Thursday, April 7, 2016

A Closer Look: Ten of Cups

Key words and concepts

  • Success 
  • Happiness
  • Contentment
  • Emotional warmth
  • Happy home life

It's hard not to smile when you pull the Ten of Cups.  The imagery is pretty literal: A dancing, happy family frolics before their simple but lush estate, framed overhead by a rainbow.  I mean, a rainbow, for Pete's sake. It's all almost a little over the top.

The key words above give you a pretty good sense of this card; one of the words I hear often for this card is "harmonious," in the sense of different parts of your life coming together in a cohesive, positive way.  The result is a secure life at home and a stable family.

One thing that challenges me about this card is the normativity: success is defined as a happy (hetero) romantic partnership and children, with fertile land of your own.  I could read this imagery as symbolic: the card means success and emotional warmth, but as defined by the querent (so, not necessarily a hetero relationship with kids while owning your own home).  But I could also read it as the expectation of traditional success.

For example, let's say I pull this card in a position that represents the querent's hopes and fears.  I could read it as the querent's desires for the traditional success as pictured in the card, with the fear that it won't happen.  But I could also read it as a discomfort with this particular representation of success, with hope for the querent's own authentic version of contentment instead.

Either reading would be consistent with this card, and the querent might be able to tell you which one is more accurate.  Ultimately, it's up to you to decide how to read it!

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