Mary El Tarot - Five of Cups

Bat Chicken

A single white unicorn, as Milfoil pointed out in the 2 of Cups, the male principle, sits in the well (a feminine symbol), surrounded by water and two vines bearing fruit. This card is so full of abundance, I don’t see the loss or disappointment that it traditionally represents. There are too many legs at the front and his back legs are hidden. He is looking backward. Perhaps it is being lost and not loss?

Any thoughts on what that key symbol on his belly means? I think I’ll need some help on this one…



Maybe he's guarding the well. Or hoping for healing--it looks like some of his forelegs are bandaged, and it's an awkward pose in the sense of looking uncomfortable.


Ok I just found this on an old thread from when she was still painting the cards--you were all over that thread BatChicken :laugh:

"When I was working on this it became clear it represented a lot of mythological creatures, one being Sleipnir the horse Odin rides on who has 8 legs.

There was also Chiron the centaur wounded healer, that is his symbol over the heart. I think this has a big part in the meaning of this card.

The mythological unicorn which was a symbol of passive strength (as opposed to what the Fiery Lion would be).

Pegasus who's name means literally spring or well."

Bat Chicken

I was? So much for my memory... LOL!
Yes! I looked it up and that 'key' is a symbol for Chiron. Here is a good link on the astrological symbol and mythology:

Speaking of links... :) Where is that thread I was all over? :laugh:
ETA - Never mind! I found it and yes I was all over that thread... Now I remember and now I remember the Wolf too...


Five of Cups

A unicorn in a well.

Meanings: Magical outpouring of thoughts, ideas. Brainstorming. Unexpected consequences and actions. Surprises.

More meanings: Stuck in a rut. Stuck in a pattern of thought. Emotions stunted or blocked. (The water is only coming out of one small hole in the well.) One-directional thinking: this is a message to open up your mind to new ways of creative thinking. The creative spark of an idea: don't let it get dissuaded by naysayers.

Practical meanings: Doing laundry. Housework. Hanging curtains. Car repairs. Washing machine repair. A vacation to a lake or river.


Ahhh, here we are in paradise...we have found the elusive unicorn, trees bearing fruit, clean water and a wishing well. I had difficulty relating this to my previous understanding of the 5 of Cups. I thought a little about the image on the RWS 5 of Cups and how the person is looking only at what has been lost. If I am that person, and I'm looking at this card, then I'm looking at what has been lost in the expulsion from the Garden of Eden.

I have heard that shamans use drumming to mimic the sound of horses hooves in their visions. Searching for information about Sleipnir, I found that:
The eight-legged horse as a means of transportation used by shamans in their ecstatic travels throughout the cosmos is a motif that can be found in a staggering number of indigenous traditions from all over the world. -Dan McCoy
Perhaps Sleipnir (with Chiron's key on his chest) is the key to returning to this paradise lost, which is hinted at in the 2 cups still standing.

I like how the waterfall is split into 3 streams, a reflection back to the 3 of cups where the stream was split into 3 waterfalls.