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78 Weeks of Tarot: 2 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: Two of Cups


First impressions:


Two tiny people stand on two open lilies. One is a beautiful girl, dressed in a pink dress with a skirt that resembles the petals of a flower. Her hat resembles the stamen or pistils. She is barefoot. Talking to her is a winged man, who looks middle eastern perhaps. He wears harem pants and jewelry on his bare chest. He also has wings. He holds something out to the girl but I can’t tell what it is. It is night, there is a crescent moon and a swallow flies. There are other flowers, maybe lilies of the valley, in the background.


Maybe this is a romantic scene. I just don’t remember the story.


From the book:


Keywords and phrases: Finding a soul mate or ideal partner; the beginning of a great relationship; a partnership, betrothal, or perhaps a marriage; finding the person who “fits” you.


Almost every animal she meets sees her as a potential wife, although not one of them is suitable. This story makes us think about the fact that we might have to make a difficult journey to find our perfect match (whether it be a spouse, a business partner or a friend). Thumbelina travels the world to find a partner like herself, and although this seems impossible for someone of her size, her courage, optimism and, above all, her kindness, overcome everything. The message seems to be that we should never despair because the right person is out there somewhere. The right person may not be like you in every way, but in the end this isn’t important, what matters is mutual attraction and like-mindedness.


The original story


“Thumbelina,” by Hans Andersen


Traditional meanings (from TarotElements.com):


Love; harmony; emotional balance; love flowing freely; a repaired relationship; togetherness; close bonds and friendships; a relationship that is strengthening; mutual love and respect. In its negative aspect: separation; the end of a relationship; unrequited love; rejection; division; love withdrawn.


From 78 Degrees of Wisdom, by Rachel Pollack:


In many ways, a lesser version of The Lovers. This emphasizes the beginning of the relationship. It can also be about a friendship. Can also show integration of one’s personality or qualities.


My impressions of the card/story combination:


I like the story choice, but maybe for different reasons than Karen makes explicit. There is the romance at the end, with the flower spirit king, who is pictured on the card. But if you think about the card as being about other partnerships, I think it becomes more interesting. Also, I think it broadens the meaning if, as in the previous 2 of Wands entry, you think about this 2 as being about choice. This story has a lot to say about the importance of being an active participant rather than a passive wallflower in choosing a partner. There are a couple of very  disagreeable animals that want to marry Thumbelina, or have their sons marry her. She is all set to marry one of them when she sees her old friend, the swallow. I also think this story could just as well be about her friendship with the swallow. She nurses him back to life and he helps her to escape from her impending disastrous marriage to the mole and delivers her to her new happy home. They had a wonderful partnership. But anyway, it’s a lovely story, and the card does include the swallow, so it’s all good.

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


I think I would see this as a perhaps surprising opportunity for a new relationship and the need to choose whether or not to pursue it or the need to decide what kind of relationship it’s going to be.


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2 of Cups





Card description and impressions: A man and woman, dressed entirely in red, raise a toast beneath a wreath of red roses. The image speaks of infatuation and intoxication. Between then is a little home on a hill with a chimney, but it’s distant. They may or may not get there.


LWB: “A youth and maiden are pledging each other and above their heads is a garland of roses. The chooser of this card will attain wealth but is warned against allowing himself or herself to become miserly. Upside down, the card indicates an unexpected but long-hoped for success.”

Roots: Picard - They are in the midst of a crown of roses (the flower of Venus) the symbol of a beneficent binary (sun active in one, moon passive in the other). Tendency to the union of two magnetic principles.
Sign: Prospect of sentimental union.

Poinsot: Wealth, but avarice. Reversed: Unexpected success.”

Synthesis/core meaning: A gift. Do not f*** this up.


Notes: Whether we’re looking at love, money, or success in general, this card indicates a lucky break, but makes no promises that it will take you where you want to go. It’s only a lucky start – anything beyond that depends on you, circumstance, and/or blind luck.

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Ah, the Two of Cups, the lovers card. The joining of two people, possibly opposites. The story of Romeo & Juliet (with hopefully a happier ending!).


The Phantasmagoric Theater ToC is, well .... interesting.


