I received a comment this morning which I thought could be the start of something interesting and potentially beneficial when interpreting actual physical locations in Tarot Readings.
You will find a copy of the original comment posted below, along with some of my own suggestions. We are now looking for more contributions. Suggestions anyone? Where might you think the Eight of Cups is referring to if you needed to interpret it as a place or physical location. The obvious ones are the Element Water connections with this card, such as waterside locations; beach, lake, river. Let’s see if we can come up with something more interesting or imaginative. If we consider the Elemental associations of Water, we could begin to explore areas that would be connected on other levels such as:
(an example of some areas)
- Social Aspects
Other Suggestions from me –
- The Dentist – Cups resemble row of teeth with one missing.
- The Supermarket – Stock stacked on shelves. The figure in the imagery has just taken a product, leaving a gap. Late night shopping. Hey, if this is reversed, it could suggest shoplifting, if the figure appears to scuttle out the door, concealing the item under his cloak.
- The Bowling Alley.
I will update this list as further suggestions come in.
Dea Devidasobscure night, even stripper bar, near the sea… basement with empty bottles of alcohol… hotel room with glasses of cheap wine left… beach bar in solar light area… hospital for curing addiction – shelf with medicines there… drinking in Havana….
The cliffs that he is standing on remind me of the white cliffs of Dover and across the water from Dover, where the cups are standing is France. Could another option be that he had an emotional attachment to a foreign land or a partner in a foreign land, but after some thought, realised that it wasn’t the right choice because something was missing so is heading back home? Or maybe even a holiday romance that took place abroad?
Another thought that popped into my head was an AA meeting?
A coconut shy is a fairground sideshow where balls are thrown at coconuts in an attempt to knock them off the stands. A bit like shoot the ducks? Or shoot the can off the wall.
Perhaps a prize giving – hes won the cup, but now doesn’t know what to do with it or even if he wants it so has gone away to have a good think?
Left out, never invited to family get togethers etc – (very much like that single cup to the right of all the others) and deciding to up sticks and move to another county, leaving family behind because there was much more to life than staying in the home town and being miserable and lonely. SO could the eight cups be the ‘old life’ or family, or the people once close to, or the row of houses/street they grew up in? (which incidentally was by a river) Could be walking away, physically moving away from all the sorrow and drama and the people once close to because wants more, although doesn’t quite know what that ‘more’ is just yet?So the cups signify the home town/ family/ street where this person lived. Literally ‘North of the river’ to find meaning and happiness, new friends, new job etc,Also, the cup to the right is balanced on two cups underneath it – walked away from siblings who felt distant from, but kept in touch with parents, hence the two cups underneath the solitary one?
VeraRecently, my soulmate and I broke up. Today I asked about his current situation and feelings, and the eight of cups was the answer the Tarot gave to me.He’s the one who decided to go away without saying a word. I know he’s totally alone now, far from family and friends, in a quite isolated area of wild cliffs, near the sea. Besides, he is in the navy, and soon will go back to the sea. The Moon was always present in our love poems, and now is looking at him with sorrow… but he is determined and he is not even looking back to see for the last time what he has left behind…
After reading your wonderful analogy another thought popped into my head. Could the person leaving have a cup (the gap in the cups) that he is taking with him, hidden under his cape – this hidden cup is his memories of that street and the memories that he created with the people in those houses and the cup hes taking with him symbolises those memories and that they will always be with him and within him?
Another completely different thought that keeps popping into my head on a place that the 8 of cups could be is a bank. I don’t know if this could be relevant but I thought I’d put it out there as it keeps coming back to me. I’ll try to explain my thinking…
Could the cups be a bank and because its a cups card its the mans emotions – maybe symbolising greed and a love of money? (the love of money being the route of all evil etc). Perhaps the man is greedy and has a love of money and this greed and love of money has overtaken and destroyed is life. Perhaps it has turned him into a person that he doesnt like and is eager to change. Perhaps he has lost a love because of his greed and is now going away with just one small pot of gold (just enough for his needs) to try to change and re evaluate his life?
Me – I really like the bank one and as soon as I read it, images and storyline popped in. Here they are.
The bank analogy changes the impression of the Nine Cups stacked on top of each other. For me, they now symbolise gold bullion – bars of gold stacked on top of each other. These bars could represent the figure’s wealth, his money, investments, assets and possessions. He certainly has a lot and one would have thought all his wealth would have brought him a degree of happiness, but instead we find deep insecurity. The figure concentrates on the gap in his stash, what he hasn’t got, instead of feeling blessed and content with what he has. This figure is on an eternal search for more and more and more. When will he have enough, when will his appetite for wealth be sated? The truth is he will never have enough. He will always feel anxious about securing more, a sense of scarcity or lack. He may even moan to people, to family that he hasn’t enough. In the imagery we see him head off on another quest to secure more riches. He walks off into the distance, hunched up and leaning on a stick. He is alone on his quest as most normal people are at home with their families, or out with friends at this time. He does not take time out for relaxation or enjoyment. Time is money and he would rather spend his time making as much of it as possible.
