The 8 of Cups

The 8 of Cups - Tarot Card from the Rider-Waite Deck

Representing urgency; the 8 of Cups portends risk and the element of chance. Unforeseen change is the most likely outcome of this card’s appearance with a particular focus on the rapidity with which we will need to respond to this change.

In the upright state the 8 of Cups sees the opportunity for change portended by the 7 of Cups now become a reality and with it our immediate challenge becomes adapting to this newfound landscape. The 8 of Cups is the card most often associated with a parting of ways and the end of a relationship, not as the result of conflict but as a result of departure in pursuit of disparate priorities and irreconcilable differences, this is the moment where relationships can either be made or broken; for a relationship to survive this divergence concession must be made and desires sacrificed this may mean committing to pursuing desires that are not our own.

In the inverted state the 8 of Cups represents our denial and continued desire to hold onto the relationship for what it was, rather than what it has become. This disparity will ultimately put distance between us emotionally and physically from the relationship as our expectations and reality become increasingly divergent.

In the Rider-Waite deck the 8 of Cups depicts a man walking away from 8 golden cups, with a symbol in the sky that serves as combination of the Sun and the Moon; the element of the Sun ultimately serves to represent peace and tranquillity with the Moon representing an unseen threat, together they negate one another representing acceptance and symbiosis.

The physical distance between the cups and the man walking away represents the growing divergence between the vision of our relationship we hold onto and the reality of that relationship. For us to maintain the relationship we must act to prevent that distance from widening, or let the relationship come to a natural end. All cups are upright with no spillages in sight representing a lack of conflict in this divergence, this departure is amicable.

In self-reflection the 8 of Cups serves as a prompt to consider the element of time and the progression of the relationship within it. This can be an opportunity to reflect on how quickly things are moving and whether you are comfortable with that pace.

Where you have imposed timeframes, deadlines, or expectations of achievements before a certain date, ask yourself where these expectations originate. Having a plan for your future is healthy but creating a rigid schedule that prevents you from making choices in the moment amounts to fixing your mentality at the point in time when that schedule was created. As we touched on before, you are not the same person you were 10 years ago, to stick to a plan set out by your past self would be to commit to an outdated mentality and deny your life experience and the growth that you have achieved in that time.

Ask yourself “Are things moving too quickly?” or “Do I want to try and take things to the next level?” and think of the answers in terms of what you want here and now, considering the priorities you now have as opposed to the priorities of your past self.

Where this specifically relates to your emotions and feelings on a personal level this can instead be a question of worry and anxiety, ask yourself “Am I looking for a way out?” or “Am I comfortable?” and recognise the difference between wasted potential and lost ambition versus personal growth and shifting priorities.

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