Practice Health Readings – Minor Arcana

Practice Health Readings – Minor Arcana

It is vitally important to remember when doing any Health Reading or referring to Health Issues in a General Reading that one apparent Negative Health Card should not necessarily ring alarm bells. On its own the particular Card can be applied to several interpretations. Therefore, all the Cards in the Reading should be consulted and analysed to see if there is any cause for concern. The rest of the Cards may neutralise the apparent Negative Card or re-reinforce its implications. The less reinforcing Cards the more contained the situation or that it is still in its early stages. However,  if there are several Cards that when in combination appear to be relaying similar meanings you will have to sit up and pay attention.

I had a Student in the past, and if she is ever reading this, she will know exactly who I am referring to, for she entertained us all with her scary interpretations when Reading for other Students in class. Her favourite was The Three of Swords, and every time it came up she would refer to possible Heart Problems. I was forever on her case about this but she relentlessly zoomed in on this particular meaning each time it turned up regardless of what other Cards were in The Reading. Students jokingly would state that they didn’t want to be twinned up with her for Practice Readings out of fear of what she might tell them. Of course they always did, and we would all warn her about her scary predictions. That particular group I taught were very entertaining and the classes were always very lively and funny.

So we are going to look at some Sample Health Readings now that I have put together to highlight the importance of Reading the Whole Spread when any Negative Health Cards appear. This is applicable to both General and Specific Health Readings.

Health Reading Spread

This is a Spread I designed myself.

Optional – A Significator can be Selected to represent the current Personality of The Querant or Yourself. This will yield information on how the Personality may be affecting Health or Illness.

This Spread involves using Seven Cards which will be laid out in the shape of a H standing for Health.

The Central Card of the H is selected by whoever is enquiring about their Health Condition and should reflect as close as possible the Condition or Illness being experienced.

This Spread uses one side of the H to determine The Origins of The Health Condition, What is actively Promoting the Health Condition and what the Outcome will be if the Condition is allowed to continue along its current path.

The other side of The H is used to highlight what Action can be taken to change or Reverse Health Condition, whether you are likely to face any Challenges in your attempt to overcome your Condition and what the Outcome will be if you proceed along this alternative path

Sample Reading

King of Pentacles Reversed Significator Chosen King of Pentacles

8 of Swords                                                                                                    3 of Wands Upright

Position 4                                                                                                        Position 7

8 of Pentacles Upright                                         10 of Swords Upright                                     10 of Wands Upright

Position 3                                               Position 1                                           Position 6

6 of Wands Reversed                                                                                                     Ace of Wands

Position 2                                                                                                        Position 5

Significator Chosen – King of Pentacles Reversed. Querant picked this Card because he is a Workaholic and is not interested in Exercise. He also knows he eats too much of the Wrong food and is Overweight.

Position 1 – Central Card  –  Ten of Swords. This has been chosen by the Querant to reflect his Chronic Back Condition

Cards Drawn after Shuffling and Reversing some.

Position 2 – Origins of Condition – Reversed Six of Wands. The only thing that comes to mind here is the possibility of a fall at some stage. The Querant confirms he had a bad fall when he played Rugby in his teens and early twenties. He was in the line out for the ball, jumped to catch it as the ball was thrown in, but got a bad knock on the head from one of the opposition team who reached for the ball at the same time. He literally was knocked out in mid-air and landed on the flat of his back. One of the other players fell on top of him. He was carried off on a stretcher and spent a week in hospital and then weeks of physiotherapy. He did go back to rugby but had to give up a year later due to recurring injuries. He was passionate about rugby and it came as a severe blow to him not to be able to play anymore. He had been selected for the National Team and was on the brink of a wonderful career. He just lost interest in sport after that even though friends encouraged him to join them in Golf, or other less strenuous sports.

Position 3 – What is Promoting or Encouraging his Health Condition – The Eight of Pentacles- I have to ask him about his job now and judging by this man’s hands, his clothes and appearance I do not get the impression that he does any form of manual or physical work, so I am suddenly seeing him hunched over a desk in work every day in The Eight of Pentacles. This may suggest repetitive strain injury, or pure and simple bad posture. He may be slouched over the desk and in a sedentary position for hours on end. I ask him the nature of his work and he tells me he is an architect, has his own business and a very successful one too. I am not surprised. I ask about how many hours he may sit bent over his drawings? He proudly tells me he works most days, even Weekends, and can be there from morning to late evening. I then ask about how many breaks he takes away from his desk and he says only to use the bathroom as he gets take-aways delivered for lunch and dinner if he is still at the office. He eats while he works. So he is bent over his desk for hours on end every day. In my mind’s eye I can see him hunched over and his poor spine under continuous pressure. I ask when is the pain worse? He tells me that some days are worse than others but generally the pain gets worse as the day goes on. He is very stiff when he gets out of bed first thing but loosens up a bit as he is preparing to go to work. He finds it hard to get out of his armchair at night to go to bed. I am getting a clear picture now. I ask him when his back hurts the least? He has to think about this but decides that it is the days when he goes out on field work, to meet clients and look at the land they wish to build on, but he finds it very painful getting out of the car.

