New relationship - Umbrae's spread

Pauline Kilar

I just started a new relationship with a much younger man I met at my job; 12 years younger, to be exact. We like each other a lot; there was an immediate attraction. The connection we have so far is very intense, and it's scaring me. Things are moving very fast.

I decided to throw a relationship spread to see what I can expect. I was hoping for a clear-cut spread that said "yes, go ahead!" but what I got was a confusing muddle. Sort of like what's going on in my head.

Here's Umbrae's spread. I used the Victoria Regina deck.

Feels - Hierophant
Needs - 7 of Wands
Expected Outcome - 3 of Cups

Feels - 6 of Swords
Needs - 2 of Wands Rx
Expected Outcome - Judgement Rx

The relationship:
Core - 9 of Wands
Needs - Princess of Coins
What we can expect - King of Cups
Future of Relationship - Queen of Cups Rx

My interpretation:

The Hierophant tells me that I am very concerned about what others may think of this relationship. The age difference is pretty dramatic; he's only 19. I'm reluctant to tell my friends and family about this, and will be reticent about it unless the relationship develops into something more serious. I also read it as indicating that I'm older and more knowledgable (but not necessarily wiser!)

7 of Wands - ?

3 of Cups - I have positive expectations for the overall outcome of the relationship. The night before I met him I had a very strong premonition that I would meet someone important to me. I'm having trouble, though, deciding how much importance I should allow that premonition to have.

On his side, I see a need for transition (six of swords), a sense of escapism (2 of wands Rx), and a fear of being judged negatively by me or those close to me.

The Relationship:
9 of Wands - We have very similar, difficult, pasts. We're both making progress in our lives and defending hard-won gains. This card comes up for me a LOT, so I'm not surprised to see it in this reading.

Princess of Coins - We need to be more down-to-earth. Also, we have a lot of differences in interests; I'm very bookish and he's very practical. I see this card as indicating we have a lot to learn from each other, and this could be a strength and an advantage in our relationship.

King of Cups - This card often represents a healer or therapist. In one way, I read this as having to do with our troubled pasts. We might have an opportunity to help heal each other, since we seem to understand each other very well, especially with regard to our families and the difficulty we've had from out respective family situations.

The description of the King of Cups that's in the book for the Victoria Regina deck does indicate the possibility of a solid, stable relationship.

Future of Relationship - Queen of Cups Rx. Uh-oh. This seems like it could be very bad. The reversed Queen of Cups could signal an overwhelming emotional vortex, codependency, clinginess.


Any feedback would be GREATLY APPRECIATED. As always, other people will see things that I've missed. Thanks for your help. - Kylark


Dear Pauline;
it's not much of a muddle at all. It's more clear than you'd think.

Do me a favor (I'm not going to do feedback yet...).

See, this spread is not so much about 'card meanings' as 'flow', and how the cards interact with each other.

So...take those reversals (they occlude the issue) and reverse them. Get all the cards upright. and don't really read the cards.

Here's an example....look for qualities in the Hierophant and the six of swords in the 'root' do they 'create' the 9 of Wands?

work each row seeing how the outside cards interact to create the card in the middle.

and after you finsih playing with that...

look at the whole unit as a 'flow', look at it not as 10 cards, but as 1 piece of art. look for how the power or love or passion play out as you move down (remember - you're not looking at 10 cards).

here's an important aspect - we're dealing with feelings (this is a general statement and not specifically related to you or this specific thread), we're dealing with love. Love, passion, sex, jealousy, indifference...the whole spectrum of human emotions.

So look at the 10 cards as one unit. how does it feel. are there spots that make you uncomfortable? comfortable? does it make you feel warm and fuzzy?

so reverse those's about love...not cards...I'll look forward to seeing your new take on things.

isthmus nekoi

7 of swords I see related to Hierophant issues in that you need to assert yourself, in this case, against social norms etc.

He seems pretty low on energy for some reason, and less optimistic.

The three "feel" cards seem to feel entrenched in some way or rigidity. Hierophant due to the reasons you've mentioned, 6 of swords in a sort of fine balance - a holding pattern, and 9 of wands.

