One of the most challenging situations we encounter in life is how to handle the feelings involved when it’s time to let go of something or someone who has been important to us. This is the message of the Eight of Cups. If you’re physically with your reader, or doing a tarot reading for yourself, this is one of those cards which can spark, at the very least, deep feelings of sadness. The imagery used in most decks is evocative, to say the least!
This is why I’ve chosen this particular version to share with you this month. There’s a particular aspect to this visual message which is extremely important, and sadly, often missed! Eight cards in the minor arcana do have a sense of completion about them – at the least, completing a phase of a cycle. In the Eight of Cups, something has run its course, something which once held emotional meaning for us.
But rather than turning ourselves inside out trying to detach, the Eight of Cups is softly telling us to take small steps to lift ourselves slowly out of our feelings of loss.
It’s not easy, but there’s also no necessity for struggle. Slowly, step by step, we put our focus into things other than our own despair.
I’m certainly not over-simplifying! And there’s a subtle discernment required, being willing to hear the call which invariably comes when we simply ‘know’ that putting more energy into the focus of our concerns will not bring it back to life, at least not in the way we previously had. But just as we ‘know’ who or what we love, we also, if we’re honest, ‘know’ when something has run its course.
It’s important too to realise that this message of the Eight of Cups is NOT all about loss! An image of the Moon is almost always included in this card – its presence reminds us that even though we may not know consciously where we are heading, we are being guided by the gentle nudging of our own deepest heart through the voice of our intuition.
There is hope! And the hope lies in the reality that often in this kind of situation, we are answering a call for something more meaningful in our life.
And as is so often the case, it’s the internal world where this card has its most potent impact! It’s not really in the letting go of external things and people that we find its gift – it’s in accepting that something which served us or perhaps even inspired us, no longer does so. And so we focus our attention on seeking something more meaningful.
There is a message too in the flow of the cards in a broader sense – the Nine of Cups is sometimes called ‘the Wish Card’. And this is what so often happens – in being willing to shift our focus into understand what we really seek in the depths of our heart, we do find that meaning!
Try the following visualisation to help you with the process of moving forwards, if you’re in a situation such as the Eight of Cups reflects…
Slow your breathing down and close your eyes. Ensure that you take as long as you need to relax your body and calm your mind. Keep your feet on the floor, and spend a few minutes focusing on your connection with the earth – imagine roots going down deep into the ground. It is very important! When you feel ready to do so, take your awareness to your heart, and imagine a slowly moving spiral there, as you breathe gently in and out. This is a very gentle energy; it emits soft silvery light. Imagine now that light flowing down through your body to your feet and the earth in front of you. The light begins to glow softly, and you see a path forming. You may not be able to see much about it to begin with – just know that the path is there and forming and becoming clear enough for you to follow when you’re ready to do so. You may see your path leading off after a while. That’s OK – you can take steps on your path when you’re ready to find your way. When you’re ready to do so, slowly bring your attention back to where you are, take so deep breaths, dig your heels into the floor, and open your eyes.