4 of Cups gets a bad rap in many tarot traditions; it’s seen as the card of boredom, discontent, missed opportunities. Since creativity and emotions, the watery stuff of our lives, like to flow, the stable 4 can be seen as a dam interfering with movement. And, yes, 4 of Cups can have that side to it.
But stability and manifestation in emotions, relationships and creativity (from Tarot . . . It’s Easier Than You Think) has its positive side, too. Water likes to pool as well as flow, so Cups as water (from Tarot 2 . . . We’re Not in Kansas Anymore) don’t need movement to be enjoyable.
It’s interesting that only 3 of the cups in the Herbal and Rider Waite Smith illustrations have come to earth. The other cup is being offered by a Divine hand. The stability and manifestation of the 4 is a gift we need to accept (the receptivity of Cups). Is that solely an external opportunity that we can miss? Or is inner contemplation and stability also a factor?
In creativity, it’s especially exciting when a project takes form. Four of Cups is that point: manifestation. In relationships, we’re not always looking for something new; most of us count on stable relationships. And what happens when we reach a point of stability in our emotions? Those rare moments are the aim of many forms of meditation.
The end of the spectrum where the 4 of Cups crosses into the negative is when we reach stagnation, when it’s an over-used energy. If our creativity gets stuck in habits, if we aren’t receptive to the 4th cup of Divine inspiration, we’re in the downside of the card. If our emotional boundaries or relationships never allow anything to shift and grow, if we aren’t receptive to the hand of the Divine in our lives, we’re putting security above all else. And that’s where we run into isolation and boredom.
We’re meant to have stability and change in our lives. As long as we’re building on our emotional, creative and relationship structures, we’re keeping the balance that allows the 4 of Cups to be a beautiful part of our lives. It’s okay to be contented and emotionally fulfilled sometimes. 4 of Cups is one of those times.
Delight in contentment and creative manifestation!
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