Daily Archives: April 10, 2011

Four of Cups: Luxury

Thoth – Rider-Waite

Luxury: Comfort, Self-Absorption, Lack of Responsibilities

The Four of Cups. Luxury. Comfort. Apathy. Indulgence. Self-Absorption. Lack of responsibilities. Being care-free. The Four of Cups corresponds to the Sefirot of Chesed; stability, growth, condensation. It is the appearance of matter, where the energy of Cups finally fully comes to solidity. When the joy of fulfillment, emotional ease, and happiness come to solidity and existence, it manifests itself as luxury; an ability to enjoy life for its pleasures, to indulge in it, to be comfortable, and not have a care in the world to bring about negative emotions. Luxury is a very nuanced card, and unlike most of the other fours, and has both powerful positive and negative aspects. On the positive side, Luxury indicates “Hakuna Matata;” a no worries, carefree attitude, where everything is supplied for you and you have no responsibilities. It represents comfort emotionally and physically. However, often with these things comes degrees of indulgence, apathy, and self-absorption. This card represents a stable emotional and physical life, but at the same time serves as a warning to not let yourself get caught up too greatly in these comforts.

The energies of the suit of Cups become material in this card, and show themselves as the ideas of the suit of cups, but more grounded. A sense of community turns into the more realistic and often seen case of self-absorption, happiness becomes comfort and to some extent apathy, and  surplus and abundance become luxury and indulgence. The intersection of emotional abstract and some semblance of the material world is not always pleasant, and in many ways this card represents this disconnect.

The Rider-Waite art shows a man sitting beneath a tree, seemingly meditating, while a cloud with a hand holding a cup out to him floats by his side (mirroring the art of the Ace). This card most clearly shows apathy and self-absorption, focusing on those as its primary attributes; the shifting of emotion away from those around you and towards oneself. The Thoth art shows four cups receiving water from a flower (like Abundance), but unlike its predecessor, none of this water is wasted; it all flows into the bottom two cups. It is important to realize, then, that this card does not represent over-indulgence or too much luxury; that concept comes later. Rather, this card just represents the pleasurable aspects of indulgence and self-absorption; but its darker colors serve as a foreshadowing and ominous warning.

In a reading, this card asks you to examine the roles that self-absorption and apathy might be playing in your life, as well as how indulgence shows itself. It tells of comfort and luxury present, and a lack of real responsibilities that allows you to be emotionally at ease. Reversed, this card asks you to look at how these energies might be twisted or distorted, or hidden in your life. Does someone you know have a carefree attitude on the surface, but instead is a churning mass of hidden emotions? Is luxury and physical comfort present, but emotional comfort absent? Do you enjoy your life, yet always feel a sort of guilt about living it?

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Posted by on April 10, 2011 in Uncategorized


Three of Cups


Abundance: Community, Surplus, and Happiness

The Three of Cups. Abundance. Bounty. Community. Friendship. Happiness. Surplus. The good things in life. The Three of Cups corresponds to the Sefirot of Binah, and so represents the passive, receiving side of the initial energy of the suit of Cups. As the suit itself represents this same idea of passivity and reception, the Three of Cups reinforces and brings this quality in the suit to the fore. It represents the plane, and focuses on the positive emotions of intimacy and the fruits of passivity. The Three of Cups is where the energy of Cups figures out where it’s going, stabilizes, and begins to understand itself.

Intimacy extended beyond two (which in terms of Cups, actually represents the singularity) become three of more (the binary of Cups), and this then becomes Friendship. Less powerful of a force (which is fiery) than love, friendship is a more passive relationship; intimacy with less of a drive. This ties in with ideas of Community and Happiness as well; good friends make one happy. This idea is the next step of the energies expressed in the Two of Cups.

The Three, however, goes on further to introduce the ideas of happiness in terms closer to the physical world, as corresponds to its relationship with the plane; it also represents Surplus, Bounty, and other “good things” in life. The card itself does not directly represent these things; it really represents the feeling of living a good life, having friends, community, and everything (and more) you need to be happy. This is really the card of happiness (the card of “joy” comes later).

The Rider-Waite art shows three wreathed figures drinking and having a good time together, apparently dancing happily, while surrounded by good food; more than they would need. The Thoth art shows three cups in the shape of grapes (a common symbol of bounty), with flowers pouring water onto them; the reverse of what would be expected. This bounty (of water) comes from an unexpected source, and the cups themselves do little to achieve this bounty.

In a reading, this card asks you to examine the role good friendships and communities play in your life, as well as your happiness with them and your surroundings. It also asks you how a surplus of what you need affects you, and indicates bounty. Reversed, this card serves as a more ominous warning; where does this bounty come from? Is it really benefiting you? Is perhaps some part of the duality of bounty – surplus and friendship – missing?

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Posted by on April 10, 2011 in Uncategorized