Inspiring Enchantment & Illumination with Tarot & Intuitive Guidance

Tarot Card of the U.S. Election Week, Nov. 2-8, 2020: Five of Cups

If you’re invested in security and certainty, you are on the wrong planet.
Pema Chodron

Like you, I am not happy that this is our card for this week of what feels like the climax of an existential crisis. And then I thought, well at least it’s not a repeat of last week’s Five of Pentacles, or, maybe worse, the Five of Swords, which actually peeked out at me while I shuffled. (It was not a “jumper,” just a little “Hello, remember me?” so I nodded back and let it go).

Because I am so deeply feeling this cusp of epochal change, I had offered an extra measure of ceremony and preparation before I pulled this week’s card. So although my very human (and scared) self whined, “Really?? Really??” my true knowing brought a calm, albeit admittedly disappointed, acceptance.

So here we are (again) with this card that speaks to heartbreak and grieving, its last visit having been at almost the identical time of year, in 2019.

As has been noted before, in it, we see an androgynous figure cloaked in black mourning, slightly turned away from us, face hidden in grief, gazing at three cups that have emptied their orange, red, and green contents.

While the sky is a non-committal, slightly melancholy gray, the river nearby is clear and relatively smooth. There are rolling hills and there are two cups behind the figure. On the other side of the bridge is “a small keep or holding” as Arthur Waite describes it.

He also tells us that this is a card of loss, but “something remains over; three have been taken, but two are left.”

You will remember that the Cups suit corresponds to the element of Water, and therefore addresses all matters of the heart, our emotions, our dreams, and our intuition.

And if you’ve been reading my articles a while, you’ll know what I mean when I point out that this is one of Pixie Smith’s “stage cards.” Look closely and you will see there is a dark, horizontal line between the foreground where the mourner stands with the cups and the background landscape.

How often have you watched a film or television program and found yourself calling out aloud to the lead character, “NO! NO! Don’t fall for it! Look behind you!”

That is the feeling this card can evoke in us, as the witnesses, because the Fives of the Tarot all depict situations in which pain or discomfort serves to push us towards change.

If only we could reach this broken-hearted person and reassure them that yes, the spilled cups are sad, but there’s no use crying over spilled Cups. Besides, something else awaits: there are two very promising cups (shown here) that they seem unaware of. Plus there’s a bridge, and a new place of shelter and homecoming.

So, how real is this scene? Could it instead perhaps be a drama being enacted on a theater stage for the benefit of an audience?

If so, to what purpose?

The Mercury-Saturn Challenges

Even the most casual observers of astrology know that we have been in an unusually challenging Mercury retrograde period, which concludes Nov. 3. And is there anyone, at least in the United States, that is not aware that Nov. 3 is, for better or worse, the U.S.’s Election Day?

As my wise friend, astrological adept Elisabeth Grace, explains, “When a planet is stationary (that’s the tech term for ‘slowing to a virtual standstill’), it is reflected in human experience in the way a driver leans on a horn. We see events blaring in whatever that planet symbolizes. Mercury refers to communication, transportation, information, negotiation and transmissions. We are advised to apply extra FOCUS in these concerns.”

Furthermore, not only is the conclusion of Mercury retrograde blaring a car horn at us, Elisabeth also cautions that the most important planetary pattern this week is a Mercury-Saturn square:

On Sunday, retrograde Mercury was challenged by Saturn, symbol of structure, authority, controls and BLOCKS. Did we see any authoritative blocks in the news yesterday? We sure did — including a blockade now being erected around the White House, and roads and bridges being blocked by supporters of P45, as Heather Cox Richardson explains.

How many efforts to BLOCK votes will we see this week? Hundreds, says HCR.  This Mercury-Saturn pattern carries gravitas, and it is the only exact pattern in the cosmos. It will be repeated early Friday morning, now with Mercury moving direct.

If the Five of Cups isn’t about heaviness — a portrait of it, even — I don’t know what is.

