Five of Cups
My self-study of Tarot continues with the Five of Cups. Or, as I just heard, “the grieving time.”
Grief; “fractured”; sadness; cup half empty; “the grass is always greener…”; aloneness; isolation; at a standstill; “Bridge Over Troubled Waters.”
Cups, river, arid land, bridge, castle on opposite shore.
It’s both the two upright cups and the bridge that catch my attention. The upright cups are behind the figure. He can’t see them, and yet there they are, hopeful and promising; perhaps offering relief. The bridge offers another way; a “negotiation,” as I just heard. It, too, appears to be unseen.
Gray, black, blue, gold, tan, green, beige.
It’s the black of the cloak that stands out here. It feels as though it’s sucking the light (and perhaps the life) out of the image, and most certainly out of the figure wearing it. I wonder what might happen were he to discard that cloak.
What the Guide Says About the Five of Cups
“A dark, cloaked figure looks at three prone cups; two other cups stand upright behind him. A bridge is in the background.
Divinatory Meanings: It is a card of loss, but something remains; three have been taken, but two are left. It is a card of inheritance, transmission, and patrimony. It may be a card of marriage, but not without bitterness or frustration.
Reversed: News, alliances, affinity, ancestry, return, false projects.”
Interesting. The second sentence in the divinatory meanings is thought-provoking.
Inheritance of what? Debt? And if so, what kind? Human or karmic or both?
Transmission feels out of place here, in the sense that it’s close to a better word and yet not quite there. Perhaps transmutation would work.
Patrimony: “Property inherited from one’s father or male ancestor. Heritage. The estate or property belonging by ancient endowment or right to a church or other institution.”
I can see and feel patrimony in this card, which would tie in with inheritance both in its physical and karmic sense.
What We Say About the Five of Cups
Alliance with a process of grieving what is lost.
Considering what is lost over what remains.
Impermanence manifested through physical means.
Creature comforts are focus over spiritual wealth.
Home united with loss.
Opening upon a river of grievances kept at bay.
“The Water Is Wide”
The river Styx.
Suicide as a means of relinquishing pain of loss.
Karmic resolution in process.
Can’t get there from here.
I Might Ask a Client…
“Who or what are you currently grieving?”
“What and whose karma is active in your life right now?”
What comes up for you around this card?