Learning from envy: A tarot spread for jealousy

Let’s face it: We all have our shadow sides.

Jealousy can be one of them.

I know that I am certainly not immune to it. With my sun in Aries, I can be competitive as all hell.

Most of the time, I’m happy to keep my eyes on my own prize. But once in a while, when I see someone get something that I want, it stings. Bad. Especially when I’ve been busting my butt, hoping for it to pay off.

I straddle different worlds as a writer and a tarot reader, and sometimes those worlds can feel pretty small, especially when your peers become your friends, who also become your competition.

Of course, jealousy shows up in all kinds of aspects of our lives. It isn’t always easy to see others succeed, change, fall in love, or be happy, even if they are our dearest friends.

Whatever the scenario, jealousy happens.

I created this five-card spread when I was recently feeling some serious envy that was affecting a relationship with someone who I love and respect.

As usual, tarot always shifts my perspective. Next time the green-eyed monster pays a visit, perhaps this spread will help you work through it.

A tarot spread for jealousy:

1. What is underpinning this jealousy?
2. What is the reality of the situation?
3. What are my resources?
4. What do I need to focus on in order to move forward?
5. What am I moving towards overall?

Here’s what came up in my reading as an example to help you see how you can work with this spread.

1. What is underpinning this jealousy: Two of Wands

I wanted this spread to first look at the root of the jealousy, because we can have so many reasons – conscious and unconscious – to feel jealous sometimes.

Here, the message was pretty clear: I’m not focusing on the right things in this situation. I’m not even looking ahead, but instead at someone who isn’t even really in the picture. My hands are full because my energy is tied up in this distraction. I need to stop letting my gaze wander into what other people are doing and stay focused on my own direction and my own creative capacity.

2. What is the reality of the situation: Queen of Swords

After looking at the root of the jealousy, I wanted to look at the reality of the situation. This can be a helpful aspect to explore because it reminds you to be present and to look at the facts of the matter, rather than listening to fears that may be unfounded.

The reality of the situation is that I already have so much going for me. There is power in the Queen of Swords. This card was telling me that I am already clear in who I am and what I want to accomplish – and that I have already made progress as it is. This queen holds up her sword confidently, which made me reflect on the question, ìWhat do I already have in my hands? What power do I already hold? The reality of the situation is that I have much more control over where I am going than I was allowing myself to see.

3. What are my resources: Two of Cups

This is another important aspect when exploring the topic of jealousy. Because jealousy pushes us to look at what we lack, or what we perceive is lacking. In turn, we can lose sight of the anchors in our lives, the resources that we can count on.

This was a big reminder that I needed in the moment: My friends, connections, and community are my resources. I was feeling envy towards someone who I hold quite dear, and it didn’t feel very good. I had forgotten that my friends and peers are my allies, not competitors. We are equals. We have our own paths to walk, but we can support each other as we do so, sharing and nurturing the work we are creating. ìKeep your spirit generous,î I felt this card was saying.

4. What do I need to focus on to move forward: Page of Swords

Jealousy can make you feel discouraged or disengaged from something that is important to you. It can make you feel lost as well, especially if it’s associated with a feeling of loss. This position helps to bring in some focus around what to do next, and what to look towards.

In my reading, I started with the Two of Wands looking backward, and here I have the Page of Swords looking forward – it seemed quite literal to me: “Just keep moving,” this card seemed to say. I am working on so many new ideas right now. They feel like little seeds bursting from my pockets, but they are what will carry me forward. These ideas are where my energy really needs to be.

5. What am I moving towards: Judgment

The difference between this position and the previous is that Card 4 is about where to put your focus, while Card 5 gives a sense of where you’re headed overall. This can be a helpful message to end with because it offers insight into what’s ahead, what’s possible, or what may still need to be worked through.

For me, the Judgment card heralds great change and awakening. Wherever you think you are now is not where you are going to be by the end of this. So in this reading, I felt this card was reminding me – like the others that came before it – that I was sweating the small stuff this time around. Things are going to change and I will find myself in new places, reaching for new heights, putting whatever fears and worries I had along the way behind me.

Cards shown are from the Morgan Greer Tarot.

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  1. Yay! Thank you so much for this. I am so chill in romantic relationships but I am the most jealous friend and it drastically affects my friendships. I am so grateful to have this spread at my disposal.

  2. Melissa says:

    Beautiful and so helpful. Wonderfully timely, too. I also like you you interpreted your cards to give newbies like me a sense of how to make sense of this.

  3. This is a great piece and fantastic reading. Thank you for walking us through yours and for sharing your layout for this theme. I really needed it!

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