Sunday, June 15, 2008


The Eight of Cups in the Rider/Waite/Smith Tarot

Today's post was prompted by a sort of "reverse reading." The insight came first, then I thought of the card that fits it: The Eight of Cups. This post is also a rather odd, but sincere honoring of my father for Father's Day. Much of the emotional underpinnings to this inquiry were based in feelings generated in my relationship with him.

The Eight of Cups showed up briefly in my review of and reading with The Bohemian Gothic Tarot recently. Although I got a lot out of the Eight of Cups then, I now see even more. I had a dream last night on which I did some journaling this morning. It became clear the issue I am dealing with profoundly now is disappointment. But of many different varieties and going in different directions at once. And it hit me, ahHAH! The Eight of Cups, since "disappointment" is a major meaning for this card. It also hit me that a dream from the night before had also been about disappointment.

Not to belabor this point, but my inquiry now is into how deeply I fear disappointing others, and how that has been a major theme (and unfortunately, reality -- deserved sometimes, but many times not) from at least my teen years. Not only that but recognizing how underneath the enthusiasm and energy with which I take on new projects is a deep fear of being disappointed by others, in addition to a fear of letting them down. I now see how this is one of the factors undergirding my tendency to be a hermit. I'm not saying this is totally realistic or that others don't also experience various disappointments. Only that given my particular history and issues, it's been an almost paralyzing "double whammy" of fear at times.

Then when I decided to make this post about what I am now seeing in The Eight of Cups, I went to my notes to see if there were any "new" meanings for it I'd filed away since my last post on this card. And there was this one I'd forgotten about: "You are more disappointed in yourself than they are." Phew. (Along with "Are you really willing to make this move/change? Be sure before going any further.")

All of this takes me down an avenue of thinking about expectations and hopes. How much can be invested in them without becoming so attached to them as to be sand-bagged ultimately by disappointment when they don't work out. I hadn't even -- until this morning -- recognized that what underlies so much of my withdrawal tendency *is* disappointment. Disappointment that prompts the walking away from we see in many Tarot versions of this card, as in the RWS version above, and this one from The Light And Shadow Tarot:

Or the diving deep, retreating from the outer world, to figure out just what is going on, as seen in this version by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law of Shadowscapes/Tarot:

Or taking off in the boat of one's own, ultimately too small world, to protect one's self, as seen in this version from The Tarot/The Complete Kit:

Here's a the link to my initial post about The Eight of Cups. It covers the issue of disappointment, among some other areas the card can be seen to address. It's illustrated with a version from The Sacred Circle Tarot.

* * * *

‘til next time, keep walking toward self-knowledge, and enjoying The Tarot,

[aka: Patricia Kelly]
****If you wish to copy or use any of my writing, please email me for permission (under “View my complete profile”)**** SEE ALSO: Roswila’s Dream & Poetry Realm for Tarot poetry; Roswila’s Taiga Tarot for taiga (illustrated tanka); and Yahoo DREAMJIN: Group for Dreamku – Haiku-Like Dream Poems.****



Blogger Flower said...

Hello Roswilla :)
Another insightful read. It inspires me to delve deeper into the Tarot. I have, of late, been extremly busy at work and as a result not left time for anything else. But shall have an afternoon with my Tarot and Runes (oo is that a poem starting??)
Intersting about the disapointment issue and I can relate to that (and the Hermit).

I love the look of the 'Shadowscapes' Tarot - looks beautiful :)

Blessings at Solstice!

12:37 AM  
Blogger Roswila said...

Hi Melanie,

I certainly understand about being busy at work. What really surprised me was how once I was retired, I still found myself under regular time crunches. I think there's a rule in some universes -- at least the one I live in most of the time -- that activities will expand to fill any available moment. Then there's the corollary: Except for new poems, which will appear even when there isn't any available time or space. :-D

Oh, yes, the Shadowscapes Tarot is beautiful. I highly recommend visiting her site and checking out all of the artwork she has there, in addition to her Tarot designs. Her deck is almost complete. Pant, pant, drool, drool ... I will have to find a way to afford a copy once it's out.

Hope your Solstice is a Blessed One! (Here in Santa Barbara, California, they have a huge Solstice parade every year, with fantastic floats. Maybe I'll make it next year.)

12:17 PM  
Blogger Flower said...

Hi Roswilla,
i have just checked out 'shadowscapes'. What a beautiful site! I shall be adding that to my favourites and yes, the Tarot looks wonderful!

As for Solstice, I always intend to do something but then, as with each year, don't manage to get out. But when I do it has been not the most blessed experience.
I think it was 2 years ago I watched the sunrise atop Glastonbury Tor. Sounds beautiful, however, it was kind of spoiled by a group of people who had spent all night up there drinking, leaving broken bottles around and being sick.... Not my idea of Solstice blessings! But then again I have never been one for crowds so maybe quiet contemplation is the best way for me!


11:44 AM  
Blogger Roswila said...

Hi Melanie,

Me, too, not too big on group celebrations of any kind. I'm much more the hermit, or in my spiritual tradition: a solitary practitioner, as the expression goes. But I do love a parade! If I make it next year, I'll probably make some sort of costume (the parade has a basic theme each year and bystanders also costume-it-up).

Speaking of which, I saw the pictures today in a local newspaper of the Solstice Parade in Santa Barbara, and it did look like fun, if a bit daunting given the record high heat here recently. Which heat has nothing on what I endured for the 23 summers I lived in a top floor apartment back in New York city. Heat that even two air conditioners could not really cool off. So I'm grateful for what the "natives" complain about here. :-) I mean, the sea breezes, no big city grit in the air .... and a little studio apartment that actually tends to stay cool all by its self. I just "saw" the Ace of Cups in the Barbara Walker Tarot. A mermaid sitting by a water wheel in a mountain pool, drinking from a cup.

2:41 PM  
Blogger Roswila said...

Hi again Melanie,

Just to let you know that my Taiga Tarot design for The Hierophant is up on my other Tarot blog, Roswila's Taiga Tarot (link at top of this blog; then scroll past the introduction).


11:14 AM  

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