Inspiring Enchantment & Illumination with Tarot & Intuitive Guidance

Tarot Card of the Week, August 4-10, 2014: Eight of Cups

Hark, now hear the sailors cry,
Smell the sea and feel the sky
Let your soul and spirit fly
Into the mystic.
~Van Morrison

Making a rather rare appearance in time for this week’s Full SuperMoon, the Eight of Cups beckons with mystery and longing.

In her classic work, Seventy Eight Degrees of Wisdom, Rachel Pollack names the Eight of Cups as one of the Gate cards. Whether by the use of geometrical patterns that stimulate the brain in mysterious ways, or simply because of what she calls “The Strangeness,” the Gateway cards open up levels of information not intellectually understandable.

As I have pointed out before, when you look at Pixie Smith’s depiction, you see the cups in the foreground, stacked neatly, but clearly there is one missing. The cloaked figure (one of the few people in the Rider-Waite-Smith deck of ambiguous gender) is aligned with the gap.

Look even more closely, and you will also see that the negative space of the missing cup forms a hexagon, the six-sided geometrical figure. In many numerological interpretations, six is the number of love, communication, sincerity, and enlightenment.

Above in the sky, in a harmonious balance of nearly identical size, is the circle shape. The circle is a symbol encompassing all space and time, divine unity, the Goddess, and is the enso symbol of Zen, which represents elegance and enlightened fulfillment. And of course it is the symbol of the sacred wheel of life/death/rebirth.

So here, in the most subtle form, we are invited to feel (rather than explain) what the figure may be seeking, the “gateway” through which he or she has passed, all watched over and blessed by the presence of Divine Mystery.

The Cups, of course, are about dreams, emotions, love, and emotional fulfillment. And all of the Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot’s eights hearken back to the Major Arcana eight – Strength. So they speak of summoning the courage to move and take action. The easy or well-known ways will no longer satisfy; change and transformation are needed, even if the journey is long and the outcome is unknown.

What or Who is Calling You?

While it appears that this is a night scene, once again closer inspection is required to appreciate the subtlety of this Gateway.

In fact, the somewhat odd drawing of the Full Moon in the sky is actually an eclipse. Thus, the Moon’s inner awareness overshadows the overt Sun.

Although this Sunday’s Full Moon does not bring an actual eclipse, our card does.

An eclipse is, itself, a Gateway, a time between, when Mystery’s song to us may be clearly discerned. Thus, the underlying understanding comes from the hidden, or unconscious realms, rather than overt, mundane reality.

What has this voyager decided to release? The emotional security that appears to have been so carefully tended and neatly stacked up has a gap – what is missing? What higher vision do they seek upon the mountaintop? What lies ahead on this deliberately solitary path?

What similar choice lies before you this week? In what ways are you now finding your courage, perhaps to turn away from what no longer satisfies you? What mysterious longing summons you to leave behind what you have known, before the cups can be spilled and ruined?

By your own volition, you are now free to leave behind the fullness of your experience, without waiting for it to turn sour, dry up, or be dramatically dumped out. It appears this is a choice you have been coming to for a while.

You are being offered a brief doorway of magical time and space. This is a mystical time out of time, through which you can slip away to follow your heart’s desire.

Your path is calling to you, but do not delay. While it may not be easy, you can now leave behind what you know in your heart is finished, without regrets.

May your journeys be blessed.

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  • August 4, 2014, 10:46 pm Rachel

    Actually this card is right on for me – decided to take the steps to start moving in a different direction with my life – the time has come to travel emotionally and leave a situation which is no longer emotionally fulfilling.

    Thanks Beth!