The Horse Shoe Spread – Interpretation

Reading Interpretation 

Question – I am going through a difficult time at the moment and would like to know what the next year holds for me.  I am filing for divorce, have a lot going on in work and can’t seem to see the wood for the trees.  My divorce is not amicable so I know it is going to be tough going.  The good thing is, I am in a very strong relationship but feel I cannot fully commit until I am totally free.  I feel tired of it all right now and would love to see some sort of light at the end of the tunnel .

This time I am going to take you through how I have gone about interpreting this Reading. Scroll down to find my Pre-Reading Analysis. Scroll further down the page to find the actual Reading.  I do hope you pick up some valuable tips in relation to linking and connecting Cards when Reading. 

The Horse Shoe Spread

Judgement UprightBase Card (see notes)

2 of Swords Rx                                                                             8 of Wands Upright

Position 1 (Past up to 2 years)                                            Position 7 (Probable Outcome . see notes below)

10 of Wands Upright                                                                             6 of Swords Upright

Position 2 (Present 3/4 wks each way)                          Position 6 (Hopes and Fears. see notes below)

7 of Wands Upright  5 of Wands Upright                                                9 of Pentacles Upright   4 of Wands

Position 3 Near Future (3/4 months)                           Position 5 – Surrounding Energies. see notes below)

                                                                   10 of Cups Upright

                                               Position 4 – (Answer or Represents Querant)            


 Card 1 – 2 of Swords Reversed

Card 2  – 10 of Wands

Card 3 Near Future – 7 of Wands and 5 Wands

Card 4 Answer – 10 of Cups

Card 5 (Surrounding Energies) – 9 Pentacles/4 Wands

Card 6 (Hopes and Fears) – 6 Swords

Card 7 (Outcome) – 8 of Wands

The man who is sitting in front of me, The Querant, is a quiet spoken man. He is polite and almost shy-like. He settles himself into the seat and follows my instructions without question.  He communicates well and shows no sign of reticence when I ask general questions.  He tells me he is looking for clarity, and that if anything negative is to appear in the Reading, he wants to know about it, and for me to tell all.

I get a gut feeling that this is a genuinely nice man. He wants to hear the truth and not just have his whims and desires pandered to.  I hope I am not proved wrong when the Cards are drawn.

For me, the Reading has started from the moment the Querant walked in the door.  I have been tuning into his energy, just like anyone would do when encountering a stranger for the first time. I like his energy, so we are off to a good start.

So with the shuffling of his Cards finished, he hands me the Deck. I immediately turn it over to find which Base Card I have. I place it on the table before any other Cards are drawn. I have given the Querant the option of drawing the Cards from the top of the Deck, or when fanned across the table.  He opts for Fanned Selection. I spread the Cards in a wide fan across the table and ask the Querant to scan the Cards for a couple of minutes with his non-writing hand while he dwells on his question. He looks very intense as he does this. Then I ask him to scan again, but this time he will be selecting his Seven Cards.  I ask him to just stop and hover over the Cards he feels are correct, and then hand them to me one at a time without changing their orientation, ie not to turn the Cards upside down. He understands and begins his selection.

For Position 3, The Near Future, he picks up two Cards in error (maybe not!), the Card he selected, and the one directly under it.  He hesitates and goes to put one back.  I ask him if he would like to include this extra Card in the Reading as there may be a reason he picked it up.  He decides to keep the two Cards. Now we have two Cards for Position 3 instead of one. This is perfectly fine. As he selects the Card for Position 5, Surrounding Energies, he does the very same and again decides to keep the two Cards. Our original 7 Card Reading has now turned into a 9 Card Reading.  It is best to go with the flow when this happens and not be rigid about how many Cards there should be.

So with the selected Cards laid face down in their correct positions. I return my attention to The Base Card.  This Card is not part of the Seven Card Horse Shoe Spread. It stands apart from any Spread you may choose, and is not included in the Card Count.

(Please note that The Base Card is not a Significator CardThe Significator Card is selected by the Querant prior to shuffling or drawing. The Significator is used to represent the Querant, The Person the Reading is about or The IssueSignificator Cards are sometimes returned to the Deck once selected so that no Card is left out. Should the Significator then turn up in the Reading, much attention should be given to the information it yields. Not all Readers use The Significator Card. Among a host of reasons for not using it, it generally comes down to being too time consuming when Reading for others.  If you want to know more about The Significator Card, you will find information in Part II of this Course, The Court Cards in Lesson 1.  Just click on the link.

The Querant is not given the option to select the Base Card.  This Card is specifically for the Reader to gain background information before the Reading starts.

