The Eight of Cups – Moving On
I love seeing trends when I do readings for people. Lately the 8 of Cups has been showing up so I decided to take a closer look at it.
I confess that, being a Cancer and easily overwhelmed by my emotions (duh), this card carries a lot of sorrow and regret for me. Oh gosh, how did I get into this situation? I was so stupid, bad, thoughtless, vulnerable, gullible, fill in the blank…. But here I am and I am miserable.
I have been shortchanging this card. Yes, it is a very emotional place and yes, we have hit an emotional bottom. But this card is really about hope and movement forward. It is a place where we come to grips with reality and cut our losses so we can move on. The past is just that – the past, over, done, never to return. We can’t change what happened and we can only remain frozen in the pain so long. There comes a time we just need to get to a better place. I am never amused when people say, “oh just get over it.” You know – we might not really ever get over it but we can certainly go on. This takes not only will power and courage but a sense of surrender. We just can’t do any more about it. We come to realize what is done is done and we must cut our losses, turn our backs on that low place and move on.
I am showing two examples of the 8 of Cups – the traditional Rider Waite based image and the Buckland Romani Tarot. Both express the meaning of the card but in entirely different ways. The Buckland Romani card spoke to me as I think no other Tarot card ever has. It absolutely sent a gasp of new understanding through my entire being. I will tell you why. My father’s side of the family came to this country from Sweden, landed in New York, and continued their journey west as Mormon Hand-Cart pioneers. I cannot even imagine how hard that must be – HAND CARTS. No horses or oxen or mules pulling their belongings – they walked and pushed, pulled and wrangled those carts across mountains and rivers and miles of open prairie in all kinds of weather. I am sure they started out with those carts loaded with every treasure they owned, thinking they could transport their past into their future. Then along the way they were forced to leave things behind. I grew up in Wyoming and heard stories about how in the old days, people still found remnants of the pioneers’ leavings as they had to lighten the load – dishes, musical instruments, furniture, all left on the prairie along old wagon ruts carved into the earth like the indelible ink of forgotten stories.
I have thought a lot about this – the road became so hard and going forward must have seemed impossible. Imagine the conversations; “Why did we ever leave Sweden? What were we thinking? I miss the people back home. I want a real meal. I want to sleep in a real bed. How much farther do we have to do this? We will never get there. I am too tired. We will never get this cart out of that mud. It is too hot, too cold, too far…..” In despair, bitterness, fear, overwhelmed to the max, these people had to face reality. They are here – now – in this predicament. They have to lighten the load or they cannot go forward. That means something has got to go and it is going to have to be the heaviest part of the burden. So out goes the rocking chair where all the babies were rocked, or mother’s tea set, or the chest of family treasures. Dump it. Leave it. Cry and wring your hands but it has got to go. And then, yes, the cart wheels finally move, with one last heroic effort it is pushed out of the mud and headed west. West. The place of transitions, where the trees, feeling the coming winter, drop their leaves to preserve their strength and lessen the burden to support and keep alive the core of the tree during the cold months. Where the Shadows lurk and we go between a place of light and dark – into the unknown.
What are the heaviest and oldest burdens you carry? Are you ready to finally sacrifice them to lighten your load so you can go forward? I offer this question to you with great love and understanding and encourage you to leave behind that which is so hard for you to bear. You are moving forward into an unknown future. My pioneer ancestors did indeed make it and settled in beautiful lands, raised families and created a new heritage. They built new furniture, acquired new dishes and looked forward more than behind. They had to.
I hope the 8 of Cups helps you to take the time to evaluate your emotional distress and feel what you are ready to leave behind. Our lives are indeed vast landscapes filled with mountains and valleys, oceans and rivers to cross. And we have wide open spaces where we can leave behind what we must let go of. We move into a new day with each morning and we begin again with each breath.
Here’s to a lighter load, the cutting of losses, the grieving and the moving on. And may peace be with you on your journey.
Eight of Cups from Rider Waite Tarot
Eight of Cups from Buckland Romani Tarot
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