It’s Over! Top 10 Tarot Cards for Relationship Break-Ups

by Brigit on November 30, 2010 in Top 10 Tarot Cards

Ten Swords Tarot Card

A relationship break-up can be incredibly disappointing and hurtful. So, what Tarot cards should you look out for to foresee if a relationship is about to end? Here are my top ten Tarot cards for relationship break-ups.

Ten of Swords—One look at the imagery on the Ten of Swords and it is clear that this is about a painful, dramatic and perhaps unexpected ending. You have been deeply hurt and betrayed in this break-up and it will take many months, or even years, to heal from this difficult experience. However, keep faith as this Ten heralds a new cycle in life and new beginnings on the horizon.

HermitHermit—The Hermit is a solitary figure, representing a time of isolation and withdrawal from others. I see this as indicative of being ‘single’ and using this time to reflect on one’s personal and spiritual goals. So, while it is not strictly a ‘break-up’ card, it suggests a time of solitude and being on one’s own.

TowerTower—Again, what stark imagery in the Tower! A lightning bolt strikes, the building is in flames, and people are leaping from the windows. This card reflects great turmoil or a major shake-up that forces you to change the way you see the world. Just when you thought you were in a safe and comfortable relationship, an event has occurred which has turned the relationship upside-down. You are now confronted with major change and may be dealing with divorce or the end of a long-term relationship.


Three of SwordsThree of Swords—In the Three of Swords, we see a heart pierced by three swords. This card indicates grief, heartbreak and sorrow. This card may appear when a relatively new relationship has come to an end, because thankfully we see the sun shining from behind the clouds, suggesting that this heartbreak is only temporary and you will soon move on to greener pastures.

Three of CupsThree of Cups reversed—Ah, the Three of Cups reversed! I nearly always see this card when there is a love triangle or an unfaithful partner. Now, if this is not what you signed up for, it is likely it will lead to the end of the relationship. You need to be clear about the boundaries of your relationship and what you will and won’t stand for!

Five of SwordsFive of Swords—The Five of Swords shows that battle has been fought and lost. Perhaps you have been going through a long period of disagreements and arguments with your partner and have finally decided to go your separate ways. While the arguing is over, you may not have the closure or ‘final word’ that you were looking for. Instead of pushing the matter, it is time to let go.


DeathDeath—Death is a card of change and transformation, endings and beginnings. Your relationship may have reached its final cycle and has come to an end. It is now time to let go of the past and embrace the future by bringing about change. In many cases this will mean the imminent end of the relationship, but take a look at the other cards in your reading as it is possible that change may occur within the relationship itself, steering it in a new and more positive direction.

Two of CupsTwo of Cups reversed—Upright, this is a card of emotional connections and bonds between two people. Reversed, the Two of Cups reflects the end of a relationship, but perhaps it is under the context of a ‘mutual parting of ways’. You have both agreed that it is best to separate and break the bond that you once shared.

Five of PentaclesFive of Pentacles—The Five of Pentacles indicates failure and loss. Two destitute figures walk in the snow, shut outside of the church despite being in need of a helping hand. With this card, expect to feel isolated and ‘shut out’ of a relationship, experiencing some financial and spiritual loss as a result. Your partner may be refusing to help you or is withholding your finances as a result of a dispute.

Ten of PentaclesTen of Pentacles reversed—Upright, the Ten of Pentacles reflects an established relationship – possibly a long-term marriage along with an extended family network. Reversed, this marriage may be coming to an end and now you are having to divest family assets and separate your finances as part of the break-up. Your family and home life are being affected too.

What other Tarot cards do you associate with break-ups and the end of a relationship? Leave your comments below!

Do you want to know what each of the 78 Tarot cards mean in a relationship Tarot reading? Buy my latest eBook “The Ultimate Guide to Tarot Card Meanings” to discover the Tarot card meanings for relationships, love, career, work, finance and spirituality Tarot readings. Click here to find out more.

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{ 128 comments… read them below or add one }

Brianna July 19, 2012 at 12:50 am

I appreciate your list!!! just asked if there was a split between a friend of mine and his kids mother. I got tower recently in present position for their relationship and just now I got 4 swords reversed and queen wands reversed.