In this case The Base Card is Judgement, Card XX from The Major Arcana.  It is Upright. This immediately speaks to me of fairness, being non-judgemental, transformation and rebirth. It is also linked to legalities and the courts, which relates to the Querant’s Question. With it being Upright, we see a strong indication, that the law may be on his side and that judgements may go in his favour.  I get the feeling that this man wants the best for everyone in the situation, and for everyone to move on in their lives. Judgement Upright, usually rises above any forms of vindictive behaviour and revenge. It seeks balance and peace, not just for one, but for all.  The Judgement Card may also suggest that there is a deep soul connection with his new partner.  He is certainly going through a major transformation on many levels.  This Card is telling me of his desire to follow his true soul-purpose, and that he has responded to an inner calling.  I believe he has made the right decision as painful as it may seem to others. I think this has been a long time coming.

With that done, I turn over the rest of the Cards and am relieved to see that my first impression still holds.  I see no hidden agendas here and no Negative Reversed Court Cards either. Actually, this Reading is quite straightforward, and I have a growing respect for the Querant.  His Cards show his strong focus and intention for the Reading. He has asked a Question that he really wants truthful answers on. His Cards tell me a story quite rapidly.

I immediately glance at the Outcome and Answer Card to see how this man’s scenario is likely to pan out. Note, I have not spoken a word yet.  This initial time is for the Reader only. The Reader must begin to observe, make mental notes, links and connections before attempting to Read. When a Reading is quite complicated or complex, this may be down to the nature of the Reading or an unfocused Querant. My job is easy here.

The Outcome Card speaks of speed and things taking off favourably for the Querant at long last. He spoke about it dragging on and how he wanted it all over, so The Eight of Wands as a probable Outcome is giving him what he wants.  After months and months of preparing for court and dealing with solicitors, it may all happen very fast in the end.

The 10 of Cups as The Answer Card acts as another positive indicator of the Querant getting what he wants, as in, fully committing to his new relationship and the freedom to start their life together.  However, I must be careful here, as it is a Stage Card, and therefore may only be representing his desires, his dream or the Ideal Outcome.  Time to look at the other Cards.

Only one Reversed Card and it is in the Past Position. Therefore, it is an energy that he is moving away from. We have Five Wands in this Reading which is quite a lot. This tells me that even though he feels worn out with the situation, that it’s dragging on too long, or going nowhere, there is tremendous activity around it and a sense of building momentum, which I believe will ultimately come to a head in The Eight of Wands. Of the Wands he has drawn, three of them are quite stressful and involve burdens, struggles, conflict and defence.  Well, he is going through a divorce so the situation is bound to be tough and pitted with several un-pleasantries.  However, they are all on the left side of the Horse Shoe and split between the Present and Near Future.  It suggests considerable stress coming his way in the next few months.  It looks to me that this is when court dates may appear, or meetings with legal teams on both sides to argue or battle out at an agreeable settlement. The Five of Wands strongly suggests the battle between both sides, legally and personally.  The Seven of Wands is the Card for being challenged and having to defend himself, while maintaining the higher ground, and not coming down to his opponent’s level.  This Card tells me that he best prepare to defend himself, for the other side may be planning to launch quite a vicious attack.  Based on my observations of the Querant, I am not sure if he is used to asserting himself in such a manner.  He may have to toughen up for they are not going to give him an easy time. However, The Seven of Wands also speaks of retaining one’s integrity. He can hold his ground and refuse to engage in slagging matches or sly tactics.

The Ten of Wands in his Present Position speaks for itself.  Burdened with the worry and conflict of his divorce, the heavy workload in his job and God knows what else. This Card is telling me that he is tired, exhausted and close to not being able to see any light at the end of the tunnel.  Life is all an uphill struggle at present. I believe this Card is also telling me how guilty he feels about ending his marriage.  He appears to be carrying all the blame and taking full responsibility for its failure. However, this is yet another Stage Card and I believe that things are not as bad as he thinks them to be.  He is beating himself up and wearing hair shirts as some form of self-punishment.  There is a light at the end of the tunnel, if he only looked up and acknowledged that even though the going is tough at present, it is nearly over. The Finish line is in sight. He just has to hang on in there and find the energy. He could make life easier for himself by off-loading some of the burdens that are not necessary right now. He does have a lot on his plate right though. He may just have to get on with it.

The other Wand’s Cards are both very positive and bring him into the future, which is where he wants to go. I will come back to these in a moment.

