The Suit of Cups
Suit of Cups
Cups are often considered the most important suit of the Tarot deck because it is within the suit of cups that we are lead into the reality of our own emotions. The cups are aligned with the element of Water. This element flows through everything. Without it we cannot survive, too much of it and life is unbearable; floods are some of the most destructive forces in nature.
This duality is also evident in our emotions. We can be happy or sad, we can be content or displeased. What we fail to realize is that in most times and situations it is our choices that lead us to the emotions that we experience. The Cups remind us that emotions run a gambit from low to high. The phrase “thin line between love and hate” exemplifies the force, power and extremes of our emotions and how quickly, like flood waters released from a dam, they can overcome us.
Cups are most often aligned with the suit of Hearts in the modern deck. Legend has it that the hearts were a devolvement of sloppier and sloppier work creating the decks, and what once was a beautiful decorated cup pouring the waters of emotions has become a quick sketch of the heart shape. Another theory is that the cups were used to make it easier to associate the suit to emotions – matters of the heart. However the association came to be, it is apt and appropriate.
If you have a lack of cups in your spread you may want to look at maintaining balance in your life. Are you letting your emotions have too much control in your life? Also associated with the Goddess of Venus, cups reflect the receptive energy of love and emotions.
More than anything else Cups lay forth to remind us that our emotions are valuable. That the inspiration, pleasure and striving for higher chievement that emotions aspire us to are the best that we have within us. Along with the best we all have our skeletons in our emotional closets. Maybe it’s time to air out the closet and let the fresh light of day into our emotional life.
Cups allow us to realize the bounty of life that is found in the emotional realm. If you don’t have any cups in your spread, it may be appropriate to look to see if you are allowing for the dance of emotions in your life. Sometimes a peaceful waltz, other times the sheer exhuberance of a mosh pit, whatever the tempo of the dance, it is to the suit of Cups that you should look to maintain your emotional foundation.
The element of water has long been represented by the undine, a creature of beauty and grace, an ancient water spirit, she could control the water of emotion. As the cups are capable of holding the waters of life and emotion, we are able to grow and learn through our emotional responses to the outer world. It is through study of our emotions and motivations that we can realign our personal emotional energy and create the framework of safety for our emotions to take proper flight to the higher reaches of wisdom, love and appreciation for the role emotion plays in our lives.