Letting Go of Love: The Tarot Answers Breakup Questions

Reading time: 10 minutes

Should I Stay or Should I Go? When the Tarot Advises You to Leave

Welcome to the Tarot Blog Hop! Our topic is “Transitions.” For Tarot in Love, I interpreted this topic, provided by Tarot Blog Hop wrangler Jay Cassels of Jay’s Mystic Blog, as “relationship transitions.” One of most agonizing questions you can have about a relationship is when to end it. You know what to do when you have a dilemma: you pull out your trusty tarot cards! But what cards tell you to stay, and which ones advise go? Here are your tarot answers to breakup questions. In this list of cards that deal with transition, learn what the tarot is telling you when you ask whether to end your relationship.


So many factors play into a decision to break up. It’s not just a question of what you want; other people are involved, and you may be concerned about how it will affect them. Another factor is that relationships encompass a wide array of good and bad; if everything were bad, you wouldn’t have difficulty making this decision. Something is still worthwhile. Even more confusingly, sometimes the external circumstances of the relationship, including money, living situation, and your social network are at odds with the inner circumstances of the relationship, which focuses solely on how you and your partner relate to each other.

If you’re wrestling with a decision about a relationship, it’s important to understand what cards address transition, and what they say about it. Read on for an interpretation of the Wheel of Fortune, Death, Tower, and Judgment cards as they address breaking up. I’ve included some questions you use with your cards to make sure you’re getting the clearest answer.

Wheel of Fortune

“Wheel of Fortune/La Rueda de la Fortuna” from Sortilegium Tarot by Natalia Vélez, self-published 2021.

The Wheel of Fortune is about change. We get on the Wheel at the bottom with an eagerness to evolve. Then we climb to our fulfillment at the top of the Wheel. Finally, it brings us back down, sometimes smoothly, sometimes with bumps and jerks. Where are you on the Wheel? The card itself doesn’t always answer that part of the question. It only reminds us that what goes up must come down.

When the Wheel of Fortune comes up in your love reading about ending a relationship, it isn’t predicting the end. Rather, it goes more deeply than that. It asks whether you want to get off at this point, or ride the cycle again. Some cards tell us we are making progress. Not the Wheel. Are the ups worth it knowing the downs always follow?

The best advice the Wheel offers is to move to the center. Then you can be still while the chaos twists and turns around you.

Should you go or should you stay? The Wheel indicates it can go either way. The advice of the Wheel is to re-center your life on you and away from the relationship. Then when you’re centered, you can better see how the relationship turns around you and your life. And you’re also better situated to leave if necessary.


“Death/La Muerte” from Sortilegium Tarot by Natalia Vélez, self-published 2021.

The Death card is about endings. Death is the natural and anticipated ending of a predictable cycle. Most readers call it transformation. And I agree that is a major part of the meaning of the card. However, Death provides the clearest sense of finality in the deck. The Fool, the four Aces, and even the Pages speak to fresh starts. But Death tells you what you already know: It’s over.

When Death shows up in your relationship reading, it reminds you to focus on what has to stop. Like deadheading a rose bush or weeding a garden, what is lost makes room for new growth. The Death card asks you what needs to be pruned, edited out, or tossed in order to proceed.

The advice of the Death card is to focus on the end. Although being upbeat and optimistic is usually good advice, the Death card says instead that now is the time to take a good, hard look at your failures. We need to recognize what we’ve lost, mourn it, and let it go. Sit quietly with the ending, including the pain, loss, betrayal, and all the associated emotions you’re feeling.

Should you stay or should you go? The Death card says this is over. If you heartily disagree with this card, instead consider what serious changes must be irrevocably made to let you stay. Make the demand. And know without a doubt that you’ll go if your partner says, “no go.”


“The Tower/La Torre” from Sortilegium Tarot by Natalia Vélez, self-published 2021.

In relationship readings, the Tower is about breakups. More generally, the Tower represents sudden, unexpected change that feels like a complete loss. Many readers find a deeper truth in the Tower, the revelation of clarity and self-understanding arising from difficulty. It’s challenge can even bring about freedom and release. But when defining the cards, I try to stay within the immediacy of the experience, not its results.

If your breakup reading turns up the Tower, it’s time to pay attention. Either your world is already crumbling around you, or it’s about to shatter. If the Tower is paired with the Moon, someone’s been keeping secrets and you will soon discover the devastating truth.

Forewarned is forearmed. How will you respond to this threat? Will you seek the truth? Get yourself out before the bomb hits? Or just wait and see? The advice of the Tower is to take sharp, decisive action. The Tower says that knowing the truth is preferable to what will happen if you avoid it.

Should you stay or should you go? The Tower card says kick’em to the curb. At the very least, arrange for a back up plan in case your partner unexpectedly breaks up with you.


“Judgment/El Juicio” from Sortilegium Tarot by Natalia Vélez, self-published 2021.

The Judgment card is a complete transformation, out of what doesn’t work, into what is lasting and sustainable. Judgment lets you know that something new and permanent lies ahead. Keep in mind that the Judgment card is not necessarily about making a judgment or getting judged. Instead, the image on the card typically shows the souls of the deceased ascending to heaven. That’s about as clear a transition as you can get!