It seems to me that continuous sitting is seizing his joints and muscles, then when he tries to stand up or get out of his car, he  has to stretch those joints and muscles, and so the pain sets in. He feels the pain less when he is moving around, even though it hurts like hell for the first while. So, I inform him of my theories that it is not his work, but the manner in which he sits at his desk and the absence of sufficient breaks from the desk that are contributing to his ongoing back pain. I decide to become quite direct because this man needs straight talking. I tell him that he may think he is bad now, but another five years could easily have him unable to carry out his work. He is adding to his old back injury by spending hours stooped over his desk. I tell him that he does not have to change his career, he just needs to be conscious about the way he sits, and that he needs to take decent breaks away from the desk so that he can straighten up and be more mobile. As an added warning I advise him about the prolonged damage he is doing to his health by eating take-aways all the time and getting little or no form of exercise.

Position 4 – The Outcome of Current Path – The Eight of Swords. Now here I see him swamped with ongoing pain, pain that is much worse than he is experiencing at present, and he may find his mobility severely restricted. He may also find that due to the sustained damage because of lifestyle and poor posture, he may find himself trapped in his Health Condition. I also get a strong sense of trapped nerves causing debilitating pain. He may not be able to work, and treatment for his condition, although available may not be able to cure or sufficiently reverse the damage sustained. Because this is The Eight of Swords I feel that my words of warning and advice may be falling on deaf ears. He has a very set attitude to things and it will take a lot to convince him that he is actually exacerbating and perpetuating his condition. He may blame the original fall all those years ago, and so is using that as an excuse not to introduce change. He believes that nothing can really be done, but with the Eight of Swords, most of the problem is in the head and of his own making. He can take himself out of this, maybe not a full recovery, but he certainly can make things much better for himself healthwise by introducing some simple changes.

Position 5 – Necessary Action to be Taken – Ace of Wands. Well why am I not surprised with this Card for it gives a clear indication of what Action this man needs to take, and with it being an Ace, it speaks of immediate action. This man needs to adopt a whole new approach to his Health. The Ace of Wands is an Action Card, Activity, Movement, Exercise, Enthusiasm and Motivation. Essentially he needs to get up, moving and get fit again. He badly needs to address his diet for it is all wrong and detrimental to his health. Changes can be made to his diet from today, and without further delay. However, in his present condition, rushing out to do exercise may cause further damage so he would need to be given the all clear by his doctor that he is fit enough to begin an exercise regime. He may benefit from a course of treatments from an osteopath or chiropractor but only with his doctor’s permission. He will need to remember that he is no longer as young as he was, so will have to be careful as to what form and level of exercise he decides to adopt. My advice would be to go to a highly reputable gym, or as he is a successful business man, hire the expertise of a Personal Trainer who will design a specific program for his level of ability. He needs to start at a gentle pace. The thing is that this guy has been out of exercise for so long, something he used to really enjoy, that I get the impression with the Ace of Wands that if he takes this form of action, he will quickly become obsessed with it once more and will try to run before he can walk. He needs to work on core strength, stretching, and exercises such as walking and I need to convince him that Yoga or Pilates for beginners would be a great launching point, that it will help his posture and strengthen his spine. He is interested by what I have to say but I can see that he looks exhausted by the very thought of it all.

Position 6 – What he might Find Challenging about This Course of Action – The Ten of Wands – As I guessed with the Ace of Wands coming in and re-igniting his flame, he may try to do too much and this brings in the danger of further damage to his back, more injury and a worsening of his situation. On one side we have The Eight of Pentacles where he is stooped over his desk all day and living quite a sedentary existence. On the other side we have The Ten of Wands where he is doing too much exercise. I can see him at the gym everyday, walking, yoga, Pilates, boxing classes, hill-walking. It might all be too much but this Card tells me he wants results now. He has chosen a Reversed King of Pentacles to represent himself, and if he had been Upright, he would have had the sense to know that it is going to take time, that there can be no shortcuts. Instead he wants to jump straight from the Ace to the Ten as quickly as possible. I have to be very insistent with him that he takes things slowly and consults with his doctor or physio before he starts any exercise program, and that it is probably best if he hires a Personal Trainer who will monitor, and at least attempt to control his exercise levels.