This card could be read so many ways depending on how it fits into a bigger narrative. I definitely would see it as some sort of relationship (not necessarily a romantic one). Both figures have a heart on their chest (albeit, the one on the left has a bigger one). The left figure has stars in their eyes, definitely in love, or fond of the other figure. Although they are both dragging on hookahs, the one on the left has a smaller hose (is this caffeine intake? Count me in!). That tells me that they need no external stimulation to "feel" their attraction to the other. The figure on the left is wearing a gas mask. While strange in itself, it does two things - first, we do not know how they REALLY feel about the other since their eyes are covered. Second there is this feeling that they are protecting themselves (social distancing?), and may find the other person, or even the relationship, to be toxic. Also, the hose is a more industrial strength one, possibly indicating they need extra stimulants, also shown in the size of the coffee cup.


So, although potentially the card of lovers, it could have a more "toxic" reveal to the relationship.



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The Deviant Moon Two of Cups


Midnight has been tempted by Death and a pact has been made between the two lovers. Raising two cups, they toast the bond of their union.”


My first thought was that it was odd to have death on a two of cups. On considering this I changed my mind. If you go into a relationship there is going to be something of your previous life which is lost. It is the same with pregnancy. Pregnant women can get the death card because their life will change and something will be lost. In fact an earlier version of this card had a pregnant women in it When I married I gave up playing cards for money. It was gone and I mourned it!


The image catches two people coming together very well. It seems to catch the feel of tentative beginnings.The squared floor indicates a board that they are playing their game on.There is spilled wine and I am still thinking about this. The shape of the moon shows their balance. Though the moon will change.


As well as the changing of the moon there is also another warning. Their arms form the cross which indicates definitive points in this deck. As with the High Priestess and the Page of Wands there is no guarantee of how things will develop.


The clarity of this card suites me because, irrespective of the deck, I always read the lovers card, in the old way, as a decision. The tarot doesn't seem to mind this and I see no point in having two lovers cards.



I am posting this before the two of wands in an attempt to get back in sync with the group.

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@katrinka I absolutely love the core meaning! It will go straight to my notebook. Just pefect!

@surreal I remember having read somewhere (probably a book by the Jungian M-L von Franz) that during pregnancy and childbirth women are very close to death in very many ways. Physically, yes, (even today) but also psychologically. She wrote that new life has to be drawn to this world from the world of the not living, from another dimension altogether. You make a pact with death, sort of. I can't remember exactly but something along those lines anyway. I think it's very powerful stuff. I found it empowering, in fact.

Love and death are really close to each other also in other relationships. You love someone so much it hurts and yet there is always the possibility/reality of separation and the fact that there is only ever just this moment promised to you two.

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36 minutes ago, Hemera said:

@katrinka I absolutely love the core meaning! It will go straight to my notebook. Just pefect!


Aw, thanks!
It stays, then. :)

36 minutes ago, Hemera said:

@surreal I remember having read somewhere (probably a book by the Jungian M-L von Franz) that during pregnancy and childbirth women are very close to death in very many ways. Physically, yes, (even today) but also psychologically. She wrote that new life has to be drawn to this world from the world of the not living, from another dimension altogether. You make a pact with death, sort of. I can't remember exactly but something along those lines anyway. I think it's very powerful stuff. I found it empowering, in fact.


That's fascinating. If you come across it again, I hope you let us know where to look! I'd like to read that.


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Deck: Tabula Mundi

Card: Two of Cups

Lord of Love

First Decan of Cancer, ruled by Venus

Trumps: Empress, Chariot

Chokmah of Briah, Water


Thoughts on this card:

I like how this deck links the minor arcana to the trumps. Here the hippocampi are reminiscent of the horses pulling the Chariot and the wheat and bees link back to the Empress. It really helps to make clear how the cards relate to each other. The Chariot carries the Grail while the Empress is the door and Cancer is motherhood. It seems fitting that the Lord of Love is a combination of these energies. Love is a creative force.
I love the symmetry of this card - it gives such a feeling of balance and harmony. 
The hippocampi are part horse and part dolphin. According to the guidebook, dolphins in alchemy were a symbol of the womb and the mysteries of procreation. 
The full and new moons show here are both a symbol of polarity and a link to Cancer who is ruled by the moon. 
The bees bring an energy of sweetness and harmony - a productive and creative one. 

