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Tarot Circle: Healing from a Difficult Relationship

By October 24, 2012Tarot Circle

This month’s Tarot Circle is from Joanna in Singapore.

As with all Tarot Circle posts, I’ll provide my initial thoughts and then I’ll hand it over to you, the reader, to use the comments section to write what you see.

Remember there’s no right or wrong and you don’t have to be an experienced Tarot reader to comment.

The Question

For this Tarot reading, Joanna was working with her client (who generously gave her permission for the Tarot reading to be shared in this forum). Her client asked, “What can I do to move on?”

Joanna added that her client was going through a turbulent relationship that had seen her suffering years of verbal and mental abuse, infidelity, and volatility.

Joanna’s Tarot Reading

To answer her client’s question, Joanna designed her own Tarot spread (good on you, Joanna!) which she calls the Transformation Tarot spread. It is a seven-card spread that has the intention of helping a client who is in the throes of transformation.  I think you will really love it!


For the Tarot reading, Joanna drew the following cards:

Card 1 – Magician: Self in Situation – Assess where you are now and what is influencing your actions in the current situation. (You may choose an appropriate significator representing you in the situation.)

Card 2 – Reversed 6 of Pentacles: Identify Cause – What is the root cause of the negativity surrounding the situation.

Card 3 – 2 of Pentacles: Response – How have you responded to the cause of negativity in your current situation?

Card 4 – Reversed Page of Wands: Hopes and Fears – What are your hopes and fears pertaining to the current situation?

Card 5 – Hermit: Response – How have you responded to your hopes and fears pertaining to the current situation?

Card 6 – Reversed 5 of Wands: Change – What can you change about the current situation?

Card 7 – Queen of Cups: Commitment – What can you do to commit to making these changes?

My Interpretation of Joanna’s Tarot Reading

Joanna sent in her own interpretation of her Tarot reading which I would love to share as part of this post as I think you will gain a lot of value just by reading how she has interpreted the cards. It’s always good to see how different Tarot readers work.

So, below, you’ll see Joanna’s interpretation first and then my additional thoughts and comments after each card.

Significator – The Magician

Joanna: As her life path number is a 1, I had decided to choose the Magician as her significator. She was indeed a resourceful person, very capable at work and had the ability to meander the volatility of her relationship with maturity and perseverance. When anyone meets this beautiful woman, they wouldn’t have figured out that she was undergoing a terrible time with her partner.

Brigit: The way in which Joanna has selected the Significator certainly makes sense. Personally, I tend to draw a card randomly for the Significator rather than consciously select a card – but this is just a personal preference!

Cause Of The Issue And Her Response – Reversed 6 Of Pentacles And 2 of Pentacles

Joanna: The root cause of the issue was that her partner was self-employed. Often he would not be able to make enough money to sustain their lifestyle, depending on my client to provide. Her role as the sole breadwinner may have caused him to feel increasingly insecure, and she also felt unappreciated and was beginning to feel that her commitment to the relationship seemed to be one-sided. As money is tight, she had been juggling financial commitments while balancing her priorities between his needs and her career. She was doing everything she could to hold the job down because she needed the money, and in so doing, her late nights at work exacerbated her partner’s insecurities.

Brigit: Firstly, I really love how Joanna has created these two positions in the spread – not just what’s going on but how her client can respond. What this does is create a very empowering reading.

I often see the reversed Six of Pentacles when there is imbalance in the exchange of something, whether it’s money, time, energy or something else. So, the main issue here is that she is giving so much of herself to her partner, but she’s not receiving anything in return. Even if he is without money, he can give back through his energy in the relationship, but it appears that he is not doing this.

With her response, she is constantly trying to balance things out and make up for his lack of financial stability. She doesn’t seem to be addressing the issue of imbalance but is rather continually trying to counter it and make it all OK again. But there’s an elephant in the room and that is that he is not contributing to the relationship.