We have one Cup, The Ten of Cups, in the Answer Position.  Only one Cup to represent his new relationship? You might think that odd. This however, is not a Relationship Reading.  To me, I go back to the Querant’s Question and remind myself that he mentioned not feeling free to fully commit to his new partner until he can find full closure with his divorce.  It is the relationship with his new partner he wants, but he knows that there is a lot of hard work to do before he can give his full attention to it. There is another relationship Card here and that is the Four of Wands in The Surrounding Energies Position.  I must question here if the Querant plans on marrying again? I will certainly ask him during the Reading.  However, it is another Stage Card so even though everyone looks dressed for a wedding, it may only relate to moving in together, putting down roots, establishing a new life and domestic bliss.  With The Ten of Cups in the Answer Position and the Four of Wands next door to it, I feel there may be a plan to move or relocate, possibly to the countryside. There are other Cards in the Reading that back this theory up but we will get to them later.   He would be free to make personal decisions and live as he chooses once the divorce is settled.  The Ten of Wands can also be another moving home Card or relocating. It involves packing up your things and moving them somewhere else. It may also imply him having to leave the marital home carrying only what he could carry, or maybe he was thrown out?

There is another Card in Surrounding Energies, The Nine of Pentacles. I have a sneaking suspicion that he may be thinking of retiring as this Card often turns up when someone is near to finishing their working career or putting in place a pension plan to secure their retirement years. If this Card is referring to retirement, I can see how he would be looking forward to having the time to relax and enjoy the results of all his years of hard work. The Nine of Pentacles also is connected with moving to the countryside and enjoying a more relaxed pace of life.  That is four Cards so far which have alerted me to the possibility of moving, but there are still more to come. The Outcome Card, The Eight of Wands, is also a Movement or Travel Card.  Could he possibly be thinking about going overseas? Maybe he wants to move to a waterside location, or possibly the coast. The Eight Wands are travelling over water. That’s Five Cards suggesting travel and movement.

The Nine of Pentacles is also a money card, and with my retirement theory working away in my mind, I presume there is a pension or retirement plan in place.  This Card suggests accumulated finances from hard work. If I am right, I think that it is here where the sticking point will be, or is, between legal sides.  Could there be a money pot they are all fighting for? I do not see any other Money Cards so I believe that if I am right, this could be the sole financial source for my client.

There are Two Sword Cards, one Reversed, The Two Swords and the other Upright, The Six of Swords. The Reversed Two of Swords in The Past Position alerts me to the likelihood that the Querant has been unhappy for many years, and battled long and hard internally, before arriving at the painful decision to leave his marriage.  This was something he did not take lightly.  I also am getting the feeling that this is where the battle in the Five and Seven of Wands is being fed from.  I believe his spouse may not see things the way the Querant does.  With the blindfold on and Swords crossed, she may be refusing to accept her responsibility in the situation. I fear that he is taking the full blame (backed up by The Ten of Wands, The Six of Swords too come to think about it), and that she turned a blind eye, or stuck her head in the sand when it came to problems within the marriage.  This may be causing a state of stalemate in legal proceedings. She may be refusing to budge an inch. She may be looking for everything and turning down every offer of settlement he makes.  I fear she is very bitter at present and very unapproachable.

The other Sword Card is The Six of Swords in the Hopes and Fears Position.  This to me represents the Querant’s deepest hope to wearily put all the unpleasantness behind him so that he can move on in his life.  This Card tells me the level of stress he has been under, and how low he is bound to feel before the situation resolves itself.  Progress is very slow at present, but it is moving. This Card lies directly below The Eight of Wands, reassuring him that this time of stress and worry is definitely going to be moving out of the picture, even if it is bound to drag its heels for a while to come. The Six of Swords is another travel/movement Card (6 so far) which is building on my theory of him moving away. This Card also highlights the blame he carries within.

There is one Major Arcana Card, Judgement XX.  This is the Card that is spiritually supporting the whole situation for The Querant, and for me is a definite sign of his deep concern and desire to do right by all, even if he has been the one to end his marriage.  He wants a successful Outcome for everyone, with as little suffering as possible. However, no matter how noble the Querant might be, once solicitors and barristers become involved, the situation can get quite aggressive and argumentative, with each side determined to see their client get their just rewards and more besides.

There are no Court Cards, which is unusual in this case, but tells me there is no strong input coming from either the Querant or his spouse.  The Legal sides have taken over and are now running the show. They may have relinquished full control to them. I see no strong personalities coming through. It looks very much like they are flying solo in this situation. There doesn’t appear to be any interfering family members or friends trying to exert their influence, or get in on the drama. Does anyone care? Then again, it is possible that interest has been lost. People around them have probably moved on to something else.

Travel, Moving or Relocating related CardsThe Ten of Wands (Packing up and moving on), Ten of Cups (a move to the countryside or setting up home), Nine of Pentacles (a move to the countryside), Four of Wands moving and settling in to a new home), Six of Swords (moving away, travel across water, moving on) and Eight of Wands (travel, crossing water). That’s six altogether. Pretty impressive. Physically, Emotionally and Psychologically Moving On. It’s all happening.

Judgement XX also suggests moving on and starting over.

Relationship Cards – Two/Three. Ten of Cups (couples, commitment, marriage, domestic bliss), Four of Wands (marriage, moving in together, domestic harmony).  Nine of Pentacles is loosely connected due to its association with pregnancy.

