I do not ask the wounded person how he feels, I myself become the wounded person.
This week of the Cancer New Moon and Solar eclipse, we have a somewhat rare, and hopefully mediating, visit from the King of Cups.
Having only visited us once in five years, back in 2016, the Kings of the Tarot are the overt, assertive personification of the suit’s energy. They are the builders, fathers, and rulers, and represent maturity, discipline, and mastery. They point to our capacity to realize our full potential.
And of course, the suit of the Cups is ruled by the element of water, which also happens to be the element for Cancer, the current Sun sign, and the sign in which we will experience this week’s New Moon. The Cups preside over the realms of emotions, dreams, intuition, and love.
The King of Cups is a tenderhearted person (male or female) who has hidden depths and intuitive understanding. While at times they can tend towards moodiness or even melancholy, as the King, they are successful, outwardly directed, and possess great power in the more aggressive, assertive “real” world.
This is in contrast to, say, the Queen of Cups, whose vast empathy can sometimes drift off into impractical dreaminess.
Bear in mind that “King” or “Queen” may not refer to the actual gender of the person in question, but rather a certain approach and temperament, like being more extroverted (King) or introverted (Queen). Then again, sometimes the Court cards may simply be the energy of a personality, and no literal person at all.
So of all the Kings, the King of Cups would the most gentle and compassionate leader. The fish leaping from the water behind him on the right may remind us of the captured fish in the cup of the Page (shown on the left). But for the King, it is wild and free, offering its unreserved support and guidance to him.
On his left, in the distance, are the sails of ships, for only by traversing the waters of the unconscious and emotional depths can he be approached on the island that is his throne.
But make no mistake — despite his cordial benevolence, the King of Cups is no wimp, either.
The King of Cups in “Real Life”
For instance, the Dalai Lama, a watery Cancerian, comes to mind. The leader of his nation as well as his ancient spiritual tradition, he embodies serenity and tolerance. Yet he is a fierce opponent as he works to end the destructive occupation of his country by China.
Even in the most hectic or stressful situations, the King of Cups is a person who radiates peace. If there is ever a crisis, perhaps second only to the King of Pentacles, this is someone you want to have around, lending a calm, loving hand. This person would have an innate talent for understanding, creativity, and balance.
The person with a strong King of Cups energy would be a successful practitioner of the healing arts (either traditional or esoteric). A very sensitive soul, they also make wonderful teachers, counselors, spiritual leaders, and artists.
They may also be found practicing law, or in advocacy for those who are unable to defend themselves, for their heart-centered orientation often compels them to seek justice. And their maturity, empathy, and abilities to go with the flow give them an edge in all matters of diplomacy.
Jupiter and the Fork in the Road
If it has felt like power and progress have been in short supply lately, it’s no wonder. Not only is action fiend Mars retrograde right now, so are the important outer planets of Saturn, Neptune, and Pluto.
Lance Ferguson at Skywatch Astrology offers some perspective for this complex time:
This month could mark a turning point in your life in some way. The Skywatch is unsettled, to say the least…
Jupiter resumes direct motion on July 10. The planet of expansion has been Retrograde since March 8, diluting our power to grow and expand in the last few months.
Not likely you’ll feel this one with Mercury and Mars both backing up now..[but]..this is a good time to be planning and building something to start after Mars goes direct Aug 27—especially since Jupiter will be direct then and powerful—ready to charge up your energy and make good things happen at the same time—this is money in the bank as far as good timing goes…
Mercury hasn’t quite started its apparent reversal — retrograde starts on July 26. But we have entered the so-called retrograde “shadow,” in which the planet slows and prepares to back up (from our point of view on Earth). We may begin to feel hampered by small annoyances and delays, Merc retro-style (and, alas, aggressive Mars in retro will only compound the frustration and irritation).
But the gift of any retrograde period is that we are being nudged to go inwards, to repair, reevaluate, reflect. And who better to guide us into the depths of our inner deliberations than the King of Cups?
Adding even more encouragement to listen and rule from your intuitive power at this potentially life-changing time, Aquarius Papers virtuoso, Robert Wilkinson adds:
As Jupiter goes direct it is exact septile with Saturn; the entire world, as well as our individual lives, stands at a “fork in the road of destiny.”
