One of the most difficult situations we can deal with is when the passing of a loved one ignites a feud between the family members left behind. We’re faced not only with our own grief at such a profound loss, but beset by bitterness, disappointment, and a sense of betrayal because of harsh words said and indecipherable and hurtful actions taken by the very people we trusted–or at least those we thought might be capable of behaving with sensitivity during such a painful time for everyone involved. The ugliness of greed only makes the atmosphere more toxic.

Anonymous, struggling with just such a situation, asked the following: My grandmother died at the beginning of the year. She left most of her estate to me. My mother and aunt were basically cut out because of how they treated her. My mother has been estranged from the whole family for 15 yrs. She was not invited to the funeral. My aunt was still somewhat it the picture but she neglected many of Grandma’s needs. When the will was read, she decided to call my mom up and try to sue me. Will my aunt ever have the audacity to contact me or is our relationship over from her standpoint? To be honest, I would love to tell her to never contact me. But I don’t want to make the first move. After all, I was following the instructions of my Grandmother. I didn’t cause this.

First of all, Anon, my sincere condolences for your loss. What you’re facing would be hard enough, but it sounds as if you’re trapped in an extremely nerve-wracking position. Should you say something? Or not?

Let’s see what the Tarot has to say.

For this question, I used the Star Layout, because it can useful for figuring out what really matters in any given situation, and thus is wonderful for gaining clarity. It’s also a good spread for advice, and for helping us find comfort and guidance from within.

On to the reading proper.

Card 1. Where You Are Now: 9 of Cups

Getting what you really, really want. Gratitude. Anon, this is a fabulous card to fall in this position. There are actually wonderful things happening for you outside of your family drama. The 9 of Cups sometimes signifies Wish Fulfillment, and you may be very close to realizing a special dream. The message here is to focus on that, rather than dysfunctional members of your family. Be careful to appreciate the gifts you’ve been given.

Card 2. Advice for the Situation: Ace of Cups, reversed

I tell you, the Tarot couldn’t be clearer on this one. Basic message? Don’t keep reaching out to those who only take! Focus on loving yourself, taking care of yourself, and stop extending an olive branch to those who would not only slap your hand away but light the whole freaking branch on fire! Chill, and focus on your blossoming spirituality, instead.

Card 3. The Challenge You Must Face: 3 of Wands

The best thing that you can do at this time is to act the part of a leader and set an example of how to behave in a situation like this. This is a great time to expand into some new areas, take up a new venture, either by yourself or with a small group. It’s time to start planning, and begin building on those plans for a brighter future. Of course, this is your challenge, meaning that though this may be difficult, you’re supposed to give it the old college try!

Card 4. Positive Uses of Your Energy At This Time: Knight of Cups, reversed

Okay. One of the things you may need to watch out for may be people who you know are incapable of doing what they said they were going to do: flakes. Watch out for those who are old enough to know better, but are still acting like ungrounded, bratty teenagers. Watch out for those people who tend to be big energy drains. Instead, you need to fall in love with life again. Do something creative, or spiritual and embrace your inner poet! Find your sense of wonder and romance! Start enjoying life!

Card 5. More Positive Actions: 3 of Cups

This card is basically saying that it’s time to party, in whatever way is most healing and happy for you. This card is about finding like-minded, non-toxic people to be with while pursuing creative, spiritual, and social activities. Have a great time! This about spending time with your spiritual “tribe”.

The Magician

Card 6. The Crucial Insight: Magician, reversed

Don’t waste your time and energy using your personal power in ways that actually do you more harm than good. Don’t get obsessed with this. Let it go, and don’t communicate with problem family folks ’till they’ve learned how to behave. But you don’t have to initiate anything. Let it lie for a while.

Wrapping It Up

Anon, though you’ve endured a lot of heartache and pain, there’s also a great deal of joy on the horizon. All you really need to do is embrace it. I suspect your Grandma would be happiest to see you becoming happy with all the blessings raining upon you at this time, rather than letting negative folks from your family drag you down to suffer and stew with them in their petty, mean-spirited brouhaha! There are new and better paths for you, my friend. Focus on that instead.

Submit your question to Raven now using the form here. Each week, Raven will choose a question and perform a personal Tarot card reading, offering her advice, insight, and wisdom based on what the cards say.