Today I thought we would break the structure of the Tarot deck down in a way that gives you the bigger picture in love and relationship readings. It is always useful to look at the bigger picture first when analysing a Tarot spread, before delving into specific card/positional and combination meanings.
You may already know that the Major Arcana deals primarily with the main spiritual lessons in life and that we all embark on the same Fool’s (or Hero’s) journey, meeting with the Major Arcana archetypes at various stages in life. This typically happens in a non-linear fashion, even though most of us obviously encounter the Mother/Father archetypes early on in life in shape of the Empress and Emperor etc.
Here are some useful hints about the Majors to bear in mind when you first take in an overview of your love Tarot spread layout:
* If there are many Majors (3 or more, or more than half in a larger spread), the relationship typically has a fated element which to some extent will limit your freedom of choice. To understand if this harks back to a past life connection/lesson, you want to look out specifically for the Karmic Cards.
* When a Major Arcana card shows up in a position that describes a current or future lover, this is or will be a key player in your life.
* A Major Arcana card as the outcome card makes the outcome of the relationship more fixed. However, choice about how you relate to this outcome is never taken from you and will determine how you progress from there.
* A Major Arcana card signifying you means that you are learning an important life lesson through the relationship.
* Understanding a bit about the anima/animus is very helpful and will give you instant insights about the meaning of the presence of the High Priestess and the Magician in a Tarot spread. In a nutshell it means a greater risk of projection of desired qualities onto your partner.
* The Empress/Emperor often indicates parental issues contributing to an unhealthy pattern of relating.
* The Lovers does not always mean the perfect relationship but can often indicate a choice situation and a lesson about not moving forward until your heart and mind are aligned.
* Not even Majors should be read in isolation from other cards. They act as individual glyphs in a Tarot spread. Together with other Major or Minor Arcana glyphs, the sentence spelled by the cards can change drastically. As an example, The Sun with the 5 of Wands (Saturn in Leo) can indicate that ego battles are destroying your chances of relationship happiness rather than the sunny outcome you might expect.
Now, let us shift our focus to the Minor Arcana…
Looking at a spread containing many Minors, you will instantly get a picture of where the emphasis lies in any particular relationship you are.
* Lots of Wands indicates fiery movement, drive, ambition and motivation. This can relate specifically to your love life because the Wands suit also expresses sex drive but only if there is also a romantic indicator card present such as the 2 of Cups, The Lovers, the 3 of Cups etc… unless you are doing a spread specifically about your sex life, of course.
If all these Wands are found in general reading about the state of the relationship, it could be that one or both of you are currently more interested in furthering themselves career-wise or in terms of other personal goals.
* Lots of Cups talks about a relationship where both parties are engaging on an emotional level. It can indicate drama and huge disappointment as well as relationship happiness. You would expect to see a Cups card or two in a relationship where the couple is ‘all loved up.’
* Lots of Swords usually indicates conflict. It can be verbal or all in the mind. Problem resolution usually becomes the focus of a reading dominated by Swords cards.
* Lots of Pentacles puts the emphasis on money issues, the daily grind and the health of one or both of you. In terms of the actual relationship it can indicate greater levels of commitment but only together with cards that speak of emotional affinity/romance. Pentacles is Earth, the slowest of the Elements, so you should not expect quick changes when your reading is dominated by this suit. If you wish to change your situation, you will have to put your shoulder to the wheel.
I hope you find these tips helpful. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have in the comments section below.