8 Cups Indolence

8 cups – Indolence

This months Thoth Tip focuses on 8 Cups, keyword – Indolence – I picked this card from the deck with the intention that it would be the card that would be of most use to those reading this months tips – either because of something they found confusing about reading the card or that something in the message of this card would be pertinent to them now. So this card is for you.


This card, with its dark background and empty cups, shows a picture of stagnation, where there is very little left to give. In psychological terms it is a card that often appears when we are complete exhausted and burnt out. It might br through over work and trying too hard, or it might be a relationship is taking all our energy and we are keeping none for ourself. Either way the root of this situation is usually that we haven’t valued ourselves enough to say no to what is taking our energy. We in some way fear that if we say no it either makes us a failure, or a bad person, or we won’t be loved. Actually we fear being loved, accepting love from others and being supported. It might be we feel if we were we would ‘owe’ too much back, we wouldn’t be able to repay a kindness etc. Or it may be that we are used to being treated badly and to be treated well would challenge our early beliefs about the world and about ourselves. This can be a frightening prospect. However the appearance of this card in a spread very often means it is exactly the right time to be facing these issues and in many cases it begins with saying “No”. No to extra work, no to a friend, family or partner who wants more from us, and a “Yes” to ourselves. It may just be we need a break to recover, it may be we need to make some lasting changes, but it all will start to improve as we say no.

As this is the underlying feel for this card it can also manifest in the physical world as an illness, colds and flu serve to force rest on us we need, and help us say no and take the space from those who have been making demands on us. We can prevent this happening if we take action to say no ourselves, or sometimes we can allow this to happen and be compassionate to ourselves and realise our body has given us what we really needed to further our growth.

The keyword “indolence” is defined in the dictionary as : habitually idle or lazy, indisposed to exertion or labour. So how does this rather harsh word fit in here? When we are exhausted we are actually too tired to work much further and further exertion can see our work with error and slips that can appear as being ‘lazy’ with the quality of our work. But I feel a stronger feel for this word is in the situation where we have actually known we are giving too much, we are over doing it, we are just not looking after ourselves, but despite the warning signs we have chosen to ignore them. In a sense the hard ‘work’ here is to face the truth and to set the limits we need to set for ourselves. Sometimes being lazy in our lives is actually working very hard and against our own best interests as the energy and will to create conflict with our bosses and loved ones feels too much to do. So in this sense we can be seen as indolent. Lazy in not setting our boundaries with others, hoping someone else will notice our hard work and tell us to take time off, and do the work of being responsible for us.

Still quite a hard-hitting message, however if we realise it is not in our working too little that we are lazy, but in our attention to what is best for us, our whole being, that we are lazy. We can address the situation and turn it around. Take some time off rest and recuperate and plan for a lifestyle change if one is necessary.

I welcome your thoughts and comments below.

Lust (strength)

This months Thoth Tip focuses on Lust – this card is number 11 and in other decks often called strength.


Crowley emphasised the driven obsession side of the card – where we have to exert personal strength to keep ourselves in balance when faced with our primal desires. This can take the meaning of lust to a wider sphere too where we can have lust for life and passion for many things in our lives but if we act on our ‘lust’ to the exclusion of all else our lives can become imbalanced. All training in our favourite sport and no rest, as much as watching our favourite TV show 24/7 with no activity, any extreme turns out to be bad for us, however with awareness we can live out our passions whilst also keeping in check when they become self-destructive and against our highest good.

Crowley writes in the Book of Thoth

“Lust implies not only strength, but the joy of strength exercised.”

So taking the meaning further to include the enjoyment of our own self-imposed boundaries, the finding the balance and having the strength to say no to our desires every whim brings a joy in itself – a knowledge we are in control of our lives and that we are not at the mercy of our feelings and desires, but can harness them to good use. The image shows this well with the woman having a strong hold of the reigns whilst also surrendering to passion and fire in herself. We have the picture of containment of our desires without repression.

The ground upon which the beast walks contains images of saints and traditional images of prayer where the ethos is to offer up to another our power. To ask another to judge us as good or bad, the other being representative of a higher being who ultimately judges us – this is what paved the way for the new age – age of Horus. In the new age we are responsible for our own actions and judgements we need not give our power to another but seek our own personal connection to the divine, and honour all parts of ourselves even the traditionally darker parts. As we come to love ourselves fully so we gain the strength to contain them without denial.

When lust shows in a reading it can represent the simple idea of being ‘in lust’ with someone but more often it is showing us our passions and our raw feelings are available to us and need not be avoided – we have the strength to see them, explore them and also be in charge of them – though part of us will be intoxicated by them as the woman on the card is, we can also have a grip on ourselves and form boundaries of expression that are for our highest good. We are in charge. We can have great joy and fun and know when we need to stop.