This month I am looking at the 4 cups – it follows on nicely from last months three of cups though both were drawn randomly for the month in question.
So from the abundance and perfection of the new in the three we come to the four. This is stability in the element of water. Four is a stable number yet with water stability doesn’t sit very well. Pools along the course of a river are fine – however when cut off from the flow, such as in a drought, they become stagnant. So this card has a double edge to it – there is a luxury and comfort in its experience – and yet we are warned if we become too comfortable so we will stagnant in our life and energy. Some flow or risk is needed to keep the waters clean and renewed.
Astrologically this card is Moon in Cancer and as such emotions are strongly aspected, and there is a tendency to allow our desires to take over in our life and lead to imbalance. We need to constantly be vigilant to growth opportunities and not allow our success or good feelings to become our trap. This can be seen in relationships often where a couple has met and come together – there is a great harmony after perhaps an initial start involving various conflicts as each shows their full self and acknowledges their differences. Then there comes a time of peacefulness together. This time is heart warming and loving and there can be a tendency to allow small issues, niggles and discomforts to go – be swept under the carpet. In themselves each is a small thing and ‘hardly worth mentioning’ However over time the ‘dirt under the carpet builds and the relationship becomes a kind of cosy comfort yet starts to feel stagnant and lifeless. What has happened? one of both partners start to ask – where did our vibrancy go? It is now that the 4 of cups is fully in play and there is the opportunity to risk something in the relationship – risk the dissolution of the harmony in order to achieve greater openness and intimacy and thus vibrancy together. It is not guaranteed however, yet the risk must be taken in order for the old positive feelings to have a chance of returning. So this is the time to speak of all the things that one let go of and brushed under the carpet as unimportant. To become aware of them once again in one’s self and to share them with the partner. Through uncovering that which was hidden for the sake if a peaceful life a chance of renewal comes.
Crowley talks about this card being likened or associated with the geomantic figures of Populous and Via. These figures diagrammatically can be seen below as a series of 4 dots in a vertical line (Via) Or two columns of 4 dots in vertical lines (Populus)
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There meanings are of similar nature to this card and can be used as another way to see the meaning of this card. Both are connected with Moon in Cancer, drawing out slightly different aspects.
Via is the road or path forward, it is considered as motion and movement, the change that is necessary to reach one’s destination. It is however slow change, as walking the path rather than running. Someone with a vis energy would be slow to anger and also slow to forgive. Change is apparent, but the way forward so set that a complete change in direction takes a while.
Populus is about people and community. There is a stability here, though this stability comes from merging with another’s thoughts needs and wishes. It is a receptive energy, and so mirrors another’s position as the moon reflects back the sun’s light rather than shining in its own light. It is all about responding to another’s energy rather than using our own perspective.
So in this card we have a great ability to empathise and be receptive to what someone wants from us – though the challenge is to remember and maintain our own needs and pathway forward. It is out challenge to remember we carve our own path forward in life and following the path that someone else has forged, whilst helpful for short periods, ultimately we need to make sure we leave the path when our own heart starts to dictate another direction. This may not mean we risk the relationship or situation ( which could be a job or other practical situation) but that we have to make a move for ourselves even if we are scared it will upset the apple cart. More often than not the disturbance leads to something better in our current situation, rather than taking us from it. For example; risking asking for a pay rise, risking asking for a part-time position at work; rather than giving us the feared response of being seen as having a lack of commitment, it more often brings us our request and respect as a valued employee; we see that we are valued and needed, the company has no wish to lose us altogether. It is a win-win situation.
So rather than hold onto your comfortable position = think about what is more you, what would be even better, what might you need to risk in order for something more to come into your life? As you find the answers to these questions so the 4 of cups has worked its magic on you.