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78 Weeks of Tarot: 8 of Cups


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For information on what these threads refer to, see this thread;


78 Weeks of Tarot - Informational Thread


The above linked thread gives suggested dates for the cards as well as links to the individual topics.


Some of us may be working through the study in a different order and using different decks. If you have general questions or comments regarding the 78 Weeks of Tarot study group, please post in the topic in the above link.


Have fun.

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8 of Cups - Fifth Spirit Tarot


IMG_0150 2.JPG


The card

Eight vessels stand on the floor of a house to catch water dripping from the ceiling. Some of them are overflowing. The door is open and shows a road, leading away from house, the moon, a clear night full of stars. Sometimes it’s good to know when to leave. Leave behind what doesn’t work for you anymore.


What it means to me

Eigths are order to the second degree - to the point that it can feel suffocating, restricted, claustrophobic, especially in the emotional Water suit. Something too comfortable, too much routine, too much comfort, no movement, no inspiration. This works well with the meaning of these cards, the Fifth Spirit Guidebooks provides these key words:

Leaving something once loved, moving on from what no longer serves, a journey into unknown.




The Smith-Waite & Fifth Spirit Take

On both there is a journey to higher grounds, guided by the Moon. Rachel Pollack notes that on the Smith-Waite deck it’s actually an eclipse, not the moon, which I found very interesting. The sky is clear. The cups are beautiful and well stacked, but one is missing, and it is to find what’s missing that the figure has to take the journey. On The Fifth Spirit the roof might be leaking, but since it’s not raining outside, this is clearly a sign that something is missing inside, something is off.


In a reading

Spread: Opening of the Book

King of Cups - 8 Cups - 9 Swords




An emotionally mature and grounded person knows how to decide how to deal with a situation that doesn’t work for you anymore. You can leave it behind, and say goodbye to the things you once loved, if they are no longer good for you. Or you can decide to invest time and (mental) energy into making it work again. Don’t freak out over the seemingly scary assortment of horror movie probs on the 9 of swords, but see them for what they are - tools. You can fix that roof. It might be painful - but it’s an option you have, if you don’t want to or can’t walk away.

Edited by le_charior
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8 of Cups - True Black Tarot by Arthur Wang


"A newborn baby octopus is about to leave its nest embarking on its first adventure."  


The eight in this element has been represented by the artist as a journey from what is safe and familiar towards an unknown future.  In his image of a young animal he captures the need for growth beyond the physical into the world of experience as well as the simultaneous fear and excitement that comes from a new journey.  


When I first started getting into Tarot it was a lot of reading books, online, listening to others and just looking at the cards.  I started a chart, more like a piece of paper divided into 40 squares, that I posted in the front of my journal and when I would have an "I've got it!" moment with a minor card I would write down a keyword or phrase that represented that for me.  To me the 8 of cups is the "Into the Wild" card.


In the early 1990's a young man named Chris McCandless seemingly had it all.  He had just graduated college with a bachelor's degree, had a trust fund and all the trappings of a well to do life.  Shortly after his graduation he gave away all of his money and walked away from the comfort of the family home to hit the open road.  His goal was to hitchhike to Alaska where he would live off of the land and leave behind the materialism of the modern world.  While Chris did make it to Alaska, he was ill prepared and fell to starvation in an abandoned bus that he'd found and was using as his home.  While much can be said about the journey and his fate, what drew me to "name" this card the Into the Wild card is where it all started.  A young man dissatisfied with the trappings of materialism walked away on his own terms to find the missing cup as it were.  To fill a void that he could not satisfy with the status quo.  His journey to find greater meaning to his existence; in my eyes that was his 8 of cups moment right there. 


I've had a few of those moments myself in my life and the most recent was in 2017.  My mother through adoption had just passed and my father had already been gone for several years.  I had always known I was adopted and had met my birth mother many years earlier.  We / I tried to have a friendship with my biological mother but it was not meant to be.  Even so, one of my greatest cravings was to know who I was.  As an adoptee growing up not knowing my family I felt like a tumbleweed.  I had no real beginning, no past to speak of.  I just tumbled along in life with no connection to anyone else and no place in history.  In 2016 when I found myself with no adoptive parents left alive I began to look into my heritage.  That journey put me on a plane in 2017 to Ireland in search of the home of my great grandfather.


I hadn't been anywhere in over a decade and certainly not on a plane in at least 20 years.  I planned the whole trip out carefully.  I was going alone, renting a car and looking for a house in a forest in a village that doesn't really exist anymore.  Here me, that baby octopus, on a plane....leaving the comfort of what is known for something more.  Something that will take me to another level as a person.  I was terrified with joy.  I picked up the car in Dublin and drove in circles until I felt like I could handle driving on the wrong side of the road.  From there I drove over 2000km in three weeks and at last came to the forest in the town that wasn't there.  I'd seen the house on Google Earth....I have the records to show it existed and that the family lived there.  I could hardly contain myself going up to the owner of the land and asking permission to access.  A short logging road took me into the property and as I walked I could feel every hair on my head.  I came around the bend and suddenly the peak of the house came into view.  It was real!  It was here and I'd found it.  It was exhilarating!  I tore through the waist high stinging nettle ignoring how on fire I now felt and came round to the front door of a low longhouse.  It was powder blue.  I could hear my heart pounding in my ears and although the house had long been abandoned I couldn't help myself.....I knocked.


This was my moment.  The journey that needed to be.  This was an experience that took me away from my comfort zone and took me from a person I'd settled for to something I'd only dared to become.  It was a true 8 of cups moment for me.   

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Wonderful writing, @SheBeast - I felt I really was with you on that quest to find the house and your roots! So well put and engaging, thank you for sharing this! 


And wonderful to have this connected to the card. I really love this idea of the chart with "I've got it!" moments! And the little octopus is so adorable on top if it all - seems like a really different side of the deck as well, so far the cards you have shown seem really serious, while this one has a sweetness to it that I find very endearing. 


(And thanks for your nice compliments on my post too! ☺️)

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Deck: Tabula Mundi

Card: 8 of Cups - Lord of Indolence (Abandoned Success)

First decan of Pisces, ruled by Saturn

Hod of Briah/Water

Trumps: Moon, Universe



At first glance, this depiction is very different to other versions of this card. Even the title of it has a different feel to established RWS meanings. Indolence and Abandoned Success give a different impression and one which is not so positive. 
The eight cups on this card are bleached and cracked boards in the shape of the tube torus portal which appears on the Universe card. From the Moon card, it shows the waters of sleep and the barge has become a ghost ship, run aground. It has been abandoned. 

Under Saturn’s influence the waters of Pisces are calm but stagnant. Melancholy, regret and the passage of time have spoiled pleasure. Crowley called this card ‘the apex of unpleasantness’ and suggest that indolence inflicts the ill-luck on us. Sloth and inertia are to blame - we just can’t be bothered any more. These cups are unable to hold any water, there is no fluidity. The guidebook states ‘one loses heart and soul and becomes depressed and idle.’ This is how the success is abandoned. 

It is a much bleaker take than what has become established through RWS. In a reading, this would be a warning that the heart has gone out of the project. People have lost interest and the chance of success has gone. 



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