As the second suit in the minor arcana, Cups harness the neutral energy of the Wands and run with it in a particular direction. This direction is dependent on the quality of the emotion we are experiencing. Cups, as emotions, influence our thoughts, Swords, which in turn influence how the world appears to us — and how we appear to the world. This is not woo-woo stuff — although it’s often seen and explained in particularly woo-woo, New Agey terms, which has the effect of its seeming relevant only to those people who have watched The Secret or read the Abraham-Hicks books. But really, it is an entirely practical experience. It comes down to this, at its simplest: If you are feeling crappy, it is hard not to see that in the world around you. If you are feeling joy, that is what you will tend to choose to see above everything else. Thus, you have started to shape your reality.
The further we travel down the road to manifesting something in the physical world, the slower the process. Wands energy is zingy and takes some learning and discipline to harness and direct. Cups, as emotions, are slightly easier to identify and hold on to but they, too, are mutable: They are subject to change, and this has its advantages as well as its disadvantages. The primary disadvantage is that if we don’t have a handle on our emotions, our creative process can have unpredictable results, subject to the whims of our psyches.
I don’t think it is coincidental that, in many forms of psychotherapy, our emotions are of central importance to the therapeutic work. How we are feeling, and what we are denying in terms of our feelings, have a striking impact on our lives. Emotions repressed, denied, projected, split — all of the things that we do so as not to feel our feelings — keep us from being whole, integrated beings. And if we are not whole, then how can our lives be whole?
Which is where the advantage of the mutability of emotions comes in: We have time, and opportunity, to change them — over years, or in an instant. We can remove the blocks that we have put between us and our feelings, and when we do that, I firmly believe that life starts to flow in ways that we could not have imagined before. When life flows, our experience of it changes. When that happens, we can say with conviction that life has, indeed, changed for us. That is the art of creation in action.
The Suit of Cups is representative of the element of water.
The Suit of Cups Tarot card meanings deal with the emotional level of consciousness and are associated with love, feelings, relationships and connections. Cups are about displays of emotion, expression of feelings and the role of emotions in relation to others. The Cups Tarot cards indicate that you are thinking with your heart rather than your head, and thus reflect your spontaneous responses and your habitual reactions to situations. Cups are also linked to creativity, romanticism, fantasy and imagination.