The Page of Cups is one of my favorite cards. What’s not to love about a quirky, absurd image like a dude on the beach playing stare eyes with a fish in a cup. I’m pretty sure the fish is winning.
Because it is a bit ‘outside of the box’ compared to the deeply spiritual, introspective, emotional tone Tarot cards often have, sometimes the intuition for the Page of Cups doesn’t drop into your head quite as easily as with other cards. Actually, that can happen with any card in any reading. Sometimes you turn a card and get that old “I got nothing” feeling. We’ve talked about it on Menage A Tarot when it happens in a live reading. With a blog I have the luxury of being able to browse my reference books for inspiration.
Just about any Tarot book, especially the infamous “little white book” that comes with many decks, gives a list of key words or key phrases. How do you know which one is the right one? That’s where intuition comes in. There is no escaping it, really. Tarot readings aren’t about the cards. The cards are a tool to help us access our natural, innate, native human intuition in a way that makes it easier for us to understand and/or communicate that understanding to other people. If the card alone doesn’t do the trick, then browsing key words in combination with the card often will. Sometimes you have to be a little persistent though. Eventually, something “pops”. Something grabs your attention and gives the intuitive pull that lets you know that this meaning out of the dozens out there is the one for this moment, this reading. In this case it was a little bit of a daisy-chain that got us here today. The key phrase I found was “disappointed relationships” (Galaxy Tarot). What is the biggest cause of disappointment in relationships or just about anything? More often than not, it’s expectations. If you don’t have your heart set on something-or-another, then it’s pretty hard to be disappointed if it doesn’t happen. That’s what hooked my intuition…expectations.
Expectation brings intuition and spiritual learning to a stop quicker than anything else in my experience. Of course, my pet example is predicting the future. Wanting a prediction is nothing but a giant binary expectation. Whether you want X or dread Y, wanting a prediction reduces your view of life to a pinhole. Tarot is about expanding your horizons, about empowering a bigger experience of life. You can’t do that when expectations shrinks the world to a speck of dust. Predictions focus on a thread. Life and Tarot is about the whole beautiful tapestry.
“Expectations” draws my attention to the fact our fishy scene takes place on a beach. A lot of expectations are put on beach vacations: sun, sand, fun, good food…you name it. Throw in a rainy day, and zinc covered noses get out of joint in a hurry. Let’s talk about the weather. If you go on the beach expecting sun, you are disappointed when you see some clouds. The clouds are suddenly seen as a bad thing. You are disappointed in your relationship with your vacation, and the crankies start to set in. But if you walk out on the beach with no expectation other than to see what the horizon looks like, the clouds give a pleasant breeze which is a good thing. Or they give you warning to get away ahead of a storm…a decidedly good thing. You can expect sun and be disappointed, demand a weather prediction and still be disappointed, or you can scan the horizon, enjoy its beauty, and then make a good decision based on what you see. Tarot and beaches isn’t a connection you would expect, but the page of cups has led us to a useful analogy by shaking up our expectations.
Got to hand it to the dude on the beach. He shakes things up, and helps us break out of thought-habits. You have to shake off a lot of expectations, have a pretty open view, and a healthy love of life to go nose to nose with a fish in a cup.
Well played, Mr. Page of Cups Dude, well played.
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