Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred…I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character…
I have a dream today…
~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Aug. 28, 1963
What a joyous card, and what a blessing to see it this week! We welcome the Ten of Cups.
The Cups, of course, are the suit of the heart, love, dreams, and the emotions. And Tens are the culmination of the suit, containing the seeds of the next cycle. They are the overflowing energy of the suit.
In this case, we have the ultimate fulfillment of our emotional needs: love, happiness, family harmony, celebration.
The happy couple, holding each other gently, celebrates the appearance of the cup-crowned rainbow, as two little children dance joyfully. And I would like to imagine that, mirroring Pamela Colman Smith’s own blended personal background, the Ten of Cups has intentionally blurred the racial identity of this family.
In the distance is their modest home, and a clear horizon. This is a card of harmony, thanksgiving, and pure happiness.
Rainbows, of course, are often considered a sign of Divine blessings and protection. They may also be a bridge, like the Norse Bifrost, that connects the human realms (Midgard) with the Divine (Asgard, land of the Gods). It is interesting that in last week’s card, the half-way point to the Ten, another bridge was nearby, but unseen.
The Fiftieth Anniversary
In addition to the Labor Day holiday and the new school year, this week, we are looking back on a day 50 years ago, when a rising star in the American civil rights movement made the speech that mesmerized a generation, and changed the course of history.
On Wednesday, across America, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s call for realizing the dream of equal rights for all will be analyzed and remembered.
Some will merely give it lip service. Others will recall it with hopes of inspiring and energizing new generations, who are urgently needed to oppose the recent erosion of those liberties and protections that so many fought, and even died for, a half century ago.
I Have a Dream -
A Dream Deeply Rooted in the American Dream
Perhaps the Ten of Cups invites us to consider what, in truth, equality means. Certainly it is not our talent, physical prowess, wealth, intelligence, or beauty – those things are given in unequal, unknowable measure, in an infinite, fluctuating variety of combinations, to each individual.
But there is an underlying unity that transcends our differences. It is consistent and true, in all but the most deadened hearts of our fellow humans — whether it’s the ones in the lane next to you on the road, or the televised victims of war and suffering far away.
Whatever the color of our skin; whatever language we speak; in whatever ways we explain and experience the Mysterious; whoever we give our love to; whether we wear helmets, or kippa, or bhirka:
Each and every one of us ultimately wants the same simple things – safety and shelter for our families, good water and food on our tables, and peace with our neighbors and loved ones.
The Ten of Cups depicts the fulfillment of these most private and most universal longings.
It affirms that we are given incredible power for healing, forgiveness, and peace, when our hearts overflow with Good. When life looks and feels like this simple scene, war, hate, prejudice, and fear become obsolete.
On a personal basis this week, if family problems have troubled you, or if other relationships have been suffering with tension or conflict, seize this golden opportunity to create peace.
If work, financial worries, or other difficulties have been taking up your energy, stop a moment. Recognize the incredible love that fills and defines this world of ours. Realize that, despite any personal challenges, you have so much to offer, and to give thanks for.
This week, remember that even the most complicated, painful human situations can be helped by finding our common ground and opening our hearts to one another.
Through the giving of our love — abundant, overflowing, and without measure — we cross the bridge to our own divine nature, and access the very heavens.