I am also picking up something else about this Card and I keep looking back to the Eight of Pentacles. In the Ten of Wands he is stooped too. He needs to really look at this inbuilt tendency to drop his shoulders and slump forwards. I see him thinking that it is only in work he has to watch his posture, but I see that he needs to watch himself all the time. When he is sitting at a table, standing in a shop, walking and doing his exercises. He must be super aware of how he is standing and get into the habit of pulling his shoulders back and tummy in. The Yoga and Pilates will definitely help in this area, but he needs to be aware outside of class time and not just in it. Also I feel he needs to address his workstation and invest some money in making it completely ergonomic. As he spends so much time sitting at his desk, he must ensure that his chair and desk encourage good posture. Otherwise he may end up fitter but still with back problems and looking much older than he actually is. On hearing this, he immediately sits up straight in the chair and tells me that he has had several Sales Brochures sent to his business in relation to the benefits of an ergonomic workspace and office. He says he has always thrown them in the bin because the chair he uses is the one his father used before him and is still in good condition. Typical Pentacle attitude I think to myself. He assures me he will do a bit of research on the internet and get someone in to go through his whole office, and not just his own desk as he has others working for him.

Position 7 – The Outcome if he Takes this Path – The Three of Wands – Am I delighted to see this Card. Look how straight the figure is standing for starters, and he has his back to us suggesting that he is moving away from his chronic health condition and looking towards a much brighter, healthier and positive future. If he does decide to take this path, this course of action, then The Three of Wands speaks of making marvelous progress. It will give him a new lease of life and he may begin to explore areas of activity he had never thought possibly before. With the Three of Wands, there can be no turning back. Failure is not an option.  A course of action has not only been decided upon, but more importantly has been acted upon. He can look over his shoulder and see from where he came but it is the view in front of him that will be the reward for all his hard work and effort. The Three of Wands promises much energy, vitality, and a new lease of life. It is the only course he can take unless he wants to look across to the Eight of Swords and choose that path. I point all this out to him and he can see the sense of it all. Rome wasn’t built in a day and this man’s condition is not going to disappear overnight, in fact, he may continue to suffer from his back but not to the extremes that he has become accustomed to. The Three of Wands symbolises travelling a long distance from his Central Card in Position One – The Ten of Swords.

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Horse Shoe Spread

2 of Cups Rx                                                                 4 of Cups Upright

 Position 1                                                                     Position 7

5 of Cups Upright                                                                  10 of Wands Reversed

Position 2                                                                       Position 6

3 of Swords Rx                                                                  9 of Swords Upright

Position 3                                                                     Position 5

                                             10 of Swords Upright

                                             Position 4

Firstly, we have Three Sword Cards in this Spread and immediately we can see they are quite distressing and all quite close together. There are Three Cup Cards with one of them Reversed. The only happy Cup Card is Reversed. We have one Wand and it is also Reversed. No Pentacles at all suggesting a lack of stability and security.

So let us look at this Reading very briefly and come up with one possible interpretation. Obviously we do not have the Querant here to ask questions of so we shall just have to use our imaginations.

Position 1 The PastTwo of Cups Reversed. Has there been a break up of a relationship, a broken engagement, a broken marriage? Has there been infidelity or unfaithfulness? Is there a situation of domination and submission in the relationship, meaning that one partner is being tightly controlled by the other? Has someone lost their loved one, have they died? Several scenarios here.

Position 2 The Present – Five of Cups. Definitely upset, sadness or trauma here. Possibly Grief if a death is concerned. There could also be anger and rage if tempers exploded due to discovery of deceit or the decision of a partner to leave. A lot of rows, arguments and angry words.

Position 3 Near Future – Three of Swords Reversed. Now this could mean either healing, letting the tears fall and talking to friends about it, or it could mean those Three Swords plunging deeper and internalising grief. Someone could be letting on they are fine, when inside they are in despair? I am now looking at the Card immediately opposite and I see it is The Nine of Swords. This leads me to think that the person is not letting the wounds heal but is in quite terrible distress. I think psychologically they are going down hill and may be becoming clinically depressed. They may have shut themselves away from the outside world and are shunning help or not willing to seek it.