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ramona July 19, 2012 at 9:24 pm

the tower- means pertaining to the chaotic state of the two peoples involved relationship. something happened that shook the relationship to the point of disaster. like a split.

4 of swords reversed – there is no rest for the people involved. there are fights, arguments, sadness, depression, anger etc… everything that goes along with a split.

the queen of swords reversed – suggests that there is a narrow minded person. having to deal with a person who wont help out, constantly trying to get the other person to do his/her job. there possibly could be cheating. so i think someone could be cheating in the relationship and they got busted so that is why for the split. but i’m not sure. queen of swords reversed points to a cheater.

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Brianna July 19, 2012 at 11:20 pm

Its known he is already with infidelity issue’s but its been only a matter of time before he was caught again…

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Akira July 28, 2012 at 1:22 pm

I just asked if there was a split between a friend of mine and his wife. Here are the cards that I pulled?
1.) The hermit
2.) The Seven of Wands
3.) Five of Pentacles
4.) Eight of cups reversed
5.) Page of Cups
6.) Four of Wands reversed
7.) Knight of Swords
8.) Six of cup reversed
9.) Death Reversed (Outcome)

Since I am a beginner, I believe that they will get a divorce. What do you think?

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Ellen September 28, 2012 at 3:44 am

I am quite new in this too, what I understand is even though the couple might have gone throug a lot of ” cold war ” or emotional isolation, they will not get split eventually. Maybe one was restricted from leaving from the other one even though the relationship doesn’t seem to be fun any more. And one of the partner is trying to renew the feeling with the other one. Biddy , what is your opinion ?

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Brigit September 30, 2012 at 2:04 pm

Ellen, thanks for sharing your perspective. I think you are probably right… Also, they are afraid of change and even though there may still be issues, they do not want to walk away and end the marriage.

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Snow October 19, 2012 at 9:59 am

Hi, I am beginner and this is what I pull ~
Question is “What is the outcome of S & C relationship?
1. Ace of Cup
2. The Fool
3. The Hanging Man
4. Judgement
5. Wheel of Fortune
6. The Devil
7. Queen of Wands
8. Knight of Pentacles
9. Queen of Cups
10. King of Cups

I am a beginner and I think the guy still loves his ex and might just passively withdrawal. But I am so not sure because of so many court cards. I feel the guy place the relationship on destiny … not pushing it or anything~ What do you guys think ?? Totally lost ….

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Brigit October 21, 2012 at 8:20 pm

I’m sorry I don’t have availability to interpret your reading in this forum, but you might find another reader is happy to help you out! If you’d like a full interpretation, please visit http://www.biddytarot.com/tarotreading/tarot-reading-interpretation/

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Paige January 7, 2013 at 11:14 pm

Interestingly, I often pull the hangman reversed when a woman is refusing to leave a bad relationship. Usually she’s doing everything to keep it going, but it’s long been dead. I’m surprised you didn’t mention the Lovers, reversed. That pops up a lot, as well as the Devil, in a violent or volatile relationship. This week I laid these three in key past/present/future positions: Seven of cups, the Devil, and the Tower. My client admitted she was in a rocky relationship. She said he seemed like the perfect man at first. She wanted to know if it would last. I thought it was pretty clear, she’d been harboring illusions and it was time to face facts… I do my own modified circular spread based on the Yin/Yang symbol of masculine/feminine (action/emotion) with the addition of insight cards from opposite sides in the center of the circle. I know it isn’t traditional, but my clients really love it. I lay them counter clockwise from the top, feminine motivation past, present, future, and masculine action past present future go bottom to top to finish the circle. In the center I place the masculine action insight for balance on the left, and the feminine motivation or insight on the right. I like the way the spread helps me see what the client is “doing,” as opposed to what they’re “thinking.” I know, weird, right? But I’ve been reading now for 25 years and it just works for me. I have a lot of respect and faith in the I ching, and incorporating my own influences into my readings seems to clarify them in startling ways. My daughter ended a VERY bad relationship this summer, and she’s lonely, maybe too eager to start another… She wanted insight and I pulled the Eight of Swords for her. She wasn’t happy with that and wanted to go again, and I pulled the exact same card after several shuffles. In the masculine action position I pulled the over eager fool. She was shocked, that the tarot was so clear. I’m thankful she took the session to heart and decided to get some counseling before she starts dating again.

