Through many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.
~ John Newton, Amazing Grace, 1779
Here is a beautiful visitor we rarely see. This week, let us bid an especially warm welcome to the Ace of Cups.
The Aces represent the complete potential of the suit, and they all depict the hand of Mystery, offering its blessing to us. Since the Cups are the emotions, love, 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, and is upside down to show that it is receiving the body of the Divine.
Interestingly, the deck’s creator, Arthur Waite, wrote that there were four streams coming from the Cup (perhaps a reference to the fountain in Eden from which the four rivers ran). But clearly, artist Pamela Colman Smith had other ideas.
And so can we.
Grant Us Grace
For those of us not 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, the Divine Feminine. It is a visitation from Grace.
If you have been following my blog for a while, you know that we spent all of 2008 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 meal, journey, festival, or other gathering. Their presence assured harmony and blessings.
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 like the idea that Grace is a combination of the gifts from the three original Graces. Grace is the deep benevolence we can never earn, but which is given instead for the sole reason, simply, that life itself is blessed. We need only ask to be shown it.
Grace Under Pressure
This week — hooray! — Mercury stations direct and we can begin to make some progress on travel, plans, business, and technology. Of course bear in mind that, like a car changing gears, it is during the actual shifting, from reverse to forward or vice versa, that disruptions and backfires are most likely.
And there are other challenges in the mix this week, also, according to the wise and beautiful Diane Lang:
Even though the Uranus-Pluto square is fading into history, those two planets are still within shouting distance and when the cardinal Libra Sun aspects them, we’ll probably notice a reemergence of cardinal crunch issues.
There is close to five days between the time the Sun squares Pluto in Capricorn on Tuesday and opposes Uranus in Aries next Sunday which can help clarify the effects.
Tuesday gets my vote for most problematic day this week with three major aspects: Libra Sun square Pluto in Capricorn, Mercury in Libra sextile Saturn in Sagittarius and Mars in Virgo opposite Neptune in Pisces.
And the always brilliant Diotima Mantineia echoes and elaborates on this caution. “Sun moving through Libra first squares Pluto on Tuesday, then opposes Uranus late Sunday. While the Uranus-Pluto square won’t be exact again, it is still within 6 degrees, and Sun will activate issues related to the square this week…
“One [ongoing Uranus-Pluto square] issue we seem to be no closer to addressing is the problem of gun violence in the USA, exacerbated by increasing levels of mental illness that will continue to be a major public health issue, particularly over the next year or so as Jupiter, Saturn, and Neptune flow through their ongoing dance…”
How can the gift of grace and divine love address the horror of mass shootings in our country and the vested interests that refuse to remedy it? Perhaps, truly, it is the ONLY thing that can.
Lastly, my friend, the dazzling astrologer Elisabeth Grace agrees that we can expect a “dynamic week of planetary patterns.”
Among several other important factors, she notes that Venus — finally! — leaves the sign of Leo for Virgo, and we’ll encounter a “bewildering spin that builds to a crest when action hero Mars and visionary Neptune face off at 10:53PM ET, also on Tuesday. Mars-Neptune contacts can be oh-so-sexy and bedazzling…”
Yet this combination has the potential to be “sublime and visionary and healing and out-of-this world.”
I’d say that’s a pretty good summation of the Ace of Cups.
Ask, Ask, Ask
When challenging times come, align with good, and do what you can to help. But realize, too, that none of us can pay enough dues to guarantee our well-being.
Happily, the Tarot reminds us with the Ace of Cups that this is not a problem. Grace and love are offered, if we will only ask, and then surrender to acceptance.
Asking for Grace means that the Divine Ones will fill in the gaps that we may not be aware of, support us in invisible ways we cannot ourselves anticipate, and will know our hearts more clearly than we may understand them.
This week, Grace is given freely. Blessings are bestowed on new love, or any other new beginnings that join hearts to one another, including the gifts of romance, children, and dear friendships.
What forgiveness do you need? What love do you long for? Who needs the healing only you can give? How might your own simple act of compassion be a gift of magical blessing to someone?
Divinely inspired love, healing, and heart-opening awareness are given freely to you.
We ask in perfect love. We receive in perfect trust.
May the sacred waters of Life bless you and lead you safely home.