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Saturday, 6 July 2013

Bull's eye

This week, let's explore the strange world of Titania's Star Tarot (Quadrille, 2003). It is a bizarre and, at times, unattractive deck. Its companion book has tiny print, and features enormous and unusual layouts. The smallest layout has nine cards, and is recommended for yes/no questions! I have a feeling that the way of reading and using cards presented in this book is a more old school tradition than today's 'life coaching' tarot reading style. It is certainly firmly couched in astrology, though apparently does not use the traditional astrological associations of Golden Dawn. There's nothing wrong with being old school--in fact, I find it fascinating. When I first got this deck (which was kindly given to me), I took a brief look at the book and decided it was all too much like Greek to me. But one day, I think I might take a closer look at it. In fact, I intend to do a bit of that this week.

Titania's Star Tarot, 2003
Like most of the cards in this deck, the 4 of Cups is seen as a positive card. Titania Hardie's companion book states that fours fall under Scorpio and represent 'fruitfulness borne of practicality and a sensible approach.' This is okay for 4 of Wands, the firm foundations card; 4 of Swords, the card of taking a break from thinking; and even 4 of Pentacles, the card of holding on to what you've got. But in the Four of Cups in the RWS and most Golden Dawn decks, Four of Cups is said to represent boredom, ennui and dissatisfaction. Titania Hardie bucks that trend:

'The Four of Cups indicates, always, an increase in family, and usually a good loving relationship with a healthy physical life. Only if reversed and surrounded by difficult cards, the 'increase' might be ill-timed in the relationship. The key is increase.'

This succinct card description (none of the pip cards are any longer, to be fair) doesn't tell us much. I look at it and see a green target with four goblets superimposed on it. They are arranged in a solid, 4-suqare shape. If I were going to read this intuitively (which Titania does not seem to advocate), I might be inclined to say it has something to do with focusing one's attention on the true relational foundations of life. The concentric circles almost become a tunnel when you stare at them, and the four cups get sucked into the whirling vortex. Not sure why, but I envision these swirling cups going straight into the heart chakra. Is that too fanciful?

1 comment:

  1. Yep, that's a pretty weird card description for the Four of Cups. I like your intuitive take, though. Could say something about the positives of ennui - it keeps us from getting sucked into emotional vortices :D