Was it any surprise that I was going to do a Valentine’s Day reading with The Lovers Path Tarot? It’s such a beautiful deck. And full of wisdom! I keep it in this embroidered burgundy and gold drawstring bag that matches the palette of the deck’s artwork. I had been looking around a bit for a cloth to do readings on for it and happened across this gorgeous vintage Oscar de la Renta scarf with all the reds, pinks, and purples a person could want. My heart!
I have this relative that I’ve mentioned previously, the fire sign. She’s a maternal figure of sorts. She’s my mother’s sister. We have a very complicated relationship and it’s something I’ve really been working to improve. Earlier today, I was trying to help her with something. Unfortunately, it was beyond my ability and she’d have to find someone else to get it sorted. I came back to my desk to do my Valentine’s Day reading and she was sorta floating in and out of my head a bit whilst I was trying to get centered. It wasn’t enough to get me to stop shuffling, so I just went with it. Up come the Six of Swords and the Wheel of Fortune cards.
Placing them down, I think I had sorta looked at them, but I kept thinking about her. I was wondering whether her significant other (I suppose, technically at this point, my uncle) had gotten her anything for Valentine’s Day. I’m single this year, so I didn’t have any plans other than treating myself to a rather luxurious Rose Water bath before anyone else had gotten up. I sigh. I know he hasn’t done anything. He doesn’t do those things. It’s weird. He’s an odd duck. He’s not a bad guy. He’s actually a cool dude. However, there are things that he should do because he’s a good person that he doesn’t do. That’s kind of weird sounding. But it is weird. He was married for a while before returning to this relationship with my aunt. They’ve been together for almost ten years now. Living together for four. I mean, the guy watches films, television, reads books, listens to music. So it’s not like he’s an alien and has no concept of romance or consideration. I dunno. It’s weird. Again, he’s actually a nice man. Sensitive in certain ways. Anyway.
I know he probably hasn’t so much as said Happy Valentine’s Day to her. We have a calendar on the refrigerator that I keep updated and draw on for holidays and the like. It’s been marked on there for at least a week. He watches a ton of television. Some TV advert or show, be it online or via cable had to have mentioned Valentine’s Day. So, I put my deck down and go back out here and give her a kiss and hug and wish her a Happy Valentine’s before coming back to my desk.
King Acrisius had a daughter named Danae — a princess with a curse, for upon her birth it was predicted that one of the princess’s offspring would kill the king. When Danae came of age, the king waled her within a tower made of bronze. Despite this, Danae was loved by Zeus and together they had a son named Perseus. Perseus grew into a strong man and after many adventures, he did slay Acrisius — a just punishment for treating his only daughter so cruelly.Major Arcana X Fortune, The Lover’s Path Tarot, by Kris Waldherr.
My aunt is very generous. Money is as much an instrument of affection as it can be of manipulation when she wields it. However, she has helped both my uncle and me significantly. I read the story of Danae and Zeus and get to that list line, in particular: “a just punishment for treating his only daughter so cruelly.”. I thought to myself, this woman has done so much for this man, and he can’t get it together enough to buy her a card. Here’s the thing right, he just is absentminded that way. It isn’t that he doesn’t love her or is insensitive. it’s more like a kind of obliviousness. She paid for all your dental work, gave you a car, you don’t have to cook or clean, you don’t pay rent, my dude, the least you could do is tell Alexa to set a reminder to buy a damn Valentine’s card.
She deserves something special for Valentine’s. As much as my relationship with her is up and down, this would be unfair to just not do anything for her. Again, she has done so much for us it wouldn’t be just for us to not at least get her flowers and a card. We’ve accepted all of her generosity and we can’t make an effort for her on Valentine’s?
Back to the Six of Swords for a moment.
Transitions that go smoothly. New knowledge that helps one move beyond current limitations. The lessening of difficulties. Detachment to better understand a situation.The Six of Arrows, The Lover’s Path Tarot, Kris Waldherr.
