Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred…I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character… I have a dream today…
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Aug. 28, 1963
Despite the grinding losses that continue to pile up, the bitter disappointments, and the precarious dangers surrounding us this week, the Tarot offers a relatively rare message; indeed, one we have not received since October of 2017. What a joyous card, and what a blessing to see it this week! Let us welcome the Ten of Cups.
The Tarot’s Cups, of course, are the suit of the heart, and reveal our loves, intuition and dreams, and the emotions. The Tens are the culmination of the suit, containing the seeds of the next cycle. They are the overflowing energy of the suit.
In this case, we have the ultimate fulfillment of our emotional needs: love, happiness, family harmony, and a joyful celebration.
The happy couple, holding each other gently, celebrates the appearance of the cup-crowned rainbow, as two little children dance. In the distance is their modest home, and a clear horizon.
This is another of Pamela Colman Smith’s “stage” cards, referring to the horizontal line across the card that may question whether the background is real. Instead, it could be argued that these are players on a stage. This certainly gives the appearance of the happily-ever-after ending of a play or story.
Rainbows, of course, are often considered a sign of Divine blessings and protection. They may also be a bridge, like the Norse Bifrost, that connects the human realms (Midgard) with the Divine (Asgard, land of the Gods).
This is surely a completion card of harmony, thanksgiving, and pure happiness.
I Have a Dream –
A Dream Deeply Rooted in the American Dream
The one meager month devoted in America to “Black History,” featuring quickie sound-bites sprinkled in the media, is now half over.
But as every thinking white person must realize, Black History is so much bigger and more deeply interwoven in every chapter of this country’s history than this paltry, compartmentalized mention. It is long past time to give the full respect and attention to the contributions, innovations, struggles, and dreams of our Black sisters and brothers.
So perhaps this timing of the Ten of Cups’ return invites us to consider what, in truth, equality means. Certainly it is not our talent, physical prowess, wealth, intelligence, or beauty – those things are given in unequal, unknowable measure, in an infinite, fluctuating variety of combinations, to each individual.
But there is an underlying unity that transcends our differences. It is consistent and true, in all but the most deadened hearts.
Whatever the color of our skin; whatever language we speak; in whatever ways we explain and experience the Mysterious; whoever we give our love to; under our many hats and masks:
Each and every one of us ultimately wants the same simple things – safety and shelter for our families, robust health, good water and food on our tables, and peace with our neighbors and loved ones.
The Ten of Cups depicts the fulfillment of these most private and most universal longings. And I would like to imagine that, like a very few of her other cards, Pamela Colman Smith deliberately rendered the Ten of Cups with an unspecified racial identity for this family.
The First of 2021’s Greatest Hits
Astrological hits, that is.
On Wednesday, the 17th, the first of three squares this year between Saturn and Uranus will arrive, which many astrologers agree will be the defining transit of the year.
Annie Heese writes:
Adjusting our plans may be in order, and striking a balance between convention and innovation is the challenge. Setbacks tend to be temporary and often lead to new, more creative paths or solutions. While this aspect is active, however, we can feel some real frustration…
There can be elevated frustrations related to differences in opinion that feel more problematic than usual, blocking progress or leading to delays. People we relied on may seem less reliable at this time.
We have an unusual situation in which Saturn, the conservative planet, is in a progressive sign, Aquarius, while Uranus, the progressive planet, is in a conservative sign, Taurus.
At times, these energies can feel oppressive and we might feel that we’re often at cross-purposes, even when the end game is similar.
With the bold font added by me for emphasis, astrologer “AstroButterfly” offers further clarification:
The Saturn-Uranus square can bring us enormous friction, but also incredible opportunities for change and progress.
History will be made during the year-long Saturn-Uranus transit, so you want to pay special attention to the themes that play in your life at the time of the 1st conjunction, on February 17th, 2021 – because these themes are here to stay.
Another special theme in February is that we have an Aquarius stellium. The Sun, Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn (and for a few days) the Moon are all in Aquarius – we haven’t had so many planets in Aquarius since 1962!
And to make things even more ‘interesting,’ all the planets in Aquarius are [squaring ] Uranus.
It’s worth noting that Uranus is ruled by .. guess who? Yes, Aquarius.
And you will want to be advised that on Saturday, the misfires of Mercury retrograde begin to recede. That’s when the planet of communication, travel, commerce, and technology (at last!) stations direct.
Lots more is popping this week, and I urge you to check in for details with the ever-brilliant Elisabeth Grace’s insights.
While all these tensions and potential disruptions may seem at odds with the happy energy of the Ten of Cups, I like that the Tarot is offering it as the standard by which we measure our commitment to sort out our differences.
In other words, what is the ultimate goal, as we struggle with life’s frictions and frustrations? Why do we even bother?
Many are the concerns and troubles that each of us is facing individually, and as a global community. But the Ten of Cups shows us that beneath all the complexities and challenges of our world, the formula for happiness for each individual remains quite simple.
And it affirms that we are given incredible power for healing, forgiveness, and peace, when our hearts overflow with Good. When life looks and feels like this simple scene, war, hate, prejudice, and fear become obsolete.
How can we find this kind of love and contentment? Gaze upon the Ten of Cups and open your heart. Discover in what ways they are already yours.
If work, financial worries, or other difficulties have been taking up your energy, stop a moment. Recognize the incredible love that fills and defines this world of ours. Realize that, despite any personal dilemmas, you have so much to offer, and to give thanks for.
The Dream We All Share
Happiness is not just the absence of pain. It exists as the true essence of every man, woman, and child. Grace is given to us all, in the exact measure that we give it to one another. It is simplicity itself. This is the pulse of the Divine within us.
Across the sky before you is spread the rainbow’s promise. What would such a sign mean in your own life? How can you offer yourself as a beacon of this Divine love? In what ways are you profoundly blessed at this time? What love can you bestow upon others?
This week, remember that even the most complicated, painful human situations can be helped by finding our common ground and opening our hearts to one another. Dr. King’s dream is one that we all share.
While strife, danger, and sorrow are certainly a part of our reality, remember the lesson of the Hierophant — that there is a bridge and a truth that shines through, regardless. Joy and harmony need not be based on the whim of outside circumstance.
So let us set aside the cup of bitterness and hatred. Through the giving of our love — abundant, overflowing, and without measure — we cross the bridge to our most divine nature, and thereby access the very heavens.