Ace of Cups Tarot Card Meaning & Interpretations
Aces are like plant seeds. These small, self contained, capsules can bring forth something new and, with a bit of luck, the right environment, nurturing and maintenance, can continue to grow and last for many seasons and years. Some don't grow at all and fail early. Some don't turn out as hoped and should be discarded to free space for growing something better. The Ace of Cups can be thought of as an emotional seed. Just as every seed is different so too is every appearance of the Ace of Cups. This card could signify a new friendship which maybe be short lived or may last a life time. It could be a new love interest but not one that progresses as far as a date and is unrequited. Or it may turn into a relationship or platonic friendship. With Aces, just like seeds, you really don't know how it is going to turn out until you try to grow it. All you know is that you have the potential to grow something new.
Numerology isn't well known or understood but there is no need to explain what the number 1 symbolises to most people. It is the number of a winner, a leader. It is premium and premier. These are the desired traits we all easily associate with 1 but we must remember that 1 is also symbolic of a beginning, a first step in a sequence, cycle or journey. It can also symbolise independence and individualism and with the Ace of Cups this would be emotional independence.
The Rider Waite Smith (RWS) deck added a lake covered with lily pads as a background to the Ace of Cups and included a hand, holding the cup, coming out of a cloud hovering over the ground. The Lily is symbolic of chastity and purity. The inclusion of the cloud, as the source of the hand, is there to symbolise the divine origin of all things. It serves to remind us of the greatest mystery of all - where does everything come from, and return to, including ourselves?
The Ace of Cups is traditionally represented as a single vessel filled with water. Its symbology is simple, it has the element of water and a numerological value of 1. As a 1 it represents a new beginning and, with water as the element, this beginning is an emotional one. The card more commonly heralds the coming of a new acquaintance or friend. Since 1's are, in numerology, singular it is less likely to signify a romantic relationship but not impossible. This card is about an individual emotional connection which may not be reciprocated. There are other cards which are more strongly associated with romantic relationship such as the 2 Of Cups, the 10 Of Cups or The Lovers. The Ace of Cups allows the freedom of deciding if and how to grow this emotional connection which may influence the direction it takes at a later stage. The Ace of Cups may also have a link to the Christian symbology of the Holy Grail and its promise of spiritual re-birth and renewal.
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THE PICTORIAL KEY TO THE TAROT
By Arthur Edward Waite (1911)
The waters are beneath, and thereon are water-lilies; the hand issues from the cloud, holding in its palm the cup, from which four streams are pouring; a dove, bearing in its bill a cross-marked Host, descends to place the Wafer in the Cup; the dew of water is falling on all sides. It is an intimation of that which may lie behind the Lesser Arcana. Divinatory Meanings: House of the true heart, joy, content, abode, nourishment, abundance, fertility; Holy Table, felicity hereof. Reversed: House of the false heart, mutation, instability, revolution.
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