If you’re just beginning to consider putting yourself back on the market, you may have a lot of questions. Where should I look? Online or off? What if I’m still hung up on my ex? How many frogs might I have to kiss? Are there any good candidates out there? Do I really have to use Tinder?
These questions are normal, especially if you’ve been out of the dating pool for a long time. But if you find yourself struggling to get clarity, it might be time to consult with your wise inner self.
Enter tarot. You may think of tarot as a divination tool but that’s not the only way it can be used. In fact, tarot is wonderful for self-reflection, especially if you find yourself feeling a bit lost.
Here’s a great little exercise (I call them “tarotcises”) to help you glean valuable insights and cut through the mental fog.
What you’ll need:
- A tarot deck (I recommend the Rider Waite deck – it’s a classic.)
- A journal + pen
Here is the spread:
- What do I need to know about dating now?
- What challenges might I face?
- What can I do to meet those challenges?
- What is my best strategy for finding a partner?
How to do the work:
- Shuffle your cards thoroughly. When you feel ready, place the deck face down, and then cut it into three piles with your left hand. (The left side of the body is the intuitive side.) Put the deck back together and then fan it out.
- Pick one card for each of the questions above.
- Turn each card over and examine them carefully. What are your first thoughts? Are there any symbols or images that seem to grab your attention? If so, what might those symbols be telling you about the question? How do the cards make you feel? Notice your emotions, your flashes of inspiration – and which questions or cards seem to be murky. Write everything down. Take your time with this exercise.
- You may want to put this aside and let it percolate for a day or two. I recommend doing that. Come back and see if you discover any additional insights.
Let’s show the spread in action.
Jenny took a year off from dating to heal after a painful breakup. She is just beginning to think about dating but she wants to make sure she is really ready. She shuffles the cards, picks one for each question and lays them out:
What do I need to know about dating now? Five of Swords
What challenges might I face? Nine of Swords
What can I do to meet those challenges? Ace of Wands
What is my best strategy for finding a partner? Page of Pentacles
Jenny took her time to journal her findings and this is what she shared with me:
What do I need to know about dating now? Five of Swords – This card looks scary to me. I am struck by the two people who seem to be crying and the storm clouds in the sky. This almost seems to say to me that it’s going to feel like a “battlefield” and maybe I’m going to get hurt.
What challenges might I face? Nine of Swords – I know that this card indicates worries. I think this is true. I’m very scared of getting hurt again. I’m also afraid of being alone like the figure in this card.
What can I do to meet those challenges? Ace of Wands – The part that catches my eye is the way the hand is holding the wand. It’s like it’s thrusting it forward. I automatically thought of “seize the day”. Maybe that means I need to just go ahead?
What is my best strategy for finding a partner? Page of Pentacles – I like this card the best. The figure seems to be calm. This says I can remain grounded when looking for love. I can keep my feet planted on the earth. No rush.
I loved her interpretations and added my thoughts:
What do I need to know about dating now? Five of Swords – in tarot, this volatile card symbolizes pain and deception. Jenny focused on the two crying figures. I pointed out the other figure – this one was picking up the pieces. My question for Jenny would be: what work are you currently doing to continue to heal the pain from your last relationship? How have you moved on and what more do you need to gain closure?
What challenges might I face? Nine of Swords – I totally agreed with Jenny here and didn’t have anything else to add. But the presence of two from the Swords suit is a reminder that she still has some work to do on releasing the pain from the breakup.
What can I do to meet those challenges? Ace of Wands – The Ace of Wands is indeed a “carpe diem” card and it suggests taking a bold first step! Sometimes the best way to shake off the old is by engaging in new activities.
What is my best strategy for finding a partner? Page of Pentacles – Once again, I loved Jenny’s insights here! Pentacles are the slow-moving earth element. Also, Pages are new beginnings. Take a practical and slow approach. Baby steps – but steps nonetheless. In time, she might discover that this dating business isn’t as scary as she thought!
One more tarot note: Five is the number of change. Nine symbolizes endings. Aces are new beginnings as are Pages. Jenny is ready for a change. She still has some baggage to contend with but this is the right time for her to simply start….slowly.
As with any life change, a new beginning can feel daunting. But with a meditative tool such as your tarot deck at your side, you can unpack your fears, tap into your own wise guidance, and begin finding your way forward.
Happy tarot-ing . . . and dating!