Tarot Reading: Love without Pain

Cobwebs came to us asking us how to find satisfaction in a relationship. M. Paramita Lin responds.

Her cards:

  1. Six of Swords
  2. The Devil
  3. Three of Swords
  4. Queen of Swords
  5. Four of Swords
  6. Nine of Swords
  7. Ace of Pentacles
  8. Ten of Pentacles
  9. Two of Wands
  10. Knight of Pentacles


Six of Swords

The Devil

Three of Swords

The first three cards tell me that Cobwebs is still burdened by a relationship. She is filled with regret and pain and has difficulty moving on. She is addicted to emotional drama, and I see a great deal of emotional blackmail on her part, as well. She is a victim that uses her hurt to lash out at the person hurting her.

Queen of Swords

The Queen of Swords shows a struggle with maturity: she know better but her emotions and her insecurities get the better of her when it comes to romantic relationships. She wishes to be loved, but she is afraid she won’t be loved in the exact way she wants to be.

However, another problem is that Cobwebs herself doesn’t want to admit to herself the exact things she needs to feel truly loved. This is partly because she thinks she doesn’t deserve to be loved that way, and worse, she believes that pain is a part of love. She thus presents a very conflicting, self-contradictory message to others: I want you to treat me well but I won’t recognize that you love me unless you hurt me.


Four of Swords

Nine of Swords

There are a lot of swords in this reading–a lot of rationalizing of bad behaviour and explaining emotions away. Cobwebs is always second guessing things, and again, a contradiction here: there is an almost unrealistic and idealistic expectation of her partner and yet a feeling of resignation towards being taken advantage of. Cobwebs has become accustomed to the experience of being the person who cares most about maintaining a relationship.

There is also a problem with communication: Cobwebs is afraid to be honest with herself and this causes her to have problems understanding her own pain until it’s too late. When that happens, the pain and the fear of being hurt amplifies her emotions and muddles everything: resentment and guilt become entwined and poison the relationship.

If Cobwebs is in a relationship right now, there is not much hope for it to continue. And really she needs a rest because it has been very draining and taxing. She needs to spend some time to learn to care for herself; otherwise, how will she know how to express to others how she needs to be loved?

Ace of Pentacles

Ten of Pentacles

And speaking of honesty, Cobwebs has to confront how money and financial support factor into her relationships. She must be honest with herself and her partner about her real willingness to support her partner. It seems like Cobwebs has done a lot of the heavy lifting in the past, and this has created resentment that she can’t articulate properly or feels guilty articulating.

Again, another contradiction that Cobwebs must resolve: being needed appeals to her because it seems to be a way of securing love, but need is a poor substitute for the love that she actually desires, thus she ends up feeling resentful and unappreciated.

The Ten of Pentacles indicates that Cobwebs may have an expectation of what a partnership and family ought to look like, but is she aware of this? And more importantly, is she succumbing to pressure about how an ideal partnership/family should appear?

Two of Wands

Again, Cobwebs needs to be honest with herself about her emotional needs and boundaries. Why does she hide parts of herself in relationships? Why doesn’t she feel the confidence in expressing who she truly is and what she wants? She is always repeating the same pattern in relationships because of this fundamental insecurity about deserving love without pain.


Knight of Pentacles

Cobwebs would do best with a partner who is both emotionally and financially stable. This doesn’t necessarily mean someone rich, but someone who does not need her. Cobwebs must find the confidence to be loved without need. She must open herself to a partner who will balance her–he may seem like a direct opposite in many ways but if she is honest about what she truly wants from a relationship, she will find that this is a partnership that will give her more happiness and satisfaction.


On a sunny day, we recommend writing a list poem detailing what love without pain can look like, how free it is from negative words. Think about what it means to receive and how it is different from taking. Write about how to cooperate with a partner rather than to help. Meditate on equality and how striving for equality strengthens your love for yourself.

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