We are all wanderers on this earth. Our hearts are full of wonder, and our souls are deep with dreams.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Seeds of Change: The Aces (Part II: The Ace of Cups)
My heart leaps in wonder.
Cold, fresh, deep,
I feel the word 'water'
spelled in my left palm.
-Denise Levertov (b. 1923), U.S. poet.

My friend, Jonna, does not read tarot, but she likes to leaf through my decks and choose her favorite cards. When an image strikes her she puts it to the side. From each and every deck I have shown to her she has pulled out the Ace of Cups. Truly, this is her card. She is deeply emotional, she can't even try to hide it. Her emotions bubble up and out and pour over her whether it be joy or sorrow, anger or love. This Ace is like that. It is a flood, a rush of emotion, usually joyous and loving, but not always. We'd prefer that, I'm sure, that the Ace of Cups is always about love and happiness, but it isn't. Sometimes it's a wave of tears gushing forth from a dammed up river of grief.

The suit of Cups represent the emotions, its element is water, a fitting metaphor for these untameable forces that draw us towards and away from people, things, and experiences. The Ace is a solitary number, though, it represents just one. This Ace is a personal emotional force, the swelling of feelings inside one's soul often in response to something seen or experienced. It doesn't necessarily presage falling in love with another, although certainly one may experience the Ace of Cups in that process. It can, instead, represent attending to one's own emotional wellbeing.

This is one of the most welcome cards in tarot readings. As Martha Stewart would say, "It's a GOOD thing." Once or twice I've seen it come up as an emotional storm, like a temper tantrum, or tears on tap, manipulative crocodile tears, but other, surrounding cards brought about those interpretations. All by itself, it's as welcome as a cool spring on a hot day. Aces are rather dramatic, that must be why I like them so much, drama queen that I can be. They're like the switch turned to the ON position and the volume cranked up. They're like the Enterprise on warp speed, and just like Scotty would protest, "She canny take much more, Captain!" aces have a rather short lifespan. They're bursts of power, in this case an onslaught of emotion, which doesn't last. So it's all about striking when the iron is hot with the Aces.

I've had very long emotional dry spells in my life. Quite unwelcome, but there I was in the emotional desert all the same. I had no tears to shed, no joy either, rather like an emotional flatline. Depression can do this to a person, but so can the tedium of life. Too, a person who is very much an emotional giver can find themselves tapped out, with nary a drop left in their own cup to sustain neither themselves nor anyone else. At these times the Ace of Cups is most welcome and often shows up to advise a time of refilling. You can't keep water in a leaky bucket, so how one goes about taking this advice is to first find where the leaks are. Most of us simply go for the filling station and don't pay attention to the leaks and breaks. What then happens is you come back from your holiday feeling wonderfully refreshed, the spiritual retreat was most enlightening, you're bouncing with newfound energy until about the next day when you wake up and find yourself just as bereft and dry as before you went off. If not more. Wha' happened? And so we go from filling station to filling station and never feel full.

Plug up the leaks. Where are you emotionally broken? Where have you been torn open? Set to mending those places before you head off to the filling station. Wot? You mean this isn't a gift? I have to work for it? No...no, 'tis a gift. But if you can't keep it then how will you use it? And how will it spill over abundantly from a leaky cup? I know I'm making sense here whether you like it or not.

Aces, remember, are all about seeds of change, promise for something yet to come. They are the raw energy of the suit, but as yet unusable in its current form. It's the push of the wave under the surfboard, the white water under the raft. But only with the skill of the surfer and the oars in the hands of the rafter can you navigate the direction and the result. So, bring it on, yes! Let the flood come, hallelujah! It's about time, right? But it can wash over you and recede back into the sea, or you can gather it in a water-tight sandpail and actually use it.

The Druid Craft TarotText by Philip & Stephanie Carr-Gomm Copyright © 2004Illustrations by Will Worthington Copyright © 2004Eddison Saad Editions Copyright © 2004ISBN 1 85906 144 3


  1. Aces, remember, are all about seeds of change, promise for something yet to come. They are the raw energy of the suit, but as yet unusable in its current form. It's the push of the wave under the surfboard, the white water under the raft. But only with the skill of the surfer and the oars in the hands of the rafter can you navigate the direction and the result.

    I really like this!

  2. Anonymous12:19 PM

    You write such wonderful poetry. Every word.

  3. Yes, your prose is very beautiful poetry! And your comment about fixing the leaks so we can receive and hold the Ace's energy is personally timely for me.

    Some synchronicity...well, rather than write it all over here, I'll simply suggest reading the end of my review of The Spirit Hill Tarot on my Tarot blog with respect to the Ace of Cups. (I had the dream mentioned on the evening of 8/14.)


  4. So, both of us were separately prompted to write about the Ace of Cups on the same day...interesting. Very.

  5. I had the card come up as rage for me in a reading, but when I discussed it with another self proclaimed expert reader she said I was wrong. It always means something more positive. I didn't believe her. lol I also had it come up recently advising me to fill my cup, but I forgot about plugging the holes. (Something I thought you put brilliantly the first time I read this post.) Plugging the holes is theme of my life right now. It's a good thing. :-)

  6. Siddaleah, I would sooner relate rage to the Ace of Wands with all that passion and fire. The Ace of Cups can be overwhelming, and even water has the power to be destructive, with flooding, tidal waves, etc. But I guess it would depend how the anger felt -- like it welled up slowly and spilled over? Or like it ignited quickly like a lightning bolt? Sometimes, I get furious when I am hurt, so it could depend on the source of the anger.

  7. It was more like a need for me to control a situation where we were being taken advantage of, but my anger would have made the situation worse. In the reading, the Ace of Cups was in between two wands, so it seemed clear that my emotions spilling over into the situation would dowse the flames of a project where we were finally making progress. So maybe rage isn't the right word, but the situation called for calm that I couldn't provide at the time.

  8. Now see, that makes PERFECT sense. It wasn't saying what KIND of emotion specifically, just don't let your emotions take control of the situation. You read those cards on point, girl! :)


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