I feel as light as air today, drifting cottonseed playing with the warmth of the summer sun, careless…. heedless…. I feel like a child… though not the child that I was… the child I would have wanted to be, like those sweet angels that you see in the faded pictures of my mothers time… a time when children were children, or so we supposed, although I imagine that they may have been just as likely to be embroiled in a world similar to the dark, torturous, semi-mythical place that I grew up in. Enjoying the lightness of today, I am buoyed up the stairs in a way that I could not have imagined before when looking into this card. This card has meaning for me….. more than some of the others, although what that meaning is I have yet to fully ascertain… and with interest and even eagerness, I stand in front of the familiar dark door, turn the heavy handle and step through the violent orange and turquoise silk that proclaims the Five of Cups.
A blast of arid heat immediately strips every drop of moisture from my face, as I walk into the parched and thirsty land. There seems to be very little life here, and the searing sun scorches my skin whilst two circling vultures, named hopelessness and death, circle lazily above me in the endless blue sky……
Standing in the alien desert landscape, are five tall goblet shaped containers, made of some fragile translucent material that looks as if it may shatter at any moment. They are of course, the five cups contained within this card, and I walk up to one of them to touch the surface, to try to get a measure of what I am dealing with here. The cup seems to be made of a material that is far more permanent than it looks…. light but strong…. like the bones of a bird. They are arranged in what seems to be a random fashion, but which on closer inspection, may in fact, from the air, be a pentagram, but it is difficult to tell from here. Sentry like, among the stones and sand of the landscape, the cups are are imposing, resilient, and are too tall for me to see into, and for an instant I feel like I am in some kind of a science fiction edition of Alice in Wonderland!
As I wonder what to do next, and how to deal with the five Cups that are taller than me, a dust brown colored unicorn walks slowly into my field of view. He looks quite tired, and not at all like the unicorns that ones sees in books…. there is no glowing chimera or shining golden horn, just a plain brown everyday unicorn, if there ever could be such a thing. His gait begins to increase until he reaches a slow and steady canter, and as he skirts around the group of cups, his feet inscribe a circle in the red and parched ground. Over and over he circles the cups, with a monotony that is becoming hypnotic…. the circle is becoming more deeply engraved into the desert floor, and the unicorn seems bewitched in his intensity.
I ask him what he is doing in that place, and what this means, this circle that he is weaving, and he tells me that as long as I believe that these cups are empty, then they will remain so, and the landscape will remain parched and dry, he tells me that belief is the key.
I look at the cups again, and walk over to one of them, feeling it’s surface and testing its strength. It seems strong, and certainly not too heavy, and I judge that it is probably within my ability to move it. I tip the cup a little, so as to get a firm grip on it, and I move it away from its relationship with the other cups, followed by the next one, and the next. I notice that as I am moving the cups around, that the landscape is slowly changing, becoming softer and more gentle…A river has appeared, and I am standing among gently shelving slopes of green, and as I look around at the landscape around me, I see that I have lined up the cups along the banks of a large river, and that I seem to have wandered into the beautiful and peaceful landscape that I have visited already, in the Three of Cups.
The fragile glassy look of the cups has also changed, and they now appear to have a taken on a deep silvery sheen, something like pewter; they are standing firmly and proudly in the soft grass at the edge of the riverbank, filling slowly with the soft misty rain that is enveloping us in a cloud of thirst quenching, life giving nourishment from above.
I look up the river bank, and see The Hermit tree still there, and I remember the creature that it contains, the creature I had to leave here the last time that I was here, and I know then why it is that I have returned to this place. I walk tentatively along the bank until I come to the tree… I can hear her, she is still there, and I reach into the tree and take out the mewling water sprite… she wriggles and turns, this way and that, like a fish out of water, just as she did the first time I saw her, and I carefully carry her over to the line of cups. Tipping one over, I see that it is already nearly half full of water, and I empty my hands of the Water Sprite, and watch her swim joyfully around inside the goblet. She ducks and dives, rolls and squirms, and the sound that she is making has changed…. I even think that she may be laughing!! She will be safe there for the time being, and as I turn away from the cups, I hear the clarion call, and see the orange and turquoise pennant of The Five of Cups, fluttering in the damp air. The colours of the silk now look richer and more inviting, and I know that my work here is now done for the time being. I head down towards the portal, and pass once more into The Hallway of Beginnings
The 5 of Cups
Mars in Scorpio
Lord of Loss in Pleasure