Before he left he spent time in his bank, in the secure vaults, counting the heavy bars of gold. The security man who stood on guard would die a happy man, if he had but an eight of what the figure has, but he wonders at him. He looks like someone who has nothing, someone who may even need assistance. His face is strained and old looking. The figure doesn’t like the security man eyeing his gold and worries about how safe it is in this bank. He dismisses the guard so that he can be on his own with his money. Left alone in the private bank vault, the figure counts the bars several times until he is satisfied they are all there. He is perplexed though at a gap that is left on the shelf. He becomes fixated on this gap. This gap tells him there is room for even more gold bullion and he becomes anxious about needing to fill it. Instead of focusing on what he already has and counting his blessings, he becomes obsessed by what he doesn’t. If he could just fill the shelves to capacity with gold bars, then he would be happy. The sad thing is, the figure has stood here many times before, staring at his great stack of gold not wanting to leave until he found some fault or other with the amount he had of them.
It is not the first time he has become obsessed with perceived gaps in his wealth. It is not the first time he has declared to himself that filling the gap would appease the gnawing hunger he felt deep within, would make him feel secure and complete. The need to acquire more and more, to fill this imaginary gap in his wealth, has become a perpetual cycle. The figure is deluded at this stage. He will never have enough, the void exists within him, deep in an emotional cavern and not among the shelves of gold bars in the bank vault. He is the eternal seeker who never finds. So worried is he about depleting his stash, of adding to the gap in the bars, he chooses to live a life of deprivation rather than spend any of it on making his life more comfortable. Spending any of it on others would be too dreadful a waste to contemplate. And so, he has a reason to live again. He has found room for more gold bars among his existing wealth, and will waste no time in finding more to fill it.
Off he heads from the bank, his mind dwelling on the void he needs to fill. The security guard locks the door behind him as he stares out at the fast moving figure. He does not envy him. His wealth would certainly make a difference to his life but he would not like to end up as this man, a slave to his money. He looks miserable for all the wealth he has acquired. The more he sees from working in the bank, the more he realises that money cannot buy happiness. Instead it can become a disease, an illness, an addiction, that brings no fulfillment or sense of contentment in life. He believes the wrong people have all the money. If he had vast wealth, he would be enjoying himself, his family would be taken care of and he would stop worrying about bills and debt. Money can have a strange effect on people indeed.
The figure now represents an individual whose life has been blessed with financial wealth and privilege. However he/she is very unhappy. They have carried this unhappiness for much time, trying to hide it from the outside world, getting on with life and all that is expected of them. It may be a person who has worked hard all their life to build up this wealth, it may have been inherited or acquired through marriage. This wealth was supposed to be a blessing and afford them great freedom and stability but they have come to realise it has become a gilded cage, a trap or snare. Here they stand dreadfully unhappy. It may be an unhappy or disastrous marriage, a destructive career or intolerable family demands. The figure would leave tomorrow, today even, but their life is intrinsically tied to the wealth that sits stacked high in the bank vault and other investments. Yes, of course they could walk away, but it would involve leaving empty-handed or with very little. Can the figure do this?
The money was originally intended to buy happiness or to act as compensation for the lack of it. Depending on the figure’s circumstances, money may be tied up in family home, holiday home, other property, business, land, luxury motor vehicles, jewelry, expensive schools and colleges. The figure may have got used to a certain lifestyle and would find it very hard to extricate themselves from it. Where would they start and how would they intend to survive without access to such wealth? It would be impossible he/she thinks.
