FairyTale Tarot Sample Reading by Diane Wilkes

The Love Spread by Diane Wilkes

Card One: What can the querent do right now to bring more love in her life? - Nine of Coins Rev

The Nine of Coins shows a woman on a farm. She looks lonely, clutching yellow flowers plaintively in her hands as animals graze contentedly on the grass. Without reading the story, one would be tempted to tell the querent that one way she won't find the love she wants is by "wishin' and hopin'," but by getting off the farm! There is a passive quality to this card that suggests that only through action will the blush of love and engagement return to the maiden's cheeks.

The story the card is based on, Habogi, is the tale of a young girl who is given the name of the man she is to marry by the ethers--and though it seems that she is marrying a poor old man, he transforms into a young and wealthy one. The querent is very romantic, and is seeking her "soul mate," but unless the ethers have coughed up a name for her, she might want to be a bit more pro-active in putting herself in situations where she can meet potential men. Once there, she may also need to look beneath the surface and get to know her suitors as friends, first, rather than rejecting someone out of hand because he doesn't initially appeal to her physically or seems beneath her in some way.

This does not mean that she should forget her high ideals and settle for less, merely that she might not immediately recognize her soul mate. Also, in the story, there is a wait before the maiden marries Habogi. This suggests to me that time is the querent's friend, and she would do well to recognize the cycles of time do not run on her heart's clock, but follow a slower pace.

Card Two: How can the querent love more completely? - King of Wands Rev

The querent is in love with love and is filled with passionate desire. The King of Wands in the FairyTale Tarot is based on a goblin king in The Elf Hill who overshadows his handsome young prince sons with his flamboyance and charisma. Yet the King is reversed, making me think that the querent is often attracted to men who are flashy, but lack the steady and loyal qualities she seeks in a permanent mate.

Interestingly, this King has his pick of the princesses, and chooses the storyteller amongst them all. This suggests to me that the querent might benefit from framing the story of her life in a more positive, Wand-like way. In other words, the querent should write herself in as the heroine, the strong, dynamic and powerful protagonist that she really is, instead of sublimating herself to the status of lady-in-waiting.

Card Three: What is the querent's personal understanding of love? - Queen of Cups hiding the Queen of Coins

I tried to pull one card but two came up--interestingly, both were Queens. On top was the Queen of Cups, which I saw as the surface, the mask the querent wears for the world. This Queen is all that is feeling, gentle, emotional, and nurturing. The story that this card is based on shows a resourceful--even devious--woman in the guise of a tortoise. She is unique and has wonderful qualities, and is nothing like she seems on a superficial first impression.

The card I see as the true querent is the Queen of Coins, an industrious, talented, and productive (yet still romantic) woman.  In "Spindle, Shuttle, and Needle," the protagonist is "the poorest and richest" girl in the land--she comes from poverty, but her can-do attitude, talents, and skills make her wealthy and bring the prince to recognize her as the perfect bride.

I think these two cards tell us that while the querent seems dreamy and romantic on an external level, at her core is a desire for security and long-term happiness in love, and that she is willing to work for it. There is a real lesson of self-love and self-belief that needs to be felt at a subcutaneous level for the querent.

Card Four: What does the querent need to add to her personal understanding of love? - Seven of Coins

Two threads seem to be interwoven into this reading. One is that all is not as it seems and the querent needs to make her own luck. The other is about self-image and self-confidence. The Seven of Coins relates to all of these concepts. The Brave Little Tailor is a story I knew as Seven at One Blow, and is the tale of a tailor who kills seven flies at once. He is so proud of his accomplishment that he makes a sash advertising it. Because people assume he has killed seven men (not flies) at a time, they fear him and he succeeds beyond his wildest tailor dreams.

The querent needs to promote herself with the same confidence and self-esteem as the proud tailor. Instead of seeing herself as needy of love, she should recognize that she deserves the best and act that way, even if it involves the "fake it til you make it" approach. Sometimes you have to act "as if" until the dream becomes reality.

Instead of looking for love to rescue her, she needs to see herself as the brave protagonist in her own adventure--she has built up skills and gifts and has a lot to offer. It's time to build on those achievements.

Card Five: What is the quintessence of love for the querent? - Nine of Wands

There is apprehension and mistrust in the Rider-Waite-Smith Nine of Wands and it's in the FairyTale story The Twelve Dancing Princesses, as well. The tale involves the twelve princesses who aren't to be trusted--and one man realizes it and catches them in their naughtiness. For the querent, love and mistrust, perhaps because of bitter experience, go hand-in-hand. This makes it difficult to attract love in her life, or at least, to attract the kind of love that doesn't disappoint her.

This reading contains neither Major Arcana cards nor Swords. This suggests to me that the querent has thought plenty about the issue--but the power to create the love she wants is in her hands, much as she would like to think the cosmic forces could give her what her heart desires. She needs to trust herself, actively put herself in situations where she will meet potential lovers and then take time to get to know them before jumping into a romantic situation. That way, she can eliminate those who would cause her pain and do not offer her the kind of Coins security and stability she seeks.

Any propensity to simply treat life as a fairytale, with herself as the swept-away princess, should be avoided at all costs. She must be the plucky, confident heroine of her own story, taking charge and directing her life towards the long-term love she seeks.