An Enchanting Child: The Page of Cups

To me, the Page (or Princess) of Cups is the Magical Child archetype Caroline Myss speaks about. She’s ethereal, loving, and imaginative.
If the Page/Princess of Cups represents a person (as the Court cards are wont to do), that person will have Water characteristics: intuition, sensitivity, creativity, nurturing, emotional, and loving. Because it is the Page/Princess, this person will probably be a young girl, a child even, though that is not set in stone.

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The Princess of Cups for the Celtic Deck seems fragile and sensitive. She bears a Cup–what that cup might metaphorically hold depends entirely upon your intuition and any surrounding cards–and holds it aloft with a guileless demeanor. What’s interesting about this card, to me, is that the Princess of Cups is clad in gold and red, colors associated with the fiery suit of Wands. I read this to mean that the passion and desire of the Wands are not mutually exclusive with the intuition and nurturing of the Cups. Fire and Water are both very emotional elements, and these opposite elements, metaphorically, marry quite well, just like night and day.
I also love the Impressionistic background on this card. It’s so lush and green.

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The Goddess Deck’s Princess of Cups is sipping from her own Cup. Right now, the message I’m feeling from this card is Jungian–that one’s own subconscious is a limitless resource of inspiration, joy, and/or knowledge. The suit of Cups and Water are aligned with the subconscious.
Kris Waldherr chose the goddess Venus to be the Cup goddess. Cups is the suit for relationships, so the goddess of love was a good choice. Since the Page of Cups is young, the kind of love this card speaks of is first time love, or a freshly blooming love. If reversed, this love may be a little immature, a crushing infatuation or an inconsequential crush.
The lavender of Venus’ gown is a soft, healing color. Mixed with water, it becomes a cleansing tea. It’s threaded with innocent white and intuitive silver. The hopeful innocence and imagination of the Cups is very healing.

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Barbara G. Walker’s Princess of Cups is Elaine of Arthurian fame. She wears the snow white associated with purity. Her robe and cup are red to signify the power of menstrual blood and the womb as are the two crescent moons on the pillars. The cauldron is a symbol of regeneration, rebirth and immortality. The upside down triangle that pins Elaine’s cloak is also a symbol of rebirth and the womb. The interesting scene on the cauldron is a depiction of a sacrifice and apotheosis (being made into a deity) (Barbara Walker Tarot, 23). The image also reminds me of Achilles being dipped into the River Styx by Thetis to gain immortality–though it’s certainly not an exact likeness. The water sign Pisces is the sign of martyrdom and sacrifice, so it’s no wonder that my most esoteric deck uses the Cups to show the theme.
Elaine also looks like an initiate into a great mystery. Mysteries and spirituality are very Watery areas, as seen in Pisces (the sign of mystics) and Scorpio (the sign of Hecate and the Phoenix), so it’s another apropos subject for the Watery Cups to drop.

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Robin Wood’s Page of Cups is an artist–she has a palette hanging from her belt. Making art is about perception. What does she see coming out of her cup? What do you see? Is it a bird, or a fish?
Although she is young, the Page of Cups is quite intuitive. She is also resilient and adaptive, like the lotuses on the hem of her skirt and sleeve. Lotuses grow out of disgusting muck, and balanced people can take emotional mayhem and make it into something lovely, like a poem, or at least something useful, like a life lesson.
Page of Cups people have a soft, nurturing moon-like glow. They are gentle and sensitive, yet very strong and self-assured when they are feeling happy and secure. The Page of Cups gazes confidently at her cup and what is flying out of it–the fish that swims in the subconscious and finds treasure, or the silver bird that soars high and flies far, seeing all the possibilities. Her mouth curves into an assessing smile. She seems to be thinking–what can I make real today? Her imagination is as pure as her heart. Creating is still fun, and feelings, both hers and other people’s, are not scary, but opportunities for learning, helping, and healing.

If you see the upright Page of Cups regarding a situation, it is a good sign, especially if it is regards
People associated with the Page of Cups:
A nurturing child
A playful, creative person
An affectionate, trusting person
Someone who is sensitive and intuitive beyond her years
A person undergoing a spiritual initiation, like First Holy Communion or Confirmation
Children who are Luna, Scorpio, and Pisces

Reversed (Shadowy Pages):
Whiners
People who take themselves way too seriously
People who are throw tantrumy and weepy

Reversed Situations:
A creative block
High anxiety
A loss of empathy
Relying too much on the brain and not enough on emotion when making a decision

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One Foot in the Water, the Other on the Earth, and a Head in the Clouds: Temperance

When Temperance appears in a reading, it is a call not to just resist temptation, but to find one’s center.  It is about remaining calm and steady, and not indulging in rage, terror, or frustration.  I see it as a reminder to seek solutions, and not to make yourself suffer through inaction or feelings of helplessness. 

