This weekend we saw the last quarter moon before what is likely to be an epic, bloody, eclipsed, super full moon. Big movements are on the horizon.
I love this deck more every time I work with it. It isn’t the first deck to speak to me really deeply in terms of imagery, but it is the first deck where every reading feels threaded with layer upon layer of meaning and synchronicity.
Cards appear in multiple readings regularly, cards that are paired in question and answer or question and clarification work together seamlessly, patterns arise and swirl around and show back up in different ways the next time.
I don’t think it’s a perfect deck or that it’s right for everyone (I’ve mentioned I wish it were more diverse), but I think it’s my deck in a way I’ve never experienced before. I’ve had plenty of favorites, but this is the one where I went, “oh, that’s what people mean when they talk about their decks.”
Where is it time for me to take my personal power back?
I think of the Queen of Cups as Morgaine for most of The Mists of Avalon: she’s not the High Priestess, but she will be someday, and she’s the High Priestess’s apprentice, privy to insight and mysteries. She fully embodies the realm of water and intuition and mystery, but she’s also incredibly regal and can command respect against kings and knights in the earthly realm.
She does her best work alone, amid the surf, skin both exposed and wrapped in sumptuous silk, the most fluid and most regal of fabrics. Yet, she is also a ruler. She’s no Hermit. She gathers her strength through solitude, introspection, emotional exploration, the honing of her intuition. And then she takes that wisdom and those qualities and she leads and serves.
I love this Queen of Cups. One hand holds a human-made chalice, the presumably liquid contents concealed, her own mystery; the other holds an egg, a natural vessel concealing fluid lifeforce, its contents known in a general way but still containing mystery that she cradles and protects so gracefully.
Being asked to take my power back in the Arcanum of this Queen is an honor and a joy. Intuition, emotional wisdom, emotional mastery, great mysteries, fluidity in all things–these are the skills and strengths of this great Queen. She knows herself, she knows the shadow realm, and what she conceals is by choice made out of wisdom, never out of fear.
How will I do this?
The King of Pentacles is as solid as the Queen of Cups is watery; in some ways, it feels like being told “reclaim your shadow through light.” which sounds counterintuitive for a hot second, until you realize it makes all the sense in the world. Shadow and light can’t exist without one another. Likewise, the intuitive and material realms, the physical and emotional, the earthly ground and watery depths, are parts of a whole.
The King of Pentacles is assertive, both as a king and as a ruler of the material realm. The Queen of Cups is so very receptive; she is the watery ruler of the watery suit.
So my one-sentence summary of what I’m hearing between these two is, “Get what you intuitively need by directly asking for it.”
What fire wants to be kindled?
In my reading on the winter solstice, the Eight of Pentacles was the answer to “what do I need to move away from this season?” In that session, I wrote:
[…] given its placement as something I need to walk away from, and since the very next card–the intention I need to set–is one of the most active cards in the deck, I interpret this message to be: stop worrying about perfecting things; put your work out into the world.
I have been doing that (through this blog).
This card also showed up in my year ahead spread. Now it’s back as a fire wanting to be kindled.
I think the fire seeking to be kindled is mastery through disciplined work. Keep putting my imperfect work out there (this goes for my professional life, my spiritual life, as well as this passion side project that combines the two), but take the time to analyze it, revisit it, and actively work toward deepening my craft(s). Find deep passion in learning-by-doing. Find joy in the lessons, and find lessons in everything.
How will I do this?
Pentacles will help me achieve cups, and cups will help me achieve pentacles. It feels worth noting that my sun-moon-rising signs are earth-water-earth (pentacles-cups-pentacles). The overall message of this reading feels deeply centered in embodiment.
The beautiful, bountiful Ace of Cups also showed up in my year ahead spread. This card of beginnings, symbiotic harmony, and abundance makes absolute sense as the method to achieving the focus and dedication the Eight of Pentacles requires of me.
This card embodies so many wonderful, flowing things. Among them are creativity, joy, harmony, abundance, openness, outpouring, emotional care…
according to Sasha Graham’s excellent Tarot Fundamentals book, it’s also associated with winter, which is the current season and the season with which I most struggle to thrive, but in which I am pretty good about the more interior, nurturing aspects of self-care.
This card also symbolizes harmonious, sharing relationships: notice how the lotus supports the cup and gives it water, while the cup creates the fountain that feeds back into the water source that hydrates the lotus, while the dove visits with gifts of peace plants and in turn can bathe and drink.
By taking care of my emotional needs, staying in touch with my intuition, and maintaining relationships in which I am both of service and having my needs met, I will have the foundation on which to build my craft with focus, dedication, and mastery.