Many people seek tarot consultation for relationship issues. I developed this spread some years ago, and it is still my favorite for dealing with these kinds of questions. When doing a relationship reading, both parties should be present and share in interpreting and discussing the cards. Ethical problems arise in seeking to use the cards to garner information about an absent party’s private life. If a person comes without their partner and has a relationship-oriented question, I will use a different spread and emphasize that the cards are only looking at the client’s own issues and attitudes.
Seven cards are used. Three refer to one person (A), and three refer to the other person (B). The seventh card refers to the relationship itself, and so is shared by both people.
The positions shown in purple on the diagram refer to each person’s subconscious perception of the relationship. Each person has a deeply rooted view of what the relationship is about, which they may not express or be consciously aware of. To a certain extent, this position may reveal issues left over from past relationships or from childhood imprinting.
The positions shown in tan on the diagram represent each person’s conscious thoughts about the other and about the relationship itself. This position also has a strong bearing on how the person communicates with the other.
The positions shown in green represent each person’s feelings and emotional needs and responses. Hopes and fears about the relationship often show up here.
The central card is the soul of the relationship – something new produced by the interconnection of the two people involved. This may suggest what the purpose or calling of the relationship is, a “theme” that the two people are exploring through their connection with each other. A major arcana card in this position will carry a lot of weight, and usually indicate a relationship with real transformative potential.
Each person should interpret their own cards (facilitated by the reader), and collaborate on interpreting the central card.
One can think of the subconscious image of the relationship flowing outward through the two parallel channels of thoughts and feelings, finally encountering and blending with the analogous energies from the other person, to create something new in the space between them. The cards are arranged in the way they are so that the central card mediates between the paired cards from each person (it lies on the line between A’s feelings and B’s feelings, and on the line between A’s thoughts and B’s thoughts). This geometry makes it easier to see, visually, how the two people communicate and how they relate emotionally.