But wait, there’s lots more. She continues:

Buzz, buzz, buzz — goes the Gemini Moon, which would also like to have things both ways. Gemini is literally mercurial — the flow of information may feel as if you’re watching a tennis match. Mercury (ruler of Gemini) turns direct at 12:50 PM ET; I’m sure the day will reflect this pattern in multiple communication and tech snafus. MAINTAIN FOCUS AND TRIPLE CHECK ALL DOCUMENTS!

Mercury’s change of direction is energized by a harmony with Mars, encouraging action and assertion, for better or worse. The afternoon and early evening ET is blurred by a square between Neptune and the Moon, facilitating hope (upside). Downside: lack of focus (!!!) and false information. DON’T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU HEAR.

The solitary figure in the Five of Cups depicts the universality of loss and grief that befalls us all. But the two remaining cups reveal there is more to come, if we will just steer clear of the Neptune/Moon fog and, like Mercury, change direction.

Our friend Lorna Bevan at Hare in the Moon Astrology adds her own insights as well, for this week that she calls a Mercury Direct Storm:

The Messenger [Mercury] stations to turn forward on 25° Libra conjunct Haumea – harbinger of epochal events – opposite Disruptor Eris and squaring sober Saturn twice in 5 days. Already across Europe, a second round of lockdowns has been imposed against the background of a Fatwa against France and a seismic earthquake in Turkey and Greece.

Expect a charged week of Trickster chaos with US voting system glitches. Given Mars retrograde until November 14th and the 3rd Jupiter/Pluto Conjunction on November 12th, nothing is going to be cut and dried.

The rapidly approaching end of an entire epoch, a permanent shift in the Zeitgeist, plus the first US Pluto Return since the Founding Fathers, are putting current political dramas into their correct perspective — i.e. little more than trying to frantically re-arrange the deckchairs on the Titanic.

The key players will appear and disappear, lit by the flickering light of publicity and social media but the coming social transformation between 2021-43 is going to be so much more powerful than any party or person.

Powerful Magnetics are Shaking, Recoding, and Overwriting Old Realities.

Even in our 4D tribes, there are still so many making futile attempts to get back to how it used to be, so many stuck in outdated New Age practices naïvely expecting that we can just wait for a silver bullet in the shape of a one-shot vaccine or a new leader and then go singing and dancing into a sparkling new Aquarian Age of love and light.

In your own life, drop any attachment and expectations around to the way things should be, or used to be, or could be and stay wide open to the mysteries of What Is ….

Transitioning to becoming a savvy influencer in the emerging Aquarian Paradigm means mastering your own narrative, internally and externally.

And as our Wise Teachers throughout time and traditions have told us over and over, mastering our internal and external narrative means understanding, aligning with, and having compassion for life as it really is. In other words, if you are looking for security and freedom from uncertainty, you’ve come to the wrong planet.

Turn Around – There is More to Come

I wish I could have served up a piping hot dish of upbeat reassurance this week. Or at least a message that the old is going to dissolve away, no muss, no fuss.

But it appears, my loves, it is not going to be that way. Instead, we are guided to be aware of our feelings, even when they are painful. There is no wisdom in hiding, burying, or denying our emotions. But remember that’s not all there is. Life is change and as long as we are here, we dance from moment to moment, with Love’s gifts, unexpected and unlooked-for, always nearby.


That’s why I am not saying that all shall be lost or that this will be a week of unmitigated grief, because the card itself says no such thing. Even in this dramatic and difficult moment on the stage, the Fives are only half of the story, always calling us forward to the realization of the Tens of Tarot’s suits.

All is not lost. This week, we may need to pause and acknowledge the painful losses we have endured. But there is love that has had our backs all along, now showing us the way to go home.

If events this week, whether large or small, push you to the brink of despair, know that the Tarot and I are calling out to you – “NO! NO! Don’t fall for it! Look behind you!”

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • November 2, 2020, 6:37 pm Amie

    Thank you. Your words are a guiding light.