It would be a positive card to draw - a harmonious pairing brings a sweetness to life and starts a period of fertile energy. 




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On 10/10/2020 at 8:25 AM, katrinka said:

Synthesis/core meaning: A gift. Do not f*** this up.


Notes: Whether we’re looking at love, money, or success in general, this card indicates a lucky break, but makes no promises that it will take you where you want to go. It’s only a lucky start – anything beyond that depends on you, circumstance, and/or blind luck.

I was looking at the card today, and it struck me how tentative they looked.  Is he reaching for a second chalice, or exchanging?  The pledged troth comes with an obligation. The promise brings commitment. Without it is just grasping and castles in the air. 

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Two of Cups – The Hermetic Tarot by Godfrey Dowson

Lord of Love



Significant Symbology of Meaning

  • Number 2
  • Element Water (Water)
  • Symbols for Venus and Cancer
  • 2 Cups
  • 2 Lotus flowers
  • 2 dolphins
  • Hebrew names of Ayoel and Chabooyah

The card shows a divine hand holding a large open lotus flower, from which streams of water sprout and give life to another lotus flower. From both flowers, water streams into the two cups, overflowing them from above and regenerated again from below. This is an interesting reference for contemplation, the energy of life is cyclical and flows from the top down as expected – but is then replenished again from the bottom. The two dolphins swim amongst the sprays of water, almost being upheld by the fountain force. They seem harmonious, at peace in the abundance of life giving fluid – despite the fact they are not in their natural environment. Perhaps we all aren’t, but we can still enjoy ourselves while we are here. The deep nurturing feeling of Venus and Cancer are felt here, bringing together the duality into a loving energy where they play well together.


Once again, the names of the angels elude me. I'm not having much luck with cursory research in this area. This will entail more study and resources than I currently have at my disposal.


Astrological Aspects

1st Decan of Cancer, Venus in Cancer (Cardinal/Water). Astrologically this card deals with deep feeling affection, love and the nurturing and tranquillity that comes with it. The cardinal energy here is self starting, and very much seeded in creation and creativity. It is feminine, caring, and perhaps even motherly in a very preliminary sense - it has conceived but not yet given birth. 



Exploring the Tree of Life position

Chokmah (Wisdom)


This Chokmah is in Briah, and as such the influence is from the mental/creative world. While the Two of Wands was more comfortably masculine in its balance, this card brings a more feminine energy with the cups and water representing that coolness and nurturing. However, the water can only flow through the energy provided by the Chokmah-Fire – and so the masculine and feminine energy are once again partnering in this creation. They are both bringing something to the table. The water flows down to reach our material earth, or Malkuth being the goal. Chokmah’s dynamic outpouring of energy, that of the ‘great stimulator’ is condensing in the ‘Heh’ of Briah. Briah is the first world to be created ex nihilo, and you get a sense of that first tangible creation here in the Two of Cups. From Chokmah the Supernal Father to Binah the Supernal Mother, something is being conceived. The vital male outpouring of energy (Yod) is organised by the female (Heh), much like it is in our physical world of conception. The offspring is to be the Vau of the tetragrammaton, but we don't yet see him, he isn't formed.



Overall meaning LWB

From the LWB:

Meanings: Harmony. Pleasure. Mirth. Love. Friendship. Passion.

Reversed: Subtlety. Folly. Dissipation. Waste. Silly Action. Disunion.

Edited by Grace
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A little late this week.... terrible headache slowed me down, but I got there, and will make sure to get onto the next card in line tomorrow now I have had a good rest and good drugs. I wanted to go back and see everyone's posts from last week - I sadly won't have time but I will look forward to discussing it in the upcoming zoom session. So exciting! 

Lots of love to @Lady Butterfly. My condolences to you and yours. I hope you are holding up and doing OK.


@katrinka, what are the colours like in your Two of Cups in real life? So bright! 

