This week’s reading is a continuation of last week’s reading, you can view it here.
This week seems to be all about discernment discernment discernment.
With the King of Cups, we attained this new level of emotional maturity, the culmination of the virtues of love – forgiveness, compassion, mindfulness, tolerance. He is able to see the multitude of humanity’s complexity and hold no judgement. Which is great!
But then on the other side we have the sword of judgement with the Queen of Swords. She’s all about deciding what takes precedence in her life, she realizes that we live in a world filled with imperfect people, and decides, with her head and heart aligned ,what she allows in her sphere of influence. She is all about boundaries.
Flanked in between these two mature figures is the four of cups – the focal point of the reading. The card of “divine discontent.” I am immediately drawn to the 3 cups in the forefront – the thing the figure is preoccupied with, kept at a distance (he is not engaged with those 3 cups – although he is staring at them intently – a sign that the cups/relationship/emotional situation do not currently offer what he truly wants/needs, and/or are otherwise unavailable, or perhaps he’s reflecting on those cups and has distanced himself to take time for this reflection).
I see these cups as the precursor to the 3 spilled cups in the 5 of cups. Something about those three cups left something to be desired – perhaps they’re people or situations that have caused the man in the figure to be cynical. I always refer to a cynic as someone who had high ideals that were dashed. So perhaps these cups are the cause of strife and longing, or fall below his expectations, so that he is wary of the cup currently offered to him, with the notion that the 4th cup will be just as disappointing as the other cups.
And, you know, who can fault him. I know we’re taught to have gratitude for the things we DO have, and that’s great, but when do things in our lives become too limited for our new outlooks in life indicated by the King of Cups? Perhaps you’ve learned to love yourself and others more, and with that, relationships and situations may actually need to be reviewed, perhaps you need to discern and allocate your time accordingly, you know the container’s too small kind of stuff. You will have to use the Queen of Swords cold blade of discernment. In one sense, yes, accept people and situations as is, love, forgive, etc. But, use your head. You don’t want to find yourself repeating the same patterns with people and situations that ultimately do not fulfill your needs.
There’s an element of meditation involved in the 4 of cups. He’s looking within. He’s sitting under a tree…there’s a sense of grounded stability in this card. Sometimes I think that people magically wish to wish away negative emotions if we simply meditate….and while that is true to an extent the momentary bliss high etc, sometimes the work of moving past blocks is to simply feel those negative emotions – are they petulant like the male figure in question? feel it. Is it anger? be with it. Meditation has a way of bringing up euphoric feelings, as well as the not so desirable feelings. I think the man in the four of cups is somewhat aware that this is taking place, even though intently staring at those out-of-touch three cups.
As well, that 4th cup being offered – I dunno, I my sense is that there is something positive there. How do we react to the cup offered? The two court cards are clues. The past does not have to be repeated if you can skillfully trust yourself, and know that you don’t have to take what’s on offer if it doesn’t suit you. However, be open enough to receive opportunity with an open heart…….there are still 2 cups standing in the 5 of cups. Perhaps one of them is the cup that was offered from out of blue in the four, still standing, waiting for you to engage with it.