Weekly Forecast: July 23-30
The way we live these days it's easy to feel like we don't have enough. How often are we taking in messages about consumption without even knowing it? I think back to my great grandmother. We still have a set of china that belonged to her in the family. It's a huge set, from back in the day when having a gravy boat that matched your soup tureen (who still uses those?!) was the pinnacle of class and sophistication.
For her, buying this set of dishes was a huge deal. It was hers for life. And she obviously cherished it since it still survives with all its pieces intact. And yet now, in one outing wandering around Raleigh yesterday, I saw so many dishes. New cups and glasses, delightful platters and bowls. I caught myself lusting after them even though my cabinets are full.
We have a similar situation this week. Our lives are full of support and plenty, yet instead of enjoying it we're looking beyond it all to an imagined situation of poverty. But we're not dealing with dishware here. This is about feelings, connections, and relationships, as we can tell from the two cups cards that start our reading.
What happens when we take our wonderfully supportive and rich emotional lives for granted? Our answer is short and concise: the false sense of scarcity is driving us towards conflict.
The Five of Swords sees us rising to an imagined challenged with edgy, frustrated energy. Like swords, it's spiky and stabby and likely to injure someone, whether it's ourselves or others.
But this path is ill-advised and completely divorced from our present reality. Though we'll feel pulled to gloss over what's great, heeding the siren song of "more" to disregard what we already have, there's another path.
"What's this?" you might ask. It's simple. Enjoy what you have and care for it with love and respect.
The Nine of Cups is a beautifully radiant and jovial card. I love how it's illustrated in The Fountain Tarot. In the Rider-Waite-Smith deck the satisfied look of the main character paired with his confident stance in front of a wall of cups can come across to some as smug or boastful. Yet this card is all about care and connection and joy. I've found that this version is much more resonant with modern audiences. Here, a person is holding one of his cups happily, smiling with the warmth of someone who is truly present.
This card is showing us what we're really working with this week - a beautiful life rich in relationships and meaningful experiences. It's our job to tend to these actively. The Nine of Cups can't be their magnificent self by checking out or distracting themselves. Contentment requires consciousness. Are we fully aware of the gifts in our lives? And, most importantly, are we willing to honor them by enjoying them?
The Four of Cups suggests that we're dealing with an aversion to happiness. This is a good time to explore and get to know how and why we cut ourselves off from fulfillment. Are we afraid of responsibility? Showing up and appreciating our lives and those in it requires acknowledging that people count on us and that we're responsible for how we act in the world. Do we think we don't deserve what we have? That celebrating it is somehow boastful, cruel, or even tacky? Or are we simply following the script that more is better and what we already have isn't enough?
Having such a stark contrast between the Nine of Cups and the Four of Cups is a blessing in disguise. That is, it'll be easy to notice the difference between these two mindsets if we look for it. We can either be with it and happy, like the Nine, or detached and despondent, like the Four. I'm not going to speak for anyone here, but I can confidently say that I'd much prefer to be the Nine of Cups!
And of course the Five of Swords has a lot to say about the repercussions of seeing four cups when there are actually nine. When we invest in a scarcity mentality we start behaving in desperate and sneaky ways. If we think that the world isn't bountiful - that we can't enjoy happiness as we are or with the life we have right now - we start grabbing for what we can and disregarding others. While the immediate feeling might be satisfying, it's ultimately short-lived, and we run the risk of leaving a wake of hurt-feelings and ill-will behind us.
So, yes, we may find ourselves in the dreamy, dissatisfied state of ennui represented by the Four of Cups, but we can choose which way to go. Do we pick ourselves up and re-emerge in our lives, accepting the loveliness we have and the wonderful people who care of us? Do we cherish the full set of dishes we've been given? Or do we treat them callously, seeking whatever's new and shiny? I'll leave the choice up to you, but I certainly know which version I'll be striving for.