Barbara G. Walker’s Temperance shows an angel woman calmly pouring water from one red pitcher to another.  She is the Water Bearer, Aquarius, the sign of innovation, social change, and global concern. Aquarians, in balance pour out blessings on the world with their communication skills and passion for equality. Temperance may indicate an Aquarius in the questioner’s life.

The passionate red of the pitchers, and the deft way the water flows from one to the other, may symbolize our ability to channel our intensity in constructive ways. We can harness the emotions that could destroy us and use it to our advantage. For example, we can channel them into creative pursuits: we can write, paint, and make music, or we harness the energy to strengthen our bodies– we can learn a martial art, or lift weights. 

Note the clarity of the blue sky, and of the water.  The woman’s dress is pure white. The trees are in orderly rows.  Emotional clarity leads to better ability to solve problems, better creative prowess, and serenity.

Notice how she has one foot on land, and the other in the water? This means she is comfortable both in the intuitive and the practical realms.   The woman’s wings align her with the element of Air.  She is balanced, both mentally and emotionally. She is intellectual and reserved.

The shadow side of this is that Air will trample the Earth and Water side of the personality (that is, the sensual, emotional sides, respectively) underfoot.  This, of course, leads to a cold, over-rational personality that’s divorced from feelings, intuition, and even its own body.

 

Robin Wood’s Temperance shows an angel man with golden wings, standing with one foot in water, and one foot on land. The water and sky are also clear and clean, as is his white robe.  Depending on how you read this card, the sun can be either breaking, signifying a new day, and a fresh clean slate; or the setting sun, which implies mastery and gained wisdom. There is also a little path leading from the pool. With poise and composure, everyone can find the path to a goal.

Temperance can be a man or a woman. Like Aquarius, this quality is egalitarian and androgynous.  It’s interesting, the alignment of the elements with the masculine and feminine.  I’d like to take a moment to remind everyone that while elemental energies are associated with male and female energies, they are also androgynous in the sense that anyone can possess each element’s qualities, no matter what their gender.

To show balance, the Angel Man is juggling three balls–one crystal, one gold, and one silver.  The silver is for intuition, gold is for intellect in the real world, and the clear one is for possibility.  Robin Wood writes in her book The Robin Wood Tarot that the silver ball is for spiritual wealth and the present, gold is for material wealth and the past, and the crystal ball is for mystery.  Temperance is equally developed in all these realms, without preference for any one.  Temperance calls us to be able to efficiently and deftly juggle all our roles and talents.  

 

 

Mary Guinan and Julian De Burgh chose a wise looking woman with silver hair for their water bearer. The woman’s white hair shows wisdom and knowledge gained by experience. The softness of her face and of her surroundings tell us self-control and mastery can be used to carry out loving actions.  I also love how she looks like she has no feet.  She looks like she’s floating.  Self-control can be used to master skills that contribute to our own well being, like meditation and yoga, for example.  Temperance can indicate transcendence.

 

Interestingly, Kris Waldherr chose a goddess I associate with Pisces, Yemana, to stand for Temperance.

Yemana is the Afro-Caribbean goddess of the oceans.  She exits the sea bearing treasures to benefit those on land; she is equally comfortable both in water and on earth. Temperance indicates harmony between the unconscious and the conscious, between the internal and the external, and the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Temperance is a picture of Jungian balance.  Temperance is equally introverted and extroverted, intuitive and sensing, feeling and thinking, judging and perceiving.

 

If Temperance shows in a reading, it indicates the person is well-balanced, or about to be successful in an undertaking if they remember to remain dedicated to harmony and clarity.

If reversed, it means that the questioner is either being too emotional, too intellectual, or too rigid in their thinking.  They may be feeling rage or terror.  They may be indulging in feelings of self-pity or paranoia, or they’re indulging in an addiction.

 

Would you care for more information about the Myers-Briggs Personality Inventory? Do you want to know whether you are primarily an extrovert or introvert,  an intuitive or a sensor, a feeler or a thinker, a judger or a perceiver? Then click right here!