The three "need" cards, earth of earth flanked by wands... Looks like when you are together you need to concentrate on tempering your flames in a sense. Perhaps there is a danger of letting societal opinions impinge on your relationship (9 of wands) and what you need is lay down arms and let it unfold on its own terms. Get grounded, centered and to see things as they are from a practical standpoint free of prejudice.

The outcome cards show water, King of Cups being the fiery part of water, so in my view, not an easy elemental combo although I know the VR deck doesn't carry this connotation. It harkens to me back to the wands cards. I don't think it's entirely negative though, and suggests a certain maturity - if only the Judgment was not reversed. As if he's not ready to make the leap.

Outcome, Queen of Cups reversed, I agree, may be problematic but in response to your comments, I don't think any relationship is black/white good or bad - not that you've said that... but the way you've phrased your post, it's like you're looking for signs to continue and perhaps the situation is not as clear cut. Of course, I'm saying this as someone who doesn't believe in "the one" etc.

What really sticks out to me though is his blockage of energy. Something's up there.

[edit] Hm... I haven't really read the spread the way Umbrae intended it seems. But I'll leave my comments up in case they might be helpful. [/edit]

Pauline Kilar


I turned the cards right side up, as you suggested, and what I see is a surprisingly optimistic picture.

Just reading the cards on each side to see how they "create" the card in the middle, I see balanced/opposing qualities that together form something strong, flexible, and enduring.

I am scared s**tless.



Analyzing the "flow" of the whole thing, I see a good balance of wands, cups, swords and pentacles. The "feels" row.... Well, to me the Hierophant represents a certain rigidity and fearfulness, while his Six of Swords represents moving on, looking ahead (he recently moved here from another city). Those two combined, if we choose to continue with this, give rise to the Nine of Wands, digging in and defending the gains we've made as individuals, building a fort (or fortress) together. The 9 of Wands card is very meaningful for me.

Reading the whole thing down as Past-Present-Future, I like the flow from Swords/Hie/9W through Wands to Cups. Just looking at the pictures, I like how in the middle row the figures on the 7 of Wands and the 2 of Wands are looking at each other.

With the two royalty at the end, the King and Queen of Cups, I see the two of us giving each other a lot of emotional support and isolating ourselves somewhat from the rest of the world. There are worse problems that could befall a relationship, though.

If I were giving this reading for someone else, I would see it as unequivocally good. It looks like a powerful, enduring relationship that is bigger than either of the people in it.

Which explains, maybe, why I am so scared. I really don't think I'm ready for this. Maybe I should do another reading just for me.


Hey there, thanks for taking another look at your spread…now you see what I saw, and I hope understand why I posted as I did.

There's no need to do another spread on yourself or whatever…it is a positive outcome…that does not mean you're getting married and having 1.5 children tomorrow.

The spread means you get a positive outcome – you receive what you need (and so does he).

As for the Hierophant…rigid? Guess that depends on which book…oh yeah…most authors parrot what's gone before and never bother to think about the Hierophant, they're stuck in Waite's Victorian rigid era.

I say, drag that Hierophant kicking and screaming into the 21st century!

What? Glad you asked….

Life is about balance. There is huge screaming gap between spirituality and materialism. This is the key to many of the problems with 'modern culture', and often underlies our everyday problems. The Hierophant urges us towards a balance, and to not yield to the illusions of ego, and pseudo-intellectualism.

In the 21st century, the Hierophant is about knowledge attained through working and participating in groups and teams, as opposed to knowledge gained though conventional learning institutions, or the church. Indeed, we all learn more (and yes…on a spiritual level) when interacting with others as opposed to solitary endeavors.

This is a card of group action; especially when directed for a higher purpose. Moreover, mystery and wonder is to be shared, by works that improve the community – and thus, the world.

Pauline Kilar


Thanks for your reading of the Hierophant, Umbrae. One of the strong points I see in the relationship is that he and I are both spiritual people. As far as expressing that through *works*.... He is very much a man of action who likes to do things in the real world (working on cars, cooking, hunting, camping), while I tend to live very much up in my head (in books and online). I see him as somebody I can learn a lot from, somebody who can pull me out of my head and nudge me toward living in the real world. In turn, he enjoys listening to me talk (!!) and he's no slouch at discussing ideas.

And as for sharing mystery and wonder... yes, that's definitely there.

Thanks again, Umbrae.

- K