Positions 4 Answer – Ten of Swords makes me concerned now because this combined with the Reversed Three of Swords on one side and The Nine of Swords on the other are quite dark and speak of psychological despair or even possible breakdown. Also Nine and Ten are Closure Cards. Could this mean the person will reach rock bottom before they pull themselves together? Is it going to get worse before it gets better?

Position 5 Surrounding Energies – The Nine of Swords tells me that it is all doom and gloom around this person. They are in a very dark place and extremely distressed. They are not psychologically stable at present, and with the Ten of Swords appearing so close by I would be concerned for their welfare. This person needs help and the support of friends and family. Do the people around this person know how bad they are? I would hazard a guess that their work is suffering, and if they have any children then they are not able to properly care for them. Even if they think they are keeping on top of things and not sharing their problems, with these Cards it is bound to be obvious to those around them that something is amiss. The person is consumed with pain, grief, suffering, sorrow or anguish. If it is The Querant, they will know why, if it is someone they know, they will have seen the warning signs themselves for it will be hard to cover-up the energy of these Cards.

Position 6 Hopes and Fears – Ten of Wands Reversed. The only bit of Fire here  but it is Reversed and heavily burdened. This Card tells me two things. It speaks of how close to total collapse the person is, but also that the person is aware of how bad things are. I might begin to question whether that is what they seek? Total Collapse? Is it a Hope or Fear. If it is a fear then they need to come out of the room of The Nine of Swords and let people know how bad they are. They need to let someone help them. If it is a Hope, then they may seek a collapse as some form of cry for Help. They may also seek a collapse because they no longer want to go on.

Position 7 Outcome – Four of Cups. The person has withdrawn into themselves. They may be drinking heavily or taking drugs to numb their pain. They do not want to be helped at present and have become apathetic and very disillusioned with life and what has happened. It looks like others are trying to help but the person is not interested or doesn’t want to be helped.

With the Ten of Swords in the Answer Position I feel this person could get so low they may possibly do something to end their pain. This would be the worst case scenario. However, under the circumstance, if drink or drugs are involved, they may not intentionally wish to end their life but could lose control if under the influence of mind altering substances.

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Let us look at this Reading again in another light. This is why it is essential to communicate with the Querant when Reading in such cases as you may be Reading too much into some apparent Negative Cards.

Position 1 The Past – Reversed Two of Cups. Same as above.  Has there been a break up of a relationship, a broken engagement, a broken marriage? Has there been infidelity or unfaithfulness? Is there a situation of domination and submission in the relationship, meaning that one partner is being tightly controlled by the other? Has someone lost their loved one, have they died? Several Scenarios there.

Position 2 The Present – Five of Cups. The Same as above. Definitely upset, sadness or trauma here. Possibly Grief if a death is concerned. There could also be anger and rage if tempers exploded due to discovery of deceit or the decision of a partner to leave.

Position 3 The Near Future – Three of Swords. Although hurt, upset and angry the person is not going to let this destroy them. They let their grief out, cry, sob, rant and rave. They may have a showdown with the other person involved and clear the air, or at least get it off their chest. They may seek professional help as in counselling to deal with their pain.

Position 4 The Answer – Ten of Swords. This person is going to hit rock bottom before they start to improve. They may think they are bad now but they are set to get worse. It will probably be hitting rock bottom that will make them realise how far they have sunk. They will see the dawn on the horizon and will actively seek change.

Position 5 Surrounding Energies – The Nine of Swords tells me that it is all doom and gloom around this person. They are in a very dark place and extremely distressed. They are not psychologically stable at present and with the Ten of Swords appearing so close by I would be concerned for their welfare. This person needs help and the support of friends and family. Do the people around this person know how bad they are? I would say their her work is suffering and if they have any children then they are not able to properly care for them. The person is consumed with pain, grief, suffering, sorrow or anguish. They may be getting help and counselling but they may need some medication as well to a trip to their GP might be necessary. It looks like they are not sleeping and sleep deprivation just makes everything worse.

Position 6 Hopes and Fears – The Ten of Wands Reversed. This person desperately wants to drop their burden, to offload this weight of pain they are carrying around with them. There are two Tens in this Reading. They want an end to this. They want to start a new life, to feel well again.

Position 7 Outcome – Four of Cups. This person will have to deal with the Reversed Two of Cups and come to terms with what has happened. This may involve withdrawing for a while from their normal activities and getting some help to bring them out of their apathetic state. They may feel worn out and fed up with being depressed and sad. They may look across at The Revered Two of Cups and feel ashamed of how low they have let the situation bring them. If they are drinking or otherwise, they will have to clean up their act. They may feel a sense of self-loathing and self-disgust and desire change. The person is seeking emotional stability once more. With The Four of Cups and The Ten of Swords as The Outcome and Answer Cards there is light at the end of the tunnel. With much work and effort on behalf of the person, they can pull themselves out of this mess and start putting their life back together again. They will need to learn how to deal with stress and upset. Possible relaxation classes or meditation may be of use. This is still a touch and go situation and would warrant a Follow-Up Reading in 4/6 weeks to see how far they have progressed.

