Universal Fantasy – 8 of Cups

November 3, 2008 § Leave a comment

The 8 of Cups is another one of my favourite cards from this deck. It shows a young man mounted on a white bird. He is waving goodbye to a giant. The giant holds out his hands as if to say, “Why are you leaving? Don’t go”.

On the floor are eight cups full of jewels and riches, presumably to show just how much the young man is leaving behind. But he doesn’t seem too bothered. He’s off to seek new adventure. Like the Littlest Hobo, he can’t stay in one place for too long. This has been one chapter in his life, that’s all, and as far as he is concerned, bigger and better things await.

The card actually tells two stories. That of the young man and that of the giant. The giant’s open hands make it look like he is releasing the young man, the way one would release a dove to the sky. Whereas the young man looks happy and excited, the giant seems heartbroken and seems to be losing someone he is very fond of. Now the giant is left with all the riches but is missing something far more valuable.

I like it from the giant’s point of view…it’s very poignant. Whilst the young man shows us someone who is moving on to pastures new – which is closer in meaning to the more “traditional” 8 of Cups – the giant represents the need to recognize when it’s time to let go. It’s hard to do, but something we are called on to do numerous times in our lives, especially the older we get.

It occurs to me that there is an (albeit tenuous) link between yesterday’s card and this one. The Ace of Swords raised the question of high ideals and perhaps could pose the question, “What high ideals are important to me and have I recently forgotten them?” The 8 of Cups raises the issue of priorities. Am I following my own path or am I letting myself be held back out of loyalty to someone or something else?

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