Sample Reading with the Phoenix Tarot by Paola Angelotti
Reading by Diane Wilkes

The querent recently reunited with her husband of almost a decade after a short separation. They are getting back together primarily to offer their special-needs child a stable home, but their romantic relationship is lacking in many ways. The querent wanted some spiritual guidance on the situation. Because the Phoenix Tarot Minor Arcana remind me of Thoth, I used the Golden Dawn/Crowley astrological assignments.

Card One:             What to work on as a couple in the short-term? Five of Swords

There's still a lot of pain and hurt in the relationship on both sides. While both partners are committed to their decision to make their marriage work, there is a lot of miscommunication and disparate needs and desires that keep them from pulling together as a unit. The word "reunite" has "unit" in it for a reason. Each member of this couple must find a way to "fight" as one, if they are to truly reunite. This card indicates that neither knows what the other is really thinking. The word that comes to mind is "disparate." Ideally, they should identify as a couple what they want, in addition to giving their child a stable environment. They may find they have more thoughts in kind than they now think, and they can work on those points in common. Venus, planet of love, is not at home in the airy sign of Aquarius, which can be detached and remote. A little distance is necessary now, but not the ideal for any marriage.

Card Two:             What to work on as a couple in the long-term? Seven of Cups

Right now, whatever feeling is left in the marriage is draining away. It seems that there is love there, but it's ebbing daily. There is still some emotional delusion on at least one person's part, a delusion that needs to be exposed and dealt with. It is possible that there is no way to heal the rifts in this marriage, but if false hopes can be turned to a positive reality, there is a chance that it can come back to life. At least one partner isn't giving his or her emotional all to this marriage, and, until and unless both partners resolve to do this, even therapy won't be effective. The Seven of Cups brings us Venus again, but in the passionate sign of Scorpio. Scorpio will not rest until it gets to the bottom of things, sometimes in more ways than one.

Card Three:            What can they do as parents to best help their child? Nine of Swords

Keeping a positive mindset--while keeping their minds open and discerning--is both parents' best approach right now. There are still things they need to find out and thinking about the worst-case scenario without all the information will make communication testy and cause unfair blaming and lashing out. It looks like there's strife ahead for their son and the more the parents can unite (there's that word again) their thoughts in the interest of their child, the better off the entire family will be. They may be thinking something far worse than is actually the case when it comes to their son. Negativity right now will not be in any way productive. Instead, using their very capable minds to research the situation, looking into various therapies once they find out the extent of their son's situation, will prove the best use of their fine mental energies. Gemini is a great sign for information-gathering. Mars in Gemini indicates intellectual action must be taken--the sooner, the better.

Card Four:              What does the querent need to know about the past that will help her now? Princess of

The querent has been in a state of self-discovery during the separation and is learning about herself as a woman, particularly in terms of her physical needs and desires. She needs to trust her body. What she feels in her bones is right. She needs to trust that and act upon her new growth. Her spouse and her marriage must accommodate her newfound understanding or things can not work out. They may not anyway, but the querent has more strength than she knows. She can handle anything but pretense now. Everything must be out in the open so that she can make the right decision for herself and her child. Her husband deserves and needs the same.

The querent is in a bind, and the cards reflect the challenges she is presently facing. Complete honesty on the sides of both partners is the only thing that can save them--and the mental and emotional fallout might be too much for one or both of them to handle. The first thing they need to work on is communication--the emotions are running too wildly and too deeply to begin from the feeling level. That's a long-term goal--right now, the thoughts of both partners must be expressed and mulled over, for their own sake, but also their child, who will need the best of their love right now.

As I look over this reading, Voltaire's advice about cultivating one's one garden comes to mind. A lot of planting and pruning are in order for the querent and her partner, if they are ever to stand in an abundant garden together.

Images 2003 Paola Angelotti
Reading and page 2004 Diane Wilkes