The grief of the Five of Cups

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The Five of Cups used to give me a sense of foreboding. A long dark figure with his head bowed, three Cups overturned on the road before him, the Five of Cups is a universal expression of grief.

The Five of Cups is about being so upset or devastated by loss that you think it’s the end of you — not realizing that you can start again, lighter and freer.

Bunning says,

The Five of Cups refers to that time when the pain of a loss is most acute. This man is looking only at the overturned cups in front of him. For now, he cannot acknowledge the two cups that are still standing. Later, when he has healed somewhat, he will be able to see all that remains.

Reversed, the Five of Cups is about

  • Recovering from the past, not letting it linger in your mind as it so obviously could
  • Appreciating lessons learned, and learning to go on again

But it could also mean

  • Being trapped in the past
  • Not wanting to let go of the past (or using it as an excuse

Either way, it brings forth change. It necessitates change. For all the pain and loss the situation brings, the Five of Cups jumpstarts something better.

Reflection

Throughout the day I tried to find situations that made me think of the Five of Cups, but I found nothing in my immediate vicinity. (That’s the problem with holidays, I guess; everyone stays home! Human interaction is limited!) But I found the Five of Cups anyway, while I was calculating my year card.

I’ve been trying to keep heavy emotions out of my tarot blog, but when I wrote about my goals for the year, and how much I wanted the change that Death promised, I had to talk about why I wanted it so much.

I didn’t explain the situation well enough — I didn’t want to give it more attention or power than it required — but giving a glimpse into it illuminated how strongly I cling to the past — how I let it define me.

I need to let go of the past and remember that I can learn from it. That starting again is as easy as picking the Cups up again and continuing on my way.

Daily draw for New Year’s Day, Friday, drawn at 9:00AM.

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