The Four of Cups

Cups4Cut35Today, as I sit in the Hallway of Beginnings, I feel a sense of calm and completion descending upon me. The furniture sits in the same places, the chairs waiting for weary travelers to rest into them, and ancient chests secreting untold mysteries within their breasts, yearning for the dreams of hungry acolytes. The stairs reach into the soft enshrouding gloom of the landing, that terminal of wonder that I have begun to explore, a threshold into a vast world of possibility in which I have discovered many rare treasures already.  I wonder at the journeys that I have undertaken so far, and also of the adventures to come, and sense that although my life has changed an extraordinary amount already since I started wandering these inner worlds, that there is still a vast amount of work to be done. The intensely emotional world of the Cups is nearly done, and today I visit the last in my own personal journey, the 4 of Cups. Associated with the Moon in Cancer and found in Chesed on the Tree of Life, it seems that this card has waited till the end to be discovered…this card of emotional fullness and bliss, an almost Garden of Eden, that whispers almost inaudibly of the end of the dream……..I walk through the doorway, out into the bright clear light of The 4 of Cups.

I am standing on a beach in the Indian Ocean, with perfect white sand stretching as far as my eye can see. A graceful crescent of pure crystalline grains embraces the sparkling turquoise water, and palm trees line the top of the beach, bending low over the sand, heavy with their abundant fruit, rich with milky white sustenance.

I walk slowly along the edge of the lapping water, in this picture of paradise, awash with the smell of salt, the warmth of the sun and the sound of the breeze in my ears. This place is a tonic for my heart… a place of enveloping calm and relaxation, of halcyon days and eternal nights, a place we may only dream of.

As I walk, my bare feet make a pleasant crunching sound as they print the damp sand, a satisfying grind, as the grains slide together and create the mark of my human sole, placing me there in that time and place on an endless beach, in a world that defies rationality. I look down at the hard sand as I walk, and see on closer inspection, that the beach is littered with beautiful shells, luminescent gems wound with seaweed and coral, fitting jewels indeed for the soft white sand as it slopes luxuriously into the ocean. A hermit crab emerges from under a particularly large shell…. And in the way of these worlds, I strike up a conversation with him. He tells me that he represents the safety of home, because he carries his home with him everywhere he goes…. And that he is extremely vulnerable without it. He tells me also, that sometimes he feels cramped and too enclosed, and needs to risk death then in order to find a new home. He tells me of the fear and terror that he experiences when he is looking for a new home…. terrified that he will be crushed before he finds a bigger shell. I see how the crab is defined by his home, and how that could indeed be limiting, but he is so soft and vulnerable inside… he seems to have no choice.

I walk on further, and see in the distance a woman hunkered down on the beach with her small daughter….. I approach her, and she smiles gladly in welcome. She has a fire going and is preparing food, a large shallow pan filled with all sorts of colourful and delicious looking vegetables is emitting a fragrant and appetising smell of warm spices and aromatic herbs. I note ginger and allspice, pimento and fenugreek and my mouth waters with anticipation of the meal that is being prepared. The woman motions me to sit down with her, smiling happily as she continues with her work, whilst her daughter peers out at me from behind her mother, and looks at me with an impish grin, her black hair rather tangled and lending an even greater air of mischief to her brown lively face with its ebony eyes.

It seems now that we have company, as a boat has arrived, carrying what I assume are the rest of the family, a man and two older boys, paddling a canoe laden with fish. They pull the boat ashore, and set to preparing some of the fish for the meal, and I look to the lady of the fire. I see into her, she is content; she is the beating heart of her world, a mother caring for her children, a wife still beloved and cared for….. Her family look to her with adoration, love and respect and it is a beautiful thing to behold.

I thank the family for their time, and move off on my journey….

I walk, quietly absorbing the hypnotic lulling sounds of the waves on the beach, and drifting into a meditative walking trance as I float on the moment of perfection that the family has given me, exploring the feelings that wash over me like a warm wave. I become gently aware then, that Malachi is walking behind me and I ask him about the place where I am. He tells me that it is my version of paradise perfect, and so it will remain, as long as I ask no questions of it and accept it for what it is. He tells me that it is like the safety of the womb, or perhaps like the idyll of childhood, before the dream is broken by adult awareness. I feel happy with this explanation…. I remember how the lady on the beach was the focus of so much love from her family, but how she was also giving it out again, a fleeting moment of pure self perpetuating bliss where happiness is complete, but that which cannot be frozen in time. Malachi tells me that water ebbs and flows, that these moments come, but that they also go and we cannot hold them… to do so feeds illusion and disappointment. I turn to ask him further about this, but he has gone…. and I realise that it is likely that I will have to go back to The 5 of Cups in order to discover the answer to my question. Like the 4 of Cups, Malachi cannot be bound by me, and nor can this world….. and slowly the beach fades away, the soothing sounds of sand and shells slowly slipping into silence. The land of Cups has washed away from my awareness, and I find myself sitting on my chair in the Hallway of Beginnings. My adventures into the land of Water are over for the moment, and I feel that it is time to ground these emotional visions into some sort of concrete manifestation. I have already explored quite a few of the disks, but I feel that it may be time to journey onward, to walk the lands of earth a little further and lay some more foundations.

  • The Four of Cups
  • Luxury
  • Moon in Cancer
  • The Lord of Blended Pleasure
  • Chesed

    My name is Joanna Grant, I am an Astrologer, Tarot Reader and Writer, who lives on the Head Shot Fadebeautiful Beara Peninsula in the South West of Ireland. I can often be found at home, deep in arcane research, or practicing some new form of divination whilst burning the dinner! My children probably wish that I was “normal” but may well remember my eccentricities fondly when they come to face the challenges of their own paths. My long knowledge of Astrology leads and informs my practice, in offering guidance, empowerment and healing, helping others to lead a more authentic and magical life. You can read more about me here.

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2 thoughts on “The Four of Cups

  1. Thank you so much for sharing these insights. You write so beautifully, you carry me straight into your own, personal vision! I’ve been using the Thoth for a long time, and sometimes feel my interpretations of the cards are stuck in old associations. This journal of yours is helping me shift a few of my Thoth-y habits, in a wonderfully positive way! I loved this- ” like the safety of the womb, or perhaps like the idyll of childhood, before the dream is broken by adult awareness.” Coincidentally, I’d written of the same card in my own blog last week. Re-reading it now, I see that I was re-hashing the same formulae…you’re inspiring me to explore my beloved cards again!


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