As these are socio-cultural planets, all of us are at a point of choice and change. If things don’t make sense right now they don’t have to, so don’t sweat “not knowing…”
… We all will benefit from Jupiter’s favorable aspects to both Neptune and Pluto from now through October, so tune into the larger feeling-field and allow your faith and concentration to “rehearse” what needs practice during the quickening of Sept-October.”
If anyone was ever able to “tune into the larger feeling-field,” it would be the King of Cups. And even if we don’t absolutely know what this means yet, he is the ideal ally suggesting we trust ourselves, with the steady patience of water.
Thus, I think we are being invited to use our own inner contacts and resources, as well as seeking out the healers, intuitives, and emotionally proficient people around us — those who are adept at empathic knowing, willing to reflect and support what may be unseen in our depths. A heart-to-heart with such a person could bring long-lasting results at this time.
The King’s Blessings for New Moon and Eclipse
And then, on Thursday, look within your heart, as you sow the Plutonically powerful seeds for this New Moon. Lance at Skywatch urges us to pay attention to this most sensitive of New Moons:
The Solar Eclipse lines up on July 12 exactly opposite “Godfather” Pluto. New Moons always bring the time to plant seeds. An Eclipse makes this New Moon extra powerful by itself. Pluto helps seeds planted now grow like Jack and his beanstalk.
Moreover, the Moon in Cancer makes a Water Grand trine with lucky Jupiter and psychic Neptune that afternoon. This is an extraordinary combination of energies…[I] suggest you plant a seed of your own on this day, even as little as writing down your new intention.
Be patient with Mars Rx in starting new projects—the pace and progress will pick up after Mars resumes direct motion.
The always insightful Judy Joyce sums it up for us:
This will be a powerful eclipse. The New Moon is opposite Pluto which indicates secrets may be revealed and a major fight for power and control could ensue. The energy is transformative, intense, and long lasting.
A powerful shift can result, and this will develop over at least the next six months and will be a strong influence for the rest of the summer. The effects of this eclipse are likely to be much stronger out in the world than in our personal lives, but for some of us it may initiate a time of major transformation.
I would suggest that once again, the Tarot’s timing is perfect. Whether you are in the midst of the fierce heat of Summer (here in the Northern Hemisphere), or the stinging cold of Winter (in the lands below the Equator), this visit from the King of Cups offers a refreshing blessing for all new beginnings.
In the silent moments of the dark Moon and the partially eclipsed Sun, both of which are in Moon-ruled, emotional Cancer, the King offers cleansing and healing renewal as he washes away our tears and the toxicity of our times. He shows us how to step up and lead with compassion and empathy.
Flowing With Grace and Wisdom
Every day, I hear from concerned, intuitive men and women who are struggling with the misery with which we are being inundated. From hundreds perishing in unprecedented Japanese flooding, to the unraveling of democracy; from the hateful mockeries of common decency, to the destruction of programs and laws protecting the environment, children, women, and people of color.. well, you know. The lists go on and on.
For those of us who are open to the unseen flow of etheric energies, the waves of anger, fear, and suffering are visceral, affecting our own bodies and spirits in a constant barrage.
For as Whitman notes, we do not need to ask how the wounded of this world feel because we know. Because we are aware of our Oneness, we endure the global woundedness, and feel the pain of those around us, day in and day out.
The King understands this better than anyone, and would offer himself as an example of how to live and love successfully, without shutting down or drowning in a sea of heartbreak.
Wallowing and inaction are not his way. He shows us that stability and authority can be held, while remaining sensitive and responsive to even the most subtle emotional currents. He is a master of the mindset and techniques that enable him to be clear, open, and in touch with all of his emotional complexity.
How might you be called upon to find this power in yourself?
In a time of ever more calamitous, stressful news each day, consider how patience and grace may be required from you, especially in matters of great significance.
In what ways are you called on to exercise mature restraint when emotions run high, as they are bound to right now? This is not the time to indulge in emotional drama and histrionics, but instead, use your sensitivities for a higher purpose of good.
Who is in need of your kindly wisdom? Who could be healed by your compassion? How might you turn your forebodings into art? What magical creature swims near you, whispering its wisdom in your dreams?
In gentleness, there is great power; with empathy, profound change is possible.
Or perhaps this is the time for you to seek a healer, counselor, or wise listener. Who, in your current situation, balances both the cup of wishes and love in one hand, and the scepter of power in the other?
Let us do only what we know in our hearts is right, and let our every action be centered in kindness. Like the flowing nature of the King of Cups, every word and deed is bound to ripple out beyond our knowing.