Wot? Not romantic? Moi? Sure I can be, but you know, this is the stuff of infatuation that those rogue Knights are so fond of, particularly that Knight of Cups and we all know how dependable they can be [insert derisive snort]. Oh sure, it's sweet, it's cute, and I can't help but smile when I see a couple so obviously smitten, but I suppose I've had a few too many kicks from the back end of that horse that I look with slightly jaded (yes, I said slightly) eye on this card. Sure, it's nice and all, but hello, it's just a two. They're being swept along by the rush of the Ace of Cups and while that's a heady cup of spirits there, I say watch for the hangover sure to come ohhh around say, the Four of Cups, if it lasts that long.
Maybe I should have posted this on Valentine's Day, but I have an internal boycott on V-Day that has nothing to do with whether I've personally been involved with someone when that day rolls around. It's cheesy and forced and my knee jerk reaction to anyone telling me I gotta luuurve someone on February 14 is, again, "Whatever," with dismissive hand gestures. Maybe that's the root of my problem with the Two of Cups. I'm far too much a Queen of Swords to admit to any twitterpating on my part, however that underlying water element belies a romantic heart that cries at love stories and whose favorite movie is Ever After.
I say I'm realistic. Lovers don't care. They don't give a damn about reality and I don't blame them at all. It's all very nice in that pink bubble with hearts and glitter floating about. Because this is the card all the hopefuls want to see who come to a tarot reading asking, "Will I meet someone?" or "Does he like me that way?" So when I see this card for a sitter, I smile and say, "Yes. For sure. Yeah he does." And that's really nice. But get this, falling in love is a lot like drug addiction and temporary insanity, at least chemically speaking.
As reported by the BBC:
"When people fall in love they can think of nothing else. They might even lose their appetite and need less sleep, preferring to spend hours at a time daydreaming about their new lover. In the attraction stage, a group of neuro-transmitters called 'monoamines' play an important role:
- Dopamine - Also activated by cocaine and nicotine
- Norepinephrine - Otherwise known as adrenalin. Starts us sweating and gets the heart racing
- Serotonin - One of love's most important chemicals and one that may actually send us temporarily insane"
It seems that lovers brains are just having themselves a party. I did mention the word hangover up there, didn't I? That looks like a scene from the movie Blow. And while the feelings associated with falling in love may cause us to yearn and wish for it to befall us again and again, so pleasant they are, you might re-think that when you read this story about a man who suffers permanent amnesia brought about by a virus but who keeps falling in love with his wife over and over and over. Two of Cups is not really the best place to camp out, now is it? I've seen this pattern in rather dysfunctional couples that repeatedly break up and make up as a way of recapturing that Two of Cups high, but really, it does get old and starts to feel a bit like that Bill Murray flick, Groundhog's Day, where the guy keeps reliving the same day over and over and over.
But let's say you get this card in a reading about your career and you're happily partnered up and you're not looking for any nookie in the copyroom after work, what then? Should you be concerned you have an ardent admirer? Nah, you'd likely get the Page of Swords or our star-struck Knight of Cups for that. What this card can also imply is any positive connection two people make or even a good match between a person and a project or job. It means there's a potent connection and the emotional benefits will be reciprocal. As such it can signify a friendship or even a business partnership that just "clicks."
In the Waite style decks, there is a lion with a caduceus symbol above the lovers. While oft thought to be the symbol of medicine, this symbol actually was an ancient astrological symbol of commerce related to the god Hermes, the winged-footed messenger of the Greek pantheon. It looks very similar to the symbol for the planet Mercury — the Roman name for Hermes, who carries the kerykeion, or caduceus. The basic power of the Caduceus is the primal power to heal or harm. It's not quite the same as the medical symbol the Staff of Asclepius and you will more often find the caduceus as symbols of pharmaceutical companies rather than, say, the World Health Organization. Hmmm, drugs again, huh? Here we find another duality of the two and the real question behind such a potent pairing. Because isn't that just like love? It, like medicinal drugs, has both the power to heal and to harm. So be careful whose eyes you gaze deeply into and what exactly is in that cup he's offering?
Lest you think you can avoid this trap by simply indulging in lustful sex with none of that addictive substance love stuff, the BBC also reported that research suggests sex is booby-trapped to make partners bond:
According to the research the more two people have sex together, the more likely they are to bond. "We all know you can have sex without falling in love but if you have enough sex with the same person there's a good chance you will hit the body's booby-trap which is there to tip you head over heels into love," said Dr Marsden. "So your body goes all out to make you bond with your partner and that makes love highly addictive and the withdrawal sucks."Nice and floofy as the feelings may be, they are temporary and do fade, though they can last between three to seven years. If you take a look at the Seven of Cups, you might see someone in the throes of the "seven-year-itch" dreaming about other potential partners and falling in love again. We're such addicts, honestly.
The Secret Tarot Deck by Marco Nizzoli Published by Lo Scarabeo