Posted tagged ‘Four of Cups’

Four for Evolution

May 17, 2016

I am nearly finished my first Gratitude Journal that I started in January 2015. I’ve already bought the new hardcover Paperblanks journal for the next round but while browsing the old one I see pages and pages mentioning pain and naps and feeling sick. Weeks and months and on it goes just like today. I’ve got to sort this out.

I am looking through the Power Tarot book and decide to use the Evolution Spread with the Animal Totem Tarot:

1) The situation as it exists now – FOUR OF CUPS
2) How the situation will evolve in the next four weeks – ACE OF CUPS
3) Someone or something that will affect the situation – KNIGHT OF SWORDS
4) The outcome – KING OF WANDS


1) FOUR OF CUPS – OCTOPUS – He’s floating around, seeing that treasure but taking it for granted, feeling jaded about it all. He feels his ship broke apart and sunk ages ago so what’s the point of bothering? Overindulgence and distractions don’t work when your time is coming to an end; the octopus only lives a short time. You can have too much of a good thing, which is the situation I find myself in having destroyed my health during the latter years of my life.

2) ACE OF CUPS – KINGFISHER –  Things are brimming over, which reminds me of detox and how the toxins pour out of the body. This is a river of possibility and healing, of life-giving water. There is an unlimited supply here of something other than processed food or junk food treats. Water, spilling over always ready to fill you up when you feel an emotional lack. “Bathe your emotional wounds in the healing water.”

3) KNIGHT OF SWORDS – ROOK – I see people referring to certain cards stalking them in draws, and for me this Knight comes up a lot. I call him Mr. Harum-Scarum, and he is just the sort who dashes around flitting from thing to thing and throwing himself into new endeavours but rarely completing them. He’s quick though which requires adaptation and quick thinking. In this case he’s telling me not to over plan or think things out entirely, just get out and do something, have a little adventure, get out of the house. I’ve got a shield for protection and a sword to cut through detritus. Keep going, keep doing.

4) KING OF WANDS – TASMANIAN DEVIL – I’ve pulled him recently too. This guy is a commander and doesn’t bother much with people unless he feels good in their presence. He also doesn’t like to lose so the suggestion that I “Burn and scorch all you have left behind so there is no chance of going back” seems in character. I’ve done that in my physical reality after moving house but not so much in my emotional reality. He doesn’t lose and he doesn’t want me to lose either. Action is a risk and it may not work but that’s no excuse for non-action. That’s my outcome: by acting I will not lose.




The Entrance of The Sacred Three

March 7, 2014

I came across something while browsing on the Internet called Post-Meningitis Syndrome. There is some evidence that people suffer from this. You can cure the meningitis, but a switch goes off somewhere in the long term and can cause pain like myalgia and fibromyalgia, depression, sometimes symptoms of multiple sclerosis and loss of balance, all sorts of small things.

This makes sense to me since people who have had chicken pox often get shingles when older. I know someone who had mononucleosis when young and doctors think it might be responsible for his lymphoma in later years. I had viral meningitis when I was 18, which is not as dreadful as bacterial meningitis, but perhaps it is the source of my chronic pain, myalgia, nerve pain, insomnia? The fact that it might not be all in my mind was crucial for me, I have great respect for physiology and our finite knowledge of the brain. You never know, this might be the switch that went off and started causing problems in my body.

In addition to that I bought a book on mind-body-spirit interaction with regard to emotional eating called The Emotional Eater’s Repair Manual. I already know that certain foods cause me horrible inflammation and pain, so I thought I’d help my body by getting some awareness of why I continue these patterns.

Due to recent ruminations on cards and not feeling connected to them I thought I’d create a new study pattern as well. You know what this means, a bright, shiny new category in the blog menu! I am calling it Tri-Sacred Sampling and I’m using what I refer to as The Sacred Three, the three decks I feel the most connection to, and ones I feel have a great depth of meaning, thought, creativity, and artistic skill. They are all black and white decks strangely enough. In order of appearance in my collection:

The Ironwing Tarot by Lorena Babcock Moore
The Diary of a Broken Soul Tarot by Ash Goh (a.k.a. Ash Abdullah)
Tarot of the Absurd by Jessica Rose Shanahan

The Big Three, the Sacred. For a bit of Tri-Sacred Sampling today I drew a card from the Tarot of the Absurd and then pulled out the corresponding cards from the other two decks.

4 of Cups
4 of Hearts (4 of Cups)
4 of Coils (4 of Cups)


Too tired, too tired to have fun. Not another glass of champagne, I already had one. Ennui and fatigue. It’s good to rest a bit, to let it go to let yourself drift in boredom. This definitely reminds me of the way I’ve been feeling about cards.

The 4 of Hearts in the Diary deck certainly reminds me of two minds, two wills or perhaps the mind and body snarling at each other. Caught in the middle, he wraps his arm with protective swaddling and tries to sort it out. It looks tiring.

