In joyous welcome is my hand outstretched to every brother who would join me in reaching past temptation, and who looks with fixed determination toward the Light that shines beyond in perfect constancy.
~ A Course in Miracles
For only the second time in all the nearly nine years that I have been posting my Card of the Week, and not since 2009, the Ace of Cups appears.
What a profound gift it is, in this much-anticipated week of Winter Solstice, 2012.
In all of the Tarot 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. How perfect for this week before Christmas!
In the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, there are also three tiny bells on this Cup. They have been compared to the Christian trinity, to body-mind-spirit, and even to the stars in Orion’s belt, which, in turn, reference the God Osiris, and His resurrection by the grace of Isis.
Perhaps they are the three Graces. Certainly, they are the bells that always ring true.
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 so tuned in to Christian symbolism, we can easily see the streams as the four Elements, plus the fifth sacred thing – Center, Mystery, or Spirit. They may also be the five senses, which flow from our divine Source. They pour into the pool dotted with lotus flowers, naturally connected to enlightenment. And of course, the Cup is the magical chalice, the vessel of the Goddess, the Divine Feminine, the Mother of us all.
Whether you are Christian or not, what constitutes a holy communion for you? While always available, this week, you are being urged to seek and receive. You are called to renew and refresh your connection with the Love that pulses through the Multiverses.
Open your heart. Receive the healing, love, and Grace you need.
If you have been following my blog for a while, you know that we spent all of 2008 discussing The Graces, including 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.
To ask 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 recognition 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 soul-deep receptivity are given to you. And in turn, you, too, are a container for the Divine. Embody your divinity with all your majestic clarity and grace.
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 accept it with gladness.
We ask in perfect love. We receive in perfect trust. We share with merry hearts.
Love is a circle. The Wheel turns.
Now is the solstice of the year.
Winter is the glad song that you hear.
Seven maids move in seven time.
Have the lads up ready in a line.
Ring out these bells.
Ring out, ring solstice bells.
Ring solstice bells.
~ lyrics by Ian Anderson