One of the most popular topics for a tarot reading is romance. These are not as simple as you may think. In this post, we’re going to take a look at the considerations that should be taken when we sit down with the cards to look at our love lives.
First, you’ll need to determine what type of spread you’re looking to pull. Are you single and looking for new love? Are you in a relationship and want to see where it will go or how to improve it?
These types of spreads are easy to find online or to create on your own (we will look at some things to incorporate into them later), but they come with some things to consider. The first being if you are single. You may want to ask the cards what you should look for in a partner or when you will come across them. Maybe even where you should look. Remember to be open and receptive to the answers, because they may not be exactly what you are hoping for.
Timing in the tarot is rarely what we’d like it to be. The universe doesn’t feel the same constraint of time as us humans do and doesn’t like to put dates on things. There is also the matter of healing. Often, when we look at questions around when someone will come into our lives or when we will be in a relationship, the answers are not about how far out and more about what work needs to be accomplished first.
So how do we handle that? Well, a great way to start is to do a spread that is less about who is coming and more about if you are ready for them. You don’t need to be fully healed and balanced to be ready, but you should be healed enough that you can accept the people that come into your life. Taking a much deeper look at where you are emotionally, what you are looking for, and how ready you are to start looking will help you assess whether or not a romantic spread is right for you.
Another challenge with love and romance readings is the issue of consent. This is true whether you are single or taken.
If you are doing a relationship reading with a specific person in mind, it is important to consider your questions carefully. Obtaining consent would be if the individual you are focused on in the reading knows it’s being done, either because you are receiving the reading together or you’ve decided to do one as part of a night together, or you’ve discussed it with them prior to the reading. More often though, not much is discussed beforehand. Keeping that in mind, be aware of consent and how to avoid crossing that line, which can be tricky to navigate. In a lot of ways, you can look at it like social media: everyone has a different level of comfort with what they will allow other people to know about themselves. The positive aspect of this is that, like with social media profiles, energetic walls may be locked down or open to these levels of comfort. The negative is that not everyone is aware or able to really control these boundaries as much as they would like to. As with many things in life, these are skills that need to be acquired and practiced. In fact, I encourage you to start working on these for yourself!
Since not everyone is able to administer and adjust their own energetic boundary settings, you cannot assume that just because their information is available, it is intended for you and your use. Therefore, it is not a great idea to go forward playing with or exploring the deeper aspects of someone else's feelings and inner workings. Think about how you would feel if someone was asking the questions you want to ask about you. Be sure not to romanticize it. We’re not talking about whether this person you have in mind, the one you are interested in, is asking. We’re not talking about your celeb crush or anyone else you would spill your guts too. I want you to question whether anybody and everybody would be entitled to this information from you. If the answer is no, I recommend taking a new approach. If the answer is yes, then we can move forward.
The next area of caution with love and romance spreads is in regards to “will this work out”. I am a strong believer in trying is the only way to know. However, if you really want some insights through the cards, there are some ways to handle this too. For one, you need to be aware that the future is not concrete (explained in my previous blog). Free will and making choices continually alters what lies in front of you. The best the cards can do is provide insight on relationship potential and compatibility as well as what work can be done to ensure a long lasting and fruitful relationship. What do I mean by work? Work is acknowledging patterns, understanding communication styles, understanding what qualities are special to you, and each other’s “Love Language”. You can avoid unnecessary obstacles and nourish the best aspects, making a happy ending far more likely.
The last big concern that I want to address here before looking at a better way of asking questions, is the matter of putting in the work. As I mentioned just a bit earlier, the cards can tell you what could be and how to get there and the patterns to address. Just knowing these are not enough, you have to be willing to commit to recognizing and changing them.
As an example, the cards may tell you that you have a hard time being open and that you need to work on that for your relationship to work out. Ideally, you will accept this and begin to look for these moments and use them as opportunities to grow and improve on this pattern. However, you may agree that this information feels right but instead of working with it, become defensive and justify your actions. This would actually slow down any progress needed to get the outcome described in the cards.
