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A Closer Look at the 8 of Cups

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balena  balena is offline
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A Closer Look at the 8 of Cups


This card has been getting my attention lately. Traditionally this card can be viewed as the 'Leaving an emotional situation that is no longer tenable', 'emotional bravery' and many other things. However, I've been sensing a different side to this minor these last few weeks. I'm definitely getting a passive aggressive feel from this 8. I also feel that this card represents the eternal 'dater' - one who moves from one relationship to another without a break, knee-jerking if something isn't quite right. The reason I think this is because of how the figure is dressed and also how the moon is depicted. The figure is dressed in Red (as opposed to the mournful black of the 5). The cloak and boots scream to me:' I'm dressed in my finery, I'm off on the pull because you don't cut the mustard buddy' - also, the figure has a wand in hand (could be seen as rebound type sexual activity or the need for sex to fill the emotional void left from lack of cups). The moon here, to me, shows the figure is in the mood to fall in love again. Off s/he goes in their finery, turning their back on the cups they have, on the search for the two cups that will bring them their ultimate fulfilment (or so they believe). What the figure doesn't realise is that you can't stay 'in love' forever. Emotions evolve over time into something deeper. So the figure in the 8 is on the eternal quest to stay 'in love' and when things get stale they bail.
What do you think? Have you had a sense of this with this 8?
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rwcarter  rwcarter is offline
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Welcome to Aeclectic, balena!

Are we to assume that you're speaking of the RWS 8 Cups? When discussing symbolism/detail on a card, it helps to name the deck as different decks may change the symbolism/detail on a particular card.

If you wish to specifically discuss the RWS 8 Cups, then you may not know that there is an entire forum dedicated to the Rider-Waite-Smith tarot. If you wish to discuss the card from another deck, there may be a Tarot Study Groups for that deck. If you wish to generally discuss the 8 Cups, then Using Tarot Cards is the correct forum.

Rodney
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balena  balena is offline
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balena 

Hi Rodney, thanks for your response. Being a newbie, I wasn't aware that I may have posted under the wrong grouping - yes, it's the R-W 8 of Cups I wanted to discuss. Thanks again. B.
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Teheuti  Teheuti is offline
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balena - I don't have any sense that Waite or Smith might have been intending what you describe. And it may be that in a few years this will not be in the forefront of your thinking about this card. I'd say your thoughts on the card are a strong indication of something going on in your life or symbolically in your psyche, rather than it being an inherent core meaning of the card. Just my opinion, of course.
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Abrac  Abrac is offline
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Your thinking is explained very well and I can see how you could arrive at it with this card. The number of possible interpretations for the minors is almost limitless so I'd say your view is valid and insightful.
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balena  balena is offline
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Teheuti, thanks for your response. I appreciate your comments. As mentioned previously, I've had to re-assess this card recently due to the readings I've given - my interpretation appeared to fit well those particular circumstances. What I enjoy about R-W is that the symbolism is exceedingly rich and, much like an onion, has layers of meaning allowing for deeper exploration. Abrac, you've hit the proverbial nail - interpretations are limitless with the R-W
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Meanings can be anything we want them to be. I work interactively with my clients and over 48 years have seen them ascribe almost anything to a particular card. I always take their perceptions as valid. The 8 of Cups could be someone wanting to be an astronaunt and go to a moon. It's a perfectly valid meaning.
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Teheuti  Teheuti is offline
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I think the key is the difference between story and meaning. It often pays to consider deeply what "meaning" underlies a story. Meaning, ultimately, is about soul-growth rather than fixed judgments.

The stories change over time and from person-to-person and situation-to-situation. The story is not the "meaning," per se, but rather an example or metaphor that may capture a feeling evoked by the card and/or details in the picture. It is not the only story that can be told.

Since there is no "original" meaning for the cards we are free to make up our own. Some people like the Marseilles precisely because they aren't constrained by a scenic picture.

The RWS deck was published with a set of meanings, which, in some form or other, were given to PCS to illustrate. It is worth considering the given meaning.

For Waite it is: "A man of dejected aspect is deserting the cups of his felicity, enterprise, undertaking or previous concern." So, yes, "desertion" is his key meaning (along with the emotion, dejection). However Waite notes contrary meanings found in other sources: "joy, mildness, timidity, honour, modesty." He sought to combine several sources of meanings for the Minor Arcana and some, as he put it, "can not be reconciled."

One of the sources Waite drew from is the GD meaning: Abandoned Success (Saturn in Pisces). "Saturn in Pisces gives indolence and dispondency. The whole shows temporary success abandoned as soon as gained." 8 is the sephira Hod: reasoning and intellect, which does not operate with great clarity in the watery suit of Cups. The emotions hold sway but are not the best guide when at work in the realm of Hod.

So, balena, I'd say that the scenario you describe is in alignment with the meaning but it attaches motivations and a judgement to the situation which may or may not apply to all clients, even if it has been perfect for some. Other cards in a spread could confirm this story or point to a different perspective.

Sometimes our soul-growth requires us to abandon success for a greater purpose; sometimes it is done foolishly.
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balena  balena is offline
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balena 

lovely response, thank you.
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