Improving Relationships Spread – Interpretation

Please find below, my interpretation to the Practice Reading – Improving Relationships Spread as posted by me on Saturday the 23rd of February.  This was transcribed from a real Reading. Just to remind you, this is only my interpretation and you may have arrived at meanings other than mine which could also have been relevant to the Querant. Again, this is an example of a Tarot Consultation as opposed to a Tarot Reading.  In a Tarot Consultation, the Querant generally contributes to the Reading and there is a two-way flow of communication.  You will see in the Reading below how the Querant benefits by acknowledging or confirming the Reading as it goes along. She also gives her own input and theories which helped me as The Reader pull the story together.  If the Querant had sat quietly throughout the Reading it may not have yielded the beneficial results it did.


Q. I have a very difficult relationship with my mother. I am the eldest of 6 children. My father left home when I was 11yrs old which meant my mother had to go out to work to support the family. We just don’t seem to get on and in fact it feels like we never did. I am going to have my first child in 6 months and I don’t know if it is the pregnancy and becoming a mother myself that is making me feel that I need to resolve matters with my own mother.  How can I go about improving my relationship with my Mother?

Card 5                         Card 6                        Card 7

5 of Cups Reversed           6 of Swords Reversed               6 of Cups Upright

5 of Cups  Rx       6 of Swords Rx          6 of Cups

                        Card 3               Card 4

                 5 of Wands Upright     7 of Wands Upright

                  5 of Wands        7 of Wands

Card 1                                                          Card 2

6 of Pentacles Reversed                                              2 of Pentacles Upright

6 of Pentacles Rx                                   2 of Pentacles


Card 1 represents the root or cause of the problem or issue from your point of view.

Card 2 represents the root or cause of the problem or issue from the other party’s point of view.

Card 3 represents your behaviour as a result

Card 4 represents the other party’s behaviour as a result.

Card 5 represents how your thoughts are affecting the situation and how you can change your outlook or attitude.

Card 6 represents ideas on how you might best communicate with the other party

Card 7 represents what action you could take to improve matters all round.

Reading – My Interpretation

R. Card 1 – The 6 of Pentacles Reversed tells me that you feel very hard done by. I can see that money matters were very tight as you were growing up. There was very little to go around. Your mother seemed to have to work very hard to get a pittance in return. I would go so far as to say that she probably had a few jobs on the go at the time just to make ends meet. I am sure she got social welfare assistance but we all know that it doesn’t really amount to much when you are trying to rear six children on your own.  As a result there never seemed to be enough money and you must have felt the pinch terribly. At 11 years of age it must have been hard for you.  Your childhood years should be fun and carefree. A child should not have to worry about bills and where the next meal is going to come from but the feeling I get from this Card is that you grew up with this stress hanging on your shoulders.  It would have made you feel different from your school friends who, in your eyes, led charmed existences. I get a sense of shame coming through here.

Q.  Shame, oh you can say that again. That was my middle name.  We had nothing, no money, no nice things and I never got used to it.  I felt it every single day.  Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t that I was being bullied in school or anything; it was just the constant dowdiness of our life. We never had our school books on time and I hated having to ask the girl I was sitting beside to share hers with me. Some of the girls went overboard trying to be nice and some just got peeved with having someone staring over their shoulder while they were reading.  I hated the pity of the nice girls and detested the annoyed sighs of the others.  Our communion dresses never looked real white like the other girls did, because my mother would get them from a charity organisation or they would be the hand-me-downs of hand-me-downs from supportive neighbours. My mother just seemed to work, work, work and always looked old. She never did anything with her hair and I don’t think I ever saw her wear make-up.  She never smiled either. I suppose I was ashamed of her too when I saw my friends mother’s all dressed up and pretty looking.  We just didn’t seem to have anything going for us.

R. That must have been terrible for you growing up.  As an adult we see things very differently but not that differently that we would not feel demoralised by what you experienced. A child does not want to be different or stand out from their peers. They just want to be the same as everyone else in their group.  Did you worry a lot about money or was it more so the impact it had on your life and friendships?

