M and K have been locked into the same rivalry since they were kids. Somewhere down the line, K appears to have started thinking of M as a simultaneous threat and a weakling. How’s that? If M is such a weakling, what, exactly, is she threatening?
That is an excellent question for the cards, but we’ll get to that.
The situation between M and K is made more disturbing because the cards strongly insinuate their mother used the natural rivalry between them to triangulate against M. Assuming M believes this to be true, what is she supposed to do with this information?
All these questions! How do we answer them? With a Five Whys Reading, of course! This type of reading deals with why anyone in the situation acts the way they do. The intent of the Five Whys reading is to help the client understand the situation so they can move on, let go, and decide what to do next. Observe:
5 Whys Reading: M and K
Situation: M wanted a reading on the relationship between her and her sister K. M says K has always been passive-aggressive towards her, gossips about M to their mother, makes a point to ignore M on social media, and rants about wanting to hurt M to M’s nephew. M wants this reading because she would like to know why this is happening and if it is fixable so she can decide what she would like to do with the relationship.
Why does K treat M the way she does? Judgment (number 20, needing to recognize where changes need to be made, changes that are inevitable, a new beginning, confidence in decisions); Five of Pentacles (number 5, temporary feeling of poverty or scarcity, low self-esteem, low self-worth, lack of confidence); the Lovers (number 6, emotional crossroads, an important relationship, important choices regarding relationships, going after what you want); and Ten of Swords (number 10, being stabbed in the back by gossip and slander, leaving a bad situation, words that hurt). What jumps out to me about this spread is a card that talks about being super confident right next to a low self-esteem card. This tells me K thought she could make herself look better or have better standing with others if she bullied M. I think the Lovers tells us who K was trying so desperately to impress. This card rarely talks about a blood relative. It usually tells us about outside relationships with deep emotional ties (or at least a strong feeling of obsession). I feel like there were two men K was trying to impress and saw M as a major obstacle. The funny thing is I don’t think M particularly cared about these guys, but hung out with them out of some sense of obligation. These guys got a certain satisfaction out of acting better than M, so K figured that was how she would impress them. One of them feels like a boyfriend or husband to K. I don’t know how old M and K are, but it feels like this behavior started around late high school or after high school. The Ten of Swords tells me K justified her behavior by saying M gossiped about her first, which may have been fueled by their mother.
Why didn’t M and K’s mother stop the behavior? The Star (number 17, time for reflection, knowing everything would be alright, renewed trust in yourself, optimism); Ten of Swords (number 10, being stabbed in the back by gossip and slander, leaving a bad situation, words that hurt); the Lovers (number 6, emotional crossroads, an important relationship, important choices regarding relationships, going after what you want); and the Fool (number 0, following your own path, instinctive nature, stepping into life without fear, trusting your own judgment). The overarching theme in this spread is naïve optimism. M and K’s mother grossly minimized the situation and the effect it was having on M. I get that she would often say it wasn’t that bad or M should just get over it. I think it’s interesting that the Ten of Swords and the Lovers finds their way into this spread as well. Intuitively, I feel like a lot of the reason M and K’s mother did not put a stop to this behavior was she feels more of an affinity for K than M. I also think their mother engaged in the gossip because she saw it as a bonding moment for her and K.
Why do K and her mother feel so comfortable bullying M? Nine of Cups (number 9, wishes come true, content with the world, fulfillment); the Moon (number 18, needing to go inward, dreams, issues from the past resurfacing, mother issues, moodiness); Nine of Wands (number 9, defensiveness, needing to walk your own path, ongoing conflict, having your opinions questioned); and Queen of Swords (air sign woman, intelligent and fair person, decisions that come from logic, coldness from emotional scars, friendship and advice, the need for independence). The complacency of the Nine of Cups tells me M has always been the punching bag for K and their mother because, well, she has always allowed it. The pattern probably started before M and K knew any better. I feel like their mother was the first person K tried to impress by putting others down. The Moon and the Nine of Wands tell me K and their mother tend to manipulate the situation by pressing M’s buttons until she reacts, then blame her for being moody. It takes the focus off them and their issues. This spread does not indicate deep hostility towards M, but rather that K and her mother do not take M or her feelings seriously. The mommy issues aspect of the Moon suggests this pattern may have started when M and K’s mother was young because I do not feel she values emotional relationships due to a lack of warmth or consistency in her own childhood home. M and K merely play their roles to keep their mother’s affection. Also, the Nine of Cups sometimes indicates a sort of haze brought on by drugs or alcohol. It would be interesting to know if much of this gossip happens over drinks.
Why does M stay in the situation? Six of Swords (number 6, healing, finding peace, respite after illness, a move away from mental pressure and stress); Seven of Pentacles (number 7, getting results from care and patience, preparation, concentrated effort bringing profit); Three of Cups (number 3, friendship, love, birth of a creative project or child, celebration); and Seven of Swords (number 7, schemes that do not work, duplicity, dishonesty, impulsive acts, needing to cover your tracks). In all fairness to M, the Six of Swords suggests she does not spend as much time with her mother and K as she might have previously. This spread strongly suggests at least part of M is hoping it gets better and she hopes to someday be as close to her mother and sister as they are to each other, even though the final card suggests she understands she will continuously have to protect herself from them. I think K’s children and her other nieces and nephews are a major part of the reason M has continued a relationship with K and their mother. Although I feel like M is hoping for a magical resolution to the negativity, I also see that she is distancing herself from these two women for her own mental health.
So you tell me… What do you think M should do with this information? Discuss in the comments…