Do you have a problem you’d like help with? Every month, Uncle Ste asks his cards a question from our readers, giving a unique insight into the root of your issue. Ste is a tarot reader, fully qualified counsellor, and also runs an LGBT helpline. All of these things inform how he works with the cards – his tarot readings are creative, fun, empowering and inclusive. He is a considerate and experienced person-centred reader who uses tarot as a kind of esoteric therapy, rather than as a future predictor.
I am regularly visiting my in-laws at the moment, as they are getting on and my husband wants to spend more time with them. But whenever we visit, they insist on preparing all the food, which is always full of carbohydrates and very low in vegetable content. We have tried buying food and offering to cook it, but they get defensive and complain that we need to eat all their food, and not to buy fresh food which clutters their fridge. Can the cards give me any advice how to handle this issue?
Ah, the old in-law dilemma! It sounds to me like you’re trying to respect several things at once – your husband, his in-laws, and your bodies – and understandably struggling to satisfy them all. I can hear from your email just how much eating healthily means to you, which is absolutely fair enough. Well done to you for being so mindful of what you’re putting into your body!
For your question, I drew one card from the Russian Tarot of St.Petersburg to explore some possible approaches to your dilemma. The card I drew was the Four of Clubs (or Four of Wands, as it is in most tarot decks).
The Four of Wands is a peaceful, restful card of partnership and fulfilment, perhaps representing a significant stage of celebration after working hard towards a mutual goal. In the artwork, a man and a woman stand holding hands. Their hands also contain four wands that are pointing downwards towards the ground. The couple are standing still and facing each other, whilst the man is holding a wreath in his free hand, which many say symbolises eternity, although in different cultures it can also relate to marriage and partnership (as in traditional Ukrainian and Russian symbolism) or it can simply be a sign of holidays and celebration, as it is here in the UK at Christmas time! Overall it’s a positive image of strength and love which to me speaks to me about your relationship with your husband, rather than talking directly about his in-laws. To me, it looks like you guys really have a special and impenetrable connection, and I wonder if you’ve been through so much together that you may have become a little protective of your unique approach to life and way of doing things? If so, this is understandable and makes a lot of sense, and it sounds like you have a beautiful connection 🙂
Wands represent the element of fire – the things that really drive us in life. Some call this the ‘psycho-spiritual’ element, but in plain English I like to think of wands as relating to the things we do in life because they simply make us tick and give us a sense of fulfilment. If we think about things like personal projects, spirituality, hobbies, passions etc, these are the kind of things that the wands can represent. The number four in tarot is a nice, stable number (think of a box with four corners) which often represents being in a place where you can afford to stop, take stock and have well-deserved time out from the hectic stages you’ve been in before. Putting the four with the wands and looking at the content of the image in the card, I wonder if you and your husband have invested a lot into a shared project over the last year or so (for example a shared interest or simply making your relationship interesting and super fulfilling!) and have reached a point where you’ve created this wonderful shared world for yourselves where you are stopping to celebrate what you’ve achieved together?
This is all absolutely lovely – but how does it relate to your question about your in-laws and the food, I hear you say?! Well, I do wonder if you’ve become a little set in your own ways of doing things, and perhaps you are a little too vigilant about anything that might harm each other or your relationship? As I already said, this is a really sweet and understandable way of doing things, but I feel that the card is cautioning against becoming too insular together, and is reminding you that other people do things in different ways. Your in-laws are probably quite stuck in the way that they do things for themselves too! My question here is, does eating stodgy carbs from time to time really do you that much harm? I suppose it would depend on how much you are visiting them, but my guess is that even if this is weekly, is there a way of compromising and making your visit-day a super healthy one before you visit, and seeing your time with them as your ‘carbs moment’? It sounds to me like your in-laws won’t budge on this, but perhaps they think that they are simply spoiling you, and doing you a favour, no matter how much you protest?
If there are health reasons as to why you and/or your husband have to be very careful with carbs (which your question didn’t stipulate so I’m going to assume not?), then of course this is different; in that case I’d say that you have to put your foot down. BUT, what I’m getting from this lovely picture of togetherness in the Four of Clubs is to open up your gaze from each other from time to time, try to accept how other people do things even if you struggle with it, and do what you can to work with it. In other words, try to accept the food given to you and make up for it with healthier food afterwards! The card really does capture your wonderful, connected relationship, and that is to be celebrated – it simply asks you to open up to other ways of doing things from time to time, and you’ll probably find that it isn’t that big of a deal after all!
All the Best,
Ste (The Tarot Cat)
Would love to hear your view of this situation in the comments, and if you’d like to contact me directly, visit me at the Tarot Cat website.