    In an interesting bit of synchronicity, I came to your blog from Instagram where the last post I saw was this:
    Maggie Stiefvater just illustrated a tarot deck with elements from her book “Scorpio Sea”. The card she posted about today was, yes, the 5 of Cups. She calls it “the break up card”. So I got a twinge of twisted hope when I saw your card of the week. So of many of us would love to break up with Trump.
    I am concerned that blood will be spilled.

    💗 “there is love that has had our backs all along, now showing us the way to go home.” 💗
    Sending love! Amie

  • November 2, 2020, 7:38 pm Beth

    Thanks so much, Amie! I am so happy you have found me, and yes, it is a most unwelcome card when we are thinking about our relationships.

    I love your interpretation for breaking up THIS relationship! So mote it be!!

  • November 2, 2020, 9:13 pm Athena Noctua Bubo

    Hello Beth Owl-

    I too was dismayed to see this card, but it seems fitting after your Samhain post noting all the people we have lost on a national/international scale like RBG, and the ones more personal to us, such as my Godmother’s recent passing. Then add in all the COVID’s death and the coming ones due to the new surge. Personally, the card feels like mourning the loss of lives and loved ones, not necessarily an indicator of the election. The last time we had a Mercury Retrograde election was in 2000, and it took over a month to decide that election. It looks like Chief Justice John Roberts is trying to stay out of this election. For having a SCOTUS that was packed w/ 3 Justices selected by 1 President decide he was the winner, would destroy the legitimay of the court and the rule of law.

  • November 3, 2020, 8:40 am nofixedstars

    well, then.

    but really, did we think it would be easy? although many of us have a seething cocktail of dread with a twist of desperate hope about this election that we have been putting off drinking until we cannot avoid it, i think we know that there won’t be a magical, instantaneous transformation even if the election went as we want and need it to go. in the very best case, we were going to have a lot of hard work and hard conversations before us (nationally, i mean), and a long road toward a better place.

    maybe that chappie in the card is grieving the way it “used to be”, an imaginary golden age of certainty and righteousness and prestige and never-ending increase…maybe the spilt cups were filled with ill-gotten gains, the spoils of invasion, massacre, forced conversion, land grabs, slavery, discrimination, jingoism, racism, misogyny, and greed. maybe the shame and dismay of all the uncomfortable, dishonourable history has come home to roost in his heart. and he cannot (yet) see that two cups remain; only when he turns away from mourning and obsessing over what has been lost will he see them. are they empty? if so, perhaps they await the work of his heart and hands to fill with something more just, more sustainable. if full of something we cannot see, perhaps they are the good and equitable parts of his heritage. if he could bring himself to look into them, maybe he would see something hopeful.

    in any event, with or without hope, we have work to do. it may be the task of our lifetime to do this work. if we pause at times to grieve—or to celebrate, should we be that lucky—that is natural and right. it is part of the endless flow of being alive, for as this post reminds us, the only certainty is change…

  • November 3, 2020, 9:41 am Beth

    OMGs, nofixedstars! “A seething cocktail of dread with a twist of desperate hope” pretty much nails it. Brilliant.

    Thank you, yes.

  • November 3, 2020, 1:28 pm Athena Noctua Bubo

    @nofixedstars. I love your thoughts on this card. Maybe what is spilled needed to be poured out so we can move on and have “clean” water or wine so to speak.

  • November 3, 2020, 4:42 pm Beth

    By the way, sparked by an email I just received, let me make clear something that might not have been:

    I never intended this to be a prediction of the election outcome, one way or another.

    Instead, it is, as my cards always are each week, an overview that I think of as “mundane Tarot,” in a way similar to “mundane astrology,” which the Astrology Encyclopedia defines as “An interpretation of Astrology in terms of world trends, the destinies of nations and of large groups of individuals, based on an analysis of the effects of Equinoxes, Solstices, New Moons, Eclipses, planetary conjunctions, and similar celestial phenomena; as distinguished from Natal Astrology, specifically applicable to an individual birth horoscope.”

    Since my weekly cards are not for a particular client, nor are they a complete spread, this has been my intention for over 17 years. 🙂