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Entertaining, Sassy, Creative, Deep, Passionate. Artistic, Tender, Opinionated. Joyful, Stubborn, Grateful, Humble.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Llewellyn Tarot

The 8 of Cups.

Painted by the talented Anne Marie Ferguson, part of the 78 Tarot Cards from The Llewellyn Tarot. One of my very favorite decks, so beautiful. And a book I have been reading by Paul Fenton-Smith, 'The Tarot Revealed.' I do believe I have everything he has ever written, and eagerly await more. Keep writing Paul. For some reason his take on this card, and his way of looking at the cards, really resonated with me. Has given me some new ideas of what I see here, and where she is going.

This card has flipped out several times this week, even in other Tarot Decks I may be using to Read with....here it is. I, personally, don't usually see it as a happy card. It feels dark, only moonlight to guide her. And rough terrain, she seems to be clad in a very covering night gown, must be cold, damp out there. Holding something in front of her, white, something white? A blanket? A cape? Her hair seems drenched with dew...just laying stuck to her shoulders and back. She is leaning forward, using a wooden pole of a crutch to help her climb over the rocks and the mud that seem to be in her path. I think she is barefooted. Seems to be moving slowly. The rocks look dark, slippery, mossy, water crashing over them. You cannot even see land, just the spot she stands on, maybe it goes out to the right side of the card, it may be a path, or a dark forrest. It looks traveled before, this dark ghostly path. She may have not found it yet, or she may not even see it yet. She seems to have gone as far as she can go, right to the edge of the land. Right on the edge. Ever been on the edge? Not my favorite place to be. And the golden cups. 8. I have always thought it strange how they are arranged, being a tad OCD here, I want to straighten them out. Line them up. But thanks to Paul, I see this is good. I love his ideas, and one of them is to know your Tarot. Know all the cards. Know the one that comes before this card ,and the others in their line up on the 1-10 Cups in the Minor Arcane, know what the numbers stand for, gather all the information about this card, before I add what I feel about this card, my own Gestalt twist to it.
If I step back in time, here are the 5,6 and 7 of Cups. What may have happened to bring her to this dark night, sad and lost, 8 of cups card? 5 of Cups, a loss. Grief, this too shall pass, a gray flood of emotion that matches the gray overcast sky. Yet, hope, as 2 cups still stand, behind him/her. Unnoticed. When he does have time, to get past the spilt cups he will never have again, he walks into the 6 of Cups card. Ah, such happy memories, the sweetest friend to share them with. Home, and a big tree to climb, pets and blooming flowers, jonquils, must be spring. A time of hope. Then, moving into the 7 of Cups, knocked back down on your knees. Choices, confusion, which way is the right way? She weighs her options, and makes a choice. The choice adds another Golden Cup to her collection, but at what cost? 8 is the number for the Major Arcana Strength Card. This calls for a time of strength. Inner strength, maybe outer strength. Going through something you aren't sure you can make it. So you look in those cups, which before were full of many choices. Now they sit empty. Yet, hope springs eternal. She has arranged them with one off to the side. Room for one new one to rest with the collection. But where is it? That is what she is hunting for. And that is why she is leaving, even in the dark of night. Unsure, and no compass but her heart....she is moving on.
If you lay the next card down, she walks into the 9 of Cups card. The card of joy, your wish coming true. Her gamble paid off, and listening to her heart, was the right thing to do. Even thought she appeared alone, and no brilliant guidance from well meaning friends. She walks on. In the 9 of Cups, she is surrounded by golden cups, and sunlight, and her pure white veil blowing in the wind! Look back through the cards....was it the white dress she wore as an innocent child in the 6 card? Then a white cape to protect her, in the 7 of cups card? And the 8 of cups card....it looks like a security blanket she clings to in the dark. Looks like all she carries away, except the club (Ace of Wands?) she is leaning on? In the 9 card, it billows in the wind, a lovely veil. She is blessed with Grace and Glory as she sits in the sweet meadow that was a miserable dark marsh in the card before. And life gets better....really! From that card she gets ups and walks into the 'I am so happy and home, and loved. The pot of Gold at the End of the Rainbow. Her white veil, now an apron to wear in her happy home with her husband and children. The dark stream that once looked so scary, now tumbles joyfully around the sitting golden cups. Her children play in it. No ghosts here. And the final card here, the Page of Cups. The missing cup from the 8 card, held up with a couple of fish in it. The white cloth is still showing up, as a tunic, decorated with a royal blue satin sash, and a sage green cloak to cover the fearless Page, as he steps on the rocks in his leather boots and protective clothing. I say he is the child in the 10 of cups card. He was holding a fishing pole and enjoying the clear blue water, filled with fish, fun, happy summer days. It feels like the person going through the passage of the cups cards is a female. Ah...emotions. The heartfelt things only girls are supposed to cry and then dance for joy, when the sun comes back out, and the test is over, right? But this Page feels like a male. A young man with such passion, hope, visions of art, music, joy. Maybe his mother has been the one going through the lessons of the Cups cards....and he has watched and learned. Now is his turn. He has such excitement, can see into his future and only see good things. Such is life as a teenager. But life brings these lessons to us all, and that is good. She, his mother will be there, to comfort and guide him as he makes takes his own path into the world. No one can do it for you. But they can listen, and care.
'Tears endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.' Psalms, true!
So, thank you Paul! I no longer look at this card as a sad, dire, dismal card. It is only a place in the dark, we all have been there and will go back from time to time. Life lessons. Looks like the golden cup to fill the empty spot on this card was so worth it to go after. Take the risk, it is so worth it. !