Updated: Jan 21, 2022
While recently contemplating our intentions for the coming year and a theme for a collaborative workshop, the card which showed up for my friend Meredith and I was the Ace of Cups. This card resonated with the qualities that I would like to invite in 2022, so I thought I'd share some reflections on the card.
The Aces in the Tarot signal new beginnings, the initiation of a new phase of individual or collective experience. They also represent the pure energy of their element - the suit of cups corresponding to the element of water.
Water is that which flows. That which moves within us - the emotions and unconscious currents within the self, the deep soul level of our experience. In balance, water cleanses, hydrates and renews. Out of balance, it can drown, dampen or overwhelm. Water is receptive and reflective. The suit of cups reflects the reciprocal flow of giving and receiving. In its many forms, water sustains life.
The Ace of Cups also alludes to the divine feminine. Emerging in the late middle ages amidst the religious persecution of the European inquisition, the the Tarot itself may have served as a vehicle through which the cultural memory of the divine feminine was carried through centuries of suppression. This image may also be likened to the legendary holy grail. As in grail legend, the archetypal journey within brings us towards inner truth - a source that is infinite and overflowing.
Here are a few versions of the card - from Jodorowsky's Tarot de Marseille (the Marseille Tarot originated in the 15th century), the Thoth Tarot (1942) and The Rider-Waite-Smith deck (1909).
I have been fascinated with the images of the Tarot since I first encountered them as a teenager. At the time, I had no conscious knowledge or understanding of the significance of the pictures or why they would be worth contemplating. As I have studied and interacted with the Tarot over the years, I am continually amazed at the bottomless well of information and insight contained within these seemingly simple pictures. There is a good reason why the Tarot continues to capture our collective imagination after 700 years of circulation. The archetypes behind these images resonate on a level below the conscious mind.
The Tarot has guided and oriented me on my path through life. The cards have revealed new layers of insight and meaning to match whatever stage of learning, existential questions or daily situations are surfacing in each moment. My healing path and practice is largely oriented around the faculty of imagination. I thank the Tarot and the wisdom traditions from which it emerged for leading the way.