Q. No, I worried about the money too.  I used to read the final notice, letters that came in because my mother would hand them to me and say ‘what do you think of that’? I would read them and say ‘I don’t know. What are we going to do’?  They would be letters for outstanding bills and I remember once, an eviction notice from the bailiffs. My mother had fallen behind in the rent by three months, just three months, and she did manage to pay the arrears but they wanted us out. They were probably looking for an excuse to get rid of the woman and her gang of brats before they ruined the house.  I remember the day that they were due to evict us.  My mother had been round to the local Social Welfare agency asking for them to intercede on her behalf.  I left for school that morning not knowing if I would have a home to come home to.  In school that day, I remember feeling very ill and ended up throwing up in the toilets.  The teacher thought it very strange that I was shaking so badly but had no temperature.  I just felt freezing and weak.  I know now that it was the stress and worry that caused it. I have grown up angry that a child should have been made feel like that.  I have never known whether to blame the bailiffs or my mother for sharing her worries with me.  I was only a child for God’s sake.

R. So you had it coming at you from every angle?  I am so sorry to hear that. It sounds like a terrible struggle. Before we move on from this Card I just want to draw your attention to a few more impressions I am getting here.  I believe you feel hard done by in relation to the attention you received from your mother. I believe you feel she gave more attention to your siblings than she did to you and possibly scrimped and saved to buy them little treats while you went without.  I get the impression that you believed you were overlooked constantly in every aspect and that your mother didn’t care for you. I wonder if you ever voiced these worries and concerns to your mother? Was she aware of how you felt?

I do think also, that there are things about your mother that you do not know.  She is probably not the kind of person who shared her woes and opened her heart too often.  I think there were things she had to do that if people were asked today would be shocked at the mere suggestion of it.  I am getting the impression of pawn brokers or even money lenders.  Can you remember anything like that from your past?

I am also getting the impression that been the eldest, a lot was expected of you. You may have had very little freedom as a result probably having to mind your younger siblings when your mother went to work and do the housework too. You felt the whole situation was totally unfair and that you weren’t getting the recognition for all you did. I can also tell that your father was not very helpful here either. I am also getting the impression that he was quite comfortable but not very giving when it came to financial support. I would say that both your mother and you and your other siblings had to grovel to get anything from him. I think you feel very resentful as a result and robbed of your childhood.

Q. Well, what can I say? I was looked upon as an adult by my mother at 11 years of age, imagine that? It was always me that did without or was expected to understand if there was no birthday present for me and of course, I was the last one to get the school books. She always put my sisters and brothers ahead of me. My school holidays and all my spare time was spent minding them and cleaning up the house. Anytime I complained she just told me to grow up and get on with it. As for pawn brokers and money lenders, yes, they were constant. The money lenders were the worst because I was frightened of them. She had a piece of jewellery that was in and out of the pawn brokers more time than I can care to remember. She ended up giving it to one of the money lenders when she could not make her repayment. She never saw it again. My Father was useless, he wasn’t terribly comfortable but he could have helped out more. He never just offered money or things like he should have done. Instead we would always have to go, cap in hand, and give a hundred excuses as to why we needed something. It was embarrassing and demeaning. It also depended on what mood he was in as to whether you would get it or not. Social Welfare tried to take him to court to get proper maintenance but he upped and left the country.

R. Card  2 So that Card really gave us a mountain of information of how you perceived your childhood growing up.  We now have to hear your Mother’s side of the story as I think she might have a thing or two to contribute now.

The Two of Pentacles appearing here shows me the situation from your mother’s point of view. She appears to have had a very difficult time of it trying to keep everything going. All her effort seems to have gone into keeping money coming in to pay the rent and bills and put food on the table. I would say she was under considerable stress and duress as you were growing up.  She was trying to juggle everything, work, home, children, finances and probably her own hurt and pain. I would say that your mother was very tired and exhausted all the time. She was always worried about the finances. More seemed to go out then came in and there never seemed to be enough to go around.  I feel she may have been working two jobs in order to keep on top of things.  It is no wonder you Mother never smiled or had the time to do herself up. It was an existence, not a life.

