Toxic Relationship? These Six Tarot Cards Will Let You Know. 

By August 5, 2020 Tarot Cards

Hey it’s Jonathan, from Tarot Reading Daily…

Ever have that feeling something in your relationship is off? 

You might not be able to put your finger on it, but some red flags have been showing up, and you just get the sense that something is not right between you and your partner. It’s frustrating to know something in your relationship is out of whack, but not be able to figure out what’s going on. 

Or maybe you’ve started seeing someone and you’d just like to know where the relationship is headed. Are they worth all the time and energy? Is the connection heading toward a fulfilling place? 

You don’t want to waste your time with someone who’s going to turn out to be the wrong person, or worse, a total creep. 

Are you sick of the same relationship dynamics showing up? Maybe your heart has been hurt so many times that it’s just hard to trust someone, especially if they are acting weird or you get the sense that something’s off. 

Luckily, tarot can cut right to the heart of relationship questions, and help expose what’s going on, even if it’s not right out in the open. 

So, to begin with, it’s important to understand…

The Power Of Brutal Honesty

To be honest, it can be really easy to lie to ourselves about what’s actually going on in a relationship, especially when we’re deep in it. It’s like a fish in water. We can’t really see, or sometimes don’t want to see, what’s happening until we get some distance. 

This is why tarot cards can be so helpful – they give us an unbiased assessment, and shed light on a complicated situation. The cards can lead you back to the truth that’s already inside of you. The universal wisdom expressing itself through tarot wants what’s best for you, even if the honest truth can be a bit hard to swallow. 

Relationships ARE part of how we grow and evolve, so if you’re seeing any of these six toxic relationship cards in your readings, consider them part of your learning curve. When you work with the energy of the cards, it can help you grow more fully into your deepest heart and self. If you see these cards, definitely consider taking steps toward changing your relationship dynamic… and possibly moving on all together. You deserve to be in a nurturing loving relationship, and you can be!

An unhealthy relationship can be one of the most energy depleting experiences. Toxic relationships hold you back from so many opportunities in your life, including an authentically good love connection. Let’s take a look at cards that represent the biggest offenders.

These Six Cards Are A Big Red Flag For Love

1.  The Tower 

The Tower card is not by its nature a ‘bad’ card to draw. In fact, the chaos and destruction this card represents is generally the kind that allows for ‘cleaning house,’ and a fresh start. It’s a card that says, “Ok love, you’re ready to let go of what’s holding you back, but you’re going to have to trust while the negative gets pulled away.”

That being said, in a relationship reading, The Tower card is likely pointing to a period of terrible conflict, fighting, and confusion. 

While this could be the kind of turmoil that brings you two closer together when you get to the other side of the trouble, it’s doubtful a newer relationship or one that’s already falling apart will survive. 

Are you fighting a lot right now? Can you feel there is an underlying tension that’s not being addressed? Listen, you deserve SO MUCH MORE. You deserve real communication, kindness, authenticity. You deserve someone who’s heart is so invested in you that even when you fight you can still feel that they will be by your side no matter what. 

2.  Three of Swords

The Three of Swords is a classic relationship bad omen. This card is 100% about miscommunication, grief, and heartbreak. 

The intimacy and peace signified by the previous card, the Two of Swords, has been splayed apart with the addition of a third sword. The Three of Swords usually shows up when there is infidelity or indecision from your partner. If this card shows up in your reading, then it’s time to have a heart to heart with your loved one. Infidelity is not okay. Indecision can be understandable at times – but do you really want to be with someone who isn’t sure if they want to be with you? 

Your partner may be distracted by their own injuries. In this case, miscommunication is coming from an attempt to either hide their feelings, their indiscretions, or the parts of themselves they fear you won’t accept if revealed. Their gymnastics of avoidance have caused some really sketchy, untrustworthy energy. 

Ultimately, this card is a bad sign for relationships, but the sun shines through (as depicted in traditional deck). It’s just starting to peek through the dark clouds, implying that there is insight to gain from the situation. What seems ugly and troublesome may offer some reflection on how we twist the truth and hide both from ourselves and from others.  At it’s best, the Three of Swords offers an opportunity to come clean and move forward from a place of mutual acceptance.

