Tarot To The Rescue: Will He Return?

by Theresa Reed on February 27, 2013




A lost love, a long departed ex, an old flame from high school…..I cannot count the number of times I have read for people who are hung up on a past relationship.  Letting go of a relationship is never an easy process.

Sometimes that is a good thing: an ex suddenly comes to their senses, realizes you are the one and returns with a true commitment this time.  Or a person from the past reemerges and you remember how you never gave them a fair chance.  It’s beautiful when it happens.  I love stories of long lost loves coming back and finally getting a second shot to do it right (I’m a romantic at heart).

But sometimes it’s not so great:  you hang on and on, praying that he dumps that awful woman who stole him away from your (delusional) great relationship.  You put your life on hold and don’t allow anyone else to enter.  You may even stalk him online, hoping for a sign that he’s going to come back to you….and you ignore the disses he puts on his Facebook profile about his crazy stalker ex.  Yeah, you know what I am talking about.

So what is the best path to take?

When it comes to the question of “will he return”, I prefer to take a yogic path of “aparigraha”, non-grasping.  That means letting it go and turning it over to the Universe.  But that’s me and my way is not right for everyone.

Sometimes it is worth putting in a little effort to win back a loved one.  And tarot can help us to find the way to a healthy resolution – whether that be a loving reunion or letting go once and for all.

One of my favorite spreads (and one that I use a lot for many issues) was created by my friend, Donnaleigh (host of Beyond Worlds).  This simple spread is perfect for a question such as “Will he return?”  (Learn more about this spread at her post Tarot Bridges.)

The positions are: Situation, The Challenge, Advice, Likely Outcome.  The brilliance of this spread is that you get an idea of where you currently stand, what obstacles you may face, and advice as well as a potential outcome.  This well rounded approach gives true guidance in an easy to work with format for readers of all levels.

Let’s try it out.  My client, Marielle, is hung up on her old boyfriend, Ricardo.  He’s been gone a year and has been involved with a new woman, Tati.  Marielle has been texting him and trying to contact him from time to time but no answer.  She believes he is the love of her life and is holding out hope for a reconciliation.

The cards:

will he return tarot

10 of Swords, 2 of Wands, Strength reversed, Ace of Swords reversed

The situation: the 10 of Swords can be a devastating card to see in a question such as “will he return”. This is the card of the complete ending.  The figure lies face down, swords in his back – a sign of total and utter failure.  This says to me that this relationship is over – Marielle needs to face that he’s gone and most likely he has no interest in returning.

The challenge: 2 of Wands – here, the figure is looking back at the 10 of Swords and holding a globe in his hand. Often this is the card of success but in this position, I see it representing Marielle as a “lady in waiting”.  Her challenge is that she is putting her whole life on hold as she waits for Ricardo to come back. In the meantime, she doesn’t realize she is isolating herself from potential suitors or peace of mind.  She’s stuck, hung up on the past and stagnant.

Advice: Strength reversed – she’s in the weak position here.  She cannot force this to happen and she needs to realize that.  No amount of pushing or pleading (or texting) is going to bring this man back.  It’s time to let go.  Make peace, forgive and send him on his way with acceptance.  Stop resisting.

Likely outcome: Ace of Swords reversed – in due time, her mind will change.  While she may be resisting a new beginning at this time, if she lets go of Ricardo, she’ll create space for something new to come into her life.  By letting go, hard as it is, she’ll experience the mental breakthrough she needs to move on with dignity.  It may take time but she’ll be able to let this go.

A few notes: there are no Cups suit in this reading nor anything that would indicate a return.  That says to me that the heart connection with Ricardo is severely broken.  (Missing suits tell me a lot.)

What would I be looking for in regards to a sign of hope? The following cards could show a valiant return: The Lovers, 2 of Cups, 3 of Cups (although that may sometimes show a love triangle situation), 4 of Wands, 8 of Cups reversed (coming home), Wheel of Fortune, The Star, 9 of Cups, 10 of Cups, 10 of Pentacles, an Ace (can signify a new beginning if it is right side up), Page of Cups, 6 of Cups.  The Swords suit is RARELY favorable – but I have seen the 3 of Swords reversed indicate healing.

Notice in the above reading, the predominant suit is Swords.  Not a good indicator for reconciliation.  And the Ace of Swords seems to scream “stick a fork in it, I’m done”.

In a situation like this, I would be encouraging Marielle to seek out counseling so that she  may begin to work on the difficult emotions she is struggling with at this time.  By taking a proactive approach to her emotions and focusing on healing herself, she is going to be in better shape for a healthier relationship down the road.

A few more notes I’d like to add:

  1. Resist asking this question if you are bent out of shape.  The more anxiety you have around this question, the more likely you’ll only see what you want to see.
  2. Timing is very tricky with tarot – trying to pinpoint an exact date for the imminent return may be hard to do.  A general timeframe is better.  Once you have that, leave it alone and don’t be sweating it.
  3. If you don’t like the answer, get a second opinion.  But don’t keep going from reading to reading to reading to get the answer you want.  That’s going to only lead to frustration and confusion.
  4. Once you have the answer, do the work necessary – but stop obsessing.  A watched pot never boils.
  5. If your relationship is constantly on again off again, it’s time to reevaluate your situation.
  6. If you are refusing to let go of a situation that is long gone (let’s say for example, your ex remarried), then it may be wise to seek the services of a counselor instead of tarot.  Sometimes the wisest path is self care – a professional therapist can get you back on track and moving towards creating healthier relationships.

