concrete details of how much space you need, how you would use the space, decorating, etc. It would help you to envision how this CAN work. That vision will help to grease the engine to get things moving. Wait, does that metaphor even make sense? Maybe I should put it this way: it will provide fuel for the home hearth fire that you’re kindling.

I hope this helps!

X responded that that was a lot to take in, and asked for clarification: “What does it all mean?” (I think that means that maybe I wrote too much!) I summarized as follows:

The relationship is good, but this is a scary step to take. Houses take a long time to sell in any case. I don’t think the market has fully recovered from the recession even though it has improved. Given that it may take some time to get everything settled with the house, what I would recommend is that you all move in together somewhere else temporarily.

Ironically, showing that much faith may change the energy around the situation so that the house would sell faster. Not sure if that is so, but it wouldn’t surprise me.

X responded:

I’m gonna talk to her about it this week. Thank you.

I know this is scary for her… For me… And for the kids…but we are really strong together and I’ll assure her that I’ll be there for her and the kids… As I assure her that all the time… But I know it’s a big thing for her and a huge life change… But we will be ok. It might be taking longer than I want… But everything happens for a reason.


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