top of page

When The Cards Give Bad News

Back in late July I went on a trip to Oakland and felt moved to bring along my tarot cards. In my cozy Airbnb, I pulled a few. I decided on a 3-card, Past, Present, Future set up concerning the cliché topic of my love life. I admit to some embarrassment about this, but it’s only human nature to wonder about such things!

So, here is the breakdown of the message I received that mid-summer day. (As in a previous post, I am going to save time by citing for the key words.)

Past > Five of Rods Key Words: conflict, disagreements, competition, tension, diversity

This card depicts 5 men holding staffs up against each other in a scene of discord. However, it is not a very passionate fight, and nothing else on the card hints at the reason for the conflict. This suggests a sort of pointlessness, a lack of focus and heart.

This pull describes my past relationship with a lot of accuracy, especially with the key word ‘tension’. My ex and I were off and on for years as I hoped for some kind of decision to be made- that it was only a matter of time before they realized they loved me for real.

It never happened, and over time I have gone from describing this relationship as ‘being in love with someone for X years’ to ‘being hung up on someone for X years.’ This person hurt me, and I didn’t realize how deeply until much later. It took a long time to conclude that I had allowed this mistreatment because I didn’t realize I deserved better.

Present > Eight of Cups (Reversed) Key Words: trying one more time, indecision, aimless drifting, walking away

This card’s image shows eight cups arranged in a manner in which one appears missing, and a figure departing from the scene with a melancholy air.

After not speaking for a long while, my ex came back into my life in a friendship capacity. Things were good for a while-- conversation and laughter came easily, but eventually I couldn’t handle the emotional and mental toll of interacting with them.

Long story short, they were going through an extremely rough time in their life, and I found their instability contagious. After an intense, drawn-out breakdown they had at my apartment, I blocked their number and haven’t been in contact in over 6 months. I helped all I could, and still struggle with guilt, as if I abandoned them-- but I had to prioritize my own mental health and well-being.

The words ‘walking away’ that the 8 of Cups represents really speaks to this situation. The stack of cups with the missing piece signifies a relationship (this time platonic) that is not whole. It was unstable, and in time the non-reciprocal nature of it was too much to handle.

My energy was being siphoned off, and I had to cut ties to prevent a regression of my psyche

Future > Strength (Reversed) Key Words: inner strength, self-doubt, low energy, raw emotion

I remember even as I was about to draw the third and final card in this tarot session, I had a gut feeling I was going to get a saddening message, and I was right. In retrospect, I see that this feeling was only logical given the air of the first two cards. My past and present cards told me that I was not in the proper state to receive a true, romantic love. Things were still too jumbled. My heart was still healing. This is where the words ‘raw emotion’ rung true for me. My thoughts and feelings were still being processed.

Even now, I remain in the process of learning lessons from my romantic past

‘Inner strength’ is the other phrase that speaks to me here. Reversed Strength tells of solitude and contentment coming solely from within.

This card calls for me to find faith in myself and the Universe that things will happen perfectly in divine timing. I am being told to buckle down and settle in for some more ‘alone time’.


Even though the reversed Strength card is not overtly negative, my heart felt heavy, regardless, as I looked into its meaning. This was not what I wanted to see in the cards. Honestly, I felt a kind of betrayal boiling softly within me, as my pulls up until this point had always been encouraging.

So, in a move somewhat lacking in maturity, I pushed this reading into the back of my mind. I did not think long about it. It made me feel sick. I was not ready to confront my disappointment.

I wasn’t ready to face that my disappointment signaled a false belief that I needed romantic love to live a fulfilled life

Months went by, and in December I received a birth chart reading in which no upcoming romance was mentioned. It was a heavy reading, and I wasn’t sure if the astrologer simply didn’t have time to get to the topic, so I decided to pull a single card to address my love life once again.


Sun (Reversed) Key Words: inner child, feeling down, overly optimistic

The content and comforting face of the sun mocked me in its upside-down position.

There’s not much to say about this card. The message is clear, and yet-- I remained in denial. After all the cards I’d pulled that made perfect sense, I thought I had pulled the wrong card. I thought there must be some mistake.

So, I did something I’d never done before, and drew a second card for clarification. (Actually, my intuition told me to simply look at the card on the bottom of the deck.)

King of Wands (Reversed) Key Words: impulsiveness, haste, ruthless, high expectations

This card greatly humbled me, and I thanked the Universe for taking away my doubt, although it stung. The fact that this card was so dead-on and befitting served to solidify my faith in my intuitive ability to communicate with the greater energy that surrounds us.

The King looks at me sternly, but without malice. He reminds me to have patience. I have waited so long already, a little more is nothing. Compared to the reading in July, I am glad to report that my disappointment with this pull was much more brief.

I've decided I will tap into my inner strength and find peace with this message as I head into the new year. I will lean into my solitude as I work on my novel, zine, and blog. Even as I type this, I feel a new focus coming over me as I develop my musician side, expand my YouTube channel, and approach each day with a mindfulness of my past that will better prepare me for the time when I do meet my soul mate. ♡

Until next time, loves, stay curious.

0 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page