Thursday, February 16, 2012
February 16, 2012: Ace of Cups, Haindl Tarot
Cups is the suit of Water. Water is shapeless, constantly changing, so that it represents feeling, which is not rigid or solid, but always shifting. We each pass through many emotional states in a single day, even a single hour. For most of us, our moods change so subtly and quickly we usually do not notice all the variations. The cup holds the water, contains it in a form that evokes the idea of giving some form and understanding to shapeless emotions. Water, the element itself, is a mystery, the sea represents the unconscious, the rise and fall of emotion, and the salt within it as "sel", the Self, because your emotions are never the same as my emotions, even if we call them by the same names. Whereas the element of Water is amorphous and fluid, the tool, the Cup, gives Water a more recognizable meaning; that is, the cards in the suit of Cups deal with emotion shaped and formed by circumstance and experience. The cup is meant to be used; an empty cup is a meaningless tool. At the same time, that "use" is passive rather than active--the cup does not have to do anything except contain and shape the liquid within. It fulfills its purpose simply by receiving the water. Therefore, the suit of Cups is receptive, peaceful, at rest rather than moving or aggressive. If a cup moves too rapidly, it spills the water. However, a cup not holding water is not fulfilling its purpose. And the shape of the cup forms what it holds within. If we create perfect forms and structures in our lives, but these forms contain no real content of feeling, they become meaningless.
ACE OF CUPS
The Ace in the Haindl Tarot is the Holy Grail itself. Here is some background on that relic, written by Rachel Pollock in her book on the Haindl Tarot.
"Christian myth describes it (the Grail) as the cup from which Christ drank at the Last Supper. Later, Joseph of Arimathea used this cup to collect Christ’s precious blood as He bled on the cross. Joseph then took the Grail to Britain, landing at Avalon. Joseph later was wounded, and because he had come to embody the spirit of the land, the country all around him became a wasteland, a barren desert, as long as Joseph remained ill. And nothing could heal Joseph, nothing could make him whole, until the Grail knight, Parsifal—or in some stories Galahad—achieved the quest of the Grail. For even though the land was wounded, the Grail kept it alive until that moment when the holy knight could restore the king (the story has many variants; this version gives the essentials). There are many interpretations of this story. Most people agree that it goes back before the Christian versions to ancient Celtic myth or ritual. Avalon—usually identified as Glastonbury, in southwestern England—was the entrance to the Otherworld of the Fairies, the spirits. The Grail was probably the cauldron or feeding pot of the Great Mother, inexhaustible, always giving food to the Mother’s worshipers. The image of a pot symbolizes the Goddess’s womb, source of all life. The food was spiritual as well as physical, for the Mother fulfills our souls with joy as well as our bodies with nourishment. The wounded king represented the land in winter, or in times of famine, but also the cycle of decay, death and rebirth. Rebirth came through the young knight who brings healing by giving himself to the Grail, to the Mother. Remember the surrender of the Hanged Man..."
So for us, today, the Ace of Cups stands upright, and let us think of it as empty. You will, today, be the source, and the Shape, of your own feelings, your own emotions. Your Cup may be empty, but you will fill it--the question is, with what? Today, you have a choice. Your own feelings and emotions belong to you, and you may shape and form them as you will. You have a right to feel your feelings, but they are subject to you, to the shape of your Cup. No one can "make you feel" anything or any way at all. You hold the Grail, the source of your own Healing, and the choice is yours, always. Fill your Cup!