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Sample Reading – Horseshoe Spread

5 of Pentacles Upright                                                                 6 of Pentacles Reversed

Position 1                                                                      Position 7

7 of Wands Upright                                                                  8 of Swords

Position 2                                                                      Position 6

2 of Pentacles Rx                                                                  8 of Pentacles Reversed

Position 3                                                                      Position 5

                                                 10 of Wands Reversed

                                                  Position 4

Four Pentacle Cards, three of which are Reversed. The only Upright one is The Five which doesn’t augur well. Finances or Physical Health are issues here.  Two Wands; one Upright, One Reversed. Both Wand Cards are stressful. One Sword Card which is Negative. No Cups suggesting little emotional fulfilment or joy.

Position 1 Past Five of Pentacles – Looks like either Health or Finances took a blow in the past but I am going to go with Finances. Possible Job loss.

Position 2 Present Seven of Wands – Working Hard to stay on top of things. Everyone is looking for money at the same time. Getting very stressed with the situation. Not sure how much longer they can keep the wolves from the door.

Position 3 Near Future Two of Pentacles Reversed – Possibly securing two jobs, working night and day to make ends meet, but still there seems to be a shortage.

Going to leave Position 4 until Last

Position 5 Surrounding Energies Eight of Pentacles Reversed – Working, or should I say labouring non-stop. Little pleasure only tedious menial work. Having to work all hours.

Position  6 Hopes and Fears Eight of Swords. Caught in a bind. The Card opposite, The Seven of Wands making The Eight of Swords feel that there is no way out of their financial mess. They feel trapped and with little options available to them. Stress is beginning to manifest on a serious level.

Position 7 The Outcome Six of Pentacles Reversed – The Hiring/Firing Card. Being let go. Possibly losing one of the jobs they were working, or both. Could also suggest that even though working 24/7, still not earning enough. May have to go to Social Welfare or accept Hand-Outs. May also owe money left,right and centre. They may be under pressure from banks, loan-sharks.

Back to Position 4 The Answer – Ten of Wands Reversed, The final straw. Can’t take any more. Physical and Mental Exhaustion after being under tremendous financial pressure for so long. Possible collapse from stress and fatigue. Too many obligations and commitments but not enough energy now to do anything about them. Work is out of the question. Enforced rest is needed. With all the Pentacles Cards and especially The Upright Five of Pentacles this person may have been trying to go it alone without asking for help. They may be too proud to go to Social Welfare or Family for financial assistance. They are now forced into a corner. Terrible Stress and Physical Exhaustion is likely to be evident. Person would be living on Nervous Energy until even that Fuel Supply ran out.

Sample Reading – Horseshoe Spread

   10 of Cups Upright                                                          Ace of Cups Reversed

   Position 1                                                                 Position 7  

  Ace if Wands Reversed                                                            6 of Wands Reversed

  Position 2                                                                 Position 6

  2 of Pentacles Rx                                                              9 of Swords Upright

  Position 3                                                                 Position 5

                                            9 of Pentacles Reversed

                                             Position 4

Now Using the Horse Shoe Spread again because it is easy to follow and can be used for any number of Readings, we will look at this Health Reading but you will see here how the Cards and their positioning can indicate different Health Meanings and Implications surrounding the issue. This is a Staged Reading, but in this instance we will pretend to communicate with the Querant. We must also remember that we are dealing only with the Four Suits of The Minor Arcana, excluding the Court Cards and The Major Arcana. This to a certain extent limits our full use of the Cards in Health Readings. We must work with what we have for the moment.

For this Reading, let us pretend that a female has come to see us in relation to issues she has relating to conception or starting a family. She has been trying, but has been unsuccessful to-date. To make things more interesting we will do Two Readings; The first one being for a Female in her Early Thirties and the second for a Female in her Late Forties. The Cards will be the same and in identical layout, but for each Female we will address a different Health Issue, related alright, but different in their implications.