In a reading I did previously (here) about the strategy I needed to employ to move beyond the baggage of the past and bring about healing in my relationship with my aunt, the Hermit card showed up as part of some very specific advice. This situation was a very clear example of how I was able to step back from my issues with her, reflect on the present, and feel compassion for her. I’m really working on tapping into my Venus in Cancer to not just help me build positive feelings for her, but to also be protective of and comforting to her. The Hermit, with his lamp, was the energy I switched into, this detachment.
I know it disappoints her that he isn’t more demonstrative and participatory. They don’t go anywhere because he doesn’t want to go anywhere. Mostly, they cuddle on the couch or in their room watching television. She doesn’t ask more of him because I feel like she’s concerned it will bother him and he’ll pull away from her. Again, I’ve known (and dated) some real douche bags in my life. My uncle is not one of them. There are just some issues there on his end that I think are in the way of this part of him growing. He is making progress. He tells her he loves her and it happens more often. I don’t know if this hurts her feelings. Again, it’s very easy to misjudge depth when there’s such a fog of histrionics to move through. I don’t say that with shade. It’s just what the situation is. But really, I’m beginning to suspect that it isn’t so much a lack of those feelings as it is rooted in a refusal to acknowledge the upset. If she did confirm something like this hurt her than 1) she’d have to concede they don’t have the perfect relationship or rather one that she’s content with and 2) that Leo ego would have to take one on the chin. I don’t want to see her hurt.
Anyway, I put the deck down, grab my handbag and walk out to the living room to tell him I’m going to the store to get stuff for Valentine’s Day. The look on his face was everything. Boom, lightning strikes, the light bulb moment. It was the ‘Oh fuck, it’s Valentine’s Day’ Look. He then asks me what I suggest for the occasion, I’m the Sommelier of Romance apparently. He is a nice guy. I hope that people reading this will not take my description of him and think he’s horrible and selfish. Believe me, if I thought he was entitled and selfish and taking advantage with a malicious intent, his world would be burning down. I’m not judgmental about how he operates within their relationship. I think that’s because I know he truly cares about her and I’ve seen his kindness (toward me also) manifest in different ways. Could he do more in terms of helping her (me) around the house and contributing financially? Absolutely. But he’s a good dude.
We did two big bouquets of flowers in her favorite colors and a little trinket for her desk. I got him a cute little card to sign and some candy. She loved it. It’s funny because I went to that store earlier in the week and couldn’t find any cards I liked for anybody. But, I walked into that store today and found the most perfect card for my aunt. I should have taken a photo of it. It said something like… Our family’s story is about love and tenderness (it wasn’t). It is your love and strength that continues to write it and for that I love you or something. So I wrote in it that our family’s story is all the things we decide to write it to be. One of love, kindness, respect, trust, and compassion. And that I would love her always. My aunt read the card and cried. I didn’t experience much of any of those things growing up. Neither did she.
My grandmother, in her efforts to make us immune and strengthen us against what she thought would hurt us, wounded us. She wasn’t a saint and certainly wasn’t June Cleaver, though she knew how to present an image of a happy and abundant home. She loved us, but there was a lot of fucked up shit that happened to her and it impacted how she would mother us — myself and both my mother and aunt. Have those scars made us stronger? In a way, I suppose.
There are many things she taught us outside of relationships and more relating to business and how to move through life that have saved us. Money wise. Safety wise. For those, I am grateful because most nineteen, twenty-one, twenty-three, twenty-nine, and thirty-one year olds don’t know how to deal with a lot of the situations I’ve managed to navigate successfully. If I hadn’t have been exposed to certain things growing up, I wouldn’t have been able to be there for my mother in her final years, by her side communicating with medical staff and helping make decisions, or survive witnessing her death. I also wouldn’t have been able to create, start, and run my own business beginning in my early 20s.