3.  The Devil

Not unlike The Tower, The Devil is not, in my reading, an inherently negative card. It represents primal, carnal energies; our desires and passions. These energies are incredibly powerful, and can be intoxicating or highly creative. These energies move us in life.  

The problem is many aspects of ourselves have been denied and shamed from a young age. So often, The Devil represents our shadow and the collective shadow. If this card is showing up in your relationship reading you might be in denial about what’s really going on in the connection.

Often there can be a master/slave dynamic because the ‘fiend’ must control the one it preys on. Be vigilant if this card arises, look at the sheen of attraction and magnetism and see where your lover’s power truly lies. What’s truly feeding the attraction between you two? 

When The Devil shows up in your relationship reading, it’s likely that your relationship is getting you in touch with your shadow and suppressed emotions. The other person is literally bringing out the devil in you, which could be cathartic, or traumatizing – depending on how you handle it. 

Is there physical, psychic, or emotional abuse that you’ve chosen not to address? What about addiction and enabling bad habits in one another? You can be with someone who empowers you, who wants to be healthy and tend to the sacred garden of your relationship. Not make it toxic. 

4.  Five of Pentacles

The Five of Pentacles points to being stuck in a victim-mentality rut. This card represents physical wellness, material wealth or disparity. These this card can also be linked to our beliefs and the general energetic trend of our lives in the material world. 

If Five of Pentacles is drawn in a relationship reading, get ready for a real sense of lack to permeate the relationship. Maybe you’ve already experienced this with your lover, but if not, start to notice how you feel when you’re with them. Do you feel empowered and vital? Or do you feel weak and ineffectual? 

There could be some manipulation happening through money as well. Your sense of safety and survival could be at the disposal of your partner. Don’t fret though, you’re just caught in a mindset-spell and there are those around you who truly want to help you – you’ll just need to be willing to leave behind the poison you’ve been drinking.

Angels upon angels await you to start choosing to let their love and support in. You don’t have to do it alone. Seek out people who see you in the highest light, who want you to thrive. 

5.  Three of Cups, Reversed

I wasn’t going to look into any of the reversed versions of the tarot as it opens up a whole other can-of-worms and I wanted to keep this pretty straight forward, but I couldn’t resist the classic – though all too often these days – ménage à trois FAIL! 

There are many people these days exploring open relationships, polyamory, or just plain sleeping with others behind their partner’s back. 

I don’t mean to lump the first two with the third as there are a small portion of individuals in which an open relationship or polyamory seems to work, however for most people, the need for a strong built-on-trust container is absolutely necessary for their relationship to bloom healthfully. 

The Three of Cups is a sign that there is a third person in the relationship, whether known by all involved or not, and low-and-behold this third’s presence is tearing the relationship apart at its seams. 

These types of transgressions can be very hard to mend, and often cutting bait is the best way to save time, energy, and heartbreak, lest you wish to get caught in an eternal non-violent-communication triad about trust and jealousy that will likely end with everyone denying themselves until they explode from sheer internal pressure. 

Just kidding… but seriously, tend to your needs first especially when there is a tangle of one two many participants in your relationship. You deserve a safe environment to open and bloom into through love and trust. 

6.  Ten of Swords

Sigh, the Ten of Swords represents mortal wounding. I could leave it at that really. It’s a rough card. The traditional imagery is a man lying dead with all ten swords piercing his corpse. This can represent a kind of injury that could take months, maybe lifetimes to heal. 

You may have a heartbreak from the past that you experienced this level of loss in. They hurt. And can leave us afraid to trust again. You will trust again. 

The swords in this card are stabbed in the back of our John Doe, inferring deception, sabotage, and shady business. If this card arrives in your relationship reading get ready for an unexpected bomb to drop. Perhaps the type of thing your mind (swords) will struggle to try to comprehend. ‘Why would you do this?’ ; ‘How could this happen to me?’ 