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Brigit January 10, 2013 at 5:46 pm

Thanks for sharing your additional ideas for the top 10 cards for break-ups. Fantastic ideas and supported by real-life experience – perfect!

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elaine macgillivray February 7, 2013 at 12:04 am

Oh my goodness i have picked virtually each one of these cards recently – thee of swords often, 10 of swords often, five of pentacles often , death often and hermit but not reversed. Part of me feels its time to move on from my relationship but part of me feels its worthwhile to carry on – is there are tarot card whose meaning is to kid onelself …

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Brigit February 7, 2013 at 1:42 pm

*smile* For kidding yourself, possibly the Moon reversed, Seven of Swords reversed or the Eight of Cups reversed.

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lovelornbunny February 13, 2013 at 11:37 am

I have fallen head over heels in love with someone who refuses to acknowledge my existence. So, like the thick headed lovelornbunny that I am, I turned to the tarot for answer and (false?) hope.

These were the cards.

1 7 of pentacles
2 the devil
3 the lovers
4 the king of wands
5 the tower
6 the eight of cups.

It’s probably not goin to go well for me eh?

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Brigit February 15, 2013 at 3:17 pm

I think I would agree! That’s ok… love and learn :-)

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Q. Jackson May 14, 2013 at 9:44 pm

Watch out for the Reversed King of Pentacles in the cause, problem or root matter as well as the current influences in a relationship reading , it may indicate being taken for a ride and advantage of. With this character over indulging in the material success others, their only objective and motives are possessiveness of you and yours, power , and wealth.

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vikas June 12, 2013 at 9:42 pm

Hi ,

can 10 of swords be taken also as a breakup card

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Brigit June 13, 2013 at 10:00 pm

Of course

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kris June 27, 2013 at 6:41 am

hi
i’ve done a reading regarding a reconciliation with my boyfriend but the last line of cards has left me confused! first line the empress , 2 of wands, 2 of swords second line 9 of wands, knight of cup,s 6 of swords last line 7 of cups, the high priestess, 9 of cups, outcome card death.
many thanks with any interpretation.

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Valerie June 27, 2013 at 5:54 pm

This is one of those topics that can be looked at in many different ways. First we have “wanting to break up” cards and I think there’s a lot of those – 8 of cups (desiring a change, wanting more) , 5 pent (they are stuck together due to finances, co-dependence, etc and both miserable), same with the Devil, (trapped by what they thought they wanted and miserable), 8 of swords (feel trapped, need to assert own will), 4 of cups (boredom, lack of gratitude) , 9 pent (something is just missing), and of course the Lovers (need to make a choice) and I’m sure more. Then comes the point of break-up – (sorry if I repeat those already noted). 3 of cups rev (broken heart), Tower (my world is falling apart), 3 of swords (heart break), 5 of cups (so sad), 9 of swords (tears over someone else), Moon (emotions are at the forefront), 10 of swords (devastated), 10 of cups rev (true love in trouble), Knight of Cups (emotional reaction, change in romantic status) etc. Then post breakup we see the Fool, (new beg), 2 of wands (ambition), 4 of swords, (time out to heal) 6 of swords(moving on and going forward) , Hermit (solitude and seeking counseling), Knight and/or Ace of Wands (need to move or get a new job due to breakup). I’m sure there are many more, there are so many life situations and the cards reflect them all – I guess the possibilities are endless. Valerie :)

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Brigit June 27, 2013 at 10:41 pm

Great suggestions! Thank-you for sharing.

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Alexsandria July 2, 2013 at 1:45 am

10 of cups rx = the breakup of a happy home

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Karunaagaran July 7, 2013 at 4:47 pm

One can add a Seven of Swords also to this list.
Depicting your love being taken away from you by deceit and foul play.

