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.

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‘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.****