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.