Friday, 2 December 2011

closing the door on heartbreak

Tarot is used to look back just as much as it's used to look forward. For every querent who's come to me asking for insight into the future of their relationship, there's always another one who asks about a past connection and hopes that the cards will offer closure. Sometimes, the only thing we're left with at the end of a turbulent relationship is our point of view. It's not always possible to know what the other person is thinking, either because there's no dialogue or because the two perspectives are worlds apart and discussing them leads to conflict. As we start to deal with what's happened and shock turns to sadness turns to anger turns to shock again, we begin to pick holes in our own perception of what went wrong and our time line of events becomes clouded over. People often come to Tarot looking for confirmation that they did the right thing or that their suspicions were correct. It's important that Tarot readings about past relationships offer a reasonably balanced point of view and that there's not too much blame being brutally piled onto one party. Interpret the cards faithfully and don't be tempted to be too black and white. Another important thing to remember is that Tarot should be used to aid the process of closure and not to fixate on the past in an unhelpful way. If you feel that you or a querent is turning to Tarot in an obsessive manner, refer to my article on Tarot addiction for signposts and tips.

So, how can we use Tarot to effectively examine our past relationships and glean clarity for the journey forward? Here are three key questions to encourage deeper thought.
  • What drew the two of you together? - Taking a look at the origins of the relationship can help us to understand the meaning it had in our lives at that time and why it was a valid part of the process. I'm not one to tell people that they shouldn't have any regrets - sometimes that's simply impossible - there are things we wish we'd done differently. But what I will venture to guess is that regret takes up a lot of valuable energy and makes people feel drained and depressed when it becomes the central concern. What's done is done and using Tarot to consider the conditions and circumstances that made it all happen the way it did is sobering and offers a lot of perspective.
  • What pulled the two of you apart? - This is where several new layers of thought can be revealed on the matter. When we're angry or deeply upset by the breakdown of a romantic relationship it can be all too easy to take a simplistic or hard-line point of view with very little room for movement or consideration. Are the cards telling you that other factors came into play? Were there outside influences on the sidelines? Did the relationship have to end in order for you to move forward with plans and desires that were actually being stunted by negativity? Tarot can encourage us to move past bitterness and resentment and instead embrace the benefits that change can bring.
  • What did you both learn? - Let the cards remind you that it's possible for a rose to grow between the cracks in the pavement. If we're not trying to find those little silver linings, we're probably selling ourselves short and denying ourselves the ability to really get over the pain and leave it behind us. Perhaps you're already prepared to accept that the relationship taught you a lot and was good for you at a particular time in your life. If so, great, you're half way there! But plenty of people who come out of a less-than-perfect relationship find themselves vehemently wishing it had never happened and insisting that it screwed everything up. Let's draw cards that force us to think on the bright side and examine what the relationship gave to us and how we can use those lessons for long-term peace and clarity.

I'll be working on an in-depth series of blog posts to examine how to use Tarot in times of heartbreak and separation. It's a huge topic and, as a reader, I've had to adapt to my querents' needs and ensure that I'm being sensitive and constructive at all times, even when a querent is in the grip of despair. I've also had to warn querents that some of the readings they're requesting might do more harm than good, for example when they wish to know about their ex-partner's new relationship or ask the cards if there's any chance of a future reconciliation. I want querents to go into these readings with their eyes wide open. Relying on Tarot to tell us what we want to hear is a hole that risks going deeper and deeper. We need to be wholly open to the messages and lessons the cards have to offer and sometimes that takes time and distance. No one can expect you to heal from heartbreak in five minutes! It's a process and as long as both the querent and the reader respect that process, Tarot should be more of a help than a hindrance.

click for an Ex-Partner Tarot reading