Lesson 88 – Ten of Cups

The end of the story. A family share a picnic beside a stream. A couple walk hand in hand into the sunset, or sit together in a bower.

This card reminds me of the end of the movie. The lovers finally admit how they feel and kiss, or get married. The struggling young intern gets a promotion. The team wins the prize.

It’s a classic happy ending. Perhaps even the kind we aspire to.

In a reading you might read about fulfilment, contentment, the sense that everything has come up roses, blessings are overflowing.

The ten brings us to the end of the pips for this suit. As the final card it is also the jumping off point for the next cycle. One season closes, another begins.

Nothing lasts forever.

While we may be in the happily ever after moment, I always wonder what happens next? That couple who we saw at the end of the movie getting married, what would life be like for them after the honeymoon, when the world gets back to normal? The family by the riverside, do they argue in the car on the way home?

We can relax and enjoy the Ten of Cups, and knowing it is only a moment makes the enjoyment all the sweeter.

Exercise 88:

Recall your “happy” moments; who were you with? How did it feel? Plug into this memory to help you understand this card.

How do you feel in one of these moments? How do you manage the ebb and flow of life’s joys and sorrows?

Is there an action you can take today to share the Ten of Cups feeling with others, make someone a cuppa at work? Gift a friend some flowers? Make a positive comment on someone’s post?

Lesson 87 – Nine of Cups

Today let’s raise a glass.

Look at how far we’ve come!

This card for me is one of contentment and completion.

In the traditional RWS deck a man sits with arms folded, nine golden cups arrayed behind him.  He looks successful.  He has his cups in a row, so to speak.  The hard work and challenges are overcome, for a moment all is as it should be.

In a reading this card speaks of emotional abundance, of having done the inner work and come, for a time, to a place of peace.  The journey made by leaving the eight and choosing a new direction has paid off.  For this moment you can rest.

As a nine it is the culmination of the three cycles of three journeyed through in the suit.  A completion, the circle closed.

Allow yourself a moment of celebration, gratitude, acknowledge the journey you’ve made, breathe into the wholeness of this space.

Exercise 87

Take an inventory of your journey to this point with tarot, and through life. Note the challenges you’ve faced, the obstacles you’ve overcome.

Now take a moment to decide what you’d like to come next; where would you like to go from here?  What comes next for you on this path?

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Lesson 86 – Eight of Cups


Today’s lesson finds us in the classroom tidying. We are getting near to the end of our foundation lessons now.

We have explored ways to approach reading the cards and travelled through the Major Arcana. We have visited with the Pentacles, Swords and Wands and are close to wrapping up our work with cups.

I remember the end of the year days in my classroom; the clearing. Emptying off display boards, gathering children’s work to be sent home or passed to the next year’s teacher. Sorting through dog-eared picture books, clearing out the hardened paintbrushes and tidying the wet playtime board games and puzzles.

The eight of cups reminds me of this energy.

I see figures walking away. They are leaving behind what they no longer need. Setting it aside. It has served its purpose. Their back is turned. In some cards the eighth cup is being taken, the choice of the seven has been made. They are heading away from the viewer, a journey begun, the decision made. A new direction.

In a reading this card asks us to walk away from the things in our lives which no longer serve us, to move out of the stasis and stagnation of the seven and embrace a fresh start. As an eight we have an echo here of the strength card, strength from within, facing and taming our fears, boldly going. To me this speaks particularly of unhelpful emotional patterns. It asks me to travel on unencumbered by these, to opt to set myself free from old stories.

Exercise 86:

What has served its purpose in your life?

This could be material possessions, habits or ways of thinking.

How can you move through your next choices to embrace the freedom of this eight?

What practical steps will you take to move ahead?

Lesson 85 – Seven of Cups

Today’s lesson brings us some choices. The seven starts the final triplet in the pip cards. In this position it presents a conflict or challenge to be resolved in these three cards. In the images I see:

  • a woman, a snake wrapped around her arm, face veiled, from a giant golden cup
  • six upright cups and one overturned I see
  • cups balanced around a house of cards, precarious, risky
  • a card depicting the morning that comes with choice, the inevitable sense of loss when we choose one door and close others
  • an array of fantastical cups presenting wonderful opportunities

Sometimes choice is challenging.  It can leave us stuck, wondering which way to turn.  What do we really want? What is our best option?  What will be the outcome? It can be hard to know this at the point at which we have to make our decision.