First Reading – Female in Early Thirties

Position 1 Recent Past, Ten of Cups – Here we have the Happy Family Scenario. This could suggest that the Female already has a family and therefore has proven she can conceive, or that having children would fulfil her dreams of The Happy Family Scenario. The Ten of Cups often reflects the idealistic aspect, and may not be an actual reality, just like the rainbow in the Card’s Imagery. So we ask this Female if she already has any children, if she says yes, then as mentioned above, she has proven she can conceive and carry a baby full term. If she says no, then The Ten of Cups is reflecting her dream of having a family, it can also point to her own upbringing. Having a family means everything to this Female. Her answer to my question is yes; she has one child and she conceived with very little problem, she didn’t even have to try. She doesn’t want her child to grow up as an only child, she was an only child herself and always felt she missed out in comparison to school friends who had sisters and brothers. She has been trying for the last year to get pregnant but it is just not happening.

Position 2 Present Ace of Wands Reversed – This Card is certainly a Fertility Card but it is Reversed suggesting that there is some issue or block with conception at present. Because it is a Wand and therefore of the Fire Element which is Masculine, the problem may lie with her partner and not her. It is still unsure at present but there may be more behind this Reversed Ace of Wands than what first comes to mind. Bear with me as we go through this and all will become clear. Let me remind you that I am making this up as I go along and it is not based on an actual Reading. However, I have now slipped into sleuth/detective mode and am viewing the issue and the Cards in the Spread in a New Light. I want to show you how flexible you can be when Reading and how the Cards can throw subtle messages at you. They can be highlighting several issues all at the one time.

Position 3 Near Future Two of Pentacles Reversed – Now here I have a Dilemma. This Card may be pertaining to an issue with the Female’s Reproductive System, especially her ovaries, but it may also indicate a hormonal imbalance as I spot a supporting Card in the Nine of Pentacles Reversed sitting in the Answer Position. The Nine of Pentacles Reversed can suggest several female issues, one being Hormonal Imbalance. However, I look up to the Outcome Card and see The Ace of Cups Reversed. With these Cards present, I need to ask the Female if she has had any miscarriages in the time she has been trying. She hasn’t mentioned it but that does not mean she hasn’t had one. So I ask her and she says that she has had none that she is aware of. Okay, so we can rule that one out. I go back to the Two of Pentacles Reversed and ask if she has had any medical investigation to determine why she is having a problem conceiving, when it happened naturally in the past. She tells me that her visit for a Tarot Reading is her last stop before seeking medical advice and testing. I ask her if her cycle is normal and regular; does she have any pain that was not there before, does she feel different during her monthly cycle, has anything changed? She is unsure and asks why I ask such a question. I point out the Two of Pentacles Reversed and The Nine of Pentacles Reversed and explain to her how sometimes they can point to Hormonal Imbalance, and with the Two of Pentacles Reversed, their may be an issue with her ovaries. She may not be ovulating even though she is having a monthly cycle. ***She would need to make an appointment to see her gynaecologist to see if this is what is blocking her attempts to get pregnant. 

Position 4 The Answer The Nine of Pentacles – We have covered this Card in the above section but just to remind ourselves, it can suggest Hormonal Imbalance and Miscarriage among several other female issues. That Two of Pentacles Reversed beside it throws much suspicion in this area.

Position 5 The Surrounding Energies The Nine of Swords – Oh dear, this Female is very distressed about her difficulty in conceiving. I point out this Card to her and ask her how distressed she is? How much is it affecting her daily life, her relationship and her family? I show her the Imagery of the Card and tell her that it suggests a lot of anguish and that I feel she may be consumed with this issue. She starts to cry and here we see how stressed she is about the whole thing. She badly wants another baby and it is all she can think of right now. Some alarm bells are going off with me as it seems the whole situation has got out of hand and I wonder if it has become this big white elephant standing in the room with her partner. I glance back at the Reversed Ace of Wands and question to myself if her partner actually has any fertility issues at all or has all the pressure made him lose his Fire in that area of their life?

Position 6 Hopes and Fears, The Six of Wands Reversed – She fears that they will not be successful in further attempts. This Card sits opposite the Reversed Ace of Wands, another Reversed Fire and I see several implications all at the one time. I see her side and I also see her partner’s side. She is fixated on getting pregnant, so much so that it have taken over her life, her every thought and her peace of mind (Nine of Swords). Instead of feeling positive that it will happen, by having an Upright Six of Wands, she has become pessimistic about the whole thing. I also feel that her relationship is suffering as a result and that she is not even aware of it. The Reversed Six of Wands has toppled her partner from his normal place of importance in her life and something tells me that he is not giving this the same attention she is. He is not as driven as his partner. I feel they are not together in this and believe that all the fun the Wands normally provide and also badly need has gone out of their sex life. It has all become hard work and too focused on conception. There is a danger that the spark will extinguish altogether unless this pressure is relieved.

