Two more Cups cards on the outside of the reading this week: we are still in the feeling realms.
By “feeling realms,” I mean that what’s happening is having an impact on the ‘watery body’ – that visceral, non-intellect-based place inside where emotions have a physical manifestation, and a physical impact.
These aren’t simply the feelz. They are an expression of something that is emerging from the depths in you.
Perhaps you don’t even know their origin.
Perhaps you’re not aware of how they take hold – or that they’re taking hold at all.
But they are there; you are here; and you are living out something that wells up and impacts you quite differently than your thoughts or ideas or beliefs.
This is the realm of the Queen of Cups. Welcome, (wo)man of water – the feeler, the inner-seer, the diviner, the knower-beyond-knowing.
The Queen of Cups is the senior, yin aspect of the Cups suit. She is reflecting you, as you are reflecting her on that mirror-like surface that is the interface between conscious life and unconscious life – between waking and the waking-dream. As a senior court card, her presence suggests that you hold the potential of what she symbolises. You may not be there yet, but the fact that she is in the reading means that at least a part of her is accessible.
You just won’t be able to think your way to her, though. Paradoxically, it will be your mind that creates the circumstances in which to know her better.
Notice the colours and the quality of the illustrations in the three cards in front of you. The Queen of Cups and the card to her right – the Four of Swords – share similar colours – very similar colours – and there are some elements that echo each other too.
The blues and yellow-greens of both cards suggest an under-water feeling; something slower-moving, perhaps even a little cold because of its depth.
The angled bands in the Four of Swords point towards the Queen of Cups. The band on the left in the Four disappears off the card, into the Queen of Cups, and follows the course of the bubbled line that is the dividing point between the Queen’s face and the eye-like bubbles above. The band on the right sequesters the four swords, which are set against a dark backdrop away from the rest of the detail in the two cards.
The mind is taken out of the main picture. Your mind is taken out of the main picture. Mental activity slows down in the icy backdrop of the Four of Swords, and what becomes more animated and more malleable are the blots of yellow-green above the Queen. She looks at you with her left eye while her right eye is hidden, cloaked in a wall of hair, like purdah. But what is really looking at you are the two eyes above her – the larger eyes of metaphor. The water-borne eyes. The inner sight. They carry worlds in them.
So, while the mind is quietened, stilled in near-suspended animation in the Four of Swords, the Queen can see; and so you can feel. You can feel what’s coming up, and the mind is present but out of the way enough to take in what’s happening without the need to fight it.
The term that comes to me here is “cool mind”. So the mind is not removed completely, but is detached, dispassionate, able to work with the messages from the unconscious while neither being overwhelmed by them, nor denying them.
This has to be one of the better partnerings I’ve seen where the mind and the feeling body can find synergy. There is enough of a truce on judgements and beliefs to make way for something that can expand the experience of both mind and feelings – much like a couple of drops of yellow-green ink expand on water.
The Ace of Cups is a different matter entirely. The colours, the lines have a quality to them that is FIERY – and yet we are still in the realm of Cups. So what is this about?
The Ace is the beginning. It is pure, limitless potential. The Ace of Cups is the pure, limitless potential of feeling, and in this particular case what feels very much present in this potential is the heart: the image is blood-red, and the rays of light and blood emanate from the woman’s chest.
It is as if the seated ‘figure’ in the stony outcrop of the Four of Swords, with its icy corona, thaws in an instant under the reanimating beating of a rhythm that finds its way from the depths and into physical expression.
The Ace of Cups in this reading is the potential for the expression of what emerges when mind and feelings work together. The Ace is self-love. It is the beginning of everything, and in that beginning is the beginning of knowing that all love extends from the inside-out and not the other way around.
It may feel like love comes at you. You may yearn for love to be given to you. The Ace shows you otherwise.
When you allow your feelings to surface without judgement, while also knowing that you have the capacity to do this in a way that is contained, slow, endlessly patient – and boundaried – then you have the potential to experience feelings fully, yet soberly and with presence.
We are taught by a lot of popular culture that what we should yearn for is total immersion in our emotions – to be swept away by them, even. But even the Queen – the watery seer – doesn’t give all of herself over to what moves through her. She is present; she is calm; and she holds a part of herself apart, and in reserve. In this way, she can co-exist with the ocean. In this way, the mind can co-exist with the heart.
In this way, you become the warm expression of your own love – first, for yourself.
Astrology Correspondences: Queen of Cups (the watery aspect of water), Four of Swords (Jupiter in Libra), Ace of Cups (the pure, limitless potential of water)