One Card Weekends: Ten of Cups

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:
RWS 10 Cups

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 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:
Tattoo Tarot 10 of Chalices

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.


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