Hope and Fears And Her Response – Reversed Page Of Wands And Hermit

Joanna: The reversed page of wands was a manifestation of her genuine attempts to resolve her issues with her partner through various means from attempting to get a relationship counsellor into the picture, to going on short “reconciliation” holidays together, to even threatening to leave him. However, each time, she was confronted by obstacles in the form of his refusal to see the counsellor, or his numerous broken promises to her. She wanted to make it work between them, but feared that she had come to the end of the rope with this vicious cycle and was thinking of leaving him. The past few months had been a time of introspection for her as she re-evaluated her relationship goals, and she had been quite withdrawn, quietly seeking some solace on her own. However, this had perpetuated her actions of staying away from home and keeping very late nights at the office, her only place of refuge.

Brigit: I often see the Page of Wands reversed when someone has tried to start something that held the promise of growth and development, but there has been a setback or a delay of some sort which inevitably leads to the abandonment of that project. It’s interesting that Joanna’s client tried to initiate counselling, but he would not go ahead with it – very Page of Wands reversed!

The Hermit shows a desire to be alone, to contemplate life and to re-evaluate goals, as Joanna has pointed out. Her client is really trying everything but not getting any traction. It may be time for her to take a step back from the relationship for now while she gets her head together about what’s best for HER. Remember there’s a strong spiritual element to this card, so working hard and doing late nights isn’t really the type of ‘withdrawal’ that she needs most. It is more something that is conscious and that gives her the space to think through her situation, and it may happen through a spiritual practice of some sort.

Changes Needed And Her Commitment To Change – Reversed 5 Of Wands And Queen of Cups

Joanna: In the end, she acknowledged that there were changes necessary between them if they chose to continue with the relationship. The reversed 5 of wands suggested the fundamental differences in opinions about roles and responsibilities between them. One example of these differences is his typical old-fashioned Asian mentality that he had to be provider, and head of the household while she played the subservient and servile Asian spouse, taking a back seat and minding the home. When she discussed her wish to do what she could to save the relationship, the Queen of Cups advised her to maintain emotional control and continue to nurture the relationship with maturity, patience and compassion. The fights between them had escalated to just noise and shouting, and no one’s giving way, no one understands each other’s needs. She needed to govern the relationship with a measure of intuitive listening and calmness. She had to start rebuilding the emotional connectivity between them.

Brigit: I certainly agree with Joanna on the Five of Wands reversed. I also see this card come up when the client is going through an internal conflict and there’s an underlying feeling of tension and discomfort as a result. She is clearly in turmoil about what changes are needed and she is unclear about which path to take. The Queen of Cups balances this out nicely, suggesting that she needs to draw on her emotional well-being and her place of peace to work out her next steps. I am again brought back to her need to do what is right for her and her own emotional well-being rather than always reverting to what her partner needs.


Overall, this is a really tough situation. I can just see Joanna’s client trying so hard to make everything right again in the relationship, but her partner just isn’t coming to the table. At some point she may just need to accept that this isn’t working and she may need to do what is right by her, and her alone. I can sense that she doesn’t like ‘failure’ but sometimes there are only so many times you can try to fix something before you accept it’s not working and you move on.

Let’s just cycle back to her question – “What can I do to move on?” Well, I would say that it is time to stop putting so much energy into saving the relationship, and instead channel the energy into nurturing and caring for herself. She has given so much to the relationship, but it clearly isn’t moving it anywhere because it takes two to tango. It may be time now to retreat and to focus on what she needs.

What’s Your Read?

Over to you! How would you interpret these cards and the spread overall? What is your advice to Joanna’s client?

Post your response in the comments below. Use this as an opportunity to hone your Tarot reading skills or to get your opinion out there!

Want Your Tarot Reading Interpreted?

If you are interested in having your own Tarot reading interpreted for the Tarot Circle, I will invite submissions at the end of each month via my Facebook page.

Or, you can request a personal and private Tarot reading interpretation with me here.

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