The Card of the Day: The Eight of Cups
“Listen to what's calling within.”
The Eight of Cups represents taking the journey within, to the realm of your authentic feelings. Periodically you must go deep within yourself, to hear your Spirit, and reclaim strengths and abilities you forgot you possessed. Although the journey inward is of great value, it rarely feels easy to begin embarking on it. It is often accompanied by a period of depression, feeling crazy, or the sense that you've hit a patch of “bad luck." The Eight of Cups reminds you that you've probably made a similar journey before, just prior to a deeper revelation about yourself. Your instincts will once again, be your best guide.
When you are quiet, do you hear the call of your authentic self? Do you seem to go through periods of confusion, depression, or seeming "bad luck?" How has your life improved in the past, as a result of listening to your heart?
The man on the card is reminiscent of the Hermit. He is taking a journey alone, staff in hand, returning from the realm of water and shadows. He is walking toward the sea, representing his deep unconscious feelings. These feelings were not acknowledged in his daily life and were acting up in strange ways. At first thought he was crazy… then just unlucky. Finally, he realized his authentic feelings were not being respected or acknowledged. He wasn't being true to himself.
The moon is eclipsing the sun in the picture. Thoughts about what he should do, or be, to gain the acceptance of others in his daily life (the sun), are now being eclipse by his instinctual self (the moon). At long last he has the courage to go within and reconnect with his real feelings. His authentic feelings are now his best friends, giving him depth and wisdom to persevere.
The moon has been associated with the instinctual since the dawn of humanity. It elusively pulls at our awareness, and yet it is easy to dismiss and ignore (just like our instincts). The Latin word for moon is la Luna, where we get our word "lunatic" from. If your instincts are chronically ignored, they can make you feel crazy. Like a neglected child, unheard emotions will "act up," if they are habitually ignored. This often manifests as periods of bad luck, sadness, imagined illnesses, or times where you feel utterly lost and powerless. Returning within will help you reclaim your authentic self and arm you with the ability to set everything right again. This journey can only happen alone, and in the dark places. The darkness is where the potential for healing happens.
The Eight of Cups appears to remind you to let your instincts guide your path. The very fact that you are reading a tarot book demonstrates that you have the courage to listen to these unconscious feelings. The unconscious speaks in the language of pictures, myths, and symbols. Instincts do not adhere to the laws of a logical, organized, and rationalized world. Your deeper instincts can feel messy at times, and very confusing if you aren't used to acknowledging them. And yet, they must be acknowledged if we are to find our way through the barriers that thwart our progress (symbolized by the craggy rocks on the card).
The Eight of Cups is an image of deep healing. If you listen to your instincts and they will give you the power to overcome previous blockages. You can then return to the land of the sun with profound insight; less burdened and free.
If this resonated with you…
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 Jamie Sams and David Carson, Medicine Cards: Revised, Expanded Edition (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1999), 245. The Black Panther totem featured in this deck alerts us to the healing potential found in the darkness of the unknown places within.