For the past few weeks I keep getting the Nine of Cups. I am Pisces (Sun) and Pisces (Mercury) so I often identify quite strongly with the Cups suit.
The Cups are all about emotion – the understanding of it, the receiving and the communication of it. There energy is about love, relationships, connections, feelings and the expression of these in yourself and with others. At a more abstract level they are linked with creativity, imagination, intuition and dreams. But when negative or blocked this energy can lead to a person being unbalanced emotionally – either overly emotional or dispassionate with others. It can also lead to a person becoming too orientated towards their fantasy life and being overly dreamy or becoming too indulgent with sensuality e.g., food and wine. Or their appearance in a negative aspect could indicate that a person is blocking their emotions, creativity and relations with others.
Because I am a Cups person I am often in tune with the more positive aspects of the cups suit but can easily find myself expressing the more negative aspects leading me to become despondent and depressed. Because of this I can often withdraw from myself and others. I can also become trapped in my own little fantasy world – dreaming of things I could be doing rather than achieving them. I have been aware of this for a while but the repeated appearance of the Nine of Wands has led me to consider another area in which I may be expressing my cups energy (emotion) in a dysfunctional manner…
The Nine of Wands, in the Rider Waite Deck, shows a very happy and contented man who appears to be fully satisfied with what has attained represented by the nine cups surrounding him. However, as it has kept appearing in my spreads I have began to notice that he also can be seen as a little bit lazy, smug and unconnected with others. In comparison with the next card, the Ten of Cups, where he is joined with a partner and a family, he can appear a little bit lonely?
Funnily enough though, even though I dread pulling it, it is one of the cards that I feel the most connected to. I think this is because I have quite a bit of the Tower within me (challenging and a little bit revolutionary) as well as having had the misfortune or fortune (depending on your point of view) to experience many Tower moments in my life.
The Tower represents our structure – how we view and perceive the world and our place in it. It is our home both physical, mental and abstract. It represents physical structures as well as beliefs and ideologies. These structures we build around us provide us with meaning and support but they can also, if they become too solidified, imprison and constrain us. When The Tower is hit by a lightning bolt it is decimated, destroyed and what we perceived to be strong and solid is laid completely to waste. I suppose I love the freedom that the lightning bolt gives us – to radically change who we are, where we are and what we believe in. However this change is sudden, fast and involves the absolute destruction of everything we hold dear – and this is painful. From this destruction and pain the ground is cleared for a new structure to be built which brings feelings of hope and excitement … but getting there is difficult and traumatic.
I love the challenge of the lightening bolt, the energy to break down so that the new can be built … but I fear the pain and destruction that goes along with it … which, I feel, is perfectly normal. We can’t always be going around destroying ourselves and our lovingly built structures or where would we live? And what would be our foundation?
I have welcomed the lightning bolt moments in my life that have enabled me to get rid of things and beliefs which imprison me. I have welcomed the freedom to rebuild my own, unique life afterwards … but, you know what? I quite like my Tower, the Tower I’ve rebuilt and I don’t really feel like tearing it down … not just yet, anyway.
For the past few weeks I’ve fallen in love with The Ten of Wands from The Shadowscape Tarot. When I did my first reading with this pack I pulled the Ten of Wands and was immediately entranced. Normally I have felt that this card was quite masculine and focused on the burden of trying to carry so many wands. This card revealed to me an entirely different aspect of the Ten of Wands. I was struck by the beautiful femininity of the woman who is holding on her back what looks like an entire world. This world is growing out her back, her very being, and she is nourishing the world and supporting it – almost a bit like The Empress in the Major Arcana. From looking at this particular card I can see that although the Ten of Wands speaks of how overburdened we can become if we take on too much it also shows how much strength and endurance we have if we choose to take on these burdens. The woman in the card has chosen to nourish and support this world and from the card I feel that although it is difficult she has the strength to continue to do so. For me this card speaks of heavy burdens that come with responsibility and care but it also shows that we have the inner strength to bear this responsibility – for ourselves and others.