This explains why she leaned on you so much. Even at 11yrs old she looked on you as old enough to take charge. Whether she did or not she had no choice really. She would have relied on you totally as she would not have been able to work without your help. Unfortunately as a result she would have lost sight of the fact that you were only a child yourself. This meant that she felt it was alright to give whatever attention, energy and treat she could afford to your younger siblings. I don’t really believe that she did this deliberately. I believe that she was under so much stress that she did what she did to get by each week. Somehow she would have believed that you would have understood why she had to give to the little ones and not you. It is unfortunate that she never discussed this with you or threw you the odd hug or treat every now and then. You mother I feel had few options in her life and her decisions were based on the finances which she felt were important as otherwise she would not have been able to keep the family together. Something had to give and sadly, it was her relationship with her first-born child. Try to remember that they were hard times all round.

Q. (Beginning to cry). I think I know all this deep down inside but there is this huge block of anger in the way.  I hate myself for feeling the way I do.  I wish I could put my arms around my mother and tell her that I love her but I feel rigid. I really don’t want to be like this anymore because it is eating me up.

R. Card 3 – It is good to cry and you sound like a very wise and sensible girl but let us take a look at how your perceptions of your childhood and upbringing have been affecting your behaviour towards your mother and no doubt other people in life.

Ah, the Five of Wands coming in tells me that your behaviour has been quite rebellious and I can see you deliberately challenging and opposing your mother at every opportunity. No one seems to be getting on here at all. I can see fights and conflicts. You put a lot of energy into these interactions don’t you?  I believe it is your way of letting off the pressure that builds up inside you; all your thoughts and emotions are released in the direction of your mother. There doesn’t seem to be any togetherness here. You both have very different ways of doing things and different opinions about everything. This causes a lot of clashes between the two of you. I think you deliberately pick fights or try to be awkward just to stir things up. Negative attention is better than none at all. Your mother just comes back fighting out of her corner too and probably hasn’t got a clue what the fight is about.

Q. I suppose you could say that.  I don’t know why I do it, but we can never be in each other’s company for long before sparks fly. It always turns into a battle and we fight it out to see who will leave slamming the door first.  My partner tells me that I am too fiery and argumentative.  He tells me to calm down which of course make me worse.  Little things bother me. Like, if we are in her house for our dinner, she always serves everyone else before me. It makes me so mad that I then pick and pick at her until it blows up and then everyone’s dinner is ruined.

R. Well that is just a hangover from your childhood, being left to last, as if no one cares about you.  Your mother is locked into habits that she is not aware of and I am sure does not mean to hurt you.  It’s just the way she had always being with you.  She probably sees you as another mother figure at the table and therefore, mothers always traditionally serve themselves last. Let us see how your mother is reacting to your behaviour.

Card 4 – This nicely brings me to your mother’s behaviour as a result. We have another Wand Card here and this time the Seven. Immediately I can see that we have two fiery personalities rubbing each other the wrong way. Your mother feels that she is constantly defending her position with you and that she is under constant attack. You mother however, from a lifetime of struggle, is strong and stubborn. Life has made her so and she will give as good as she gets. She has had to fight for whatever she got and will take you on too if necessary.

So here we have the two of you, locked in combat and both refusing to back down. Your mother I feel may be a little baffled as to why you are always entering into these situations with her. All those wands being brandished at her.  I would say she is on her guard with you all the time. In this Card, she is on the Higher Ground and therefore is right to be defending herself so.  She is standing up for herself and out in the open, while your strikes come in below the belt.  Your mother hasn’t a clue what is going on but she does have the stamina and tenacity to hold her ground so you are not going to get anywhere with this battle anytime too soon.

