Today’s card is the 10 of Cups, which always makes me smile when I see it in a reading. On the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, it shows a rainbow with the cups across it, with a couple surveying their home and their children playing, as below:
In readings dealing with relationships, I see this in its upright position as a very positive card. The Cups suit is associated with emotions, relationships, and feeling (the world of Briah, in Qabalah), and the 10 symbolizes completion and achievement. So the 10 of Cups refers to a feeling of complete happiness, of contentment in the life one has found.
In Crowley’s Thoth deck, this card is named Satiety, which dictionary.com defines as “the state of being full or gratified beyond the point of satisfaction.” With this card, the querent’s cup is running over, and in a big way.
In the Tattooed deck, it pictures a woman with a lower back tattoo of a Buddha in a yoga pose, symbolizing contentment and inner peace, as below:
If the card is reversed, meaning that it comes out with the bottom edge of the card facing away so that it’s upside down, the meaning completely changes (as with most cards). In a reversed position, it cautions that the sense of contentment present at the moment may be an illusion, that things may not be as perfect as they seem. It can warn of sorrow, false happiness, or even violence. Even if it’s not that severe, it’s a harsh warning to look past the happiness on the surface to see if things are really that good underneath.
In astrology, the Cups are associated with the water signs: Cancer (cardinal), Scorpio (fixed), and Pisces (mutable). What these three terms mean is that Cancer is the one who pushes things and gets them started, Scorpio is the hardheaded one whose focus goes deeper, and Pisces is changeable and hard to pin down for any length of time.
This week’s card is the King of Wands. In the Tattooed Tarot that I use most often (the one that feels like an extension of myself, the one I visualize when I think of a particular card) it shows a man with a Chinese symbol that the Little White Booklet claims to mean “growth” tattooed on the back of his head, as below:
In the Rider-Waite-Smith deck he’s depicted as a literal king on his throne, as below:
In terms of the Qabalah, the Wands suit is concerned with the world of Atziluth, which deals with fire, imagination, and the spiritual/mystical realm. The Knight, as he’s called in the Thoth deck (which corresponds to the King in RWS and other systems, while the card called the Knight in other decks is called the Prince in the Thoth deck–confused yet?) is “fire in fire,” meaning that he doesn’t have the balance that would come from influence by other elements.
Often, when the court cards come up, they describe people, and it’s interesting, because I actually have been dealing over the past couple of days with some King of Wands personalities. Crowley described this guy as the Lord of Lightning and Flame, so that says a lot about his personality. At his best, he’s generous, passionate, spontaneous, creative, and above all honest. But like everyone, he has a dark side–he can be vain, arrogant, jealous, and controlling. His convictions can harden into intolerance of others, and his passion can turn obsessive at times.
Astrologically, the wands suit is associated with the fire signs: Aries (cardinal), Leo (fixed), and Sagittarius (mutable).
I’m going to try to keep this going for as long as I can. Basically, the way One Card Weekends will work is that every weekend, I’m going to draw a single Tarot card and talk about its possible meanings. I’m going to try to do this on Fridays so that readers will have the weekend to think on it. The deck I use myself is the Tattooed Tarot by Lo Scarabeo, but I also have copies of several others, including the well-known Rider-Waite-Smith, the Thoth, and the Marseilles. Most of the references I’m going to draw on will be the RWS system, because that’s what most people will use (also because that’s what I go by with my Tattooed Tarot, since the Little White Book that it comes with is for crap). I don’t have scans of the Tattooed deck, so any images I post will be from other decks.
Today I drew the Ace of Pentacles, which because of its symbolism in this deck, I tend to use as Tall Dude’s significator. The Aces in the Tattooed Tarot show a picture of an eye tattooed in the placement of the third eye chakra, which is between the eyes. This one shows a pentacle at the center of the eyes. In the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, it shows a celestial hand holding out a gold pentacle/coin, as below.
Here’s what A. E. Waite had to say about it, from the Pictorial Key to the Tarot: “A hand–issuing, as usual, from a cloud–holds up a pentacle. Divinatory Meanings: Perfect contentment, felicity, ecstasy; also speedy intelligence; gold. Reversed: The evil side of wealth, bad intelligence; also great riches. In any case it shews prosperity, comfortable material conditions, but whether these are of advantage to the possessor will depend on whether the card is reversed or not.”
Personally, I tend to see it as a card of knowing what resources you have and of receiving what’s offered (true of the aces in general, but especially of the Ace of Pents). This suit is also called Coins in many decks, so it’s representative of wealth, both physical and spiritual. In the tattooed deck, I also tend to see it as a card of internal focus in order to complete a task. It’s also a card of appreciating what’s in front of you.
In a future position, the Ace of Pentacles can indicate an upturn in fortune and an increase of resources. It can also indicate the start of a new venture, which is likely to turn out well.
In Aleister Crowley’s writings on the Tarot, he calls this card “The Root of the Powers of Earth.” The Disks suit, as it’s called in Crowley’s Thoth deck, is associated with the Qabalistic concept of Assiah, the physical, material realm. Being its “root” means that the Ace is the beginning, the sprout from which the whole thing grows. Hence it refers to creation and beginnings in a material sense.
Astrologically, the Pentacles are associated with the Earth signs, which are Taurus (fixed), Capricorn (cardinal), and Virgo (mutable).