Nothing is so strong as gentleness and nothing is so gentle as real strength.
St. Francis de Sales
In a week that threatens to be fraught with conflict, emotion, and potential street violence not seen in America since the late 1960s, into the fray steps a calm, kindly persona who is focused on peace-making. Let us welcome the gentle influence of the King of Cups.
This King, robed in blue (associated with the Element of Water), also wears a cloak of yellow and red (Air and Fire, respectively). His shell-shaped, granite throne (Earth) manages to stay afloat in the rolling sea. Not only does he wear a golden fish for his chain of office, his feet are shod in fish scale armor.
His throne’s left arm is carved in the form of the lotus, ancient symbol of rebirth, wisdom, and spiritual awakening. This also connects him to the High Priestess, whose famed Boaz and Joachim temple columns culminate with the same lotus design.
And the lotus artwork is repeated in the scepter he holds in his left hand. Scepters are the tools of kingship and power, indicating that he represents serious and legitimate authority. He may be gentle, even loving, yet his gaze is steady and he sits comfortably on the throne.
His right hand naturally holds his suit’s Cup, but as every alchemist and magical practitioner knows, these two tools wield the powers of the masculine and feminine; of will and receptivity. He is the master of both.
Behind him, to his right (our left), a fish leaps from the waters, and to his left a sailing ship bobs along. Thus he is in the balanced middle between the world of Nature, and the world of human enterprise.
Court cards usually represent the influence of actual people. They may be someone else, or some important aspect of ourselves that is coming up at this time. Sometimes, though, they are simply the kind of energy that is in the forefront.
The Kings of the Tarot may be either male or female, but they are the overt, assertive personification of the suit’s energy. They are builders, mentors, and elders, and they direct events for the long term future. They represent maturity, discipline, and mastery. They point to our own capacity to realize our full potential.
And of course, the suit of the Cups presides over the flowing realms of emotions, dreams, intuition, and love.
So of all the Kings, the King of Cups would be a most considerate and humane role model. He is the personification of emotional intelligence.
King of Cups people are often trailblazers in the creative or healing arts. Certainly he offers a refreshing antidote to the steady diet of greed, immaturity, brutality, and lies that have cost so many Americans their lives and their faith these past four years.
Healers, artists, and calm, heart-directed wise women and men would certainly be most welcome as stabilizing, empathetic influencers, especially in this coming week of continued drama and difficulty.
His ability to feel deeply for others, to listen, and to have full compassion for the gamut of human emotions without being triggered or projecting make him a formidable healer, creator, or leader.
More aggressive, extroverted sorts may believe that his tender heart makes him a pushover, but make no mistake. The King of Cups no wimp. He has not shed his armor, and is ready for battle whenever necessary. He is innovative, flexible, and has the heart of an artist. And his ability to tune in to the subtle influences beneath the surface of things makes him a beloved commander.
The Cup and the Scepter
Perhaps this is a good time for you to seek a healer, counselor, or wise listener. Who, in your current situation, balances both the cup of dreams and love in one hand, and the scepter of power in the other?
How might you be called upon to find this power in yourself?
In a time of steadily heartbreaking, stressful news every day, consider how empathy and patience may be required from you, especially in matters of great significance.
In what ways are you challenged 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.
What premonitions whisper to you during this week’s last quarter Moon in Libra, and the changing signs of Mars (to Taurus on Wednesday), Mercury (to Aquarius on Friday), and Venus (to Capricorn, also on Friday). Who might be in need of your kindly wisdom? Who could be healed by your selflessness?
Perhaps you, yourself, are the one who needs to be bathed in the deep, cleansing waters of forgiveness and love.
Whatever you are feeling in this complex week of churning tides, you need not be swamped. Rest in the awareness of your own most noble nature.
For the King of Cups embodies the truth that in gentleness, there is tremendous power; not by force, but with empathy, profound change is possible.
Let us do only what we know in our hearts is right, and let our every action be centered in kindness, for all emotions are valid and important. Understanding is the place from which the light is born.