Regards
Karunaagaran

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Azazel July 9, 2013 at 12:21 pm

I asked if I was getting a divorce in the next two years. This is what cards came out
Two of wands
Eight of pentacles
The hermit reversed
Ten of cups
Eight of swords reversed
The tower reversed
Six of wands reversed
Four of cups reversed
The high priestess reversed
Page of wands reversed

What does that mean :-/ so confused

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Brigit July 13, 2013 at 3:10 am

To give your reading the attention it deserves, I recommend an interpretation available here – http://www.biddytarot.com/tarotreading/tarot-reading-interpretation/

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Ty August 9, 2013 at 5:13 pm

Hello, i recently tried a three card reading just out of curiosity. The ? That i asked was will my friend with benefit become serious. The three cards were page of cups, lovers reversed and the star. What does this mean?

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Tiffany September 12, 2013 at 10:44 pm

I did a reading for my friend, not knowing what her question was (didn’t want to have my personal thoughts interfere with what she was asking). I knew right away after seeing the cards in the spread what her question was. Self: 10 of swords next two cards lovers and knight of pentacles then hanged man, tower, 4 of wands and ace of pentacles. I told her this meant her relationship with the person she was asking about was going to end because he isn’t willing to change his points of view, make an effort or change his environment (its a long distance relationship). My ending for her said that she would heal and move past this and that this change was for the betterment of herself. I am a new reader, and still learning. Someone please clarify if my interpretation was right.

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Brigit September 13, 2013 at 2:22 am

You’ll know if it’s ‘right’ by asking for your friend’s feedback and observing what happens as time goes past. I don’t mean to be facetious, but there really isn’t a ‘right’ way of interpreting the cards. It all comes down to what is ‘right’ for the client and what is most helpful.

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Lauren October 14, 2013 at 6:47 am

Hi Brigit!

First, I would just like to say that I love your site! You are thoughtful and insightful and this shows in all of your posts! After 13 years of reading Tarot cards, I’m still finding new ways to read them here!

My understanding of the Five of Pentacles in a relationship reading has always been that there is some form of emotional abuse going on. Many times over the years I have pulled this card for people who were in this situation.

Just thought I’d share!

Lauren

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Brigit October 14, 2013 at 3:02 pm

Thanks for sharing! I find that the cards often have very personal meanings that repeat themselves. For example, I have found the Three of Cups reversed nearly always represents a third party in a relationship.

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Mary October 27, 2013 at 4:31 am

How about the 5 of cups? Does it mean it’s really over?

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Brigit October 31, 2013 at 4:14 pm

Certainly looking that way!

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Jessica November 27, 2013 at 7:44 am

I did a 3 card lovers celtic reading but im not sure how to interpret the cards for myslf. 1st card, king of wands, 2nd card, the devil and 3rd was 2 of wands. Please help /:

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Brigit November 28, 2013 at 1:56 pm
Stacey December 17, 2013 at 9:42 pm

I did a reading about a family rift and 10 of Pentacles reversed came up in the outcome position and is as you describe.

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Elisa February 10, 2014 at 2:40 pm

Hello I love the list I was wondering if uo could help me ! I did a three card spread asking the simple question of “is he cheating on me” and I got queen of swords, magician and king of pentacles upside down. My instinct tells me this is bad but I need an opinion thank you

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Brigit February 11, 2014 at 10:08 am
lou February 27, 2014 at 10:48 am

em hello
can someone guide me a wee bit i pulled out the ten of wands reversed then then lovers i dont know what this means at all
it would be great to get some help cause i feel pretty alone the now
thanks

lou xx

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Debbie August 22, 2014 at 7:52 am

I have gotten back into tarot, mostly to gain some insite on a strange and very hurtful situation. I no longer have my tarot cards though. I have went to youtube and found a general reading psychic that also uses astrology, Pamela George is her name. I am wondering if anyone else has seen her and has an opinion about her or this sort of thing. any help would be great

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Sirena St. Clair August 29, 2014 at 9:44 am

I love your site! Thanks for all the wonderful insights and meanings. It’s truly helpful!

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Brigit August 31, 2014 at 9:15 am

Thanks! My pleasure :-)

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