Who Are the Mothers in Tarot?
Mother’s Day got me thinking about how important it is to be able to identify one’s mother in a tarot reading.
My favorite Freudian joke is “If it’s not one thing, it’s your mother.” Basically, every parent, no matter how wise, loving, healthy and present, gives their kids something to tell a therapist.
Our mothers can be our biggest source of inspiration and comfort, but also of trauma and sorrow. It’s impossible not to have complex feelings about one’s mother, especially if she was not a capable mother, or if she has passed away.
Very often questions at the tarot table can involve one’s mother. Equally often one’s mother can appear in the cards, unbidden.
I’ve also had many experiences where the cards were the first notice that a person was about to become a mother. Struggles with fertility problems and parenting issues are also front and center in the cards.
Of late I have noticed many newer readers uncomfortable giving readings about pregnancy. At my tarot table I am happy to handle all issues of life, most especially the joys and sorrows of family which are so formative of our experiences.
Of course, the first and foremost card to indicate a mother is the Empress. In a reading, the Empress can indicate a message from your mother in spirit or concerns regarding your living mother. The Empress can predict or reveal a pregnancy, or, when reversed or poorly aspected, a fertility issue.
With the exception of the Queen of Swords, the Queens can also indicate a mother. Coupled with any Ace other than the Ace of Swords, we can see a pregnancy, either current or imminent.
The two feminine nines, the Nine of Pentacles and the Nine of Cups, can both indicate pregnancy.
The Six of Cups, typically a card of nostalgia, can indicate a need or desire to visit with your mother.
On several occasions I have seen the Six of Wands reversed indicate frustration with fertility issues. In each case, with perseverance, the healthy babies I predicted did finally come into being.
Given how germane motherhood is to every person’s life (for better or worse) it is no surprise that there are so many ways for motherhood to appear in the cards.