4 of Cups

feel free to abstain

Four represents a place of stability + Cups deal with our inner worlds.

from the Leonardo Da Vinci Tarot by Lo Scarabeo

And so, in the centered position on the spectrum, the Four of Cups shows the offer of a cup, but we already have those other 3 Cups and are in no need of another, yet. We’re good, thanks. We may mull it over, but really don’t feel the need to accept another at this time. If the offer is meant for us, it will be made again. This card may indicate a stationary period, taking some time for ourselves, or abstinence; but we are content. Reluctance isn’t always a bad thing, and we must always trust that we can say “no.”

In deficiency or resistance, we’re apathetic or distrusting, emotionally closed off to the offer. Aversion. Disconnected and discontented. We may have settled into an emotional pattern or cut ourselves off from those around us, perhaps holding a grudge.

If the Cups signify our emotions in the card image, what emotion or memory or part are we refusing?

In excess, we are never satisfied, becoming too discriminating or picky; unappreciative of the goodness we have.

Questions to consider when this card comes up may include

  • What or whom have you closed yourself off to?
  • Is there a memory or feeling related to the matter that you’re repressing?
  • Are parts of you unwilling to open up? How can you best tend and nurture them so that they feel heard and accepted?
  • Or, are you ignoring a part?
  • Where are you dissatisfied? Is this a pattern? What can you do about it?
  • What role has rejection played in your life?

What else? There’s much to consider in this card, and you may have different insights. How has it come up for you? Feel free to share in comments.

3 of Cups

Seek out your community

Three is expansion from the two + Cups point to our emotional experiences and relating to others.

from the Art History Tarot of Past Lives

And so, in its centered or balanced position on the spectrum, the Three of Cups expands or evolves outward from the two in emotional generosity. This is the weaving together of a community in which we feel accepted and supported. We see that one person cannot be our sole mirror and that each relationship brings out other facets and builds webs. This card also carries a tone of celebration — it may be small, it may be temporary, but we’re invited to be present in community where we are valued.

As we consider the Cups as symbolizing emotions, we can also apply the expansive nature of three (the reaction or response to the two in synthesis or releasing the tension inherent in two) as an emotional breakthrough of some sort, supporting the healing of personal wounds.

Where water is deficient, we don’t feel included or supported, or we may choose to remain solitary.

In excess, we may be drowning our emotional wounds in excess socializing or partying, or we have an over dependence on group acceptance.

Questions we think about when this card comes up may include

  • To whom can you turn for support?
  • Do you care what others think? What part of you requires that?
  • Do you avoid the company of others? Is that a function of introversion, or is there a part that fears some sort of wounding?
  • Are you afraid of standing out, preferring Instead the safety of being surrounded by your tribe?

What else? There are other facets to this card and your insights may differ. Feel free to share!

2 of Cups

look into the mirror of the other

Twos take us from the sole oneness of Ace to the introduction of an other + watery Cups represent feelings and relationships.

from Murder of Crows Tarot, by Corrado Roi

And so, in its upright or balanced position on the spectrum, the Two of Cups is a coming together in relationship — whether a partnership of some sort or as the integration of parts within the self. It invites us to look into the mirror of the other and see ourselves reflected back. Can you accept what you see? This card’s most fundamental message relates to the age-old advice that you will not find love in another if you can’t find it within yourself. It’s important to remember that this card isn’t necessarily about romantic love, but about relationships and love of all kinds, including self.

In resistance, we find incompatibility between the two, or we separate. We may be rejecting a part of ourselves. It may also hint at an independence which rejects others.

In excess, we become dependent on another to compensate for a perceived lack in ourselves which we see reflected. Co-dependency.

Questions we may ask when this card comes up include

  • What part is preventing you from reaching out due to pride or fear?
  • What attracts you to another person in friendship, collaboration, love, etc.?
  • What irks you in another person in friendship, collaboration, love, etc.?
  • What painful event from the past do you need to make peace with in order to heal and move on?
  • How do you balance solitude and connection with others?

What else? Of course, this is just a sampling of this card’s spectrum, and you may have other insights. How do you see this card? How has it come up for you? Feel free to share in comments.

Ace of Cups

expand your capacity for compassion and healing

Aces are offerings or opportunities of the highest potential of the suit + Cups rule the domain of water, representing our emotional experiences and how we relate to others.

from Sola Busca Revisited by Tarot by Seven

And so the Ace of Cups reminds us to expand our capacity for compassion and fulfillment in whatever situation is coming up (whether toward self or others). It offers us a chance to more deeply consider what we’re available to receive or take part in.

In resistance, we withdraw. Our heart isn’t available for connection with others, this new experience, or acceptance (again, whether socially or of the self).

In excess, we may hold unrealistic ideals in this new experience or relationship. Are we a little starry-eyed?

Questions that we may be prompted to ask when this card comes up include:

  • How connected are you with your subconscious parts? How can you better connect with and accommodate their needs ?
  • How connected are you with your spirituality or a higher power? What do you hope to cultivate in spiritual practice?
  • What parts of you feel the need to protect your heart?

But of course that’s just a beginning. How do you see this card? How has it come up for you? What is your favorite depiction of the Ace of Cups, and how are its shadow aspects portrayed?