I still have not spoken yet as all these theories have taken only a minute or two to form in my mind.  I have told the Querant in advance that I will need time once the Cards are drawn before I launch into the interpretation.

Now I look at the Cards again to determine the Numerical Connections and see if we have any repetitive energy building which will add depth to my initial theories.  To be honest, I have been doing these as I go along but for teaching purposes, I will explain.

We have:

One 2

One 4

One 5

One 6

One 7

One 8

One 9

Two x 10 plus One 20 – XX Judgement = 2 x 10 This numerically can give us Four Tens.

This tells a story in itself.  The Querant’s situation is building and has been from day one.  It has been progressing slowly, one single number after another, but has been building steadily.

We have no Ace so I believe, this situation goes way back. If he has filed for divorce, that means he has to be separated at least four years.

We then move to 2 and this is where it took off – The initial painful decision to leave and the recent decision to divorce. Because it is Reversed, the decision took a long time to make.

We then jump to 4 – After the situation, stability is sought as much upheaval has occurred.

Then we have the steady progress, regardless of conflict and stress through 5, 6, 7,

We then arrive at 8 where everything is beginning to fall into place and everyone knows where they stand.

Then at 9, is the beginning of closure and moving away from the past. Cutting of ties and the end of an era.

Suddenly after the slow but consistent progress we are overwhelmed with 10’s coming at us from everywhere. The Final Finish Line, New beginnings, Progress, End of Problems, The Dawn of another Era. A successful Outcome.


Colour wise, there are no, heavy dark Cards blighting the horizon.  We have only the Reversed Two of Swords showing any form of heaviness in its colouring. Possibly the 6 of Swords is slightly depressing, but the rest are quite bright and positive, even though some of them are too lively as in the Five and Seven of Wands.

Looking at the Cards again, I observe the layout to determine which Cards are facing each other.

Opposite the Two of Swords Reversed lies The Eight of Wands. This bring us nicely away from a closed down and entrenched situation, to one of openness, swift movement and activity. From nothing happening, to everything happening. Just look at the difference in colouring between the two Cards. One is dark, cold and grey while the other is bright, clear and sunny.

The Two of Swords Reversed is diagonally opposite The Nine of Pentacles and Four of Wands. Again, the move away from the oppressive and restrictive nature of the Reversed Swords Card to the bright sunny and welcoming environment of the Pentacle’s and Wand’s Card. Restriction and closed mind versus freedom, fun, enjoyment and openness.

The Ten of Wands lies opposite The Six of Swords.  The slow move away from burdens, struggle, stress and conflict.  Also the move away from sole blame and responsibility. Two tiring and wearying Cards.  This reinforces my belief that things will get worse before they get better. Patience will be required.

The Seven and Five of Wands lying opposite The Nine of Pentacles and Four of Wands moves us thankfully away from battles, conflict and stress, to good cheer, stability, relaxation and happiness.

The Seven and Five of Wands lie diagonally opposite The Eight of Wands. This again moves us away from on-going tensions and battles, to the situation moving and real action being taken at long last.

The Ten of Cups sits between the warring factions of The Seven and Five of Wands and The Nine of Pentacles and Four of Wands acting as the focal point for his Ultimate Goal, a new life, a new home and his new partner.  When times get tough, and they will, he needs to come back to his vision of the happy future he so desires.

Regarding Symbols, I notice, the presence of children in the Ten of Cups and also the child in the Six of Swords.  A family rise out of their coffins to begin a new life in the Judgement Card too. Are there children involved? Does he want to have more children? Even if he is not exactly young anymore, his partner may be younger than him and still wants to have children. Maybe they represent his own children and the desire for them to accept this new relationship, not wanting to cut them out just because he has divorced their mother. Possibly his new partner has children too? I think his desire is for them all to get on and accept the situation? The Nine of Pentacles is a Card that sometimes symbolises pregnancy; The Eight of Wands is loosely connected too. I will have to ask about this.

After this initial scan of the Cards, I don’t believe the Querant has much to worry about.  The end of his strife, which all sits on the left hand side of the Horse Shoe, is in sight, regardless of the tough times to come.  He must hold onto his dream during these times. From the Judgement Card, I know that he understands perfectly well, he will have to make sacrifices. A fair and adequate settlement must be made if he has any hope for happiness in the future.  He will then be able to walk away with his head held high and hopefully rid himself of some of the shame and guilt he is feeling. Otherwise he will carry it forward with him into his new relationship. The Six Swords plunged into the boat in the Six of Swords act as a warning to deal with any emotional or psychological baggage before moving on. He can’t take it with him.