In that case, you may be disappointed that the expectations set by your reading are not met but when you don’t do the work, you don’t get the results. Work goes both ways, though. The other individual also needs to put in effort. So often the cards will say, if you do x and your partner does y, things will turn out so well. So you do x but they don’t do y the chances for things to work out is greatly decreased. It does not mean your spread was bad, just that the work wasn’t put in. How to account for and work with this challenge? Honesty. You need to tell the other person what you need from them, but it is up to them whether they step up or not. By keeping this in mind, you manage your expectations for a spread.
I didn’t want this to be a blog about why you shouldn’t do love or romance readings, just as a way for you to get the most out of them. With that in mind, let’s take the typical readings and tweak the questions to address the issues discussed earlier.
Let’s walk through the what’s and why’s of some of them.
What Patterns am I falling into? This one is hugely important because no matter how wonderful another person is or how much we like them, if there are unhelpful patterns present and left unaddressed, the outcome will not be as good as it could be.
Am I holding onto an idealized version of a person, relationships, or love? This is a common problem when we are looking for the person we want to spend the rest of our lives with. We find someone we like and assume that because they have so many qualities we find desirable, they must think, feel, and act a certain way. Knowing pieces of someone is not the same as knowing the whole person. This is especially true if they remind you of someone else or seem like your ideal match. That is the biggest reason why it is important to get to know someone. Talking and spending time together is always going to be the best indicator of whether it will work out. Taking the chance and having deep conversations will have more of an impact than what the cards have to say. I say this as a tarot reader. The cards are good for helping you to figure out what is going on within yourself and bringing clarity to situations, but they should not be used as an excuse to avoid a situation, nor as a justification to take an action.
Am I ready? This one seems so simple...right? Of course you are ready! Why else would you be asking for insights on where to look and who you’ll find? The thing is, there is ready and then there is actually ready. Lonely is not the same as ready, nor is desire. One thing I’d like to point out is that I am usually very wary of yes or no questions in the tarot. I put this one out there, though, because the wording is designed to have you go inside yourself. It sounds like a yes or no but it’s more of a general situation card. However, “How ready am I?” is a much better question if you are wavering.
Am I capable of setting the boundaries I need to have a fulfilling relationship? This may be a direct follow up to the questions about patterns and readiness. It is a common thing for people to have a harder time setting boundaries in romantic relationships than they do in other types.One very strong reason for this is the way we expect romantic relationships to carry such an intense weight. We need someone else to be our everything and for us to be theirs that we add a lot of strain and pressure. In truth, understanding and respecting the limits of ourselves and our partners will get us much farther and make for much happier situations. The idealization of love and romance creates a need within us to ‘compromise’ to the point of losing our self confidence.
How is this relationship going? This is one of those conversations best had with your partner but it is also a great one to look at when doing a spread for yourself. It can help to reveal any hidden insecurities or strengths that you may have overlooked. This is a great question to look at on it’s own and journal about the answers. It provides a bigger picture of the situation and gives you a starting point for conversations with your partner. Maybe it will lead you to tell your partner what you need, or to celebrate them by telling them what is important to you. Either way, it will give you some direction.
Is this a rough patch or has it become a rough relationship? Every relationship has periods of difficulty. Running when things have hit choppy waters is not usually the answer, but neither is staying when you can’t remember how long it has been since they weren’t. For a rough patch, I recommend asking how you can speed up the process for smoothing things out. For a more long term problem, I recommend asking how to start the conversation about whether things can be improved.
- What is our potential together? With the repeated caution that potential is not the same as a definitive outcome. It simply gives you an idea of where things could go if you are both willing to do the work. This may make you feel better about doing the work and putting in the time and effort. It may also be a great way to decide what you need to put out to your partner or to the universe so that you are able to have the relationship you deserve.
Now I know I’ve thrown a lot at you, but these are the kinds of readings that people assign a lot of importance to, often to be let down. By understanding the potential pitfalls ahead of time, your time will be better spent and you will be rewarded with a more desirable outcome.