The Knight of Cups

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

Representing discipline; the Knight of Cups represents the application of knowledge. What we have learned from reflecting upon ourselves and our past relationships should inform our sense of self and shape the future path we take. The Knight of Cups calls upon us to apply what we know with commitment and devotion.

In the upright state the Knight of Cups represents opportunity for further development, presenting us with the chance to return to the Ace of Cups in the pursuit of new relationships, or to remain in solitude and contemplation.

In the inverted state the Knight of Cups represents control and rigidity defined by an external force, our sense of direction is restricted and the paths forward that we can take are limited. In the inverted state the Knight of Cups is a call to consider whether movement is the best option or whether we should put greater emphasis on our emotional independence.

In the Rider-Waite deck a rider sits upon a horse, mirroring the Death card from the Major Arcana which portended a period of transition and transformation. This rider is likely Saint Peter, he is adorned in a robe upon which fish are emblazoned, an emblem of Saint Peter, born Simon he was named Peter by Christ, for its literal translation of “Rock” for he would be the rock upon which he would build his church.

Saint Peter represents an emotional foundation and stability, a fixed point from which the path forward will be forged. This is further reinforced by the horse upon which the rider sits, ready to move forward representing the potential for movement. The rider also holds in his hand a single golden chalice representing the wisdom gained through his emotional journey which he continues to carry with him.

The Knight of Cups also wears a suit of armour topped with a helmet and bottomed with boots, both of which are adorned with the wings of the Herald representing the rider’s role as messenger and obligation or expectation to spread his wisdom.

In self-reflection the Knight of Cups serves as a prompt to consider the sources of wisdom and knowledge at your disposal and the example they set for you to follow. This is an opportunity to ask yourself whose relationship you emulate, whether that be a relationship between others that you look to as inspiration, or a past relationship the experience of which you draw from, or the ideal that you have visualised and attempted to realise.

Ask yourself “Who or what do I turn to for advice and counsel?” and “Is that a healthy source of guidance?” - Where this relates to your emotions and feelings ask yourself “Who do I emulate?” this question touches upon a much deeper concept of behavioural patterns, something that CBT aims to assist you with recognising but requires much greater understanding. Bottom line here is not to expect a great moment of epiphany from this introspection, but rather to take a moment to reflect on how you express yourself and what is repetitive or consistent about that expression. Recognising your own repetition and predictability will help you shape your expectations of others.

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