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Reading for Cinderella’s Step-Sister

Cross Spread Madenie Deck

Cinderella’s younger step-sister, who wasn’t quite as nasty as her older sister and her mother, asks:

My step-sister Ella is marrying the crown prince in a few weeks. Ever since my mother married Ella’s father and we all moved in together, we’ve treated Ella horribly. Now she’s going to be the second richest, most powerful woman in the kingdom, after the Queen. We’re terrified she’s going to get her revenge because we made her wear rags and wait on us like a servant. So far, she’s been surprisingly nice about it. But she’ll probably turn on us once she’s married. What can I do to get on her good side and prevent her from ruining my life once she’s rich and powerful?

SSS (Sorry Step-Sister)


Dear SSS:

Let’s look at your situation using the Pierre Madenié deck with the cross spread. I put a trump and suit card on each arm.

On the left — something that will help your relationship with your step-sister: The Papesse and 5 of Swords.

First of all, don’t panic. Stay calm and think strategically. Matters will work out better if you remain self-contained and composed like the Papesse. On that same note, being overly friendly or trying to ingratiate yourself with your step-sister will only give her more power over you. Appearing to be unconcerned about what she thinks of you may dampen her desire to get revenge.

But I’m not saying you should be passive or withdraw from the situation. The rules of the game have changed, and you must change with them. Years of abuse must be undone, and a long-standing toxic situation needs to be transformed. Reach out to Ella, but do it from a place of wisdom and inner strength, not fear and neediness.

On the right — what will not be helpful in this situation: Devil and Queen of Coins.

As I said, the rules of the game have changed. Don’t try to hang on to the old roles of oppressor and oppressed. Stop playing the old games of one-upmanship. You can’t compete with Ella now, and trying will only make you look pathetic and ridiculous.

Your feelings of superiority over Ella were learned from your mother. She was so afraid her husband’s natural daughter would have precedence over you and your sister, that she was willing to do anything to change the balance of power. She took the lead in poisoning your home atmosphere, and you and your sister had no choice but to fall in line with her strong will.

Now, you’re all afraid that Ella is going to flip the game and become the oppressor. But there’s a third way: end the game altogether. Be the Papesse — the catalyst for a new way of relating.

Top — A higher viewpoint of the situation: The World and 8 of Batons.

Ella is literally on top of the world, and living out her destiny to be the future queen.

You are all bound together by family ties: you, your sister, your mother, Ella’s father, even her deceased mother, and all those magical mice  and lizards that helped her get to the ball. You are all players in the same story.

The two flowers flying away from the center in the Batons card are you and your sister. You’re actually very different personalities, but to the world you are two of a kind: the step-sisters who made Ella’s life miserable. Unless you change the story, you will remain out in the cold, watching Ella’s happiness from a distance. Ella stands in the center of the wreath, and in the tightly woven center of the batons. She’s surrounded by her new family, the court, and all the security her wealth brings. It’s up to you to demonstrate that you’re worthy of being brought into the fold of her new family.

Bottom — the next step to take:  Sun and Ace of Cups

The Ace is Ella’s castle: closed-in and self-sufficient, like the World card. But it’s resting on a foundation of great love and goodness. Ella is not the type to spoil her happiness by hanging on to resentment or the desire for revenge.

The two children playing under the sun within the castle walls represent the love and happiness Ella is experiencing and that you want to be part of. The children could also be the two small figures on the Devil card transformed by love. They represent the potential for you and your sister to open transform once you’ve cast off the burden of negativity you’ve been carrying around.

Think back to when your mother married Ella’s father and you all first arrived at their house. What if you had chosen differently, made friends with Ella, been happy playmates? Try to reclaim some of that lost happiness. Show her that you want to roll back time and go down a different path.

Here’s another tactic to consider. Ella will have children soon, possibly twins. Be a doting aunt. Lavish love on her children, and use them as an excuse to visit the castle. Win her over through your mutual love for the children.

Last Word of Advice: The Moon

I added up the numbers of the suit cards to get a summary card: the Moon. You and your mother and sister have very ingrained mental habits of envy and negativity. You assume Ella has the same feelings lurking under her façade. It’s time to break the spell of projecting your feelings onto Ella. Start seeing Ella for who she is, not who you’ve always thought she was. You also need to get out of survival mode, where you see other people’s good fortune as a threat to your existence. After a good dose of soul-searching, you can shift reality and lay the foundation for a new blended family.

Bottom line: Transforming your relationship with Ella is an inside job. Once you demonstrate that you’ve changed, she will respond with warmth and friendship.

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