Lesson 82 – Four of Cups

The classroom is quiet today…we are at a loss for what to do.  At a loose end, as they say.  Someone suggests something to distract us and we groan.  Someone else points out the great opportunities we have and we shake our heads.

The Four of Cups captures this energy for us.

Four of cups
From The Wildwood Tarot

Whatever we have it doesn’t feel enough.  We are bored, dissatisfied, whatever is here we don’t want, like a child with a room full of toys only wanting to play with the car keys it isn’t allowed.

This feels like a timely card as I write. After eight weeks of lockdown many of the often outstanding tasks are done and we are cycling round again to familiar activites.

I see this in many of my cards.  A figure with three cups before them,  a fourth being presented by a disembodied hand, or standing just out of view on a shelf, emerging from a rose bud, or held carelessly in a loose fingered grips, pouring its goodness out on the ground.

In a reading this card points to stagnation, boredom, stuckness.  There is also a flip-side of reflection; to take time to explore what it is we feel is “missing” or the longing ache inside us.  Where does it come from?  Where is it pointing us?  Is it a case of practising gratitude, or does this restlessness push us onwards into something more creative and hopeful?

Exercise 82:

Where do you feel this sensation (listlessness/ boredom) in your body?  It is close to impatience but less acute…does it sit in your jawline or limbs?  In your scalp?  Notice when it arises.

Practice following this feeling to its roots…what do you find there?  This is helpful as it allows us to empathise when reading for others and also may provide us with indicators of the roots of their situation when we read.

Take a block of post its or note paper.  Write on each one thing which brings you joy or pleasure.  Aim to create enough pieces to fill a cup or mug.  Pick one out when you are next feeling listless.



Lesson 81 – Three of Cups

Eight Coins Tattoo Tarot 3 of Cups
Image from the Eight Coins Tattoo Tarot

Morning all.  How are you faring?

Today we explore what I feel is one of the most joyful cards in the tarot.

Take your card/s and have a look.  What do you notice?  On many there are three figures, on mine these are all female.  They are standing, or sitting, or dancing, with glasses raised, as though toasting each other.  Often turned in towards each other, or with their arms around each other, there is a sense of closeness and intimacy, as well as celebration.

I imagine that these are close friends, they know each other well, they have shared good and bad times, been there for each other at the end of the phone when the world has collapsed, celebrated each other’s achivements.  Their friendship makes each of them stronger.

In the Eight Coins Tattoo tarot the card shows three cups stacked up next to two burning candles.  This made me remember the piles of dishes left after a meal spent with friends; the stories and laughter exchanged.  I see this as the memory of a deep connection and sharing.

When I read this card I see it as a message to seek out these times; to reach out to close friends, to seek the company of others, in person or online, to look for genuine, soul-nourishing connections; as a call to enjoy and celebrate with others, to play and relax.  It speaks to me of that feeling of connection which comes when you find kindred spirits.

Exercise 81

  • Reach out…send a message or set up a call with a friend or two.  As I write we’re in lockdown so meeting face to face isn’t an option here, but we can arrange virtual coffee dates and gatherings.  Enjoy the company of those who light you up.
  • How are you celebrating?  What are you celebrating?  Who do you want to share that celebration with?
  • Spend some time recalling good times shared with friends, look through old photos and memorabilia.  Is there someone you haven’t heard from in a while you can reach out to?
  • How are you making sure your “cup” is filled, how do you nourish and refresh yourself?

Come and join us in the Facebook groupto share your tarot journey.

Lesson 80 – Two of Cups

Image by Brett Hondow from Pixabay

Morning class.  In line with current government guidelines today we meet via Zoom.  You’re all sitting look attentive, but I know in truth we’re all in pyjama trousers and fluffly slippers.  My cat strolls past the camera,  the energy is relaxed and a little fuzzy around the edges.

How are you?

Life has taken strange and unexpected twists since our last class and I for one am on an emotional rollercoaster.  This is, then, a good time to working with the suit of cups.

Today we look at the two.

Take your card, observe it.  Take note of the card as a whole, its colours, shapes.  Now focus in on the details, what can you see?

I have (in my various cards):

  • Silhouettes of faces mirroring each other.
  • Cups and roses (The Wild Unknown and Eight Coins Tattoo Tarot).
  • Two hands meeting and clasping.
  • Two figures pouring different chemicals into a beaker over a bunsen burner, while energy fizzes around them (Steampunk Tarot).
  • Two deer-headed figures, male and female, liquid pouring from their hands into a cup, a flaming heart between them.
  • Two figures seated together in an embrace within a lotus flower floating under a full moon.
  • Two figures on a beach each holding a cup.

There is a lot of blue, and occasional splashes of red.

I will post pictures of my cards in our free Facebook group, to which you are all welcome.