It is my belief that they have been unsuccessful in conceiving for several reasons. Firstly they have been trying too hard and as we all know, the harder we try, the harder it becomes for we try to force things beyond their natural path. The more they have tried and the more times they have been unsuccessful, the deeper the belief that each attempt will end in failure (The Six of Wands Reversed). What the mind dwells upon, it tends to adopt, therefore, the Female or both, may be causing their own blocks. Secondly, with The Nine of Swords bringing in so much stress, this is having a negative impact on her body and the way it functions. The level of stress and worry over this issue could very easily be unblancing her hormones, which may cause conception issues.

Position 7 The Outcome, The Reversed Ace of Cups – Another Card for Fertility Issues or not being able to carry a baby full term, especially when it links with The Answer Position Card of The Nine of Pentacles Reversed.  However, The Ace of Cups Reversed sits directly across from The Ten of Cups and this also speaks to me of deep unhappiness in relation to having more children. With this deep unhappiness linking with The Nine of Swords there could very well be depression manifesting as a result of the stress and pressure to conceive and fulfil this personal dream. I ask the Female how her partner feels about having more children. She says he is quite happy with the child he has. If they have more great, but he does not share her deep desire for a larger family. She says he came from a large family and all they did was fight all the time so it is no great draw for him. There is a trace of resentment in her voice.

With the Ace of Cups Reversed sitting beside what originally was a very happy and content family, I feel that the Female’s obsession with having more children could easily have a detrimental effect on her relationship and the happiness of her family. I feel that stress has played a big part in her inability to conceive, but that it has also made their sex life a chore rather than an enjoyment. The pressure to impregnate his partner each time they have sex could be putting huge strain on her partner and therefore could easily be affecting his normal male fertility.

I suggest strongly to the Female that for the moment she stop trying to get pregnant and just get on with her life. I tell her that now may not be the right time, even if she does think it is.  I advise her to try to get her relationship back to the stage where there was tenderness, affection and spontaneity in their sex life, and not a pressure laden ordeal. I also strongly advise her for her own peace of mind that both should make an appointment with their doctors to arrange for the relevant fertility tests, but that if nothing shows up she must find a way of letting it go for the moment. I tell her that sometimes Nature has its own timeline and plan, which often works best when we are looking the other way. When we lay some bulbs in the earth, we do not sit each day watching to see which ones will grow and which will not. We actually forget about them for months, and then all of a sudden one day we see them pop their head above the earth. We are very rarely there to see them actually flower in real life and in real-time. They seem to do it when we have our backs turned and are busy going about our  lives. The same for conception. Sometimes it is better to let nature take its own course, its own time and not try to control it so much. I remind her that she initially got pregnant very easily and at a time when they were not trying to conceive.

Second Reading – Female in Late Forties 

The Female in question informs me that she has three children. Two of them are in their twenties and one still a teenager. She says that she has a very happy family and that all get on brilliantly with each other. However, she has not been feeling herself for some time and has been suffering from bouts of mild depression. Her partner does not know what is wrong and is concerned about her.

Position 1 Recent Past, Ten of Cups –  This Card confirms that indeed there has been a happy family life and children. Her relationship appears very strong and supportive. She is very lucky.

Position 2 Present Ace of Wands Reversed – Now we see the first signs of issues. There seems to be a lack of enthusiasm and Fire that was there in the early stages. Something is blocking it. I sense a feeling of lack lustre and low energy. There may also be a lack of interest. We still do not know what this is about so we will have to take the whole Spread into consideration and ask questions. So I relay my interpretation to her. She says she knows what I am talking about. She tells me that she feels she has no sex-drive at all for the last few months and that she is worried something is wrong in her relationship. She loves her partner very much but feels tired and listless a lot of the time. She says that it feels a bit like depression. This depression is mirrored in The Ace of Cups Reversed that sits directly across from the Ten of Cups. Opposite this Card sits The Reversed Six of Wands and I can see that she is worried about the success of her relationship and how her partner might not see her in the same light any more.

Position 3 Near Future Two of Pentacles Reversed – Something is out of balance here and making her feel all over the place. She appears to be struggling to stay on top of things.  I can see the mood swings, feeling okay one day and awful the next. I begin to become suspicious of the cause of this unbalance by the very presence of the Nine of Pentacles Reversed in the Answer Position and the Nine of Swords in the Surrounding Energy. I take note of the woman’s age and get a gut feeling, along with the Card implications that she might be entering the early stages of menopause, peri-menopause. I now have to ask her some leading and possibly embarrassing questions.  I ask her about her monthly cycle and if there has been any change in recent months. She informs me that sometimes she skips her cycle or that it comes early or late. Sometimes it only lasts a day and other times weeks. I now have a strong impression of the root cause of her issues.