Lorena says “Stability; finding or creating sacred space.” with regard to the number symbolism, and Water which is the element connected to the Coils suit is about rest in the fours. I read this after I started thinking about sacredness and decks, and which decks I consider sacred. Synchronicity, I must be on the right track with this study.

This card depicts a hornpod entwined with an iron replica of a hornpod. I saw an artist sculpting wonderful dragons from the pods of hornpod. Hornpods seem to have worlds within worlds. Again the aspects of ennui, fatigue, death, dryness, cycles, balance. You need the cycle of death and dryness, the withdrawal and waiting is necessary. This also reminds me of the horns of the uterus in women, a place where seeds also go through a cycle.

Sacred rest, rest in sacredness. As you find it, it will mirror you inside and outside.


Amphoras of Evergreen Ennui

August 11, 2011

Daily Draw August 11th, 2011

Gosh, I just had the most fun at 3 a.m. for an hour with Windows Update. It locked up, I had to remove the battery on my laptop and boot up in safe mode, then it locked up again but fortunately Windows eventually fixed the problem.

I woke up and originally came down to the computer to calm myself back to sleep with a daily draw. Surprise, Windows had other ideas. It is now 4:30 and I am wired.


See, this is what I mean about this deck, Scapini has packed so much symbolism into these semi-illustrated pips that the deck is fascinating.

In this card there are two sea serpents: one old serpent has a weeping mermaid on its back and the other young serpent has a rather jolly boy angel waving a banner and saying “Where do you want to go today?” I nearly, nearly, nearly had the money once for a Mac, but I just couldn’t scrape up the money and it didn’t run software I needed to take courses for the job from hell.

But hey, that was years ago. I like the amphoras on this. In the top left, the lady has been scared by a snake, spider and Microsoft mouse. She tried to climb on a stool to escape, but the spider nested in her brain and she couldn’t get down and go back to bed.

Then to the right, Eros is blindfolded. Yes true love can’t see where it’s going. The next one has Silenus, drunk and passed out as usual; I bet that guy never has trouble sleeping. On the bottom right, there is a man crawling in the desert toward a mirage, the mirage of the happy PC shop in his home, a rainbow of Windows logos.

Weariness and stasis, Eros can’t see me, nor can Silenus. I’m in the desert feeling old and weepy, wishing I drank wine so I could pass out indefinitely.

Come on, I have to pull out something better. I’m machine quilting a bit today, maybe that kid waving the banner wants me to use lime green thread. Or maybe I’ll have so much pain that I’ll feel green and throw up.

Oh now stop it.


July 15, 2011

Daily Draw July 15th, 2011

Bugger it, I’ve hurt my ankle again, the muscle is spasming and the foot is swollen. All I did was lean over to grab something. In two seconds I am back to where I was two months ago, all the healing undone. Rats, rats, rats.


What struck me about this is that yes, she has everything she ever wanted, her life is overflowing and full, but all that water, emotion, it’s too brimming, spilling out, not contained. Self-containment is necessary for balance. She has too much going on, too many problems spilling over, too much stuff spilling over.

Boredom also comes from a “Not this again” episode in your life. You thought you had dealt with something, and here it is gushing into your day, pulling you backward, until you feel not only boredom but a dark circles under the eyes despair, unable to sleep or rest, just sitting thinking “I can’t go through it again.” It is a sickness of the soul but not laziness.

So the book has some helpful comments about this inaction or malaise and how it comes from inside, this feeling of being trapped in life. The keys are present to allow energy to flow. I like this line: “Nature abhors a vacuum and will throw so many opportunities into your path that your head will spin.”

Okay, go ahead Nature. Being able to walk properly might be a nice opportunity. I wouldn’t mind the opportunity of being able to sleep for more than four hours. I wouldn’t mind the opportunity of not living in pain every minute of the day, being afraid to move, trapped. I would love the opportunity of living in a house that wasn’t falling down around me.

Oh well. “How in the heck can I wash my neck if it ain’t gonna rain no more?”

Give That Kestrel Some Guacamole

May 6, 2011

Daily Draw May 6th, 2011


Here’s the guy, he’s trying on one mask after another and none of them satisfy. The owl is bringing him another one in the hope that this will pick the fellow up.

It’s the same old thing, nothing’s exciting, nothing matters. This is Kestrel and he is starting to think that his life doesn’t make a difference. His owl partner is Toro, who is aptly named as he continues to bull his way in trying to get his friend to change his mind.

Yes, I feel like that. However, I bought some cook books to get out of the rut. One is on casseroles, and one is on low fat vegan cooking. If Kestrel would only attempt to make something with black beans and lentils, I feel sure the excitement would come back into his life.

Toro is all for it.

