“Odd Tarot Love Associations” for the Tarot Blog Hop
Welcome to the Tarot Blog Hop, in which a variety of tarot bloggers from around the world write on the same topic. Our theme for this round is “odd associations.” Today’s hop is hosted by Morgan Drake Eckstein of Occult Garden Parties and co-hosted by Sharron Basanti of Seeds of Shakti. They suggested for our theme that we share the specialized set of meanings we develop from our unique reading experiences. In many ways, that’s exactly what I hope to do with my Tarot in Love website: share with you the specific meanings I have developed over the years reading on perennially popular relationship questions. I noticed that I had a dictionary of odd tarot love associations. I’ll be sharing these with you over time on this blog! But to get you started, here are some of the oddest.
Five of Pentacles
The standard interpretation is lack of resources, homelessness, out in the cold, no support. The Suit of Pentacles is the element earth and represents material needs, stability, security, and commitment. Fives represent conflict but also instability. This card turned up repeatedly for a regular client about her love life. She had a good job, nice home, great kids: nothing that would indicate the standard interpretation of the card. As we talked it over, we realized that it referred to her lack of trust with men. Her previous significant romantic partners had been unassertive and indecisive. She was forced to be the one to take charge. As a result, she relied only on herself. In order to develop a healthy relationship based on equality, she needed to release her conception of men as unstable and unreliable.
Five of Swords
I’m probably the only tarot reader who feels this way, but I think the Five of Swords is a great card to get for relationship spreads. Fives symbolize conflict and Swords, as the element air, are about communication. So the Five of Swords indicates having healthy, productive arguments and being able to express your problems and complaints to your partner. A reversal here usually indicates that you are holding your dissatisfaction in and better let your partner know before you explode.
Six of Cups
Although tarot readers generally describe this card as memories, children, and childhood, in love readings this card includes additional meanings. According to qabalistic philosophy, the sixes are associated with the heart, and since the Suit of Cups as the element water represents love, emotions, and relationships, this is a very good card for true love, a heart connection. The childhood meaning sums it up in an interesting way. I always say to clients: “When you’re little girl and a little girl moves in next door, you’re automatically best friends. It’s that simple!” That symbolism extends into romantic relationships: you and your partner are best friends, have an uncomplicated relationship, and share true affection. This love might not be intense, but it’s honest and real.
My Legacy of the Divine deck shows two carved wooden boxes, flanked by two upright wands, a single key centered between all. I like to call this card “Independence in Partnership” (Wands=Independence; Two=Partnership). However, one time as I was interpreting this card for a client and mentioned the idea of independence in her relationship, she confirmed that she was considering taking a job in another country for a year and wondered if it would adversely affect her relationship. The answer was no, they could each function independently from each other. But subsequent to that reading I have repeatedly had the Two of Wands come up to represent couples living separately — the separate boxes — for various reasons. (You can read my brief descriptions of the meanings for all the tarot Suit of Wands in love readings.)
Again, the qabalistic interpretation adds an often overlooked meaning. This card corresponds to the path that leads from the genitals to the heart — it doesn’t take an esotericist to note that sometimes relationships start off as physical fun but then develop a deeper connection. A second clue in the card is the path leading from the pool off into the sunrise/sunset in the distant mountains — the glowing light looks like a crown. This is a reference to the highest level of the Tree of Life, closest to the Divine. So this physical-only relationship grows into love and then to spiritual connection. I like to use the keyword “elevate” for Temperance, even though a lot of people say “balance.” In my Legacy of the Divine deck the angel is elevated, floating in a high-ceilinged cathedral. But the esoteric symbolism of the card also suggests rising up, moving to a higher level. So this card represents a love that develops, elevates, and achieves a spiritual connection.
The Tower corresponds to the planet Mars, which in turn represents the masculine principle. The tall shaft of the Tower with its exploding head is a clear indicator for ejaculation. As such it can represent a strong sex drive, fiery passion, or, especially reversed, premature ejaculation. In particular, the Tower is associated with the male sex drive.
It is not uncommon to hear the Tower as expressing the male sex drive, but it’s less common to come across the Strength card as the female sex drive. Of course, in the Crowley-Harris Thoth deck the card is called Lust and the woman luxuriates on the back of a multi-headed beast, fondling a red swollen protrusion above her. Okay, not too subtle. But in more traditional expressions of the card, such as the Marseille and Rider-Waite-Smith, the card uses different imagery, but nonetheless secretly expresses female sexuality. In these images, a woman opens (sometimes closes) the mouth of a lion. The lion here represents the animal nature, desire, and unpredictable power. The woman holds the beast gently, fearlessly. Unlike the masculine ideal of explosive power in sexuality, the female process is slower, gentler. It is not about the single explosion, but about creating an ongoing tension between firmness and softness, strength and love, and holding that tension just below the surface until it releases not as the single explosion, but in waves. This is the contented sign, not the explosive pop, of the perfectly released champagne cork.
I hope you enjoyed these relationship-specific odd tarot love associations. If you have any cards that have taken on specific love meanings, please share the juiciest in the comments! And now please progress through all the blogs in this hop to see what other writers have to say on the topic of odd associations for the tarot!