Tarot Workout: Who Will I Marry?

Tarot Workouts are short, real-life case studies to help you exercise your tarot-reading muscle. Tarot students: read the questions, see the cards, and then step away from the essay to formulate your own response. Come back to check out how my response compares to your own ideas.
A Tarot Workout is an academic exercise, not a true reading. It is an opportunity for you to practice putting card meanings together. Since the questioner has no energetic connection to my essay, you will not have the benefit of an intuitive interaction – except, perhaps, with me! Of course, I alter all identifying details to respect anonymity.

Tarot Workout Question

A man asks: “What kind of person am I going to marry? Will she be someone who loves and respects me, or….?” I devise a 3-card spread and draw the following cards from the Pamela Coleman Smith commemorative deck:

  • Card #1 (Kind of person you are most likely to attract right now): Page of Cups, Reversed
  • Card #2 (What you should be on the lookout for): The Lovers, Upright
  • Card #3 (What you should be wary of): 9 of Swords, Upright

********** BREAK HERE TO PONDER THE CARDS *********

Yetta’s Response

  • My overall take on this reading is that it cautions you to beware of your attraction to lesser people than you deserve. It says that you are capable of finding a forever and respectful partner, but that it may not be your first impulse. The key to knowing the difference is being able to admit when things are going wrong.

Version 2The Page of Cups shows upside-down as the person you are most likely to attract in your current state of being. If this card were upright, it might be a childhood sweetheart and soulmate at the same time. Upside-down, I see this Page as cute, affectionate, and fun, but also emotionally immature. She may also be younger than you. This is not a ‘bad’ person at all, but it is someone who is not a capable partner in the long run.

Version 3Your Major Arcana card, The Lovers, shows upright as “what you should be on the lookout for.” To have such a big card in this position makes me feel that you are entirely capable of attaining this outcome if you, ahem, play your cards right. The challenge will be to listen to your inner wisdom. Despite its name, the Lovers card is not as romantic, in my view, as the Page of Cups. This card is about long-term commitment, choice and consequence. When you look at the Page you might say: What fun! When you look at the person represented by the Lovers you might say: I could see myself growing old with this person. The way you worded your question to me makes it clear that your inner voice is pointing you to the energy of the Lovers and not the Page.

9 of Swords Colman SmithThe third card, indicating what you should be wary of, is the 9 of Swords. This card is about stress and concern, and basically says that it will be abundantly obvious when you are on the wrong track. In your next romantic relationship, look for signs of worry and anxiety. Do you have a nagging feeling that this isn’t right? Do your friends express concern? Does that person live stressfully, and in a way that transfers stress to you? My sense from these cards is that it should not be a subtle sign, largely because it is in the upright position. However, the challenge is always (in my experience) to trust yourself enough to act on your best judgment.

When I look back at your question, it strikes me that — like Dorothy! — you had the answer before the reading even began! “What kind of person will I marry? Someone who respects me, or …?” You know yourself well enough to recognize that you have a weakness for people who are not the best for you. So know this as well: Tarot works as a reflection of your intuition. The correspondence is illuminating and not accidental.


Follow this blog if you are interested in doing more Tarot Workouts in the future. I have a growing number of offerings for students, including a Tarot Explorations class in Seattle on May 4th, 2017. To find out more and to sign up, visit my partners at The Field Trip Society.

If you want a reading, email me (yetta@presentdaytarot.com) or go directly to my scheduling software.

The R.A.I.N. Tarot Spread

Next time you want a little help feeling serene, I recommend the recordings of Tara Brach, a Buddhist teacher, psychologist, and author based in Washington, DC. Earlier this year on a gorgeous day, I sat by Lake Washington and listened to her podcast about a practice she calls RAIN. It lends itself beautifully to a 4-card tarot spread.

Recognize. Allow. Investigate. Nurture. R.A.I.N. This is a sequence to follow when you find yourself looping through familiar, unhelpful, and stress-inducing cycles. It is a system to help move through stuck places and raise awareness by asking very specific questions of ourselves, or – as in a tarot reading – by asking questions of the cards. Here’s a summary using the Rider-Waite-Smith deck to illustrate the energies for each step. 



Card 1: Recognize. When you find yourself in the charged spot, pause and name it. This will bring your awareness into the dynamic. Ask, “What is making me uncomfortable right now?”


Version 2


Card 2: Allow. Our typical reflex is to fight or flee the discomfort. Tara Brach (like the Hanged Man) invites you to sit with it instead. This in itself can be a profound game changer. Ask, “What does this discomfort do to me?”


Version 3


Card 3: Investigate.  Once you are sitting with the feeling rather than fleeing from it, you can examine the experience. Ask, “What is hiding beneath my discomfort?”




Card 4: Nurture. Once you have uncovered your own vulnerability, greet it with love and care. Ask, “How can I meet the need that this discomfort has revealed?”


For those of you using tarot to deepen your awareness and understanding, try out this new spread with something that matters to you. Or book a reading with me.


Here is the link to Tara Brach’s hour-long presentation about RAIN. If you are interested to explore a 4-card RAIN spread, check out her anecdote starting at 31:54. She tells a very relatable story about helping someone with the RAIN process of inquiry. What cards might have shown if this had this been a tarot reading?


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