This conflict is going to go on if something is not done. You Card was a Five which when upright is narrow-minded and unyielding. Your Mother’s Card in this position is a Seven Upright which means she is going to hang on in there and has the energy to do so. There is a pair of you in it and quite similar in temperament whether you know it or not. Like Mother, like daughter. I think your Mother believes she is fighting her adult daughter and not the hurt little 11-year-old child that is fuelling these battles.  I think it is the angry child in you that is lashing out and not the sensible young woman sitting in front of me.  Even you want it to stop but that 11-year-old girl is going to have to be allowed air her grievances if she is ever to be at peace. I think she is looking for acknowledgment and even an apology before she is ready to back down. So let us look at how this might be achieved.

Q. (Crying again but says nothing)

R. Card 5 Here we look at how you can go about changing your attitudes and thoughts in connection with the situation.  The Five of Cups Reversed tells me that it is time for you to leave the past behind. You have been dwelling on the hurts and pains of your childhood for too long and I think you know this too. That is why you are here today. Your mind has been very closed to understanding as you have worn your black cloak of pain and misery around you for years. You have been living in your misery and feeling victimised.  Your emotions have been eating you up. One minute feeling sorry for yourself, another angry at everyone and then ashamed of yourself.  The 11-year-old girl has been in charge for long enough and it is time to let her go so that she must be exhausted trying to keep up with you.  She did enough worrying as a child.  Is it not time to allow her some joy and happiness?

Yes, things were bad but I believe that you may have been so caught up in your own negative attitudes that you overlooked the positive outcome and that was that your mother managed to keep you all together. Your mother was always there for you but over time, misunderstanding and total lack of communication you turned your back on her and became steeped in self-pity and hurt. It has all become complicated and confused. Your reactions to situations do not belong to you but rather are the knee-jerk reactions of your 11-year-old self.  The Reversed Five of Cups tells me that you have been living in the past, trapped as the unhappy little girl, remembering things as if they only happened yesterday.

If you can see in this Card, the bridge.  That is your way out, your bridge from the past to the present. It is there for you is you want to cross it, but only you can make that decision and take the first step towards it.  A big part of you wants to stay with her as no one else understood her the way you did.  You were her very best friend and looked out for her when it appeared no one else was interested.  It might be scary leaving her to her own defences and to get on with her life now. You might think she cannot survive without you and vice versa but believe me, she will be fine and has wanted to be let go for a long time.  When you are ready, you will give her a big hug in your heart and wish her well.  She will do the same for you for you are of each other. You just got fragmented and disconnected along the way. The time has come to integrate her into your whole as it has been lonely for her standing on the outside all this time.  Then you can be really good friends.

And why is this happening to you all of a sudden and after all these years? It is simple really. Your own pregnancy and impending motherhood has begun to thaw out your closed heart and mind. You are beginning to open to the possibility that you are ready to leave the past behind.  You want more for your own child than you had and you won’t be able to achieve this unless you are will to forgive and let go. This is something that you must put all your effort into now. Let us look at how best to communicate with your Mother.

Q.  Deep sobbing.  We take a break.

R. Card 6 – The Six of Swords Reversed appearing tells me how you can go about opening the lines of communication with your mother. This might sound strange but in order to proceed and heal the situation I think you may have to make things worse before you can make them better. You have been trying to move on and put your conflict and past behind you but you have been taking all your negative attitudes and beliefs with you.  Progress has been impossible and as much as you have been looking for peace and calm, it seems to constantly go the other way. This in fact has put a strain on your own relationship with your husband and it will also have an impact on your child in due course. I believe your partner sees you as someone who is carrying a great sadness within.  It is a place where he cannot reach you no matter how many times he tries.

In order to right this situation I think you will have to rock the boat and just jump in. The issues now need to be brought to a head. You will have to confront your Mother but not in your normal manner where you just pick fights with her. I think there is going to be an, all or nothing with the truth, confrontation. I think you will have to grab hold of all those Swords you have stuck in the boat, which are your hurts and negative attitudes, pull them out and show them to her. You will have to unload all that has been bothering you all these years. You will have to open up and communicate to her how you have felt. Get everything off your chest. This is going to be very painful and emotionally draining for you but it will open the door of communication between you and your Mother. It will also give your Mother the opportunity to explain herself, her actions, her behaviour and her feelings towards you over the years. Everything must now be laid on the table and all resentments towards each other aired out in the open. The situation will have to get worse before it can possibly improve. You Mother will have to come down of her mountain top to meet you half way but you must also lay down your weapons.  Then it will be time for the Peace Talks to begin.