So with that concluded, here is a brief version of the Reading.     R = Reader  Q=  Querant

The Reading


Judgement UprightBase Card (see notes)

2 of Swords Rx                                                                             8 of Wands Upright

Position 1 (Past up to 2 years)                                            Position 7 (Probable Outcome . see notes below)

10 of Wands Upright                                                                             6 of Swords Upright

Position 2 (Present 3/4 wks each way)                          Position 6 (Hopes and Fears. see notes below)

7 of Wands Upright  5 of Wands Upright                                                9 of Pentacles Upright   4 of Wands

Position 3 Near Future (3/4 months)                           Position 5 – Surrounding Energies. see notes below)

                                                                   10 of Cups Upright

                                               Position 4 – (Answer or Represents Querant)            


Past Position – The Two of Swords Reversed.

R. I see that in your recent past you had to make some painful decisions.  These decisions did not come easy to you and probably took a long time to arrive at.  It seems that you have been torn apart over this situation and you were in a quandary as to what to do.  I do feel that you spent a long time trying to ignore this situation, afraid of what it might mean and what you might have to do before acting on it.  I am presuming that this dilemma relates to the decision to separate from your wife and the eventual decision to file for divorce.

Q. Yes, you could say that.  I knew I was not happy in my marriage for years and years but I was so afraid of having to handle the situation and what it might mean.  I knew if I made a move to leave that it would cause so much pain and upset to my wife and my children.  I kept on going just for the sake of my children, and fooled myself into thinking that I could carry on indefinitely keeping this terrible secret deep within me.  I kept my head down and kept going.  On the outside no one would have known that anything was wrong, but on the inside I was in such turmoil.  So many times I nearly reached breaking point, but when it came to it, I just couldn’t follow through.  On one side was my wife and children, and on the other were me and my happiness.  How do you choose under those circumstances?  I eventually could live a lie no longer and had to go.

Present Position – The Ten of Wands

R.  I can completely understand.  You obviously didn’t want to hurt anyone and your final decision to go must have deeply affected you.  I can see all that you carry with you coming into your present position.  It seems that you are carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders at present.  You feel responsible for so many things, and these weigh heavily on you.  Even though you managed to make that painful decision to go, you still do not feel free in yourself yet.  There seems like a lot of work to do before you can lighten up and move on in your life.  The ten Wands this man carries in the Card suggest you are trying to move on but your burden is heavy right now and so progress is slow.  I can imagine that you have many things to sort out.  It is easy to feel a bit lost when you have so much on your plate but the good news is that an end is in sight.  Because this is a 10 Card it suggests that even though your journey seems to be like a constant uphill battle and climb, you are nearly there.

However, you do need to reserve some energy for the final stretch as I feel you may be exhausted both emotionally and physically.  Believe me you will get to deal with all you carry, these Wands, one by one, and as you offload each one you will feel the pressure begin to lift.  I get the impression that you are either willingly taking on, or has been forced on you by others, the full responsibility for the failure of your marriage.  I also feel that you may be carrying other worries or issues other than those dealing with the break-up of your marriage. You mentioned that you have a lot going on in work as well.

Can I ask if you are planning on retiring soon as your Cards tell me that this might be a possibility? If you are, I can only assume that you have a lot to sort and clear before you eventually leave. It also leaves you in a situation where you have two major stressors coming upon you at the same time.

Q.  I suppose it is my age that put the idea of retirement in your mind, but yes, I am hoping to retire soon. I have a lot of work to do before I will be free to go.

R. Actually your age may have played a part but there is a Card in your Reading that alerted me to the possibility of retirement.

Q. Which one, can you show me?

R. The Nine of Pentacles (I point it out to him). The Judgement Card in your Reading tells me that you are a very conscientious person, so no doubt you want to make a clean hand over to your successor.  I will explain more about the Nine of Pentacles when we get to it as it carries other meanings that are relevant to your situation. Let us stay for the moment with these Cards. Are you under a lot of pressure at present and assuming full responsibility for your situation?

I suppose that’s true.  After I separated from my wife I suppose I went through some kind of a breakdown. I found it hard to cope with the enormity of what I had done and the upset I caused everyone.  All that time seems like a blur to me now, as if I disappeared.  It has only being in the last two years that I have regained some sort of stability.  I knew that for everyone’s sake, I had to bring closure to my marriage and that is why I filed for divorce last year.

It all seems like a struggle at the moment and everything is coming at the same time.  I just want it all over with.  With regards to retirement, I have a heap of work to do before I can walk out the door of my working life. There is so much to be sorted. I wish I didn’t have this going on at the same time as my divorce but that is the way it has worked out.  In my naivety, I believed my divorce would be over and done with in a matter of a few months but it has been dragging on and on, with solicitors letters going endlessly back and forth. We seem to have got nowhere in all this time. I have made what I think is a very reasonable offer of settlement but I fear my wife is never going to agree on anything.  She is very angry, even after these years have passed.  She will not make it easy for me and probably wants the shirt off my back too as punishment.   I want my divorce as soon as I can so I will have to weather this storm just like I did the last.