“Some people come into our lives and quickly go.  Some stay for a while, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never, ever the same.”  ~ Flavia Weedn

“Lots of things can be fixed. Things can be fixed. But many times, relationships between people cannot be fixed, because they should not be fixed. You’re aboard a ship setting sail, and the other person has joined the inland circus, or is boarding a different ship, and you just can’t be with each other anymore. Because you shouldn’t be.” ~ C. Joybell C

“When we are in love, we are convinced nobody else will do. But as time goes, others do do, and often do do, much much better.” ~ Coco J. Ginger



© Theresa Reed | The Tarot Lady 2013

 photo from stock photography


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More helpful posts just for you:

Sick of waiting around for him to get it together? Ready to reclaim your life + self respect?  Check out Baggage Reclaim by Natalie Lue and find the power to leave that on-again off-again shady relationship in your dust.

Wonder how he feels about you? Check out Tarot To The Rescue: How does he feel about me? 

Is he cheating on you?  There are always signs – don’t ignore them.

Wondering if he is worth it?  Read: Tarot to the Rescue: is he worth it?

Ready to move on?  So you got dumped…how to recover from heartbreak

Tarot spin on romance:  How to ask the tarot questions for your biggest love dilemmas.

Thoughts on interpreting other reader’s tarot readings: Interpreting Other People’s Tarot Readings


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paula May 23, 2013 at 2:33 am

so what is the 10 of cup in the present position and the 8 of wands in the future saying to each other confessed it was just a general reading

Salena November 2, 2013 at 3:32 am

10 of cups symbolizes happy with home life can also represent a lasting relationship.
8 of wands can represent good news.
Please correct me if I’m wrong.

Katie July 29, 2013 at 12:53 pm

I just did this spread for a friend. She pulled the 5 of Cups, The Star, The Fool and The Knight of Pentacles. Initially, I thought things weren’t looking good. The situation pointed toward saying good bye. But I am second guessing myself majorly. I feel the star is suggesting she does have reason to be optimistic and a renewal of faith. The fool could advise her to remain optimistic and expect the unexpected and be prepared for new beginnings. I’m very torn with the Knight of Pentacles! I have seen it as a happily ever after indicator AND as a you need to change something if you’re going to get what you want. Initially I thought it was saying move along bc bigger and brighter things lie ahead, but the longer I look at it the more I think this is actually a indicator that with some changes, a reunion is possible. Help! 🙂

Katie July 29, 2013 at 1:00 pm

I should also mention that the ex involved could absolutely be represented as the Knight of Pentacles. He is a Virgo in his early 30s with brown hair and brown eyes With many of the characteristics associated with this card.

Monique December 8, 2013 at 1:05 am

5 of Cups is telling you that this situation is disappointing. She expected something to happen and it never did. She feels bad about it, and he probably does too.
The Star is in the challenge position. I don’t see it as a good thing. I think it’s saying neither one of them is seeing the bright side at this point and because of that the chance of reconciliation is lessening.
The Fool is telling her to leap into life head first. The Universe will be there to catch her if she falls, but she has to trust.
The Knight of Pentacles is sitting on a horse not going anywhere. Her ex is probably stubborn and refuses to give the relationship another chance.

Anne September 26, 2013 at 3:28 pm


I was wondering if the Ace of cups always represents a new love or whether it can also indicate the return of an ex lover?

Theresa Reed September 26, 2013 at 3:44 pm

It would depend on the context of the question.

Monique December 8, 2013 at 1:09 am

I’ve also seen it as love for another person or the love you feel for yourself. It really depends on the cards surrounding it.

Anne September 29, 2013 at 7:12 am

Thanks for your response Theresa. The context of the question was about a reunion with an ex lover. Some confusion set in because I’m used to seeing aces as seeds of new beginnings and not necessarily with a former partner but because of the question I thought it could also indicate that seeds are still there for a reconcilliation?

Salena November 2, 2013 at 3:27 am

I got 4 of pentacles ,the wheel of fortune, judgement ,and two of cups.

I see the 4 of pentacles as being to busy and concerned with material possessions. Withholding his true feelings maybe secretly speaking to me?
The wheel of fortune as challenge- ?
Judgment as advice : I should probably move on?
Two of cups as outcome? Is this me finding love elsewhere? I’m confused

Monique December 8, 2013 at 12:54 am

4 of pentacles is about focusing on one thing only and not looking at the bigger picture.
The Wheel of Fortune is telling you that anything can happen this point. He could meet somebody. You could meet somebody. Life flows and nothing is carved in stone.
Judgment is telling you that you have to realize something, and it’s possible he has to realize something as well.
2 of Cups is all about the possibility of reconnecting and talking. It doesn’t necessarily mean anything more.

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