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Friday, 13 May 2016

Spiral Tarot 8 of Cups

Spiral Tarot by Kay Steventon US Games 1997

I like the Spiral Tarot a lot, but it's such a shame about those borders. I even cropped them off a deck, but then it felt denuded and wrong, so I passed that deck along to someone else and bought a fresh copy. You just have to wonder - why? Why purple and white marbling? Why a red and white inner border? Why the white on red italic, why outline that in white? Did the artist come up with this or was it the publisher? (Shaking my head.)

Anyway, I do like the Spiral Tarot. A lot of the cards depart from traditional meaning, like this one, 8 of Cups. The LWB says: 'The goddess is returning to the underworld for the winter cycle. A need to go into your inner world to find what is missing from your life. Unfulfilled love. Leaving an unhappy situation.'

Okay, 'leaving a situation' is a common interpretation of 8 of Cups. But descending to the underworld, or going within, is not seen so much. That would make this figure Persephone (or in Roman mythology, Proserpina). Persephone was abducted by Hades, which you'd think would be a bad thing, but Persephone adapts so well to the Underworld that she becomes its strong and powerful queen. She loves it down there, and loves Hades, too. When her mother Demeter finally finds her, Persephone doesn't want to come back, but she agrees because, well, it's her mother. But she had tasted the pomegranate in Hades (which has all sorts of juicy connotations having to do with awakenings of various appetites, ahem) and is no longer 'pure'. She's tied to the light and to the velvet dark. So for part of the year she visits her mother in the light, and brings with her growth and life, and for part of the year she goes back to the arms of Hades and her role as Queen of the Dead, so the earth lies dormant and cold for lack of her presence.

Well now, that brings up all sorts of possibilities for reading this card.  But the crux of it is changing directions, or turning away from one path to follow another, or moving your attention from one thing you love to another thing you love. It could even be moving into the underlying or deeper levels of a situation, or examining its hidden or shadow side, particularly of emotions, as this is a cups card. Eight of Cups is Water of Water, so this is the 'feelings of feelings' card. Maybe it's a time for doing some introspective journaling, or listening to music that amplifies your mood and just going with it, or immersing yourself in a book or film that brings out your emotions. Anything that helps you experience your emotions more fully and perhaps explore what lies beneath them. Most importantly, like Persephone, you get to come back from this journey. You don't have to choose one or the other. You can have both.

Or maybe you just need a big juicy bite of pomegranate, if you know what I'm sayin'.


  1. "You can have both" I wish I was told this more often when I was a child :)
    Great post with a very exciting ending :)

  2. My weekend was definitely introspective, though no pomegranates :( ;)