If this card comes up while you’re looking into the future potentials of a relationship, just know that it’s highly likely there will be real pain that comes from the connection. I recommend deep analysis of your situation if this card is showing up, as it often implies karmic and childhood injuries surfacing to be waded through. 

Not easy to work through, but honestly possible, and an opportunity to love yourself even more deeply through challenge and pain.

What Happens When You Draw These Cards?

While these six cards are serious harbingers of some rough relationship stuff, or potentially a sign that you’re not in the right relationship to begin with, it’s very important to remember that the interpretations also depend on the other cards drawn in the reading. We can’t overlook how they are interacting with each other, and the context of the question at hand. 

If these cards come up for you, it doesn’t mean to immediately leave your relationship. Rather, it’s time to take a closer look. You might want to get some advice and take your time looking at the situation in front of you. Do some detective work reflecting on the past, analyzing your current relationship and the relationships before this one. What themes are you seeing? What does your intuition tell you? Are there conversations that you’ve been avoiding? These cards are asking you to stand up for yourself and honor your soul. 

Toxic relationship cards are great pointers that are trying to get you in touch with your instincts. You know what’s best for you deep down, and the cards are reminding you to listen to your truth, to stand up for yourself, to not give up on what’s beautiful and real in you. 

I believe in you. Your angels and guides are speaking through the cards. They want you to find real love, to evolve into the empowered self that truly lives within you and will be reflected to you in others. Keep your head up and your heart open, and listen to the soft voice within that is calling you home. 

At your service,

 With love,

Jonathan Lionheart,

P.S. Have any of these 6 cards come up for you in a reading lately? What was the reading about?  I’d love to hear all about it in the comments below!.  

Jonathan Lionheart

About Jonathan Lionheart

As a doctoral student in Somatic Studies, Jonathan Lionheart has always has a fascination with things that are beyond this world. This led Jonathan to the Tarot, which he quickly absorbed as his go-to method for getting direct insights from the Universe.



    I would like to be able to testify that every card in my reading was right on the money. I would like anyone who reads this to know that I did not read this toxic relationship reading when I was in this relationship, as I was too afraid to hear what I already knew in my heart. I have since had the strength to release myself from this toxic relationship and start the healing process, so that I may be able to find all of the true love in myself that I have been lacking in. I thank you for your help in proving to me that the tarot readings are here to help people in finding the true paths to have better lives.
    My sincerest gratitude, Bonnie Robinett

    • Thank you for offering your experience Bonnie,

      Yes, the tarot speak hard truths sometimes, and it can be particularly challenging or even impossible to hear those truths when we are in denial. I congratulate you on stepping into your power and healing process! Sending love — J

  • Maureen says:

    Jonathan, I cant thank you enough. Im really in shock on how spot on you were about everything that im dealing with this week. I have been doing some intense soul searching and mind repair lol and when I got your reading I felt so much at ease. I really am at a loss for words right now on how much you just helped me. Forever Grateful for what you have done and shared with me. Thank you so much.

  • Deborah says:

    Hi, Johnathan,
    How do these readings relate to the global pandemic we are living in. It is not healthy for us to social distance in loving relationships, but we are doing it. How does tarot figure this in. In 5 months I saw my boyfriend 3 times. Once from a distance twice with a mask and a hug. I would like to hear your take on this. I have read one astrologist comment on the pandemic. It does exits. Admit it. Is tarot a spoof or does it have a basis to support us.
    Thank you,