Ultimately, did my grandmother’s parenting help or hurt my aunt? There are areas of my aunt’s life that she controlled for as long as she could. And living with my aunt now, I see clearer why. It was (and is) needed. Do I think my aunt would have had a fairer shot at life if my grandmother had been willing to get her real psychological help? I dunno. Knowing the era she grew up in and some of the horrible things that happened to people seeking treatment for mental illness (some of which my grandmother witnessed with her own sister), my aunt probably was kept safe by being kept out of that system. By the time stigmas and certain practices had been done away with, my aunt would’ve been well into her adulthood and beyond corralling. Hell, stigma is still a real deterrent to treatment today.
After giving my aunt her Valentine’s Day gifts, I returned to my desk and finished the reading for myself. As much as I love the romantic nature of this deck, I will say that it pulls no punches. If you don’t want to see the truth about yourself, someone you fancy, a current relationship, a past relationship, don’t pick up this deck. For me, it has always shown brightly the reality of things. It’s why I don’t use it often. And it told me this. Hah!
All the tarot readings I’ve done last year (with this deck and others) have basically said that I need to focus on doing inner work and becoming financially independent. Love will come later. I’m still doing those things and as such I had stopped specifically inquiring about ‘new love’. Plus, a good portion of last year was unpacking and working through all of the things that happened during my on-off-on-off-on-off-on-off 15+yr relationship with Mr. Taurus. Oh, and also the truths I learned about myself from spending time with Mr. Scorpio. It was intense. A long time coming. 2018 was really a year of re-wiring.
It’s 2019. It’s Valentine’s Day. Why not ask what 2019 has in store for me, love-wise?
Out come Isis and Osiris. That pain is right there. Fuck me. I’ve talked about Isis and Osiris as well as Sati/Parvati and Shiva previously within the context of my relationship with Mr. Taurus. I do believe in an all or nothing kind of love. If I see the man I love fall into an abyss, I’m reaching for him. I’m not going to standby and do nothing while I watch him drown. His moon is in Scorpio and my Venus is in Cancer. Depth doesn’t scare me. I’m a strong swimmer. And for a long time after he walked into those woods, I stood at the edge of them and called to him. Sometimes, he’d come back out for a little a while. Sometimes, silence.
The myth of Isis and Osiris illustrates the power of love and how it can transform us irrevocably. Isis and Osiris were blissful in their love for each other. Jealousy ae at their brother Set’s soul, granting him no rest. He trapped Osiris in a coffin and heaved him into the Nile. Using the power of her love, the goddess brought Osiris back to life for a final embrace.Major Arcana VI Love, The Lover’s Path Tarot, Kris Waldherr
I hadn’t even thought of him today until I saw the card. The periods of time now where I go without thinking of him are getting longer and longer. I can look at Mustangs now and he isn’t the first thing that pops in my head. I can hear their exhaust (actually saw/heard a badass Coyote during my evening drive last night) and not think about how much he’d love to hear it — or be tempted to send him a photo/video of it. I can just enjoy them in the moment as they are.
Stepping away from those feelings and looking at us, it’s struck me how attached to and affected by him that I’ve been over the years. He wasn’t my first boyfriend or long-term relationship. There have been subsequent relationships of varying length and intensity after him that have covered far more personal/sensitive ground (e.g. Mr. Scorpio). Twin-flame is a concept I find to be incredibly toxic and dangerous and not one I subscribe to, but I do feel like there is something Karmic about me and Mr. Taurus.
This Karmic thing is more than just lessons. I really feel like we had our chance. We should have gone a certain direction, made certain decisions, and arrived together somewhere else. What all of those were, I can’t tell you. Some, maybe. I may do a post about fate at some point. There is the belief that was is to be yours will always find its way to you. I don’t disagree with that, but I do think that 1) the timespan isn’t finite and is beyond this lifetime and 2) you can rebuke it if you are adamant about not wanting it, at least in this specific life.