 

For more info on Yemana, click here! She’s one of my favorites 🙂

 

Pisces the Poet

For those of you who have not heard of the myth of Orpheus, let me give you the abridged version.
Orpheus was a bard in ancient Greece. He had such talent that his playing could tame a lion or make a tree bow. He was madly in love with a woman named Eurydice. One day, Eurydice was bitten by a snake and taken to the underworld. To get her back, Orpheus traveled to Hell and demanded an audience with Hades. He played for Hades, and Hades was so moved that he agreed to let Eurydice go back to the land of the living, on one condition: she must follow behind Orpheus, and he must not look back at her until they were both in the light.
They almost made it. Orpheus looked back, and Eurydice was sucked back into Tartarus. Afterwards, Orpheus wandered about in despair, before the Maenads (or the Bacchae), followers of Dionysus, in one of their cannibalistic sex frenzies.Pisces energy is the energy of spiritual secrets, of the mysteries with clues hidden in dreams. Tartarus, and any other underground place, is symbolic of the Feminine, the Great Mother, the womb, and the subconscious. Pisceans are dreamers, both literally and figuratively. This energy is artistic and creative. It has a transcendence to it.

Pisceans, like all water signs, are gifted with intuition (however, if you are not a water sign, do not let this stop you from developing your intuition. This is energy that is available to everybody).  They can think symbolically, and may be more comfortable with the abstract than the concrete, with illusion rather than reality. It is this preference for the romance and beauty of the dream time that can lead the Pisces to self-destruction through addiction.

Pisces is also a sign of sacrifice. Christ himself was symbolized by Ichthus, the Fish. Guess what animal Pisces is? For noble feelings, a creative dream, for love, or for answers to life’s great questions, Pisces is willing to dive deep down into scary darkness. Pisces can forsake its health and even life for union with God, the Great Spirit, the Goddess, you name it. This is the sign of spirituality, but it is also the sign of addiction. A well balanced Pisces will use its gifts to empathize with other people, to be a warm house in the middle of the pouring rain for a friend in need, a nice hot cup of hot chocolate and a gooey cookie after a snowball fight. Well-balanced Pisces energy is compassionate and empathetic, and a person with this energy will go out of his or her way to not only comfort but also to understand someone in pain, even when the person in question is repulsive or performed an evil deed. Because Pisces thinks in the abstract, nothing is black or white. Forgiveness comes easily. A balanced Pisces is also great at dream interpretation, and can help people access and understand their own subconscious minds.

An out of balance Pisces, however, is prone to addiction and self-destruction.  Unbalanced Piscean energy turns someone into a doormat at best and an overdose statistic at worst. Pisces wants to experience altered states, and will try to find it by any means necessary. This can lead to promiscuous sex (not necessarily a bad thing, but it honestly depends on the motive and whether the person genuinely enjoys it), hard drugs, and joining cults.  Self-sacrifice may be performed to get accolades as an artiste, not for any other’s good.  To prevent this, Pisces must learn to assess themselves–what are their motives? Are there any other ways to achieve enlightenment that is constructive, and not destructive?

One wonderful example, from Raven Kaldera’s  wonderful book,MythAstrology (have you bought it yet? Why in God’s name haven’t you? Go here.) is the story of Obalata. Obalata is an orisha, or Caribbean deity, with roots in Africa. He created human beings with clay, and was very gentle, soft spoken, and modest, just like Pisces energy. His talent to create was only surpassed by the love and care he felt for his creations, again, like Pisces.

However, Obalata was an alcoholic (an addiction, something which Pisces can be prone to), and it is said that human birth defects are caused by a batch of clay molded by him when he was wasted. Obalata felt so guilty about this that he quit drinking. One must wonder if he would have stopped drinking if it was only himself he was hurting, and not his precious creations. Given what I know, I doubt it. Pisces can be selfish in their selflessness.

Pisces can rush into madness. They may at first mistake it for deepness of feeling or creativity, and be reluctant to part with it, even for the sake of their happiness. They may go deep, deep down into the abyss and never come back, and that would truly be a tragedy, as Pisces has such soulful beauty to share with the world. How would Orpheus’ story have been different if he had sought healing from his grief?

Archetypal Pisces:
Odin, who sacrificed himself on a tree for the knowledge of the Runes.
Kurt Cobain
Orpheus
Obalata

Questions:
What do you see as being worthy of sacrifice? What would you sacrifice for it?
Keep a dream journal. What are your dreams telling you? Put yourself as a character in the dream. For example, let’s see you dream about a river. Answer these questions, in first person, as the river:
How do you feel?
Why do you feel that way?
What do you want?
Who are you?
When are you?
Where are you?
How much intensity of feeling are you comfortable with? How do you handle your “intense feelings”?
How do you create? What can you do, everyday, to be creative?