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

Monday, March 19, 2007

In Love With Love
You know these two. You may have even been these two at one time. Maybe you're even part of this pair now, but if you're not it's all you can do to not say,"Get a room." With fluttering eyelashes and deep gazes that invisibles everyone else from the stratosphere, the Two of Cups is a budding romance in its first flushes of engagement. No, not engagement engagement, unless they're crazy, but that first meeting, that first date, the initial contact where both parties are twitterpated. "Whatever," I say, with dismissive gesturing.

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 Astronomical symbol of 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


  1. Hey Ginny, liked your post and it started me thinking--

    What I like about the two of cups in the Rider-Waite-Smith deck is its sense of balance. There's a nice give and take between the partners on the card; it looks like one might be handing the other their cup, or perhaps the other is taking it from them, but in any case, it's reciprocal and equal.

    Infatuation in my experience rarely feels balanced like that. That adrenaline rush of being crazy about a new person, even if they feel the same, doesn't usually feel balanced to me. In fact, it's quite self-centered. It's all about me and how much I'm into fantasizing and flirting w/my new love interest. Even though I'm thinking about them constantly, in a weird way, it's all about me and my pleasure that I'm taking in this drug-rush you mentioned.

    So I feel that the 2 of cups (at least in R-W-S) is a little mellow for me to see it as an infatuation card. I feel that infatuation vibe much more with the Ace of Cups, as you mentioned. That's the drug-filled cup, fer sher.

    BTW, I like your random card postings in addition to the Tarot By Numbers series.

  2. Oh I agree, that Ace of Cups power isn't quite as strong in the two, but that reciprocal mutuality isn't quite there yet, though duality is being very focused on and developed in this stage. That's because those neurochemicals are opting for rose colored glasses and are more apt to see the ways in which the two are alike rather than different, and what differences are noted are intriguing, not repelling. There is actually more reciprocity in the six of cups which is more balanced numerically, though rose colored glasses are still in play with the nostalgia factor. Still, studies show that partners who idealize each other just a bit are likely to stay together longer, so those glasses have a purpose.

    Yet, looking purely at the scene depicted, I would agree that the Two of Cups can certainly mean a balanced pairing. However, being cups, I'd like to see some pentacles in the spread to give it that earth-mooring necessary to make it real.

    By no means is my post to be taken as The Meaning, but more a musing on an aspect of the card I'm seeing/feeling today. It's wonderful to bring out all the various thoughts on the different meanings of the cards, and that's why I really enjoy your comments and the comments of others here.

    You're right, that feeling of infatuation is quite self-focused, isn't it? It only seems other-focused, they being the object of the fascination, the source of the chemical high. Yet, doesn't it just make it all that much more heady when the object of one's love reciprocates those same emotions? I also read that anxiety and fear are often mistaken for "falling in love." Similar chemicals at play.

    Interesting stuff. :)

  3. I can see why the Knight of Cups furiously rushes towards his destination. Love is a strong, addictive drug, isn't it.

  4. Anonymous9:02 AM

    Strong addiction...love? My goodness, sometimes I think that anything else in the world is easier to do!! The cups most certainly show the journey taken through the land of love, don't they? I agree, to make the two of cups more sturdy, I like to see some pentacles in the spread as well.

  5. Well, I suppose I am addressing the "feelings" of love more than the actuality. Love, real love, is developed beyond the 2 of cups stage. :)

  6. Luanna Pierce11:56 AM

    Ginny, I so agree... Love, eal love, is developed beyond the 2 of cups stage.
    Isn't it nice tho, that we have the universe providing us with the tarot to underscore the process of creating our lives with thought.
    Our thoughts create our feelings, and influence our actions-- which pretty much make up our destinies.

    Wands... Thoughts>>
    Cups ...Feelings>>

    Applied to Love, we have a measure of control over our feelings and can bring more love and joy into our lives. While the rush of new love is unique unto itself ( and biologically why the human race survives...!) ... we have some measure of action to take in looking at our thinking and our beliefs about things to see where our feelings are coming from.
    Most people do not take the time to look at beliefs about important topics... like LOVE, SEX, MEN, WOMEN, LIFE, MONEY, CHILDREN, CAREER, etc. It can be mind blowing to see how much we have picked up along the way in our lives and carry and make our own without even thinking about it!

    AH, but I digress.. The Actuality of Love... one of my favorite topics. Particularly when Universal Love is applied to the self. At long last, is it not time we all made best friends of the one person we are assuredly promised to be with our entire lives? Ourselves. Yes, you really are the center of the universe. Your universe. How lovely for us to be provided with Tarot that helps us navigate our universe...Yes?


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