Generosity, like everything, has its balance. We may give a thing, but the feeling of connection has even greater worth. When time and attention are the gift that is given, everyone involved gains from it.
How-to post from the Modern Oracle / Tarotbytes archives (2015 reprise of an older post)
Q: What does the combination of the Lovers Card and the Ace of Cups card mean in a tarot reading when part of the question is about romance?
A: It depends.
This where Tarot reading gets a little complicated…this is exactly why professionals charge for their services. It takes some time and effort to get your head around this kind of thing. Good for you for getting help to understand instead of just dismissing it all. Well done! You question is a perfect example of why there is more to reading Tarot cards than just memorizing card meanings.
Even if you are only dealing with a one card meditation, you have to consider the context. Full layouts raise even more questions. What layout are you using? What position was the card in within that layout? What meaning does the position have? What type of message was being given for the particular card? Advice? Caution? Validation? Acknowledgement? Something else?
Now raise all of that to the power of 2 cards. Or to the power of however many cards are in the layout. You have to consider all that stuff for each card, plus how each card relates to all the other cards, the question being asked, and the patterns within the layout as a whole. The more cards, the more exponentially complicated the reading becomes. Which in turn is why I don’t like enormous layouts. In my experience, after 7 cards or so, a reading gets real gnarly, real fast. It seems there is a crossover point, a critical mass where the reading becomes more confusing than clarifying. That’s also why I use single card daily meditation readings to teach beginber Tarot reading in my e-book PeaceTarot . That’s the best place to start when you are learning.
Now take all of that and multiply it again by magnitudes of ethical considerations. Romance readings are a special kind of difficult because of the other person involved. Unless you have their significant other’s direct permission read about them, then the reading has to focus only on the person getting the reading. If you are reading for yourself, then you must respect the other person’s privacy and dignity. The key is to look for advice about how YOU can do whatever is best for the relationship.
Putting the special relationship ethics aside, we still haven’t looked at understanding these two cards.
For example if the Ace of Cups represents the lessons from the past, you might get a different overall message than if the Lovers was in that position. For example, if we interpret the Ace as “inner light” (as Diane Morgan does) and that is a lesson from the past, then the overall meaning might be to use your inner wisdom to help guide the relationship. It could be a hint to ket the heart rule the head, and make emotions a prime consideration.
Now switch things around. Lovers symbolizes your deepest desires. If the lessons from the past is to look at desires and what you’ve learned from them…the message may be more like what are your desires are doing to your spiritual development? Are your desires feeding your inner light or hampering it?
The difference between the two messages is a bit subtle, but it could mean the difference between giving a good reading, and giving a really masterful one.
So the real answer to your question is that I can’t tell the meaning without knowing the context in which the two cards appeared.
If you were reading for yourself, jot down your questions, all of cards and their layout positions, then we can look at the layout together and figure it all out in a private Tarot how-to-read lesson instead of the typical private session if you like.
Hope this helps a little. Let me know if you want to set up that lesson.
Q: What do you do when two cards in one spread seem to be total opposites? I was reading for myself and had both the Fool and the 10 of cups. I’ve always thought of the Fool as beginnings and 10 of cups as a happy ending. How can you have both beginnings and endings in one reading?
A: Several things come to mind.
First question to ask yourself is “are these two cards talking about the same thing?”
If each card resonates with different facet of life, they could easily carry vastly different messages. For example, someone might be ending a project at work successfully while at they same time they may only be beginning to find the path to a new romance. Make sense?
Another question to ask might be placement of the cards within the layout. Could the cards be pointing out different points in a process, or different sequential parts of some larger overall idea. Even though they are different, can they work together in sequence like the parts of a sentence? For example that work project…the message might be something like “Don’t make the new project harder than it really is. A light heart makes for a light load and a happy ending.”
Knowing the “meaning” for each card’s position within the larger spread can help figure that one out.
Like I’ve always said about the 8 of Cups – the best way to solve a paradox is to look for the bigger picture. Often a step back and a wider view will show that two seemingly very different things are just different pieces in a bigger jigsaw puzzle. Beginnings and endings seem opposite if you think of them as a single, linear process. But what if you take a step back and think of them as natural cycles instead? Then they cozy up together very nicely. Summer ends, but fall begins. The caterpillar ends, but the butterfly begins. Is there a big-picture cyclic message of some kind here?
If none of that makes sense out of the reading for you, it’s time to do a little logical legwork. Each Tarot card has lots of “meanings”. The fool can be associated with beginnings…or a reminder to play. 8 of cups can be a good ending…or deep roots and family happiness. If the other context clues don’t help, break out your favorite reference books and warm up the google machine…a little light browsing of other meanings and associations might let an idea jump out at you.
If worse comes to absolute worse, you could always re-do the reading, but in my experience it seems to work out better to wring the meaning out of your first cards rather then keep re-reading the daylights out of a question. Looking for guidance about the same thing over and over and over seems to muddle and frustrate things more than clarify them most of the time it seems.
Good luck! Any other questions, don’t hesitate to let me know
Sometimes the best way forward is straight through. To borrow a phrase, just do it. Maybe a little melee is just what we need, especially if the confrontation is with oneself.
Need a wingman in that self confrontation thing? A reading can help. This just what Tarot does best. Distance is my specialty. Why wait for an appointment when a reading can be in your inbox in a matter of hours? Order HERE 24/7
Deck used: Witches Tarot by Ellen Dugan and Matk Evans. Photo and quote by blog author. Edited with Picsart photo editor.
Page of Swords: Learn bravely.
Listen to your opponants. Either you will learn something useful or you’ll be reminded why they are your opponants in the first place.