It’s taken me a lot of work to get to this place of acceptance. The anger is gone. Perspective has returned. Every part of me is wired to fight for the person I love. Not to have them in a relationship like some Rom-Com possession, but to fight for their happiness and health and safety. He released me from that in his own way last year and I finally heard it. He is, was, and always has been the basis for one of the heroes in the bigger projects that I’ve written. While he didn’t love me exactly how I needed, the ways that he did were wonderful. And it would be unfair for me to not acknowledge that. The good parts of ‘Us’ were lovely and I am grateful for them as well as the memories that were made.
The other reason why I love this tarot deck is that the Isis/Osiris card is the Lovers card. I’m a Gemini. To have the very archetypal couple that embodies my ideal of love as my own card is deeply touching to me.
Ace of Cups in reverse as a clarifier to the Lovers card.
Rejection of others’ affection. Creative blocks. Disillusionment with love. Sadness or melancholy.Ace of Cups (Reversed), The Lover’s Path Tarot, Kris Waldherr
Yes, this is accurate. I don’t actively reject affection. But, I do think the vibe I’m putting out there to the universe is one of “You can miss me with this”. I like to wrap it up on me staying to myself and doing inner work, which I am doing. But I also know that I’m not doing all the other stuff I should be to be open and receptive to love. I’m not going to places where other people are. I’m not socializing. I’m not even doing photography or going to car shows and events any more. The places where I can meet a potential life partner is severely limited because of my own actions.
I love love. I love flirting and playing with my partner. I love comforting them and encouraging them and watching them grow. I love learning every part of who they are and building a life together. I want to love their family and friends. I’m all about that. Partner in crime. Partner in life. Partner in time.
On the occasions that I do go out, I’m very low key. It’s not that I stop being myself. Rather I stop being myself fully because I know that when I flip that switch on and am 100% me things start to happen. This is not an ego thing. It’s just an energy thing. When you’re a super loving, healing, affectionate, nonjudgmental, empathic air sign with a heart like the ocean — it’s like those lantern things people put on their front porches here in Florida. But, plot twist! I’m the one that gets stuck and zapped repeatedly.
Is it sad to me that I don’t love as easily, quickly, freely as I once did? Sure. But not as sad as I’ve been when I’ve done so and then fell into a destructive pattern with an abusive partner. When I’m ready, I’ll be ready, right?
Continuing on with the reading, I asked what I need to do or what philosophy I need to adopt to move on along my journey. Major Arcana IV The Emperor reversed and Four of Coins. By now, I’m starting to feel a pattern. In the Lover’s Path Tarot, The Emperor is called Power and is represented by Arthur and Guinevere. As per the guide booklet:
The legend of King Arthur and Queen Guinevere appears in various forms in British, Breton, Celtic, and Roman history and folklore.
From the first moment he saw her willowy form, Arthur loved Guinevere, the daughter of King Leodegrace of the North. But Guinevere loved Lancelot, the king’s most loyal knight. Though Merlin warned Arthur that another woman would bring him greater happiness, the king’s heart was irrevocably set. Arthur used his power to marry Guinevere, just as he used his power to rule wisely.
[Reversed meaning]: Oppressed by another’s power and authority. Insecurity. Passive aggression. Using power to manipulate others for personal gain.Major Arcana IV Power (Reversed), The Lover’s Path Tarot, Kris Waldherr.
There are two relevant meanings to me here. 1) a specific reference to Mr. Taurus and 2) a broader reference to patterns in my relationships over all.
The first. I gave away a lot of my power in that relationship. It’s not like he wanted it as much as I just relinquished it. Looking back, there are many times when I should have not agreed or pursued getting back together and trying again to make it work. He is right, we were in a cycle and it consumed many years of both of our lives. There were so many things I couldn’t say or do — or rather, I chose not to because I believed it limited the risk of him wanting to withdraw — that it was very much like being under someone’s authority. While I’m not about to absolve him from the responsibility of the part he played in this dynamic, I was the one who put these restrictions on myself because I foolishly believed that ultimately the pay-off in the long term was worth what I was giving up. If I didn’t rock the boat, we’d make it to the shore some real Six of Swords shit.
