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Tarot and Your Spiritual Path: Soul Mates

November 7, 2010

The following are excerpts from my “work in progress” book (Tarot and Your Spiritual Path). In one section of this book I do a series of spirituality readings where I pose a specific question for which I do a reading using a spread I specially tailored for that purpose.  The material in this blog post is about Soul Mates.

When I chose the question, “What is a soul mate?” I knew it would present some interesting challenges since I know I view this concept differently than a lot of people. However, I respect the fact that many people have different opinions on this topic, so I thought this could prove to be an interesting reading. Of course, this reading may be seen as addressing this modification of the question instead: “What does the term ‘soul mate’ mean to me?”

And so I began this process by thinking about what does the term “soul mate” really mean? Is the term an idealization of a love relationship, more a theoretical concept than a concrete reality? Or do we all have one true “soul mate,” and we are locked into a destiny that includes a relationship with this person? An alternative point of view is that we don’t have one soul mate, but rather we have a “soul tribe,” which means that each of us belongs to a group of souls on a related spiritual journey. Or maybe “soul mate” doesn’t refer to someone we find but to something we create out of a loving relationship with another person. Also, do soul mate relationships have to be romantic ones, or can a family member or best friend be a soul mate?

The reading I did on this topic addresses most of these questions, but for now, here is just a portion of that reading.

RWS 2.0 Knight of CupsOne of the positional definitions in the spread I used for my examination of this question was: “What kinds of blessings or lessons can a soul mate bring into our lives?” and the card I drew was the Knight of Cups.  Here is my interpretation.

An obvious interpretation of this card is that a soul mate can bring romance into our lives. However, there is more to this card’s message than just that.

The Knight of Cups says that a soul mate can help us in our search for answers to the questions on our hearts. This is not to say that s/he will give us the answers. Rather, the love we discover through our relationship with a soul mate bring us to new discoveries, or maybe just having someone to love may propel our search for them.

Also, a soul mate can travel with us into the unknown territory of the heart. And along the way, s/he will be there to give us a sense of peace and comfort when we find ourselves lost and bewildered so that we may continue until we finally do see the spiritual light of our personal relationships.

RWS 2.0 Four of WandsAnother spread position was defined as: “What kinds of challenges might a soul mate bring into our lives?” and the card for that was the Four of Wands.  Here is my interpretation for that card:

The main challenge that I see in this card is that of commitment. Truly, committed relationships bring many unique challenges into our lives. They bring up all sorts of issues that may otherwise remain submerged, including the challenge to keep that commitment, no matter what.

Of course, the obvious interpretation is to see this card as referring to our romantic relationships, but issues of commitment can arise in any close relationship—anything from best friends to parent / child relationships.

This card also says that a soul mate can also challenge us to move out of our “comfort zone”—to experience new things, to explore new vistas in life, and (most importantly) to become a better person.

There is a lot more to this reading, but I would like to leave it there for now.  I would also like to hear what any of you have to say about this topic.  What do you think of the concept of a “soul mate”?  And how might you interpret these two cards?

Addendum: The book mentioned above has now been published (albeit in a somewhat different form than envisioned when I originally posted this article), and it it titled “The Soul’s Journey.”






  1. Weeeellll… I have to say I am in the camp of those who do not hold with the idea of ‘soul mates.’ Especially not in the romantic sense of one perfect person for each of us to spend all eternity with. To me, it is a very limiting concept. I also fear that the idea has done a great deal of damage over the years, with people endlessly searching for someone who fits their own narrow definition of what their ‘soul mate’ is. I think because of this too many people ignore opportunities, perhaps making excuses as to why someone isn’t ‘right’ for them. But anyway…

    I do like the way you framed the questions, focusing on learning from someone rather than getting some perceived need met. We always think we know what we want, even if it’s not what we really do, or what’s really needed.

    • Hi Digitial Dame,
      Thanks for weighing in on this.
      I agree that the concept of a “one and only” soul mate seems limiting and may even be damaging to some people when they try to live within that limitation. But I do try not to impose my beliefs on other people, which can be hard sometimes in the context of a reading. It can pose a bit of a quandry sometimes.
      What I’d be interested to find out is how many Tarot readers ascribe to that concept, especially considering how many Tarot clients seem to . Or do they? Is it only a minority of them that do, but they stand out? Hmm…
      Anyway, it’s an interesting discussion that I’d like to hear more sides of.

  2. When I read this article (which is fantastic) it made me realize that I have never spent much time thinking about what a soul mate means to me and, I sure can’t think of any better definition than: commitment, understanding, forgiveness and security…also, the ability to change as needed. The four of wands also made me think of giving confidence-to ourselves and our partner.
    What a great post James! I can’t wait to see the rest of this spread! I love that your articles are thought provoking. You challenge ME to go outside my “comfort zone”.
    Thank you!

    What kinds of blessings or lessons can a soul mate bring into our lives?
    Knight of Cups:
    As well as the great interpretations you have provided, I also thought the knight might indicate a level of understanding and possibly forgiveness.

    What kinds of challenges might a soul mate bring into our lives?
    Four of Wands:
    I love that you spoke of commitment with this card. I thought of security and also the ability to change. Maybe adaptable is a better word?

    • Thanks for your comments, Mar!
      Re: The Knight of Cups — Ah, yes. The lesson of forgiveness! One of the most valuable lessons around.

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