@Contrascarpe... I'm interested in hearing more about your deck at the zoom meeting also. What a bizarre little card! I enjoy the way the innocent drawings, merge with the almost uncomfortable overall image. I feel like it should be in the newspaper, with some thought provoking text over the top. Like a Leunig cartoon. 

@surreal.... Again an awesome deck. What @Hemera said jogged my memory of the link the Qabalist world of Binah has with the planet Saturn. Saturn, of course being the story of Titan who devoured his children for fear that they would take over and overthrow him. In the book, The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell, there was yet another story of a culture where (and I'm probably remembering incorrectly), there was an understanding that becoming a parent was a kind of death, or preparation for death in the passing on of wisdom and knowledge to the children. There may have been a ritual involved. Anyhow, it is interesting how many stories in so many cultures touch on the same ideas of creation. And while it seems morbid, I agree with @Hemera, that it is very empowering. 

@Flaxen... definitely feeling those Chariot and Empress vibes. 

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Mermaid Tarot (by Leeza Robertson, Julie Dillon, Llewellyn 2019)

Card name: Two of Cups


Description: Mermaid and a young fisherman meet and share a moment of intense feeling.


Book meaning: This feeling doesn’t always mean love nor does it always last long term. Allow yourself to enjoy how you are feeling at this moment because the two of you are coming together for a reason.
A meeting of someone new, romantic, friendship, beneficial relationships.
Excitement mixed with anxiety.



Chalices: Two plain brass chalices, maybe from the bottom of the sea.
Wooden old boat: This could, of course, be a lifeboat and this could be the Prince himself from the Little Mermaid story. But somehow he looks more like a young fisherman to me. He likes solitude and he is inexperienced in the ways of the world.
Two elements: Different, opposing..


Open ended questions - how, what, when:

What kind of person are they: Young, unexperienced, curious. Are they in love with love more than with each other?

How did they get here: By accident, there was no planning and this just happened.


Embodying the card: Embodying either one of these young characters, one feels the excitement but also fear of the strange element and doubts of the future with someone from another world. Maybe it’s just me, the old pessimist that I am. But I get the feeling this is a fleeting and fragile moment. They wish to share their world with each other, but will that be possible, with all the practical problems they must deal with first, I wonder? All they have is just this moment. The mermaid will dive and vanish, and the fisherman will row back to the shore. Will they meet again? This card is not revealing it to us. But this meeting will change them both for the rest of their days.


Notes: This card is bringing opposites together for a fleeting moment. This card does not feel as positive to me as most RWS 2 of Cups because of these differing elements. There is less potential for bonding and union, and a bigger chance that they have no future together. Even the book says there is anxiety in the mix of feelings.
In a reading, a lot would depend on the other cards which might support either the joining together, the anxiety following it, or the overall fleeting quality of the moment.  

On the other hand, seen symbolically, one could get much more out of this, for example as Astrological signs. Water and Earth could definitely connect and benefit each other in several ways.

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Hello my friends - catching up at last!  Hopefully this is the beginning of new trend of timely participation!


Two of Cups


From Margarete: Love - loving congress - emotional exchange - Romance. A gift is given and received. Mutual dependence, togetherness. The need to open oneself and share on an emotional level. To drink from the cup of another, to intermix. Pictures which flow into one another. No longer a distinction between mine and yours. To be mirrored, to melt, into another. To open up to the stream of images from the unconscious. Deep inner desires and perceptions, the thinner the veil of projections becomes, the clearer contact to others will be. The cups will be drunk dry. What is on the ground? A puzzle: am I you, or are you me?


Ironwing Two of Coils.  From Lorena:


The One coil replicates itself, finding a mirror and a companion.


Two twisted steel snakes, one shining black and one bright polished, hold eggs in their mouths.  They assist each other’s hatching and devour each other’s tails, forming a mutual attraction of opposites, a double Uroboros.  The ending of one attachment flows into the beginning of another, and both are entwined as part of a single cycle, a flowing exchange of energy between poles.  It can mean anything from a brief meeting to a serious healing interaction that will either dissolve or metamorphose into a more powerful but different relationship when its immediate purpose is served.  The shaman heals herself and honors the power of those who ask for help.  The wounded healer in the shaman’s heart unites with the seeker’s hidden strength.