If Judgment is the answer to your breakup question, a complete and irreversible change is called for. Unlike the Wheel, which cycles repeatedly up and down, Judgment says, “No more!” It completely cuts off the old and elevates you to a higher level with a new set of rules — this time in your favor.

To me, Judgment is an extremely positive card. It says that your hit and miss approach is gone for good. You’ve found what works; the perpetual motion machine. Judgment advises a complete makeover. Out with the old and in with the new. Judgment wants you to be in the perfect relationship for you. And it will easily shed or shred anything that’s in your way.

Should you stay or should you go? Judgment says transform this relationship into your ideal and blissful vision. Of course, there’s a chance your partner is not ready for such a powerful transformation. Are you willing to go it alone? In many ways it doesn’t matter because you know without a doubt that you must follow this call. The rest will fall into place around the new you.

The Tarot’s Answer to Breakup Questions, But Not All Questions

Does this mean that every time the Death card or Tower card shows up in a reading that you’re going to end a relationship? No, of course not. Tarot cards vary their meaning according to the question asked and in proportion to the situation asked about. If you asked, “Will my partner and I go on a hike this weekend?” and you draw the Tower and the Moon, it probably means that you’ll get caught in an unexpected thunderstorm, not that they’re cheating on you. Even if you asked, “What’s the long term outcome of this relationship?”, the Death card could as easily mean that you’ll live happily until you die as it does that the relationship will eventually end. And incidentally, you can have a wonderfully happy relationship for many years before it becomes time to move on.

The cards discussed in this article are here to help you transition out of a relationship that you suspect needs to end. They are here to give you a starkly definite answer to a specific question, such as:

  • I feel like I’ve tried everything. Is this relationship over?
  • My partner refuses to make any of the changes that are important to me. What’s my next step?
  • I’ve focused on my partner for so long I’ve lost myself. What is best for me regarding this relationship?
  • Something’s not right; I can feel it. What do I need to know about my relationship right now?
  • Should I end this relationship?

You Know What To Do

If one of these breakup cards comes up for a specific question like those listed above, then you have a clear answer. But chances are that one of the other 90-some-odd percent of the cards will come up, in which case you have some leeway.

The tarot is a channel to your subconscious and to your spiritual guides. The images on the cards help you see the truth, a truth that is here to support you, guide you, and steer you onto the best path for you. Choose your question carefully. Ask for an honest answer. Work closely with the card that comes to you in response. Spend time exploring the details of the image. Journal what it says to you. Find the truth in your heart. You will know what to do.

Your Next Match

Sometimes you need time to mourn a relationship, sometimes you don’t. What cards came up for you regarding your relationship? How do you interpret them? And what’s coming up next for you after this transition? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments! Then hop on and read how the other tarot bloggers have interpreted the theme “Transitions.”


Author: Joy Vernon

Joy Vernon is an astrologer and tarot reader in Burien, Washington. Formerly, she served as the Organizer of the Denver Tarot Meetup and Denver Tarot Geeks, and now runs the Greater Seattle Tarot Meetup. She is passionate about teaching others to read tarot for themselves to bring clarity and guidance to their lives. Joy started Tarot in Love to share everything she's learned about love in the cards from her decades of work as a professional reader. Over the past ten years, Joy has published more than 250 free articles on tarot, astrology, qabalah, Reiki, and meditation on her other blog Completely JoyousSchedule a reading to see her philosophies in action.

4 thoughts on “Letting Go of Love: The Tarot Answers Breakup Questions

  1. This was a truly fascinating insight in the ways of relationships and the language of the Tarot, I am one for finding that Wheel of Fortune, is very much as the wheel turns, so change will come in, a bit like the moon cycles. Death is pretty much a statement of transition, change is inevitable; everything changes states eventually. The Tower is one I find interesting, its like the language barrier, much like the Tower of Babel, where infinite knowledge can exist, but to translate it and reveal the secrets is not allowed. So it was struck down and everyone had to find common ground, much like any relationship, find the common ground and take it from there,

    Thank you Joy, for an amazing hop entry 🙂

    1. I love it! Yes! And now I remember that if I had time to edit the post (haha) I was going to add in something about there being a lot of ways of interpreting any of these cards. I particularly like your take on them!

  2. Totally agree with your interpretations here–and your caveats–Joy. I think the only one of these cards that has ever been a bit “scary” to me is the death card. I always consider that something needs to end entirely and for good when this card comes up–but it could be an aspect of the relationship and not the relationship itself. That said, I’ve learned from experience that it is extremely rare for two people to be able to make such a major transition together without parting ways. I read the Tower card just as Jay describes here. And Judgement much like you describe–though you threw even more positive spin on it–thank you for that!

    1. Yes, I agree; that’s always my most positive reading of Death: that it could be an aspect of something, not the thing itself. I think I distinguish between Death and the Tower in this way: Death is expected or, more precisely, known about, the Tower is not. So Death is that everyone knows this is on its last legs, it has to end. Tower is an unexpected interruption/revelation out of nowhere that suddenly changes the course of the situation or what you thought to be true. At least, that’s the distinction that my cards usually use for me. It’s one of the coolest features of tarot that we each develop our unique set of meanings that works perfectly for us. Most of us find we have similar meanings to each other, but add our own nuance; some people are just way out there, but it works for them. LOL.

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