I feel I cannot fully move on until this has been dealt with. My wife is dragging things out and disputing the divorce.  I have told her I do not love her but she is rigid and stubborn in this area.  She knows I have met someone and even though we have no plans to marry she believes that once I get a divorce that that is the first thing I will do.  She does not want to facilitate that scenario by granting me a divorce.  She knows I am not coming back, and to be honest there is nothing for her to miss, for we had nothing between us for years.  She just believed that once married she would always be married and can’t or won’t accept that it is over.  She is laying the full blame on me and taking no responsibility for the demise of our marriage.  She seems to have everyone on her side.  Thankfully my family came round after a short period of time.  They were initially shocked by my decision as we had been married for a long time, but once I explained my deep unhappiness they acknowledged I had done the right thing.

After announcing my decision to leave, all hell broke loose. I was attacked from all quarters, shunned and treated as if I had murdered someone.  It was dreadful and I don’t know how I got over it.  Everyone had an opinion about the situation and I got terrible text messages sent to me and abusive phone calls during the night.  Thankfully that has all died down now and no one seems terribly interested anymore.  Everyone else has moved on. I just wish I could too. My solicitor says that it would all be over and done at this stage if my wife was to let go.  And so it drags on.  I am very much in love with my partner and want to be able to give myself to her completely.  Neither of us is very young anymore and we want desperately to start a new life together.  I think it has all got on top of me and I feel exhausted all the time.  Lack of sleep is not helping my situation either.

Near Future – The Five and Seven of Wands

R. Ah that makes so much sense then.  I hate to say this to you, but your situation is quite common and it is not the first time I have heard a story such as yours.  Divorces can drag on for a long time, especially if they are being contested.  What you need is closure so that you can move on with your life but it seems that is what your wife is trying to prevent you from doing.  I know it seems like it is taking for ever but things are beginning to come to a head.  Your Near Future Cards seem to indicate that the official battle may begin in the next few months.  The Cards suggest that there will be a lot of arguments, disagreements, challenges and opposition.  I would take this as an indication that legal proceeding may begin to kick in full steam.

This will not be an easy time for you as the 7 of Wands would indicate that you are going to be under attack.  I feel that numerous allegations will be made against you, and you will certainly be called on to defend yourself on each occasion.  This will all be very stressful but you must stand firm.  Take the higher ground and do not fall under this pressure.  The Card is Upright, which I am delighted to see, as it suggests that you can win this battle, if you can hold your own and don’t stoop to any of the dirty tactics the opposition may take.  Hang on in there and you will see this one out.  This battle for you is worth fighting, but you must retain your integrity even when so much blame is being dumped on your doorstep.  The 5 of Wands beside it shows your legal team thrashing it out in court or through correspondence.  Welcome to the world of Family Law.  You may feel daunted by their antics but this is what they enjoy and are trained to do.  I am sorry to say but there seems to be very little that both sides agree on, and at present, no sign of compromise.  Remember to stand firm. You need to keep strong at the moment. Get as much rest as you can and keep your body fuelled with healthy nutritious food.  You will be no use to anyone, if stress gets the better of you and makes you ill.

You speak of not wanting to get married again and I can fully understand your reluctance to.  Marriage was an area I was going to ask about. Does your partner feel the same? What about having more children? Is there any possibility there?

Q. My partner thinks the same as me. She has been married and widowed in the last 8 years.  Neither of us want to have children.  Life from now on will be about us.

R. I cannot agree with you more. However, children are represented in this Reading so I presume they are yours. Does your partner have children? How do your children feel about the divorce and you leaving?

Q.  They must refer to my own children and those of my partner. I have three grown adult children, two girls and one boy. They are all married now and have their own children. They still have a long way to go with regards to forgiving me for ending my marriage and leaving their mother.  They are torn between the two of us, but feel duty bound to protect their mother as they see her as the victim in all this.  I have tried relaying my feelings to them but they still are very emotional about the whole thing.  It weighs heavily on me that the relationship with my children is so strained at present. That is another burden I am carrying.  My partner has three children too. All adult boys. One is married the other two live abroad and are career oriented.  They seem to be fine about everything and just want their mother to be happy.  After all, their father died. He didn’t leave their mother willingly.  They had a very loving marriage and her children are happy she has found someone to share her life with. I would like to see everyone get on with each other and eventually accept my new life.

R. Well, I think that time will thaw the hearts of your children and your Cards do not show any negative associations with them.  I believe that things will slowly change once the divorce is final.  There will then be a psychological and emotional shift for all involved.  You may have thought that adult children would be more understanding, but often they can become more problematic than young children when it comes to their parents separating or divorcing. Let us go back to the legal side of this with regards to what I have just spoken of. Has your legal representation given any indication of how soon you might expect to be in court? Could it be within the next few months?

