Who can resist dawn’s dewed lawn,
Trill of rainbow keen?
Every heart has the capacity to be confused, lured by the “seven deadly sins”…or, to give them a gentler name, seven sisters (or brothers) of the chameleon heart, a youthful faction of the inner family still finding a way to stand confidently alone without peer pressure. How many false paths to happiness must we go down before we love ourselves just as we are? How can we “arrive” at a state of tempered desire without going down a false path (or two, or seven)?
All week, trying to write to The Seven of Cups prompt, I thought about how we learn. How hard we can be on ourselves for our pull to follow false leads. Maybe all along the heart has reasons we can’t fathom in the moment, and we must journey on in faith that something along that false path will ignite us with beauty and steer us towards the next right encounter.
Robyn sent me so many beautiful sevens to choose from this week. Just look at the pink lisping out of the pod at the top of this post! She sent me peacocks and she sent me seven apples loose in a sky which also brought to mind the bewitched apples of fairytales, the passage through poisoned sleep, and the reawakening of heroines. I thought of The Faeries, the William Allingham poem “Up the airy mountain / Down the rushy glen” poem containing the image of the wee folk, in “Green jacket, red cap / And white owl’s feather.” They steal little Bridget for seven long years….and I wonder now, as I did when I was a child, where did her soul travel those seven years? What did she glean?
The Eight of Cups in the Rider Waite Smith deck shows us several tiers of cups, eight total. The cups dwarf the scene so that we have to look through them to see a figure dressed in red clearly stealing away from this bounty. A crescent moon cups full moon in a metaphor for a ceaseless type of cycling or journeying between things to gain more experience.
Eden Gray (A Complete Guide to the Tarot) gives us a few doleful lines about misery and pining, but also mentions leaving behind physical gain for spiritual gain. As you know, Tarot decks and Tarot interpretations abound. Alejandro Jodorowsky and Marianne Costa (The Way of Tarot, The Spiritual Teacher in The Cards) interpret this card as one in which “we find ourselves in the presence of the ‘completely full,’” likening the Eight of Cups to the “Christlike ideal of the flaming heart, all charity and all love.”
Which bounty in your life are you turning your back on as you pursue other adventures? Which bounty do you trust to remain intact as your pursue other projects or adventures or areas of your life?
How was enjoying the fruits of your labor encouraged or discouraged in your family of origin?
Or enter the card as the pilgrim in red. Where are you headed? What do you hope to find on your path? What have you left behind?
Feel free to respond in comments here or to join the conversation at Tarot Tuesday’s Facebook page to share your word or image response.
Photos are by my poetry movie collaborator Robyn Beattie.
Eden Gray’s Fool’s Journey by Mary K. Greer