[end book meanings]


Lately I have been trying to explain tarot to a friend who is going beyond the basics, just starting a deeper dive.  And she asked whether all RWS clones had to have the suit symbols.  Which got me thinking, which decks are RWS clones, which are Thoth-derived, which are neither?  The explosion of decks in the last 20 years has made it almost impossible for me to categorize systems any more.  20 years ago I could still hope to call a deck either RWS-based, Thoth-based or Marseilles-based.  But already people were getting creative, and producing decks that showed as much personal interpretation as loyalty to Golden Dawn or any other esoteric system.  As we get deeper into the cards, I am trying to decide if Margarete and Ironwing are “Thoth” decks.  I think they both blend the influence of so many different traditions.  It feels as though both are resisting my efforts to categorize them as anything beyond the personal interpretation of their creators.


Except - they are not oracles.  They both show a love of classical tarot structures.  There are echoes.  And one of the strongest echoes is the Two of Cups.  I noticed last week that each of our Two of Wands cards was very different in interpretation from the others.  All of them agreed on some form of duality, and some sense of the energy of fire, but there was a huge range beyond that core.  I see much more in common among our decks in the Two of Cups.  It seems that the archetype of the Two of Hearts speaks similarly to everyone.


Margarete’s is a lovely interpretation, with the core image squared inside a (permeable) border, and waves crashing all around it.  The core image is a pair of faces, locked in a gaze of fascination and wonder, with a chalice between them.  The fact that the chalice is off-center bothers me, because otherwise the card, like many deuces, is highly symmetrical.  Others who commented on this card saw small figurines of ancient dieties embedded in the image, superimposed on the faces and the chalice.  I can’t see them, but it’s fun to imagine them.  Mostly I’m aware of the intensity of the two people, who show the intensity of discovery.  Discovering a depth of feelings for a person is probably one of the loveliest feelings we get, isn’t it?  I am pleased at how androgynous the faces are - I think they are open to many gender interpretations.


Well, Margarete was abstract, but as usual the Ironwing takes abstraction to a whole new level.  No people in her Two of Coils.  The card depicts an iron snake which has doubled by creating its reflection.  One is polished steel, the other is blackened steel.  I think it’s so interesting that so many Two of Cups cards feature one light and one dark, as though the creation of one’s reflection is the creation of one’s shadow.  I’m not sure of the significance of this, but I would definitely work with it in a reading.  The Ironwing’s interpretation draws heavily on Kabbalah, the one reflecting to create the two, the first step toward manifestation.  It is the beginning of the realization of potential, which we all see in the first stages of a new relationship.


Definitely one of my favorite cards to get in a reading!


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2 of Cups

Image: Psyche stands upon a rock in a turbulent sea. She is bound by rope with her hands behind her back. Her face is downcast and a cup sits upright at her feet. Eros hovers above and behind Psyche, holding a cup in his right hand and an arrow in his left.


Brief myth of Eros and Psyche: Aphrodite has ordered that Psyche be placed upon the rock and sacrificed to a sea monster for the audacity of being beautiful. Eros has been sent to kill the girl, but has accidentally picked himself with one of his arrows instead, and upon seeing Psyche has fallen in love with her.

The story illustrates several fundamental principles at play in new relationships: a) Eros accidentally pricking himself shows how we are usually not in control over who we fall for or when an attraction is made. b) Eros is completely emotionally involved at this point, but Psyche is not even aware of his presence. At the earliest stage of a budding relationship the attraction is usually one-sided. c) Although Psyche is unaware of Eros' love for her, the presence of a cup at her feet indicate that the potential for future reciprocation is there. 

Reading the 2 of Cups: The raw emotion of the ace now has focus and direction. This card in a spread hints at the beginning of a relationship in its earliest state of being, be that romantic, platonic or professional. This energy can also present itself in the rekindling or renewing of an already existing relationship or the development of a contractual agreement. 20201026_201209.thumb.jpg.66991086a9fcc9aced22c69172f51826.jpg

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