Q. The Cards are more accurate than I expected. Yes, my solicitor put it to me the other day that we would be “stepping into the gladiators arena very shortly”.  She warned me that the battle may get worse before it gets better, and that I was not to let their comments get to me.  She naturally expects them to behave in as difficult a manner as possible.  She told me that she had gone into court on several occasions with my wife’s legal team and knew how they operated.  She said they were tough cookies but then again so was she.  I do wish I had her confidence.  I am glad though that things are beginning to happen at long last.  This has taken so long to get to court I thought I would never get to see the day.

Position 5 – Surrounding Energies  – The Nine of Pentacles and Four of Wands

R. Well, that is good to know that the case is beginning to move.  Now let us move on to the rest of the Cards and take a look at the energies surrounding your situation.

Ah, I see two lovely cards coming into this area and they really give me an indication of what is driving you at present.  Now we can look again at The Nine of Pentacles in relation to your hoped for retirement.  I think it is something that you have been looking forward to for a long time.

Q.  Yes, I have worked hard all my life and now am ready to go. I am not one of these people who wish to stay till the bitter end and then be carried out in a wooden box.  I do plan on doing other things with my life.  I want to explore other aspects of my personality and have a go at learning some new skills. My retirement is very relevant in connection to my divorce as I will not be able access my pension until the divorce settlement has been finalised. It is down to bad timing. As I mentioned, I believed my divorce would already be finalised at this stage.  I can retire if I wish but without my divorce being finalised and a settlement agreed on, I will have little money to live on.

R. The Nine of Pentacles alerted me to this.  This Card means many other things that are relevant to your Reading but I felt that it’s presence in relation to a possible retirement was extremely significant.  It also tells me of the hard work you have done over the years, and because it is a Pentacle Card, I have a strong feeling that you have been diligently paying into a pension fund so that you would be able to enjoy your retirement years without financial worries.  You do realise that sacrifices will have to be made if you want to be fair to your wife, but I can see by this Card that you may have plans to buy your own property. Possibly in the countryside?  You are looking for quality of life now and it is a shame that after all your years of service and paying your taxes, you now find yourself in a situation whereby you cannot access the very monies you had set aside for this time in your life.

The Four of Wands coming beside this Card reinforces its meaning.  I feel that you may wish to move in with, or buy a property with your new partner.  There is a lovely warmth and excitement about this scenario and I really feel that it will bring you great happiness indeed.  Again, I feel that you are both drawn to the countryside. Whatever home you eventually get will be filled with love and warmth.  You want to create a house which will be a very happy and welcoming place to be and for those who visit.  I can also see you have a desire to become very involved in your community, maybe helping others or passing on your skills.   You are looking for stability, security, peace and joy in your life.  These Cards also tell me that both of you know exactly what it is that you want and that you are committed to making your dreams a reality.  Quality of life is very important to the two of you.  The Four of Wands also highlights the fact that others will be very happy for you too. I thought possibly marriage when I saw this Card but we have now ruled that out.  Who knows, your feelings may change as time goes on.

Q.  Gosh, you have hit it on the head there.  This is what we want so much and we are both frustrated that we cannot get moving on house hunting and yes, we both want to live in the countryside, preferably by the sea.  I know that I will not have as much of a budget because of my divorce and settlements etc. but there is only the two of us and we are looking for something small.  Our needs are little but what is so important to us is the quality of our life and being together.  I do feel that only then will my life truly begin.

Hopes and Fears Position – The Six of Swords

R. This Card is so relevant here because it speaks of your Hopes instead of your Fears. You Hope for all involved to begin to move on in their lives, away from the stress and trouble. You hope for peace and calm.  You understand that it will not happen overnight as there will still be a lot of baggage to deal with. You know that it will take time for everything to settle, but these difficult times will pass and soon you will be able to move into calmer, trouble-free waters.  I believe you want that for your wife too, and hope that one day you may be able to talk normally without all the hostilities.  Your wife will always be in your life because of your children so this is important to you.

Q.  That is exactly what I want.  I do not hate my wife or wish her harm, and I am sorry for any pain I may have caused her, but I cannot deny my own happiness either.  I just want us all to put this behind us.  I would love for my wife to meet someone else, someone who is more suited to her. She may then discover how dysfunctional our marriage had been.  Maybe it is a pipe dream.

Outcome Position – The Eight of Wands

R. Not a pipe dream but it may take a long time to come about.  You come across to me as a decent man who wants the best for everyone.  Your wife will have to deal with things in her own way and in her own time.

Can I ask if you have ever considered some counselling?

