It takes a long time to become young.
~ Pablo Picasso
It’s been a while since we were visited by a Page, and what a tender one to get in this week of the Aries New Moon. As a gentle antidote to the fear and hostility that dominate the news, the Page of Cups comes calling.
As you may know, the Court cards of the Tarot are neither as dramatic and spiritual as the Major Arcana’s big life lessons, nor as pragmatic or general as the actions, moods, and energies represented in the Pips (the Ace through Ten cards).
Instead, they are much more “people oriented,” and may represent aspects of our own personality, other people who may be affecting the situation in question, or specific activities and energies that have to do with social situations.
Traditionally, the Pages are messengers, signaling important news. They can also indicate the naive or unripe potential of how the suit may manifest in someone.
The suit of Cups is aligned with the Element of Water, which rules over the subconscious mind, our emotions, intuition, dreams, healing, yielding, imagination, and love. All of the Cups are reflections of the most important, storied cup of legend – The Grail.
So the Page of Cups is often portrayed as a dreamy youth who gazes in fascination into a goblet that contains some sort of wonder. In most Waite-Smith based decks, it is a fish, a messenger from the Deep and the subconscious.
An encounter with a talking animal may seem unlikely to our grown-up selves. But as we may recall from our own childhood experiences, such events were once acceptable and natural to many of us. In what ways might similar wonders be calling to you again? Do you remember how to open your heart to magic with the innocence and wisdom of a child?
The Page is a receiver of messages from Mystery and the realms of dreams. He is not yet in the world of action and transmission, as would be the other Court cards. He may be a catalyst, but mostly he is simply open to the possibilities.
Who is this in your life? Perhaps an actual child can help you reconnect in this way.
As one of Pixie Smith’s “stage cards,” a dramatic, but happy announcement could come. For example, one time-honored interpretation is that the Page of Cups heralds the birth of a child. Certainly this is a chance to embrace the gifts of any children in your life, for they are often teachers and “from the mouths of babes” often comes real wisdom.
What kindness and love would you like to lavish on your inner child? What magic and delight would refresh you in the days ahead? The coming Aries New Moon is an ideal opportunity for birthing a new “baby” of your imagination and inspiration into the world.
In addition, this may be someone (perhaps you!) who is willing to take the risk of falling in love or who is receptive to new friendship.
And this Page is often fascinated with psychic experiences. He or she may be a beginner in the intuitive arts. Is this something that interests you?
The Grace of the Beginner
The Page of Cups can also represent someone who studies art, theater, or music. One of my favorite images of the Page of Cups is in the RWS derivative deck by Robin Wood. In it, there is a painter’s palette hanging from his/her belt.
So the youthfulness of the Page indicates perhaps a budding artist, or hobbyist, or a novice, with more enthusiasm than expertise.
Have you ever been in an introductory class or workshop in which another participant (often loudly) makes it clear they already know it all? So, one wonders, why are they here if they are already experts?
When we are intent on ranking ourselves as authorities, or feeling inadequate about our level of expertise, we can easily miss the pure joy of beginnings without expectation, without criticism.
It takes time, as Picasso noted, to become young, allowing ourselves a free hand for experimentation and discovery, without fear of judgment or failure.
What new creative endeavors would you like to explore this week? Dabbling and playfulness are the gifts of the Page, rather than the achievement the Knight would seek, or the mastery the Queen or King would expect.
How might you make beauty, healing, and art your top priorities this week? This is the time to find your zone where wonders reveal themselves, serendipity unfolds, and magic flows.
Here is your invitation to “rediscover the joy, excitement, and mystery of the world we live in,” as author Rachel Carson once described it.
Child-like innocence and a willingness to be open and receptive are wise choices. Proceed with a peaceful, gentle spirit, for the Page of Cups is our sweet and loving guide.