Tarot Project: Four of Cups Revisited

Despite my best intentions, I did not wake up in time before work yesterday morning to do a reading. I worked late the previous night, and it took 45 minutes of my alarm going off before I could finally roll out of bed and hurry to work. I am not one of those people who can function well on no sleep.

At this point, I almost feel like my deck is mocking me. Saturday’s card was the inverted Wheel of Fortune, letting me know that the wheel is still stuck, and change will not come soon. Today I draw the Four of Cups, which we’ve also seen before, letting me know that I still am not satisfied with where I am in life.

No kidding.

Many interpret the Four of Cups as a call for self-introspection, and a need to open to new possibilities; however, the card also has the connotation of detaching from the world to engage in wishful thinking. Sometimes the tarot’s calls to action can be an epiphany, and the querent can realize that they have not been keeping themselves open to new possibilities, or being introspective enough, or what have you, but sometimes the querent already feels like they are doing what the card suggests. I certainly feel like I am pursuing any avenues open right now for advancement. I have already mentioned that I think the second-guessing game is risky, and can lead to obsessive guilt, so I researched this card a little more for today.

I ran across an interpretation where the Four of Cups focuses more on appreciating the gifts that the querent already possesses, rather than trying focusing on what the querent would like to be different. I think this interpretation strikes a necessary balance in the Four of Cups, a balance supported by the card image. In the Rider Waite deck, a man sits beneath a tree in solitary contemplation, while the three cups he has sit ignored in front of him. The universe offers a fourth cup to the man, but he doesn’t notice. The card doesn’t just suggest the man should notice the cup appearing next to him, but also that he should appreciate the three he already has. In the Scapini deck I use, a young cupid figure rides a serpent, laughing. A merperson also rides a serpent, but is crying. The difference is a matter of perspective, the youthful exuberance finding joy in the same situation the older merperson is bored with. And yet, the merperson is not trapped, they could swim away at any moment.

Taking the Four of Cups in conjunction with the inverted Wheel of Time, and keeping in mind this interpretation, I would read the card more as: Situations beyond your control are inhibiting change right now. Don’t waste your time wishing things are different, be happy with all the good in your life. Just keep your eye out for when opportunity does present itself, and the universe will reward you.

Okay deck. You might have a point.


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