Friday I’m in Cups

Hey, if you can’t invoke The Cure after a glass or two of five-dollar cherry-flavored Manischevitz, I would like to know when you *can* invoke The Cure.

So now we’re at the end of the numbered cups: the ten, which is All The Water, All The Time in the simplified method. That’s all the emotional stuff, all the secrecy, all the mysticism (as distinct from occultism, which is more Air, and magic per se, which is more Fire), and all the potential for change.

This is another Happy Family scene, but unlike the Ten of Pentacles, which has an old man and a dog in addition to the young couple and kid, the Ten of Cups, in the vast majority of Tarot decks, is pure Eisenhower Nuclear Family: Mom, Dad, two children. The rainbow of cups overhead is less Leave it to Beaver, but would’ve livened up the show considerably.

(There are variants–decks with a single parent, a single figure, or abstract cups and trees are among them. The Peanuts Tarot deck, which of course there is, shows Sally and Franklin dancing. In the deck I use for LARPing, the Ten of Cups involves two women doing crafting things, with cats and giant bees and no men or kids in sight. Said deck is not actually The Lesbian Separatist Sixties Tarot, so this is a little surprising, but there are days when I can’t say I *disagree* with the implied message.)

The less-systematic interpretation of the Ten of Cups is joy, emotional fulfillment, peace, harmony, and so forth. Where the Nine is a party,  the Ten implies more contentment and lasting joy: commitment, because I’m tipsy enough to face that word without crossing myself. Despite the frequent imagery, that doesn’t have to be Rockwellian domesticity. It can mean traveling the world, if you decide to make that your life for some period of time; it can mean having a group of friends you can rely on, or a job that’s more of a vocation.

As cards go, it’s pretty great. No real downsides, at least not in the standard interpretation. This is, therefore, one of the places where the systemic and the individual diverge a lot: there are plenty of potential downsides to having All the Emotions, at least as many as there are to having All the Intellect or All the Will, but here we are. Due to the weirdo feedback loop of association and imagery that is Tarot, usually this means All the Emotions in a good way; if emotions come up in a bad sense, that’ll generally be the Five or Eight.

I’m going to blame the Victorians again and move on to the Page.

This card features a person–usually a light-haired young woman in more modern decks, but a guy with a dark pageboy hairdo in the Rider-Waite–standing on a beach and regarding a cup with a fish in it in a tolerantly amused fashion. From what we can see of the fish, which is generally its head, it’s too big to fit in the cup comfortably. This might symbolize the subconscious slash emotions inevitably breaking free of their confines, but then again it might not.

As per before, in the simplified version, this is a young person who’s good with water stuff, but in a talented-beginner way rather than someone with expertise. More complex versions, if this is a person, suggest that the Page is artistic, trusted, and helpful–a very poetic cinnamon roll, most likely. Kind of adorbs.

When this card doesn’t mean a person, it can mean a message, often an unexpected one, or a surprise bout of love or inspiration–which suggests that the fish is a Surprise Fish. On some cards, in fact, it’s a Surprise Talking Fish, which is the sort of thing people keep running into in fairy tales. Generally speaking, the Page is a positive card and the message is a good one, so it’s more Hey, Bonus Talking Fish than Dude I Just Wanted A Soda What Even Is This?

Just don’t let your SO browbeat you into asking the magic fish for sequentially fancier houses. Never ends well.



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I'm Izzy. I write stuff: mostly vaguely fantasy stuff, and most notably the following books: Hickey of the Beast, published March 2011 by Candlemark and Gleam Romance novels from Sourcebooks: No Proper Lady Lessons After Dark Legend of the Highland Dragon The Highland Dragon's Lady Night of the Highland Dragon Highland Dragon Warrior Highland Dragon Rebel Highland Dragon Master I also like video games, ballroom dancing, and various geeky hobbies like LARPing. I have been known to voluntarily purchase and eat circus peanuts. Like, a whole bag at once.

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