Position 4 The Answer The Nine of Pentacles Reversed – So now this Card is really becoming significant to me because of its connection to Menopause. We have the Reversed Ace of Wands, The Reversed Ace of Cups and The Reversed Nine of Pentacles, all suggesting the potential of diminishing fertility.

Position 5 The Surrounding Energies The Nine of Swords –  We also have the Nine of Swords coming in helping to reinforce my theory and I ask her more questions in relation to her sleeping patterns. She informs me that her sleep is very erratic and that sometimes she cannot sleep at all at night which makes her extra tired and very emotional. The Reversed Ace of Cups is evidence of the emotional upheaval too. She says she cannot get comfortable in bed and either feels too hot or too cold. More tell-tale signs of approaching menopause when hormonal imbalance causes terrible sleep disturbances in some women. I gently bring this to her attention and ask if she has had her hormone levels checked recently? She looks crestfallen and asks if I really think this could be the problem? I tell her that the Cards are only suggesting it and that she really needs to go to her doctor to see the real picture, as there may be other conditions at play.

Position 6 Hopes and Fears, The Six of Wands Reversed – I go through the Six of Wands Reversed with her and explain to her its implications regarding concerns about retrieving the relationship she used to have with her partner. I also can see that this Card including the one above, The Reversed Ace of Cups and the preceding Cards don’t hold out much hope for her ever conceiving a child again. However, I do not tell her this for I may be wrong. She may have a hormonal imbalance that can be corrected, there could be an ovarian cyst causing issues or a uterine fibroid. Many women mourn the loss of their child-bearing ability when menopause sets in, even though they have no intentions of having any more children. It is a death of sorts and marks the end of a cycle for them. For some women they feel they have lost their identity or purpose in life and this can cause great sadness and depression. Most women take comfort in the knowledge that their womb, if they wanted, could carry another child, but that it is their decision not to. However when that decision is taken out of their hands by menopause or hysterectomy, it can be like losing a limb and takes some time to get used to and accept. Some women feel a loss of femininity and sexuality when this happens, while other women celebrate their freedom and the beginning of a new cycle in their lives. One way or another, the menopause causes change and upheaval for many women as their hormones turn upside down, a bit like when they were going through puberty and those terrible adolescent years. It is not up to me to tell this woman all this for I repeat, I may be wrong. It is up to her doctor or gynaecologist to carry out the relevant tests which will determine her hormone levels. I can suggest that she get her hormone levels checked so that she can be in a better informed position and avail of any treatments that might be suitable for her.

Position 7 The Outcome, The Reversed Ace of Cups – Along with the Nine of Swords, I can see the unhappiness and depression. She will come out of this the other side as long as she looks for answers to her condition and gets the help she needs. Because I feel that this is Hormonally related, and very possibly the onset of Menopause, I make some suggestions to her not referring to my suspicions but based on what may benefit her one way or another. I advise her to start an exercise regime and to stick to it. She needs to get out and about, strengthen her body and increase her energy levels. Exercise is one of the best antidotes to depression. Also because food and diet can wreak havoc on hormone levels I suggest she visit a nutritionist to consult over what diet and foodstuffs may be worsening her situation such as dairy, gluten, sugar and processed foods. She may need some supplements and possibly a detox diet to bring her back into balance once more. It will also help to lose any extra weight she may be gaining from hormonal imbalance and lack of activity due to low energy. Meditation and yoga may also be beneficial and help her sleep better, and not worry so much.

I assure her that if she becomes proactive in her health and body from here on in, that there is every chance she will bounce back and feel somewhat like her old self again. She has just slipped into a bad place and it is up to her to pull herself out of it. She does however need to see her doctor and have a complete checkup, and of course hormonal testing. When hormones are out of balance, everything else in your body is too. I advise her to communicate to her partner her concerns and that she still loves him for he may feel insecure in that area. She needs to talk to him and ask for his support during this unsettling time.

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Wands Health Interpretations – Ace to Ten

Cups Health Interpretations – Ace to Ten

Swords Health Interpretations – Ace to Ten

Pentacles Health Interpretations – Ace to Ten

Health Card Combinations Minor Arcana – Ace to Ten

Sample Health Readings

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Lesson Nine

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Copyright © 2006-2014 Vivien Ní Dhuinn

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