Here we are in February, and Valentine’s Day beckons (or looms) on the horizon.
I know there are those of you out there who hate it, who say it’s commercial and contrived, that it makes single people feel alienated and judged and makes people who are in a relationship feel pressured or obligated.
I hear you. I understand where you are coming from and that all of the above is quite true in many cases.
And yet, I love Valentine’s Day.
This is a day when romance rules supreme, when you feel free to make an uncharacteristically grand romantic gesture, to watch a sappy movie without guilt, to eat copious amounts of chocolate, to smell some roses, and to just celebrate love in all its forms. On your own, or with your love, or with your friends.
As a Tarot reader, and a wedding officiant, I spend a lot of time talking about and thinking about LOVE.
I approach Tarot readings about LOVE with the utmost respect, compassion, and gentle but persistent honesty.
Love is one of the most common reasons that people consult the Tarot, and yet people are often apologetic or sheepish when they ask about it. They don’t want to be a cliché, or look foolish, or make themselves vulnerable. It’s difficult to say to yourself or to someone else (namely your Tarot reader) that you’re lonely and longing for that elusive partner, you’re missing someone even though you know they aren’t good for you, you love someone and they don’t love you back, or you’re at a loss to make your current relationship better.
I don’t think that there is anything foolish about asking the Tarot about love.
Love is a fundamental human need.
Love is what we are made of, where we come from, and what we return to.
Love isn’t only the romantic kind, but it is part of it, and that connection with another human being, the chance to be loved and to give love in return, is something that most of us crave from our very bones.
I think it’s brave and daring to look to the Tarot for love, especially if you take the approach that you have power, that you have a say in the matter rather than being subject to Fate, and if you’re willing to be honest with yourself.
It’s easy to fall into traps of fantasy and helplessness when it comes to Love Tarot readings, and a good Tarot reader should be able to guide you through those pitfalls with the kindness and honesty that I mentioned before. That good reader may be YOU, reading for yourself or for someone else. Or, it may be someone else who is reading for you. Either way, here are some insights into what works for me in my practice.
If someone comes to me asking when they will find their soulmate, we can go there, but first of all we’re going to get clear on what exactly you mean by that, and what you’re willing to look at and do to make that happen.
If you want to know what your ex is thinking or feeling, we’re not going to go there, but we can turn it back to you and help you to make sense of or peace with a breakup that still stings.
And, if you’re ready to invite love into your life, the kind of love that enriches and uplifts, is worth the trouble, and is something that you’re willing to put joyful effort towards, that’s when things get really interesting.
Here are four steps to start that process with the Tarot as your support and guide.
Everyone is different, and every situation is unique, but these steps with the cards set up a powerful framework, clear blockages, and help you to set your intention so that you can let the universe know what you want, and then take action towards it.
#1 – LOVE Yourself, just as you are, right now.
We all do things that we aren’t proud of. We say things that we wish we could take back. We don’t always act with honor and compassion. But, I find that people dwell on those things much more than on their triumphs, the times they acted with love and courage, the kindness they showed to others. This doesn’t do anyone any good.
Loving yourself involves courage, the ability to forgive yourself and others, to make amends when you need to, to move on when you need to.
We tell ourselves that we will be happy when we reach our full potential, when we achieve a particular goal or success, when we have done the work and faced our shadows.
I say, love yourself now, just as you are.
Sure, continue to grow, to learn, to serve, to work, but do that from a place of mad love for yourself. It will change everything.
#2 – Say farewell to the past.
Lay to rest what needs to be laid to rest. Feel what you need to feel, rehash what you need to see, so that you can release it. Work with the cards to reveal and get rid of old patterns that don’t serve you well. Stop anticipating the same results or relationship issues, stop attracting or being attracted to the same personality types that haven’t worked out in the past. Draw a line under the past and clear the decks for something new.
#3 – Get clear on what you want and need when it comes to love.
Put aside any expectations that aren’t authentic to you because they have changed over the years, or because they are what you have been told that you are supposed to want. Understand what you want and need from a relationship, what you don’t want, and what you bring to the table with you. Expand and get excited about possibilities.
#4 – Invite love in and take guided action towards it.
Work with the cards to set your intentions and send that energy out to the universe. When you’re clear about what you want, and put that out into the world, magic starts to happen. And then, you don’t have to surrender or wait around, you take action that will bring you the results that you desire.
This is a combination of faith in yourself, faith in the universe, and also taking control of your own destiny. If you ask the right questions, the cards can advise you on the best attitude to adopt going forward, suggest concrete action steps to take, reveal any issues around timing, and keep you inspired and uplifted on those days when you need it.
Love is a worthy goal. Energy put towards real love, whether that is for someone else, and better yet, for YOURSELF, is never wasted. Don’t approach the topic of love with hesitation, embarrassment, or resignation. Glory in it.
Working with the Tarot is really powerful when it comes to finding love, because the cards cut through the illusion, the baggage, the ennui, the fear, and the fantasy and help you to achieve the kind of love that is going to feed your soul. I don’t mean that the cards can bring you the kind of love that is flowers and rainbows and perfect understanding and unity each and everyday (I don’t think that exists on this physical plane!) but it can help you manifest the kind that enriches your life like nothing else under the sun.
(Card images from the Unifying Consciousness Tarot)