Q.  Marriage counselling you mean?

R. Any form of counselling in the last few years. It has been a very stressful time has it not? I ask this for very good reasons.

Q. I went for a few sessions but found it difficult to talk.

R.  Well I think it is something you should consider. You are entering a new relationship and hope for a new life together.  You are carrying emotional and psychological baggage from your marriage and all that has happened since its break down. I think it would be immensely beneficial for you to see someone who can help you release any negative attitudes or mind-sets so that you can be totally free in yourself. It will also act as a safeguard against bringing anything negative from your past in your future.  The Six of Swords asks you to acknowledge this.  See those six swords stuck in the boat.  The occupants are not aware of them and think they are getting away from all their troubles, but in truth they are taking them with them. Make sure this does not happen to you.

Q. I wasn’t planning on seeing anyone as I didn’t see the point once I acknowledged the marriage was over, but I can understand why you advise such.  The last thing I want is for anything to mess up my new relationship. This is the rest of my life I am talking about and I want it to work.  I will look into finding a suitable counsellor.

R. I am glad to hear that.  I have a list of names and contact details for qualified Counsellors. I can give it to you after the Reading if you wish.

Q. Thank you.

R. Now let us move on. The Eight of Wands coming into your Outcome Position is very powerful, as it brings wonderful, strong, free-flowing energy in its wake.  It would suggest that after all the drudgery and uphill battle of The Ten of Wands, a breakthrough will occur and you will be free to progress to your goals without any obstructions or hold backs.  Prepare yourself for a very busy time, as things when they happen, will happen fast.  Those Wands you carried in the present position are gone and you will feel heady with the powerful sense of freedom it will bring.  Things will really take off for you and I see a time of great happiness and fun coming into your life.  Your money may free up too and you will be rushing around looking at properties all over the countryside and maybe even abroad.  Enjoy this time.

Q. (Close to tears). Are you serious, could it really happen like that?

Answer Position – The Ten of Cups

R. Ah, but it gets even better. This Card following so close on the heels of The Eight of Wands only serves to reinforce this lovely scenario.  Here we see you and your partner together, happy and sharing your dream.  Have a look at the little house nestled in the trees and the river flowing nearby.  Is this your little house in the country beside the sea?  It sure does look very promising.  It is the Happy Ever After Card, and a joy to behold.  This doesn’t mean that you will never have any problems again or household disputes, for we are all human after all.  It does suggest a sense of completion here and a feeling of having eventually arrived home. A feeling of being happy both within and without.  The children dancing beside you in this card may one day be your Grandchildren coming to stay. You will provide a lovely warm, secure, stable and nurturing environment for them, and all others who visit.

The presence of Two Tens and a Nine would indicate that you are indeed nearing the end of a cycle in your life.  When this happens, the going can get rough while you and those around you adjust to new scenarios and situations.  I am glad to see that both of the Sword Cards in your reading are pretty low-key. Swords often bring stress and conflict.  Your most powerful Sword Card in this regard is in your past, so it is an energy that you are moving away from. The other Sword Card falls in your Hopes and Fears Position. It brings the desire to move away from stress, so that is okay too.  You do have an abundance of Wands which suggests that although you feel your situation is dragging on, things are actually beginning to move, and will indeed take off very shortly. There is definitely action going on behind the scenes.

Your Cups are only represented in one Card.  Cups relate to the emotions, love and relationships.  You spoke earlier of not feeling that you can give yourself fully to your new partner until your current situation is resolved.  This is evident with the one Cup Card turning up in the Answer Position letting us know that then, and only then, will you be free to give yourself to another.  All in all your Cards are positive so I do believe you have a lot to look forward to. I can clearly see a light at the end of the tunnel for you.

Q. (Smiling now, his whole demeanour has changed. He is sitting up taller in the chair and looks more self-assured)  This Reading has been more than I ever expected.  I never had a Reading before and thought I would hear a lot of nonsense.  Instead it has really given me a boost.  You have no idea. The Cards have told my story and have filled in the missing pieces of the jigsaw. I identified with everything you said.

I suddenly feel more energised and ready to go and get the job done.  What I ultimately want is for everyone to be happy but I now know that I cannot be responsible for anyone else’s happiness, only my own.  I am glad that as far as the legal end of things is concerned we may be turning a corner.  As the Cards advised, I will not rise to the bait and indulge in bad behaviour.  I will try to explain to all my reasons for leaving my marriage but at the end of the day it is irrelevant what others believe.  I have to do what is right for me.  I will do what is right and fair for my wife.  I won’t shirk my duties in regards to that.  My children are grown up and I want them to be happy. I do hope they wish the same for me.  Thank you so much and I will be sure to arrange some counselling for myself.

(Waves and smiles as he drives away)

The Horse Shoe Spread

Practice Readings


Copyright © 2006-2012 Vivien Ní Dhuinn

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