    • Good and deep questions Deborah. Like any moment of crises there is also an opportunity available. It may be unhealthy to social distance in a loving relationship, but it also opens a doorway for different types of communication, perhaps a refinement of how you listen to one another, or how you express your commitment and adoration. Think sending loving snail-mail cards, or learning to process deeper more challenging emotions with one another in unconditional love. Touch is so important, and so challenging not to have with our lovers. Something that might be considered is self-massage, touching yourself and your body the way your lover might; learning unconditional loving presence with yourself. As to your second question, “is tarot a spoof or does it have a basis to support us?” All of life is connected, we process the magnitude of phenomena around us by interpreting patterns and creating meaning. The tarot are aligned with archetypal energies that signify processes of development. How we relate to them is also how much we will get out of them. If the mind only attempts to fit them, or anything of numinous quality, into a rational box then their potency can be lost to the closed mind. If there is room for the mystery and magic that is inherent to all of reality, the cards will start to strike deeper and deeper chords within you. They can be an invaluable tool in my experience. But, like anything, the tool can be misused. Be wary of card readers who want to manipulate you merely for monetary gain. Be wary of readers who have too much density in their perspective; ie they have a particular world view or egoic tendency towards control thus influencing their readings to their bias rather than being a channel for your highest good. Finally, the cards open their secrets the more you are willing to engage with them and explore them. The imagery on the cards is meant to bypass the polarized mind to touch into your unconscious, which according to Jung speaks in image, feeling, instinct. The more you let them in, the more you cultivate a relationship with the deep mysterious parts of yourself. So, Ha! yes, I think they have a potent basis for supporting us. Thank you for your engagement and questions.

  • Joanne says:

    Thank you for this posting. I am learning the Tarot, and I am impressed with these interpretations. I started with Oracle Cards and still use them, but I find the Tarot deck provides incredible insight without pussy-footing around. I pull one a day, and sometimes the meaning does not come to me immediately, but it often pops up during the day when I least expect it, and it is always on. Blogs like this keep me learning so I really appreciate them.

    • You’re so welcome Joanne. Yes, the tarot can get right to the point, and I have a similar experience: If the meaning isn’t clear right away, it will become clear as the day moves on, or even sometimes in dreams. I’m so glad you’re exploring the cards, and I’m glad the articles have been helpful. Stay tuned, the next one is on cards about love 🙂

  • Lady Nightdust says:

    I had The Tower, Devil, Wheel of Fortune. I’ve recently gone through a divorce, which was sprung on me suddenly and literally turned my world upside down – which is the Tower. My ex-husband cheated on me twice in the first year of our relationship, but I just found out five years later, after the divorce, and by accident. The ex wasn’t even going to tell me about it because he said it was his own personal information to have that “had nothing to do with me.” I recently have been struggling with reconciling the information about the cheating, how it affected the whole dynamic of our relationship. He lied to me, and therefore our foundation was shaky, and he doomed our marriage to failure right from the start. He thinks that it was information that I didn’t need, but he does not get to decide that. He denied me the power of information that would have made me leave the relationship long ago, and this hold on me that he has had I think is the master/ slave dynamic you discussed for the Devil card. The Wheel of Fortune I think is actually an old friend, missed opportunity for romance, who has recently come back into my life, as he is the one who I was asking about when I chose my cards. Here’s hoping! And thank you very much for your insights.

    • Deceit, manipulation, and misuse of power can very much be represented by the Devil card. I’m so sorry about the cheating ex, it sounds like he has a lot to work on. Remember, he may have hurt you, but he has to live with himself and those tendencies. I realize that doesn’t make it any easier, but you do have the opportunity to heal and let go, which is what it sounds like your cards were highlighting – perhaps showing some of the past stuff that is still being processed. I hope this new love interest shows up for you if it is in alignment. Let me know if I can support 🙂

  • Ursula says:

    Hello Jonathan. Thank you For the Toxic reading Anyway I decided to Let it go and move on I make a mistake To answer his calls .

  • DAWN Marie RAHE says:

    Hi Jonathan thank you for a great husband thinks I I talk to all these guys while he is at work I do not
    My childhood sweetheart came back in the pi true in November to let me know he was cured of cancer
    Both are named David
    Dave I’d my husband and said I was allowed to keep my friendship with David
    Time goes on and I have a broken neck from being hit by a car when I was little and need surgury so zi told David I fell in love with him when he first kissed me on my grandmas veranda. He got really mad
    He chilled out and we were friends again
    Well I was an idiot and sent a picture of my daughter at her wedding reception
    I did notice Dave was in the background until zi had sent it.
    He is mad again and said we would talk much later
    That is the back story. Hugs Dawn.

