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Friday, 9 October 2015

Earth of Water - Ten of Cups

Tarot of the Hidden Realm (Llewellyn 2013)
I've drawn Ten of Cups today from Tarot of the Hidden Realm (Llewellyn 2013). We see a faerie in her crone years, passing her hands through the smoke of something. She's working some sort of magic.

I am not easily reconciling the image with the meaning for this card. The book says she has lavender and frankincense in the bowl and the wisps rising up are steam. The card is meant to represent 'moments of love and connection', 'wisdom and experience' and a time to 'create ties as well as celebrate them.' I gotta tell ya, I would have gleaned none of that from looking at this image. I'm sitting here staring at it, and I'm still not getting it. Now I know the back story, that she's sending out blessings to her family, I kind of do, but before reading that, no.

The element of the suit of Cups is Water, associated with feelings, relationships. The elemental affinity of the number 10 is Earth, corresponding to stability, the material plane, and resources. Thus the 10 of Cups is Earth of Water, which would suggest a grounded and practical approach to dealing with emotions and relationships.

This is why in the RWS card, we see relationships fulfilled in the material realm -- land, a cottage, children, a spouse. This card from Tarot of the Hidden Realm misses out the material aspect of Water. Perhaps it is there in the transformation of water to steam, but surely that is leading water to an even less substantial state rather than a more stable, grounded one.

If we look at Water as the inner and Earth as the outer, then the 10 of Cups could represent inner peace being reflected in outer manifestation. It is not prosperity; although the RWS image is idealized it does not represent prosperity so much as deep joy in having all one's basic needs met. What else could one wish for than home, health, a beautiful day, and the knowledge that the wolf is kept firmly from the door (even if it isn't the grandest door ever made)?

That's not to say the 10 of Cups card focuses exclusively on happiness being based on material comfort. Just that the inner and outer are reflections of each other. Wanting what you have and having what you want, that's pretty much the definition of happiness in this life.

Good card for a Friday!


  1. I have the same difficulties with this card. Maybe if we imagine she is making a hot broth for her love ones filled with veggies and meatballs and noodles etc to represent the earthy part of this card
    Have a great weekend!!

  2. ." The elemental affinity of the number 10 is Earth," Elemental affinity is a new term to me, could you please expand on it? Thanks Sharyn/AJ

    1. I'll do a post explaining how I learned about it and what I know. :)

    2. looking forward to learning something new, thanks!

  3. Hmm, I wonder whether you could see the crone herself as the earth part of this card... She is grounded and wise from her time on the earth, and expressing her emotions for her family and loved ones through her blessings. Will look forward to your post on Holistic Tarot! :)