Reach out your hand if your cup be empty
If your cup is full, may it be again;
Let it be known there is a fountain
That was not made by the hands of man.
— Robert Hunter and Jerry Garcia
I can hardly believe it! As I search through my files, it slowly dawns on me that in over five years (that’s about 260 pulls) of my Cards of the Week, never once has the Ace of Cups appeared. And what a blessing for it to appear today, of all days, as we begin the sacred New Year and we celebrate the Samhain Full Moon in Taurus. And on personal note, I am humbled and profoundly grateful for it to appear so unexpectedly, as I launch my brand new website and blog today. (By the way, thanks for finding your way here. Please be welcome!).
In all of the Aces, the hand of Mystery appears, offering the blessings of the suit to us. Since the Cups are the emotions, imagination, dreams, intuition and healing, this card is the very essence of those gifts. It holds all the love that could be possible, and the deep knowing that comes straight from the heart.
The Ace of Cups is really none other than the Holy Grail. We see the dove of peace, symbolized as the Christian Holy Spirit delivering the wafer (the Host, or the body of Christ) into the Cup. It is, in Christian terms, a picture of the Holy Communion.
Tarot scholar Robert Place tells us that the five streams pouring from the Cup are the five wounds of the Christian God. He also explains that the letter on the Cup is not a “W” but an “M” reversed, identifying it with Mary, the Christ’s mother. It is upside down to show that it is receiving the gift of the Divine.
Interestingly, the deck’s creator, Arthur Waite, wrote in his book, The Pictorial Key to the Tarot, that there were four streams coming from the Cup (perhaps a reference to the fountain in Eden from which the four world rivers ran). But clearly, artist Pamela Colman Smith had other ideas. And so can we.
For those of us not very enamored with Christian symbolism, we can easily see the streams as the four Elements, plus the fifth sacred thing – Mystery, or Spirit. And so, this card is the sacred Circle, pouring forth from the Divine Feminine. It is the blessing of Grace.
If you have been following my blog for a while, you know that we spent all of last year discussing The Graces, and, ultimately, the meaning of Grace for non-Christians.
Our Greek ancestors, and later the Romans, always, without fail, invoked the Graces before every endeavor; before every meal, journey, festival, or other gathering. Their presence assured harmony and blessings. I like the idea that Grace is a combination of the gifts from the three original Graces, and is given for the sole reason, simply, that we have asked for it.
Must we know for certain what we need at all times? Do we dare to ask for blessings we are not sure we deserve? Author Sarah ban Breathnach writes, “Grace is available for each of us every day – our spiritual daily bread – but we’ve got to remember to ask for it with a grateful heart and not worry about whether there will be enough for tomorrow.”
I believe that asking for Grace is an act of supreme awareness. It is an affirmation that we know we are a part of a loving, wise, Divine Being. The true gift of the Ace of Cups is that we accept that the Divine One(s) will know and fulfill us in invisible, beautiful ways we cannot ourselves anticipate. The Ace of Cups is the revelation that Love knows our deepest heart of hearts more clearly than we may understand; and so She blesses us.
This week, Grace is given freely, even unexpectedly. Blessings are bestowed on new love, creativity, children, friendships, and any other new beginnings you care deeply about. Divinely inspired love, healing and heart-opening awareness are given to you. And in turn, you, too, are a container for the Divine. In what ways can you bestow love upon those in your life? Whose dreams can you bless? Who needs your healing touch, or your forgiveness?
Ultimately, the Ace of Cups reminds us that we do not have to judge whether we deserve Grace or not; we have only to humbly ask, and then be receptive.
We ask in perfect love. We receive in perfect trust.
Welcome and blessed be.