For a long time the figure carries an air of resignation and begins to accept his/her fate. Many would give their right arm to be in such a privileged position. The figure one day reaches a very low point. Something happens to trigger this; an incident, a row, a discovery or revelation. He simply cannot continue any longer. He has thought of running away in the past, of just upping and leaving, of telling those around him of his unhappiness and how he cannot tolerate another moment of it, but he has never found the strength or courage to do it. This has now changed. Pushed over the brink of toleration, he decides it is now or never. He sets about planning his escape. The first thing he does is accept he will leave with very little. He packs only the clothes that he needs, leaving all the expensive items behind. In his new life, he will have no use for these and he also wants to avoid being accused of clearing the place out. The figure tidies up his/her affairs and books a one-way ticket to somewhere far away. The figure only pays for economy class. He then goes to his bank and asks to withdraw some funds. He looks at the extremely healthy bank balance for one last time. He withdraws only a small amount, enough to tide him over for a couple of months until he gets sorted. The bank teller wonders why he does not transfer money from one account to another, but the figure wants a clean break and also knows that his account may be frozen once it has been discovered he wants out. He/she may also wish to disappear, to be untraceable. He is nearly ready to go. Carrying just a holdall, he takes one last look at this life before closing the door and walking away. Already he feels a weight life off him as he moves further and further away into less salubrious areas. He is free. To think he stayed for so long because of money and what it could buy. He must not look back, but only forward now. He will need to budget and be cautious about what he spends money on from here on, but everything has become much simpler already. He/she has left a lot behind, and many will think him/her insane, but if they want it so much, they can have it, try it out, see if it brings them the happiness they imagine it will. Try as he might it hadn’t worked for him.
The stacked Cups represent the total wealth, assets and possessions of a couple whose relationship has just collapsed. The injured party, is hell-bent on revenge. They are determined to make their partner pay by hitting them where they believe it will hurt most – money. The injured party may be playing the victim role. It is this person who holds the power over the finances, either directly as in control, or intends going after the offending partner, intent on taking the shirt off their back financially speaking. They will be punished for their behaviour and will be made pay dearly. The victim has kicked their partner or spouse out of the house, may have cut off their supply of money or made it difficult to access joint funds. When they go to court, the victim is surrounded by a top legal team but manages to put on the poor mouth while launching a ruthless assault. The guilty partner cannot defend them self against such a tirade of lies about financial misery and abuse. The case goes against them. He/she loses just about everything. The victimized partner gets the house, the pension, the car, the kids and dog. They also get awarded maintenance which appears ludicrous under the circumstances. The guilty partner, may not be in the first flush of youth and must start all over again. The court orders are issued and paperwork eventually signed. The figure walks away with a tiny fraction of their joint value while the other partner is left with the bulk. The gold cups representing both their financial assets and emotional ones, such as children and dog. The figure looks back and sees the gap already closing, they will not be missed.
The Cups represent money, assets, possessions or any items of worth. The figure is not the owner but has access to them. It may be part of their job or they are close to the person who owns them. If it is job related, the person is surrounded by the wealth of others. There seems to be so much of it. How could anyone need so much money they wonder? This person struggles to make ends meet, may be behind in their rent, unable to afford to tax the car, or go on vacation. They feel it grossly unfair that some have so much, while others, very little. As their situation becomes more desperate, they begin to find their job more trying. One day, a woman arrives in the bank to make a lodgement, or it could be an employee is asked to lodge the day’s or week’s takings. Then again it could be the housekeeper in a position of trust in a big house who has access to the silverware, the accommodation assistant in a hotel room who is surrounded by the glorious temptation of guest’s expensive possessions.
It starts off small. It was only ever meant as a once-off. Just enough to tide them through a rough patch. They were careful to take just enough so that it wouldn’t be immediately noticeable. They had slipped the money, the silverware, the expensive item into their clothing and managed to avoid detection as they left the building. Phew, they had done it, gotten away with. A week later, they realise no one even noticed and begin to relax. Because of the success of their venture, their theft, they begin to loose any sense of guilty conscience about it, convincing them self that the person had so much, they wouldn’t notice a bit of it gone. They also begin to feel justified in their actions. They deserved it, don’t get paid enough, never had the chances in life the person did. They then find themselves one day in a similar position. They are in need, or not at the time, but are left in temptation’s way. They succumb to the lure of their previous success. They got away with it once, why wouldn’t they get away with it a second time. So, they go for it and succeed. It soon becomes a regular pattern, but they are clever enough to spread out the theft or pilfering in other areas. They do not wish to draw attention.
However, they eventually slip up but do not immediately realise this. They had become careless about CCTV cameras and had failed to notice a new one had been installed in the very location where they had last thieved from. A member of staff, or the owner of said items or money noticed a vague discrepancy and decided to investigate. The discovered strange activity in the accounts, sums of money not lodged, missing silver items, or jewelry not where it should be found. They bring it to the attention of the authorities who decide to set up a trap for the culprit to catch them red-handed. They choose a particularly large sum of money, expensive item or jewelry, and perhaps even a golden cup to tempt the culprit with. They carefully mark this item with indelible ink and strategically place it where the culprit will encounter it. They watch from a distance via CCTV.
