Minor Arcana: Cups

Motherpeace Tarot Journey

Cups

Water/West/Receptive Energy

Ace: The character on this card is taking a swan dive into a huge fountain of water.  Sitting complacently before this fountain are two swans. Aces are all about beginnings, and this Ace is all about relationships.  This card reminds us that you never know what you’re going to find, what it’s going to be like, when you enter into a new relationship with someone, whether this be a romantic relationship or a friendship.  We trust on faith, and this card tells us that’s okay. Don’t hang back from beginning a new friendship or relationship just because you’ve been hurt in the past; don’t let your bad experiences rob you of something beautiful in your future.  That’s what this card is telling us.

Two: Partnership, pairing, and sharing. As much as our individuality is respected and held sacred, so is our ability to share our lives, our world, our bodies, and our selves with another human being. Whether we are mated to someone through romantic love, creative endeavors, ideas, familial connections, or simply choice– this is a sacred union because what is part of us is touching another individual, adding to the experience of their life in ways we might not even realize. The fluidity of relationships is highlighted with this card, represented by the ocean and a pair of dolphins interacting on a blue horizon. Partnerships are not stagnant and are constantly metamorphosing to encompass change, changes within the partnership itself and changes to the individual. Because of its fluidity, partnerships, friendships, and special connections may not always be forever, but may touch our lives at a moment when it is most needed, when this connection will be most beneficial.

Three: Let’s celebrate, says the three of cups.  As women, let’s celebrate our wisdom, our knowledge, our humanity, our beauty, our similarities, our differences, our strengths, and our weaknesses.  Let’s celebrate with music and dance, with food and company.  Let’s celebrate our diversity, embracing all womanhood, all cultures, all religions. Don’t let our differences divide us, this card reminds us.  Womanhood united is so much stronger than womanhood divided.

Four:  The character on this card is standing, vulnerable and naked, caught on the beach between the tides, surrounded by four cups. Traditionally this is the card that forces us to face unpleasant issues and personal demons, and that’s shown here where our vulnerability and delicate nature is highlighted in a breathtaking and shattering way. Which way do we turn, which direction do we take, what if we make the wrong choice; how often are we frozen by inaction, caught in the ebb and flow of life, unable to move forward or backward? The hesitancy and dilemma of the human condition is the focal point of this card. We’re left to question all that we are, all that we’ve been, all that we trust, in order to move on with our lives.

Five: We all retreat within our own shell. Whether single or married, mother or not, in solitude we discover our inner being, our strengths and our weaknesses, our promise and our vulnerability. And as we metamorphose throughout this lifetime, sliding from one stage to another, often barely noticing the transition and at other times jolted by the shock of it, we must change shells, always seeking a larger one. This card is a card of personal growth and discovery, transmutations that lead us to the soul’s final incarnation.

Six: Three women on steeds are riding the crest of an ocean wave to shore, holding aloft flaming torches.  Three women on steeds are riding the trough of a wave to shore, holding aloft flaming torches.  The six of cups are all about the highs and lows of life; about overcoming obstacles and sticking with life till you come out on top.  It’s all about learning from our mistakes; it’s about taking the negative experiences of our lives and using them to our advantage.  It’s about holding our own in this world, till we gain victory over everything that bogs us down.

Seven: This card is traditionally a card of decisions, and Motherpeace affirms that decisions we make must be made from our own feminine intuition and convictions. This card also speaks to us of responsibility– for decisions that a woman makes affects so many in the world-wide circle around her…families, husbands, children are all impacted. The seven of cups also reminds us that, although we should trust our own intuition when making decisions, there is also a higher power from which we can draw strength and wisdom.  The image on this card includes a woman in the center with a cup and a dove on her head, indicating that all decisions made will send forth energy and reverberations through her life and the world, and it will also bring this energy back to where it originated, coming full circle. Think carefully, decide wisely.

Eight: The eight of cups in Motherpeace is an octopus, tentacles outstretched, and each one filled with a piece of pottery, a coffee cup, a pitcher, an empty vessel of some kind.  How well this pertains to a woman’s life!  We are multi-taskers, juggling husbands, work, children, and a myriad of other possibilities in the palm of our hand (and inside our full and busy brain).  “You are super-human”, society tells us, our culture tells us, and sometimes we tell ourselves.  But wait. This octopus, floating in the calm blue waters of the ocean, needs to be able to let go of everything it’s holding, to let go of everything it’s holding back.  This card is telling us that we need time, still quiet time to ourselves, in order to regain perspective, in order to find our center.

Nine: Enjoy…reap the rewards you deserve. This is a beautiful delightfully hedonistic card. It depicts several naked women around a pool, obviously in the throws of enjoying life at its leisure. Each woman is immersed in the unabashed joy of living, the joy of personal rest, the joy of desired activity, the joy of daydreaming, the joy of solitude, the joy of company. You deserve those things you wish for, those things you’ve worked for, those moments of human bliss. Graciously accept this gift from the universe, with no strings attached.

Ten: This card portrays a group of naked women caught up in a frenzy of music and dance. It highlights community and working together, it highlights sisterhood and group worship of the feminine divine. The ten of cups, in ordinary decks, represents ‘burdens’, but in the Motherpeace deck, we realize that as long as we have sisters, mothers, aunts, and friends, there is nothing that we can’t tackle and be victorious over. It is within the worldwide community of womanhood that strength and power, joy and hope, accomplishment and poise are raised to new levels and realized.

Daughter:  The character upon this card is washing herself in a pool of water beneath a waterfall, arms and legs extended, delighting in the purifying coolness. The Maiden and beginnings seem to be highlighted, the excitement of fresh starts, the satisfaction of clean slates. This maiden is washed clear of regrets, able to look forward and to start at the beginning of a new journey. Her hand rests upon a large placid turtle, and perhaps it’s this creature that will remind her to take her time, move slowly, think long and hard before making decisions, so as not to repeat past mistakes. On the bank of the shore, a lone tree is growing, bending in towards the pool and the Maiden. This is the Tree of Knowledge, or perhaps the spirit of a guide, who will offer wisdom to the Maiden as she begins this new journey.

Son: The Son of cups wreaks of new relationships, and not necessarily conventional relationships. It speaks of growth, fertility, self-analysis, and enlightenment. It brings you at once to a place of inner peace, and it’s this inner peace that will affect the fabric of the numerous relationships we have in our lives. This card also asks us to take a stark look at the male figures in our lives, how we relate to them, and what type of energy is generated through this association. The essence of this card is ‘Discovery’…discovery of ourselves, the intimacies and intricate patterns of the personalities around us, and how we weave this all into our persona and our daily lives.

Priestess: This Priestess encourages us to embrace our natural gifts, our natural abilities.  This card celebrates the element of Water and all that this means.  Be still, it says, listen….shhhh.  What do you hear? The small sounds of the world; the sound of rain in the trees; the sound of a cat purring; the sound of a sleeping infant’s breath; the sound of that still voice in your head, the voice you may have heard all your life but avoided, the voice you may have heard all your life without a full realization of exactly what it was.  It is you.  Be still and listen, says the Priestess of Cups.

Shaman: Pisces; seeking; inward journeys; dreams; and intuition…This Shaman represents our eternal quest to understand the unknown, to see the invisible, to experience the world of spiritual miracles and impossibilities. This Shaman takes us on an inward journey to find ourselves and to become familiar with the entities that inhabit this plane of existence– old ghosts and new personas.

 

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