If you pull this card in a reading you may be facing hard choices, or temptation.  This is not the clear-cut decision making we might find in the swords; it is a choice that leaves us feeling churned up, paralysing us.  It’s a time to be mindful, giving ourselves the grace to make the choice from where we are now, not expecting ourselves to be able to know the results.

While making the choice may be difficult it does allow us to move forwards from a place of stagnation and onwards in our journey.

Exercise 85:

Try this spread to help you with any challenging decisions.

Decisions, decisions spread-1

Lesson 84 – Six of Cups


After the challenges of the five we come to a place of completion, finishing this triad of cups cards.

In the six I see images of people sharing gifts and enjoyment.  There is an offering of flowers, a giant sparkling cup, I see two otters beside a pool in the Wildwood Tarot and a child swimming joyfully with a dolphin in the Textured Tarot; in the Sun and Moon Tarot two children splashing each other in a pool.

Traditionally this is seen as a card of “children”,  in the Rider Waite an older child gifts flowers to a younger one.  This can be the card of teaching, or sharing what you have grown with others.  For me it also carries themes of inner child, play, enjoyment, simple pleasures.

Can you remember what it was like to a be a child before you were self-conscious?  Can you remember sharing a new game with friends, explaining the rules?  Have you done this in adult life; shared the fruits of your labours and searching with others?  There is a joy in this, a sense of wholeness as the lesson you have integrated are passed on to nurture and encourage others.

In a reading I would consider the querent’s context and read accordingly.  Are they a parent? Does it point to their children? Do they work with children?  Is there a need to reconnect to a less complicated way of life?  Is there a need to find companions for sacred play, creative activities which bring life and joy?

Exercise 84

  • Find somewhere to paddle; a stream, lake, the ocean.  Take off your shoes and socks and wade in, allowing the water to pull you back to a time when you were younger.
  • What did you enjoy when you were a child?  Colouring or Lego?  Setting up a doll’s house or creating complicated scenes with your Fisher Price figures?  Modelling with plasticine or drawing with chalk?  Building a camp out of sheets under the dining room table?  What brings you that sense now? It might still be Lego or colouring!  Take an hour to enjoy a simple pass time.
  • What knowledge or experience do you have to share with others?  How can you pass on the fruits of your experience to support others on their journey through this life?



Lesson 83 – Five of Cups

Image from Free-Photos on http://www.pixabay.com

Enter the classroom  today to find a message scribed across the board; “There’s no use crying over spilled milk.”

I was told this growing up, maybe you were too.

The sentiment is that what’s done is done and there is no point getting upset, it is too late.

The Five of Cups is sometimes called the “spilled milk” card.

Words such as; regret, disappointment, loss, grief often come up with this card.

Figures in the cards are sprawled drunk on a bar, cups turned over next to them or standing regarding their turned over cups.

If you get this card in a reading you may have been having some difficult time, a loss or sadness, large or small, you may be feeling a little fragile, and also wondering what on earth to do.

Step one is to feel the feelings; it is good to allow our grief and sadness a place, allowing it to move through us gives us a greater chance to heal (rather than bottling it up to fester and pop up unpleasantly at a later date).

What I notice on some of my cards is that while there are spilled over cups, which is a cause for sadness, there are also two still standing, no everything is gone.

Also there’s often a body of water nearby…I want to ask the figures in the cards if they couldn’t pick them up and fill them up again?

Step two; when you’re ready, is to have a look around…where are the cups still standing?  All is not lost.

Exercise 83

No exercises this time.  Collectively, as I write we are in a huge time of loss and shift, many are experiencing illness or bereavement, others have lost their work or businesses.  Take the time you need to recover…and when you’re ready see what is here, now, in the new world.

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?

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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”?

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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.