Valentine's Day is approaching, so naturally our minds turn to love, romance, and fun. Using tarot for love is not unique; in fact, love is probably the most asked about topic in readings (closely followed by questions about money/career). Finding spreads for almost any aspect of love is as easy as typing "tarot spreads love" into Google. Traditional readings are a tried and true method of using the cards to get advice about relationships, but there are other ways of using the cards. Below are three.
For this example, I (ironically enough) drew the 3 of Swords (using the Llewellyn Classic Tarot). This card traditionally has very simple images, so it's a pretty good example. Let's see how I do. I'll set a timer for three minutes.
Swords: knives, cooking, cutlery
Using those associations, I look for themes or ideas that can be fleshed out into a cool date idea. Here are some that I came up with:
So, you see, even with the very unromantic 3 of Swords and about fifteen minutes, I have ten unique ideas.
If your partner is up for it, you can work with the cards together. This works well if each person has a deck to use. Each person goes through their deck and selects three cards:
Lay out the cards for each other to see. Then take turns interpreting what you think the other person's cards are saying (not in terms of traditional tarot meanings but in terms of their experience…so you both don't have to "know" tarot to do this).
By listening to how the other person sees what you see, you can notice the similarities and differences between their take and what you meant. In this way, you can open a dialogue using an external focus, which can take the emotional, knee-jerk responses down a bit and create some distance and hopefully some curiosity about the other person's experience.
As in the previous exercise, select a card that represents you, your partner, and the issue.
Using these three cards, imagine seeing the issue through the eyes of the card you selected for yourself, then through the eyes of the card you selected for your partner. If you are used to working with tarot cards, I'd use the court cards to represent you and your partner.
Then, shuffle the rest of the deck and draw two cards, one to represent your blind spot about yourself and your blind spot about your partner. Look at the issue again through the eyes of your card, but this time include your blind spot and try to see what you've not seen before. Do the same for the cards you've laid out for your partner.
Finally, draw a final card to act as a focus for the advice. Use it to pull together what you've discovered using the other five cards. If you've been honest and open with yourself as well as compassionate (toward both yourself and your partner), you should find a healthy way to resolve the issue and strengthen your relationship.
Barbara Moore (Saint Paul, MN) has studied and read tarot since the early 1990s. She wrote the bestselling Tarot for Beginners and more than a dozen other books, and she has contributed to many bestselling tarot kits, ...