(If you’re wondering what’s going on here, start with this entry.)
I use the New Orleans Voodoo Tarot for this reading the most often, because it balances the spiritual and the non-spiritual parts of life very well. It’s not a standard tarot deck, and I am in part an intuitive reader, both of which will be obvious shortly.
Asterisks denote major arcana.
House 1 – Aries (identity, self-worth, self-awareness) Ochosi
An abundance that must be used or preserved, or it will go to waste.
House 2 – Taurus (money and security) Azaka La Flambeau
Very difficult conditions; possibilities narrowed; do not give up hope
*House 3 – Gemini (mind, intellect, communication) Loco
Ambition; strife, conflict
*House 4 – Cancer (home, childhood, mother, women) Deluge
Unavoidable sacrifice; physical or emotional upheaval that leads to insight into the true self
House 5 – Leo (fun, joy, pleasure, children, creativity) Damballah La Flambeau
Natural force, strength, and energy are available for use; if opposition is shown to this house, it will be strong
House 6 – Virgo (healing and service) Shi-Li-Bo Nouvavou/Dan-I
The joy of the will being made manifest; the querent’s work reaches its fullness
*House 7 – Libra (relationships, partnerships) Les Morts
Change, flux, motion; ancestry may be an issue
House 8 – Scorpio (sex, death, regeneration, basic life resources) Legba la Flambeau
Victory, obstacles swept aside
*House 9 – Sagittarius (higher education, philosophy, religion, travel, expansion, growth) Marie Laveau
Connection is possible between diverse elements; deep and profound change
*House 10 – Capricorn (career, father, men, later life, social standing) Master of the Head
Union of love and will; assistance from someone or something perceived to be in a higher place or role
House 11 – Aquarius (friends, social activities, greater humanity, hopes and dreams) Gran Ibo
Harmony, and a marriage born of that harmony; plenty
House 12 – Pisces (secrets, self-undoing, delusion, completion, inner self) Madame La Lune
Orderly change leading to happiness and stability; a strong whole made of many parts
There’s a story here that was speaking itself even as I considered the cards’ basic meanings: A relationship that is vehemently opposed by the querent’s family, most likely with race or ethnic origin being at issue.
I usually begin with looking at the dynamic between the 12th house (inner self) and 1st house (expressed self). They show change leading to happiness, but that it’s an energy that must be acted upon or it won’t manifest. This is a call to the querent to take hold of his/her own destiny and not just sit and wait for the events in the reading to end on their own; passivity won’t work. It also suggests that the querent is the “active” figure in the reading (i.e., the reading is about the querent’s life, not about the effect of someone else’s life on the querent).
There is an enormous amount of conflict and turmoil in this reading, present in houses 2, 3*, 4*, possibly 5, and 8; there are also less direct or eventually-resolved conflicts in 7* and 9*). The vast majority of those houses hold major arcana, so the message is doubled and redoubled: The shit is going to hit the fan, and a lot of it.
What’s the problem? That’s where I begin looking at opposed houses and where the card interpretations closely match the house meanings; those positions give the theme of the reading. House 5 is the place to start because it’s one of the conflicted houses, and because the card speaks directly of opposition; the first step is to see if that applies, or if the more positive interpretation does. Its opposed house is 11, which holds a very positive card specifically speaking of harmony and unity; the opposition interpretation doesn’t apply.
Houses 4* (emotions), 9* (growth), and 10* (father/authority figures) all hold cards that fit naturally into their realms, which focuses the interpretations into those areas and away from other possible ones. I’ve bolded the interpretations the houses support in all of those, and in 5. This gives us an enormous, life-changing emotional upheaval that can be resolved with the help of a paternal or authority figure. 4* and 10* are opposed houses. 9* and 3* are opposed, with 3 again holding conflict.
What is the upheaval? For that, the houses that haven’t already been touched on, especially the ones with majors in them, can be of help. House 2 suggests financial support — and likely emotional support, as well — will be withheld over the conflict. House 7*, the only one remaining with a major-arcana card in it, is the key. It is the house of relationships, and ancestry as a specified point of conflict is present.
What I see here is a relationship the querent is in or will enter into that will cause a rift with his/her family because of issues of ancestry (almost certainly of race/ethnic heritage, though there are other possibilities for conflict, especially if the querent’s family is wealthy or has social position). The conflict is going to be emotionally explosive, and will lead to the family’s withdrawal of emotional or substantive support, or at the very least the threat of it. This is also where the 12/1 dynamic plays in; it will be in the querent’s family that the problems lie, not in the partner’s.
How can this be resolved? Look to the houses that contain cards that speak of resolutions, conclusions, and endings; and to house 12, which rules conclusions. House 2 says to not give up, first of all. Houses 5 and 10* say powerful assistance is available, through the father or other male authority figure. The 12/1 combination says the querent is going to have to seek out that help; the figure will not volunteer or step up without being asked to.
The outcome if the appropriate actions are taken? Houses 6 and 8 say that things will work out the querent’s way, at least in day-to-day life. Houses 4* and 9* show deep change in the querent him/herself; this is conflict that will end in growth. There’s also a marriage in the works, though the house this falls in (11) strongly suggests that the couple will be happier if they focus on their friends instead of family.
Where astrological information for the querent would be most helpful would be in determining the kind of help the father figure will provide, based on any planets the querent has in the natal 10th house. Mars, for example, would suggest arguing or even bullying the rest of the family into submission. Venus would suggest a diplomatic resolution. Saturn would suggest bringing the authority and respect the figure holds to bear; given Saturn’s rulership of 10, this would be the most effective way. Neptune would suggest secretly helping the couple, and the conflict not actually being resolved. Planets in house 9 would also help clarify what kind of changes the querent will go through: Mars means learning to stand up for him/herself more. Venus means a deepening of love with the partner. Saturn means growing up big-time, and probably a better relationship with the father figure. Neptune means withdrawal from the family, and secretiveness with them.
The cards really handed me an extraordinarily clear and detailed narrative to use as an example; readings aren’t often this clear, but the approach to them is mostly the same either way.
(photo: card from the reading, for illustrative purposes)