This card is the card of chemistry, connection, relationships, romance, soul mates, twin flames, deep friendship, inner connection.  In a relationship reading it can be a sign of a possible new romance or an indication that the relationship needs attention.

It might also be about connection within. What are you passionate about, what brings about transforming energy in your own life, what chemistry are you cooking up in your soul laboratory?

Twos are a card of combining energy, what happens when two forces combine, what is the outcome? Do opposites attract, do similarities repel, like the magnets in secondary school science?

Exercise 80:

Use these prompts for reflection:

  • What have I learned from my significant relationships (romantic or friendships)?
  • When have I experience chemistry with others?  What transformation has that initiated?
  • Do I play well with others? How might I make these connections flow better?
  • What “lights my fire”?

If you love cards and are enjoying the posts here come and join the group on Facebook 🙂

How Tarot Saved My Life


It’s the summer of 2016.  I have been signed off work with vertigo.  I can’t drive.  I struggle to walk.  We take a family holiday up to Scotland.  One day I manage to make it up to the top of North Berwick Law.  I have to sit down, clinging to the grass around me, convinced I am going to pitch off the edge. I resign from the job I have been working towards for the past three years, we have to relinquish the house purchase we were in the middle of as I now have no income, I am back to square one.

I see a counsellor.  I want to know WTF is wrong with me.  How can I go from my “dream job” to completely flattened in the space of a few months?  What is going on?  She mentions the book Women Who Run With the Wolves and I discover one explanation for my seeming un-seaming.

My wild self wants out.

It’s here that I first read about tarot as a tool to connect with intuition. I shut my own intuition down firmly when I was born again at aged twelve.  Such practices were considered dangerous and satanic by the churches I attended.

Now I begin to explore, starting with angel cards because they feel “safe” and I have a lot of unwinding of old teaching to work through.

It’s not long before I have a Rider-Waite Smith deck and I’m studying daily.

Tarot gives me a new way of looking at the world.  I read in the pictures the changes and chances of human life, the path of self-knowledge, self-understanding.  I read the age old story of our human condition.

Tarot gives me a daily practice, introduces me to the elements, teaches me about the ebb and flow of life.  It offers me a framework by which I can reflect on and explore my experiences.

Tarot gives me the ability to welcome shadow as well as light into my life, to live with paradox, when my world is disintegrating.

It has continued to be a companion and wisdom keeper for me in the years since.  It provides comfort and challenge, it calls me out on my BS when I’m falling back into unhelpful ways of being and doing.

It has helped me to a place of greater wholeness and a fuller and more complete understanding of my human life.  My health is much improved, I am able to work, I have rediscovered the enchantment of being alive.

All I can say is TF for tarot.

Diving Deeper

diving deeper photo 1Welcome.  Come in.  Grab a chair.  There’s a kettle over there, tea bags, biscuits; make yourself comfortable.

In a change to our scheduled programme, this week I want to tell the class about a new opportunity.

After over a year of Tea Break Tarot School I’m opening up a new class.  The school here and our linked Facebook group will remain as a free offering with regular content.

For those who are ready and wanting to take their tarot study and practice to the next level the Diving Deeper class is accepting students, will the first lesson planned for the equinox (March 20th)..

I’m operating this through my Patreon.  There will be a monthly PDF and mentoring call, as well as some audio content including lessons and meditations. Diving Deeper members will be able to practice and connect with each other in the existing Tea Break Tarot School group.

We’ll be working together as we get our full tarot geek on, exploring different techniques for reading the cards, digging into the symbolism we find and developing skills for both personal and professional tarot practice.

As the content will be progressive, each lesson building on the next, your material will be emailed out to you individually, as you’ll be following your own path, depending on when you join the group.

If you’re interested in this offering then you can check out my Patreon page, or drop me a message on Facebook to find out more.


Lesson 79 – The Ace of Cups


There’s a show and tell at the front of the classroom today.  Everybody has brought in their favourite cup, glass or mug.  We admire the different patterns, materials, the textures, the stories which are shared.

A cup is a container, a vessel, it gives shape and form to the flow of liquid.  It allows us to drink.

Get out of your Ace of Cups card (or several of them if you have more than one).  What can you see?

Mine have a goblet or chalice on most of them.  In many there is liquid flowing out of the chalice, as though it is overflowing.  In the Wildwood Tarot the goblet is a stone basin from which a waterfall flows down to a pool.  Where there is no flow of water beams of light are radiating out of the goblet.

The image of the Rider Waite brings to mind the Christian symbolism of the eucharist.  The goblet with the water flowing out, held by a hand shrouded in cloud.  A white dove, often emblematic of the Holy Spirit, bringing down what looks like a wafer marked with a cross to dip into the water.  The emblem of the body and blood of Christ, marks the gift, in Christian tradition of eternal life.  The chalice here overbrimming with the water of life is an invitation perhaps for us too to begin again, echoing the symbolism of the waters of baptism, of being born again.

