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78 Weeks of Tarot: 4 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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Deck: Fairytale Tarot


Card name: Four of Cups


First impressions:


An adolescent boy sits in what might be a castle basement, yawning, his eyes closed. He is surrounded by, but either unaware of or untroubled by five terrifying animals. There are cats with bat wings, a couple of horrible dogs. All of them are looking at him with evil intent. A candle provides the only dim light.


After reading the story:


This story was about a young man who is basically too stupid to be frightened. In my mind, the 4 of Cups is about boredom and taking things for granted. I guess the story connects to this idea in that the young man can’t appreciate anything because he believes that he is missing something by not knowing what the shivers are.


From the book:


Keywords: Being unimpressed and bored by everything; sinking into ennui; “Couldn’t care less”; feeling listless and disinterested by life; having it all, but only finding this depressing; a sense of flatness and disengagement with your surroundings, however exciting they seem on the surface.


In the Four of Cups, emotions are blocked-- there is a boredom and numbness that affects everything in life. This card is all about disconnection, depression and a general ennui – a time when nothing can touch you or move you. Someone who cannot care. The boy desperately wants to feel fear. It’s significant that it’s only when he’s married – in other words, when he becomes part of the established community – that he finally feels something.


In reading this card, consider how long-term or serious the the problem is. Sometimes all we need is encouragement to get active. In other cases, such a feeling may need treatment to help the sufferer break through.


The original story


The Boy Who Wanted To Learn Fear, by the Brothers Grimm


The version I read was “The Boy Who Left Home To Find Out About the Shivers.”


Traditional meanings (from TarotElements.com):


Ennui; inertia; settling for what you have; missing opportunities; apathy; melancholy; indifference; accepting what you have without seeking growth or progression; discontent; not appreciating what you have already; wanting what you can’t have. In its reversed state: gaining clarity; realising previous mistakes; responding late; opportunities returned; going over old ground; restlessness; depression; negative thinking; wanting to break free.


From 78 Degrees of Wisdom, by Rachel Pollack


Apathy. There is the suggestion that new possibilities can lead to happiness and satisfaction, but one doesn’t generally see it.


My impressions of the card/story combination:


It was a clever choice of story, since the card is usually associated with not being able to enjoy the good things in one’s life. This story expands the idea to be about not being able to experience the usually negative emotion of fear.


My take (what I make of it/what I might see in a reading where I drew it)


I think that now I would be much more likely to see this card as blocked emotion of any kind. I like Karen’s suggestion that the condition might be serious enough to need treatment. I also like her note that the problem is one that can be “cured” by becoming an adult and joining a community.


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The 4 of Cups from the Morgan Greer Tarot




Uh, not another cup! Not then, not now. Can you not see I already got three here that I haven't touched? Uh just put it down and leave it. Maybe I'll have it later. Or take it away again. Whatever. I really really don't care. Jut go away and leave me. Sigh. I wish they'd leave me in peace and stop handing me stuff. I didn't ask them for it. I'll get it myself if and when I want it. I just want my peace.... Hey, hang on! How long have I been sitting here? What's all the ivy about? It has grown all around and over me? I must have been here for a while. Oh well. Who cares. I don't. Is that a spider I can feel crawling into my collar? There must be loads of bugs and beasties in here, insects like ivy, don't they? .... Whatever. I just.... I just can't be bothered. Anyway, what would I want to get up for? No, I'm not depressed. I'm just... just meh. I just wanna do nothing. I admit, I feel a bit sorry for myself. But I'm enjoying it in a weird way. Don't worry about me, I'll get up some time. Not just yet. I'm gonna sit here a little longer. I can feel the little spider crawling up my neck and close my my ear. I can her her talk to me: The ivy is really self-pity tho, isn't it? Admit it! Melancholy, laziness, lethargy. But the base for this is your self-pity. But hey, it's ok. You're allowed to feel like that sometimes. Just don't let it last too long. Get over it already. Once the Ivy grows all over your face, it'll be hard to find your way out again.


Disclaimer: I got PMS just now, so I'm a bit extra sorry for myself as I'm writing this. Please don't worry, I'm fine 🙂 



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