The figure is going about their day when they go by an open door and see the planted item. They double back and check over their shoulder to see if anyone is around. All the while the video camera records them. The figure slides into the room and takes in the scene. There are other items left lying around, but this one in particular draws their attention. Checking quickly to establish they are on their own, the figure lifts the item or money and sticks it in their pocket before hurriedly exiting the room. A group watch the culprit disappear down the corridor and head to the staff room. They switch video footage to the camera installed there just in time to see the figure transfer the stolen goods to their coat that is hanging near the lockers. Minutes later they are back at their post as if nothing has happened.
Security call the police who arrive and observe the video footage. They do not want the culprit approached until they attempt to leave the building. The figure is observed closely until the end of their shift. After saying goodbye to their work colleagues, the figure dons their coat and makes for the door, unaware of the group that await them outside. They push on the door and it gives way before them. The cool air rushes in and they feel a sense of relief. They have got away with it again. No one stopped them, it was so easy. As they step through the doorway they encounter several people walking towards them. At first they are not alarmed, stepping out of the way to let the people past, but on second glance they see a law enforcement officer and flashing lights in the background. Panic hits like a thunder bolt. A hand reaches out to prevent their escape. They are trapped. The police officer reaches into the pocket of their coat and pulls out the stolen item. The figure tries to feign surprise and shock, to deny all knowledge of the item, but it is too late. The figure is read their rights and arrested on the spot. He had pushed his luck for too long. If he had come to his senses after the first theft, it is likely it would not have been noticed. He could have had a chance to put it back or redeem himself in some manner, but he was persistent. He kept pushing and pushing until the discrepancies became too obvious, the gap in the cups to noticeable at this stage to go undiscovered.
– We could also have the gap in the cups highlighting the discovery of theft in a store, the large television on display in the store suddenly vanished as the thief scuttles away with it to a waiting van parked outside. It could be the shocking discovery of a priceless painting stolen from an art gallery wall.
We might also have the theft of a heart or the kidnapping of a person who is snatched from the heart of their family, or whilst surrounded by heavy protection.
The figure is a family member; son, daughter who is continually tapping his/her parents for money. The parents never see this family member unless they are looking for something. When they appear, there is a pretense of calling to visit, to check on their parents and see if they are okay. The parents, or at least one of them know this is a ruse, a blatant lie. They are not there out of concern for them but to get money out of them. They wonder how long into the visit it will be before the subject of money comes up. What will it be this time? To invest in a sure thing, the deal that will finally make them big, will it be to pay their rent, or fund a trip? Or will they use their regular excuse of money being stolen on them. Whatever, it is always the same. If the parents can loan them x amount of money, they will have it paid back to them in no time. Of course that time never comes and they never bring it up. However, they are tired of being hit on in such as despicable manner. Even if they had the decency to turn up in between their begging visits, just to visit, it would be something. No, it is all one-sided, a constant drip, drip on their finances, their nest egg, the money they need to live out their days on. This time, they will say no, tell them they do not have it, or that their money is tied up in investments. Perhaps they will come straight out and tell their errant son or daughter it is high time they stood on their own two feet and took responsibility for their constant predicaments.
Like a broken record the begging scene plays out as they all have before, but this time it is different. Much to the son/daughter’s shock their request for money is refused. They become ruffled and irritated but try to control their annoyance or anger. They make several attempts but the father is adamant. They will have to sort this one out them self. At that the father bids them good night and heads to bed leaving the mother sitting uncomfortably with their troubled offspring. They wait until they hear their father’s light switch off upstairs before trying another approach. Their mother is soft, and although she stood by her husband’s decision, she could be worked on. The son/daughter begins to play to her emotions, manipulating her of old. They turn on the water works and throw them self at her feet. The mother’s resolve breaks and she comforts them instead of admonishing them. The son/daughter know they have her, she is putty in their hands from here on. A short while later they depart the house with a personal check written by their mother and strict instructions that her husband is not to know. She tells her offspring that this must be the last time, that she cannot give anymore and the son/daughter promises.
Upstairs, the curtains part and the father watches his son/daughter move quickly to their car. He sees his wife wave after them but they do not look back and return the wave. He knows then they have got what they came for and are eager to be off. If not, he/she would still be downstairs and not gone so early. The next day he confronts his wife and asks how much this time? She at first tries to deflect the query but knows he is aware. €2,000, but he/she says they will definitely pay it back this time. They seemed so genuine about it, I couldn’t say no. The father’s heart hardens as he makes his way to the study and lifts the phone. His lawyer’s secretary answers on the second ring. He wants to make an appointment to change his will. His wife may do as she pleases with her own money, but he will not be made a fool of any longer. He will protect his assets for this son/daughter will not stop until they bleed them dry. He will leave his money to someone who will have better respect for it and not squander it. He wonders where he went wrong with this child.