Weaving the World Dancer

October 6, 2010

Daily Draw October 6th, 2010

The fabulous weaving machine is now on order. I was brave and called their 800 number and got the thing done. It should arrive at the same time as the cotton yarn and books I ordered come. All nice and organized and ready to go.


I always call the Four of Cups, The Ennui Card. Like crocodile tears, this little birdie is crying over nothing. She has everything and can’t see it and feels down in the dumps for nothing. A hint here of not seeing opportunity or not taking opportunities as they drift by.

The World card has bees, honeycomb, poppy, I love poppies, and a dancer. Ironically, this is the card where everything is yours! Interesting that these two cards leaped out of the pack together today. The polarity is a bit shocking, and yet highlights success that I am not seeing.

I’m not seeing something good obviously so time to come back to reality. Perhaps an indication that weaving will be my new motivation? You never know.

Hey The World dancer’s gossamer sash looks woven to me, perhaps on a rigid heddle loom? She’ll need a purse to go with that, woven in striped sock yarn and paired with quilting cotton.

Yup, that’s the way she’s twirling.


January 29, 2009



The Judas Kiss, the saddest moment. Betrayal is a hard thing to bear. Unlike most other cards in this Coins suit, there is no communion wafer with the IHS monogram of Christ depicted, only a few coins hanging about. Place makes a special point of noting this feature. No host, no holy ghost, just greed and selfishness and the empty friendship of the Miser.

My favourite depiction of this comes from Giotto. I’m not sure why, but I like frescoes and Giotto’s work was my introduction to those. Giotto’s colouring and expressions, the soft desert and sky and hills in his paintings are attractive. Plus he was a friend in life of Dante, so they are paired in my mind as good fellows of vision and talent and great artistic perception.

Here is a detail of Giotto’s work on this. Judas looks very furtive, almost simian, so you know he’s up to no good, sneaking around, latching on to Jesus and pulling his cloak over him, ostensibly as a gesture of love, but more like hemming him in literally, so he can’t escape from the soldiers.


Judas is someone we almost dislike mentioning, not just for his betrayal, but for the ease with which he did it. It reminds us that we all might have done it, and for so little too, which makes us squirm and feel uncomfortable. We are Judas, it’s so easy. And anyone who says they would “never” do something like that is blind to human nature.


Usually this card has a knight in armour lying under stained glass windows in a sepulchre. Here we have a hermit in the desert, a popular way of life in the middle ages. He is resting in a contemplative state, but with scripture close by and a skull as a memento mori perhaps, or a reminder with the cross of the death of Christ to remind him that life is short. The swords are thoughts and feelings suspended, so the hermit can calm his mind. I love this line in the book: “When we leave our thoughts and feelings alone, we come to the place of calm beyond hope and fear.”

I find this a better ideal than mere sleep on a tomb. Contemplation and reading imbue a less passive note to this; you are always in control of your thoughts and feelings.


This is the Annunciation where the angel Gabriel tells the Virgin Mary that she is pregnant with the son of God. There is a poem by Thomas Merton called The Messenger where he refers to the star-sandalled Gabriel walking down the air like lightning and:

“The morning the Mother of God
Loved and dreaded the message of an angel.”

This card usually represents ennui and I don’t immediately think of that, but then ponder how you could have everything you’ve ever wanted, and still the dread sets in as it did with Mary. The word “ennui” comes from French obviously, but its deeper root is in the Latin “in odio” which means “in hatred” and became our English word “annoy.” Yeah, there’s a lot of trouble ahead for Mary and her child and family. Place puts the emphasis on the Holy Spirit descending, and says this represents the soul animating matter. Well, that’s one way to refer to pregnancy.

Mary looks like she has spoken some joyful exclamations and then it has all become too much for her, this odious burden, this joy and dread. The cups are too much to bear, hence her crestfallen, almost frozen posture.

I have many, many examples of the Annunciation in my collection of books about illuminated manuscripts. My absolute favourite is from The Hours of Bonaparte Ghislieri that was made in Bologna in Italy around the year 1500. How wonderful it must have been to own a Book of Hours with such artwork.



I really liked this card. It reminds me of The Wedding Song by Paul Stookey that was so popular when I was a teenager. All the Christian girls I knew mooned about listening to this song, dreaming of their own marriages, and I thought it was sappy, beautiful but sappy. But then I hadn’t fallen in love yet, as I was only sixteen and more interested in dolls and books.

Commitment, and Mary and Joseph sure needed it, knowing what they were in for. Dear Joseph, standing fast, because when you are married you do that, you stand there and take what comes. All the heavenly holiness and protection doesn’t take that away, you simply have to live through it and carry on, it’s part of being human.

Fortunately on the wedding day there are flowers and food and wine, and people feel joy and anticipation of good things. Mary looks a bit shy and fearful and Joseph looks proud but a little weary, his budding staff solidly beside him while he’s clutching it firmly. He stood his ground, and did his best.