Q.  (Composed again) Do you think I can do that? What will she think of me if I tell her everything?  She might hate me.  I don’t know if I can do it.

R.  Yes you can do it and something tells me she won’t hate you in the slightest.  I think she might be relieved.  I am not saying that this is going to be easy because when the Six of Swords comes in either Upright or Reversed it brings difficulty and stress.  Progress will be slow but where your situation is involved, it would be a miracle if it were to be solved overnight.  No, this is going to take some time and many broken fences need to be repaired and bridges rebuilt.  You will have to get to know each other in a new way and you are bound to be wary and guarded.  Take one step at a time and don’t try to rush things.  I do think that some counselling would be extremely beneficial to you as your whole core is going to be shaken in the process.  You will also have set backs along the way but you must stay positive and determined. This is a good thing that you are trying to do and you should feel very proud of yourself for wanting to put the effort in. Now let us see what else you can do to help matters.

Card 6 – I am very pleased to see the Six of Cups as it tells me that the action you must ultimately take is to make the effort to spend time with your Mother. Even though you are now an adult and soon to be a Mother yourself, the time is right to allow your own Mother in so that she can offer you the support and nurturing that you were deprived in the past. It is time now to return to the comfort of your family home and see it as exactly that, your family home. Not a place of stress and conflict, but one of stability and comfort. A place you can always run to when you are feeling down or unsure.

Your mother is waiting to reach out to you and comfort your inner child. I think it is time to revisit your childhood and look at it from a different perspective. The perspective of an adult with logic, understanding and wisdom. This is not going to happen overnight as much work will be needed to repair all the damage done. However, I do believe that the arrival of your baby and your Mother’s first grandchild will act as a major catalyst in this reconciliation. Remember, you feel you were deprived of your mother and childhood while growing up but you Mother was also deprived of being a regular, normal Mother who enjoyed rearing her children.  She didn’t get the chance to be with her children the way I am sure she wanted to be or to give them the things they needed.  She may wish to balance the scales with her grandchild and heal her deep wounds and scars.  Your baby will shower the whole family in blessings and bring much-needed healing to all.

Begin this process by involving your mother in your pregnancy. Accept any offers of help that she may give when you are feeling tired and exhausted. Let her in and let her help. It is now time to put right the wrongs of the past, for the sake of your unborn baby if not for you. Otherwise, history may just repeat itself no matter how hard you fight against it. I have a very good feeling that this will all work out for the best and that there are many happy times ahead.

Looking back at your Cards, it is not difficult to see all the struggle and stresses.  The Reversed Pentacles bring terrible financial worries; the two Wand Cards bring conflict and battle along with closed stubborn attitudes and of course the sorrow of the Reversed Cup.  You have two Reversed Sixes which show, the lack of stability, peace and harmony in your life but just look at that lovely Six of Cups in the final position.  It will wipe out all the negativity of the preceding cards and will bring harmony, love, compassion and understanding into your life.  You have a real chance now at finding that family stability you crave so much.  The 11-year-old girl within will be given permission to sleep peacefully. I do hope this Reading has been of help.

Q. (Is so emotionally moved.  She cries and goes through several tissues.  However, there are smiles and laughs. She is blaming her hormones for what she calls, her silly crying.)

Practice Readings

Copyright © 2006-2013 Vivien Ní Dhuinn

2 replies »

  1. Vivien, this is so full of clarity and kindness. It rings true to me intuitively and intellectually. It has helped me to look at the fear I have closed up and has presented at the time it should. Thank you for sharing your talents. I am learning so much from your site in terms of the cards and their intuitive wisdom. They break down the walls. Happy Holidays!


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