As for the broader application to my relationship choices — I somewhere fell into believing that whole Sean and Julia McNamara, Tony and Carmela Soprano, Blair and Chuck, Karen and Hank Moody way to love is what you do because real life is hard. Love is hard. People fuck up. I love my mother and respect her as a woman, but the relationship examples she showed me were not great either.
In my relationships, I feel like my partners have tried to manage me a lot of the time to dodge to accountability I demand (or used to?) of them. I still stay though. Big or small, somewhere along the road I started tolerating the lies and manipulation. And then I stopped listening to my instincts altogether. Two men have tried to gas light me (for different reasons) — one I told to get fucked and the second, I let get in my head. Someone has to be the peacemaker, is what my mother would say. I was always the one compromising and being punished for voicing my concerns.
Four of Pentacles. I’m struck by the artwork in this card. It really mirrors the Empress card in the traditional Rider Waite, lounging in her comfort. The male figure is faded in the back. He’s like something in the back of her memory or consciousness. From the booklet:
Stability of material forces in one’s life. A family inheritance — this could be a talent, money, land, or a quality that adds richness to life. Satisfaction.Four of Coins, The Lover’s Path Tarot, Kris Waldherr
If I went into a relationship right now, I would be financially dependent on that person. That’s not where I want to be. I’m on track to finish this part of my education by the Spring, which will open up a lot more opportunities for me, money-wise and time-wise. There’s shit that still needs to get done. Paying down credit card debt may seem like it has nothing to do with dating, but it’s a major responsibility that I have. It would be one less thing on my mind. The money that is spent every month on those cards could bring me bank in terms of savings. If I’m getting serious with someone, we might eventually get a place together. I need to be financially healthy to do that.
Around here right now the housing market is still pretty cheap. Cheaper to buy than to lease. I want my kitchen, my bath tub, my massive as fuck flat screen, and my balcony with a few of the sunset. If I wind up outgrowing the property because of a relationship, I can always turn it into an income property. The rates for vacation rental stays here relative to purchase price are pretty sweet. My car is paid off and it runs great. I’m thankful for her every time I drive her. Every month the credit score goes up and that’s all I care about.
Outcome card is the Nine of Cups. What a lovely image. Relief. Relief is what I feel as I look at it. It’s like she’s saying “I’m finally free.” Cups are about emotions versus coins, which represent material wealth. But (again thinking of the Rider Waite imagery), I see the spirit of abundance in this. Freedom in feelings is absolutely part of Abundance. No blockages, everything flowing in the right direction, celebrating life, showing gratitude, release of all that old bullshit.
Bottom of the deck is Six of Pentacles reversed. I immediately think of the original artwork from Rider Waite. It’s one of those cards (like the Hanged Man), where I associate the meaning in reverse in most cases. In other words, I don’t see the image of the person doling out coins to the people on their knees as a positive figure. That looks like control to me. Those people are begging for anything they can get and all that’s being given to them are a handful of coins dropping into their hands.
I associate the card with financial dependence and oppression. If that person was really as charitable as the imagery’s official meaning would want us to believe (and yes, I am aware it’s ‘just a drawing’ on a card to many), wouldn’t he be lifting them up or at least kneeling down and offering them far more money or help than just a few coins?
As per the booklet:
[Reversed meaning]: Using wealth to manipulate others. Giving with expectations. Resenting those who need help.Six of Coins (Reversed), The Lover’s Tarot, Kris Waldherr.
I take this as a reminder — a reminder about what to avoid falling into. Just because I have a usual interpretation of a card (referenced just above), doesn’t mean it always applies. I check it against my intuition above all and then against the context of the other cards. There’s a pattern here — a conversation about power dynamics. Stay away from situations that would put and keep me on my knees.
This year, I’m going to be working remotely (God willing) and writing in my free time. The checks will be coming in and the money will be stacking. In the great words of the one true Kylie (and that’s Queen Kylie-Motherfuckin’-Minogue): Get Outta My Way.