    • Hi Dawn,

      That sounds complicated, even without the names being the same. This was less a reading and more an overview of toxic relationship cards. A weekly reading will come out starting this weekend which will give a forecast for the week ahead. Definitely tune in and hopefully it will give some insight for you on how to proceed. I’m always an advocate for honesty, for listening to your heart, as well as giving people space to process their own projections. Take sweet care of yourself and I hope to hear from you again. –J

  • Lina Cardoso says:

    Hi yes everything that you spoke about in these 6 cards has happened to me in the las 3 years. My partner was cheating on me with the neighbor from next door after being together for 23 years he ruined my life mentality and financially I los my son this year in February passed away from medical complications I now have his son who is 3 years old to raise. I have not been in any relationships for 3 years now and I don’t see any possibilities of ever finding true love in my life . All these cards were very accurate for me just one struggle after another.

    • Hi Lina,

      I’m sorry it’s been such a challenging period for you. These cards were not a reading per se but just an overview of what these cards mean in the context of a reading. There will be a weekly reading coming out starting next week that will give a forecast for the coming week. Please tune in and see what the future holds. Often these deep drops into challenging times (which can often last many years), are part of the process of finishing off childhood patterns and past life patterns. Keep your head up and faith in life alive. It truly is possible to arise from the ashes with a new perspective, and even for love to blossom again. It takes honest assessment of yourself and a willingness to let go of what has happened in the past. I believe in you 🙂

  • Maria Carolina says:

    Hi Jonathan, thank you for the explanation. Reading: Death, Sun and Hierophant – these were my cards. I feel they are accurate to my current situation, off course I have longtime seeing towers and swords, and warning cards. But in deep: I closed my ex chapter but, only need court to open again to conclude my divorce – 12 y over, and a new phase is starting with all my inner work and leaving things behind. With the sun at my side, I understand I am empowered to make reality my purpose and wishes. Of course learning from the Past I can make it fruitful in the future. Not everything Was healed but yet identified to be worked, believe in future and new opportunities. Last card Hierophant, I see it as a guide and even when talk about marriage- See it as a learning guiding me, providing courage to move on to new beginnings.
    Question: these 3 cards meaning may be applicable for how long? I mean time frame- 1,5 month? 3? A year? Thanks !

    • Hello Maria,

      Thank you for sharing your reading and your experience with me. It sounds like you’ve walked a powerful path and learned much in the process. Death, Sun, Heirophant is a powerful progression. I think your interpretation is quite accurate, I would also ad that after a ‘death’ and the rebirth (the sun), could come marriage but the internal kind – Unio Mystica, or heiros gamos. The timing will be dependent on the intention behind the question, but you might pay attention to what phase of what the three card draw you feel you are in. ie – have you gone through the death? or is it still lingering? do you feel the rising of the Sun, and new life? or is it still waiting to break through. My guess is that this is projecting out between now and spring next year. But you’ll have to decide for yourself, and these things are dynamic and can change dependent on how we choose to proceed.

  • Lesley-Anne Lyden says:

    My ex has left his wife to be with me 3 times, He packed his stuff and left me New years eve, then he moved back in with me July & packed his stuff and left me again on Friday then went back to his wife & went on holiday with her Saturday morning so it’s a pretty accurate reading.
    Thank you

  • Mani says:

    Interesting first reading was on my ex, I wasn’t sure that maybe it was bad luck or I dodged a bullet, and with the devil and tower, seems like I did.
    The second guy I am talking to currently, I wasn’t sure if he was toxic and seems like he’s okay but the emperor, yeah part of that description of him being macho etc…is there…but the other two cards seem good.

    • Hey Mani,

      You’ll see in next weeks article that the Emperor is a great card for love, especially if it’s referring to a man. It can show some of that macho stuff on the darker spectrum, but the emperor is solid, integrated, mature, and capable. All good qualities in a person you want to create something with.

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