Emotionally water can represent tears and the watery nature of our feelings, the ebb and flow.  Water is essential for life.  A human being cannot live more than 72 hours without water.  When I pull the Ace of Cups I am minded not just of a new beginning in emotional life but of all new beginnings.

The Aces hold for us the promise of the new, the powerful moment of conception in any of the four elements, and in the cups perhaps more than any other, the power and ancient magic of a spring, bursting forth, flowing out, freely given, sacred, cleansing, nurturing, coursing, newly born from the earth, eager to be on its way.

Exercise 79

  • Take a cup of your choosing and fill it, with water, tea, your drink of choice.
  • Light a candle.  Give thanks for the gift you’re about to consume.
  • Drink mindfully and with gratitude, acknowledging the gift of new beginnings.
  • What images and associations do “cups” have for you?  Write them down.  Are you reminded of religious associations?  The toast at a family wedding?  The cup you won for a sporting endeavour?
  • How can you use these associations in your work in connecting with the suit of cups?

Index (so far)

library books

Updated August 2020:

I’m doing some classroom admin today.  The windows and doors a wide open, I’m sweeping out the dusty corners and clearing the crumpled bit of paper from the corners of the room.

I realise that I don’t know exactly where certain lessons and resources are so I’ve been through to have a little tidy.  If you’re starting now, welcome, I hope this is helpful.  If you’re a long time student I hope this will be of use in tracking where you’re at :-).

  • Lessons 1 – 8: Introductory lessons and preparing to read the cards.
  • Lessons 9 – 31: The Major Arcana
  • Lessons 32 – 47: The Suit of Pentacles
  • Lessons 48 – 63: The Suit of Swords
  • At this point there are some additional lessons and two initial lessons for preparing for the wands (I’ll need to go back and renumber!)
  • Lessons 64 – 77: The Suit of Wands
  • Lesson 78 – 92:The Suit of Cups (with a few additional non-lesson posts.

That’s it for today.  Hope you’re having fun with your cards…keep shuffling xx

Lesson 78 – The Suit of Cups

Here we are, beginning our journey through the final tarot suit!   Stand with me.  Face the west.  Call upon the spirits of water; mermaids, dolphins, kelpies and selkies.

Before we begin looking at the cards we will take some time in this lesson to connect to the element of water.

Use this spread for starters:

The Cups Spread

Exercise 78:

For your “practical” spend some time with water:

  • drink it
  • bathe in it
  • splash in puddles
  • swim
  • paddle in the sea
  • have a water fight
  • water your plants.

Watch how it moves, flows, sometimes gentle, sometimes with enormous force.

Reflect on its power to wear down mountains over time, to be shaped as snow or ice, to float, almost weightless, in the clouds.

Lesson 77 – King of Wands

paints-1149122_1920The King of Wands.

We have explored King energy before.  You may see a throne, a male figure, a wand in some form in your cards.

Here we are combining the energy of Wands and the fire element with an outward energy, what can be seen in the world from creative endeavours?

Rather than describe this King our lesson today is practical.

Exercise 77

Time to get creative!

Grab your paintbrushes, pens, glue and old magazines.  Grap your whittling knife, warm up your vocal chords, tune your instruments, mould the clay.

Mastery comes through practice.  The outward sign of creativity comes through creating.

Embody the energy of the King of Wands in your sacred play 🙂

Come over to the group and share the magic you make.




Lesson 76 – Queen of Wands

Jonny-Woo-Latitude-This-Is-CabaretLadies and gentlefolk, please be upstanding.

When she enters the room you can’t help but be captivated.  It’s as though she sparks with intense energy, a fiery sexy siren in killer red heels.

The energy of this Queen in our classroom is overwhelming, we all want to talk to her, and if she catches your eye you feel the crackle of her unique synergy; it’s contagious.

She’s a fire brand, creative soul, a dancer, a campaigner, glamourous, fierce, unconventional, strong, passionate, alchemy in action.

She reminds me of an artiste.  Perhaps an Angelina Jolie or the super-glam Jonny Woo.

This Queen’s energy can help us with our creative projects, our passions, our dreams, her fire helps us transform situations, gives us the energy to bring ideals into reality.  You may recognise someone in your life in her, or know this energy in yourself.  In a reading she points us towards calling our dragons and using them to fly high and free.   It’s time to get in touch with that fire in your belly and shine.

Exercise 76

1. Listen to This Girl is on Fire and sing at the top of your  voice.

2. Follow with this…

3. What makes you feel confident?  What lights you up?  Wearing heels?  Your “witch please” T shirt?  Dancing the night away in clubland? Painting? Writing?  Singing karaoke?  Do more of that.

4. Spend a week with your Queen of Wands card.  Put her somewhere prominent in the house, she’s your mentor this week.  What has she got to teach you about dragon taming and lighting your own freaky fire?