Kathleen asks: “I’ve been dating a man for 4 years on and off, and I’m not sure where the relationship is heading. I’d love to know if we are going to have a solid relationship and how he feels about me. Thank you.”
Hi Kathleen! I think a Mirror spread would be the best way to address your relationship concerns. On again/off again relationships can be immensely draining. I sympathize. Let’s see if we can get you some distance and clarity.
Knight of Cups as You: The Knight of Cups indicates that you are passionate, amorous, idealistic, and changeable. Oftentimes identified with a more adolescent or youthful approach to life, you may be prone to romantic disappointment because of a tendency to idealize your partner. When the reality of your partner fails to live up to your vision of him, you can become moody and isolate yourself from the relationship. This card can also indicate a move, travel, or an offer of some sort.
Based on the fact that it signifies you, I wonder if you you may be prone to “being in love with love.” I’d also be curious to know if you play any role in the on again/off again aspect of this relationship. Do you feel yourself torn between your ideal and your reality? And if so, in what way has this tension influenced the relationship?
6 of Cups as How you see your partner: The 6 of Cups in this position can indicate any or all of the following interpretations:1) Some sort of life lesson that must be fully mastered before you can release one another. You can think of this as a “Karmic bond,” albeit one that shouldn’t be front-loaded with notions of good, bad, or necessity. 2) You idealize your partner and feel that he is “the one.” This fits with the above interpretation, and reinforces the Knight of Cups as yourself. 3) You are nostalgic for a time past and long for what was, but can see little future with your lover. And finally, 4) You see him as a perfect mirror to yourself, as the Knight of Cups and the 6 of Cups are numerological twins. There is an unusual and uncanny emotional affinity between the two of you.
King of Cups as How your partner sees himself: Seeing the King of Cups here is something of a surprise to me in light of the on again/off again nature of the relationship. The King of Cups is nothing if not ready to commit. Stable, loving, tolerant, generous, and very much in love, this King generally pops up when someone is either silencing themselves or being too tolerant, or when someone is looking to settle down with their partner. The King of Cups is a ‘family man’ who is more committed to the harmony of his relationships than to any other priority. Might your lover looking to settle down? Or could he be biting his tongue on some important issue?
4 of Cups as What your partner represents to you: The 4 of Cups in this position indicates that you see your lover as an escape from your daily life. The question then becomes: If the two of you were to commit to a more stable union how would you integrate him into your existence? What issues might come up? And are you sure that a more stable union would make you happy? The reason I ask is this — If your best escape from the daily grind becomes part and parcel of your quotidian life, where will you find your release? Be certain that you diversify your self care so that you don’t become bogged down in one frame of mind or overdo one aspect of your life.
Queen of Cups as What you represent to your partner: Wow! Although I hesitate to be so bold, the appearance of the Queen of Cups in this position indicates that your partner feels that you mirror him to the same extent that you feel that he mirrors you. This seamless emotional/psychic connection was indicated above with the appearance of the Knight of Cups as you and the 6 of Cups as how you see your partner. You are each of the opinion that the two of you represent a parity, however yours is more youthful and romantic whereas his is more practical and domestic. Is this a problem? It needn’t be. Indeed, you might keep the relationship fresh and he might act more as a stabilizing force.
I’d be very curious to know why the relationship has been so rocky. The cards indicate the potential for an excess of passion and emotion that can be very difficult to harness and stabilize. So far, all of your cards have been Cups. Cups are Elemental Water, and Water needs something to contain it. A structure would be a must in order to experience the full potential and benefit of this particular relationship.
Ace of Wands as The obstacle within your relationship: One word — Passion. Lusty, volatile, explosive, the two of you light one another up! That’s great. But it’s also dangerous. This card highlights the thrilling and exciting aspects of your relationship as that which keeps you and your lover from a stable union. It also reinforces the 4 of Cups escapism as to how you see your partner. Put simply, your relationship is the equivalent of fireworks or a carnival ride, an amazingly enjoyable limit experience with very little take away. Such intensity is virtually impossible to sustain without being a person of leisure. And if you were to sustain it, for how long would you enjoy it? Life passes by way of rhythm, which is to say that alternating speeds is necessary to create a duration. The Ace of Wands indicates that this relationship has so far had one speed: fast. As such, it only ever occurs ‘in the moment.’
9 of Swords as The strength within the relationship: Did you and your partner go through a trauma together? Or have the two of you experienced similar traumas, illnesses, or burdens? The 9 of Swords in the strength position indicates a certain amount of shared suffering that has bound you two together. It also reinforces the first interpretation that I offered for the 6 of Cups — There may be a sense in which you two have come together in order to teach one another something or release some attachment. If this is so, I’d be curious to know if this shared bond doesn’t also prevent you from forming a more stable relationship. If your relationship is founded on a shared trauma, you may necessarily pigeonhole one another or keep one another at arm’s distance. How does this heal? How does this hurt?
8 of Cups as Probably outcome: The 8 of Cups is a card of parting. It indicates that one or both of you will entirely uproot yourself from everything that once comforted you due to an unusual inspiration and/or disgust with the familiar. The question then is whether you will be substantially altering your partnership — such as moving in together — or quitting the relationship entirely. I can’t answer that on the basis of these cards, as they indicate a great deal of passion, parity, and an almost Karmic feel to the bond, while simultaneously indicating profound and turbulent emotions, instability, and an absence of structure. Which would you prefer? Which seems most likely? Do you feel called to pursue something completely new? If so, the 8 of Cups is a card indicating that you should trust that call even if it frightens you.
Of 8 cards, you had 6 Cups (the Knight of Cups, 6 of Cups, King of Cups, 4 of Cups, Queen of Cups, and 8 of Cups). Cups indicate feeling, fecundity, relations with others, and creativity. The abundance of the Cups indicates a genuine emotional bond between you and your lover as well as potential psychological instability. This union may be too fantasy-based.
3 of those Cups were Court Cards (the Knight, King, and Queen), indicating that personality is a big issue in this relationship and that your attachment is unique. There may also be social considerations which impact this relation.
The absence of Pentacles (Coins or Disks) points to an absence of structure and an inability to manifest the relationship in ‘reality,’ as it were. This is not a stable union. Indeed, it may be highly impractical.
The absence of Trumps reinforces the preponderance of Court Cards. That is, the fate of this relationship lies firmly within you and your lover’s hands, although other people might have a say. It also suggests that the “Karmic” feeling is just a feeling.
Finally, the appearance of a lone Sword card (9 of Swords) in the position of strength indicates that the application of rational thought and clear communication is your best bet for stabilizing this partnership. Any emotional outbursts or use of sex as a tool to manipulate one another should be avoided, as the lone Wand (the Ace) is in a position of weakness.
Hope the reading was of help to you, Kathleen, best of luck. Thanks so much for writing in!
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