(The above image is a copy of The Eight of Cups card in a standard Rider-Waite Tarot deck. The 4 symbols pointed out above are explained below.)
Like the Five of Cups, the Eight of Cups illustrates a sense of melancholy. In the card, a figure walks away from the cups, signalling a departure from the previous cards which were all about embracing the cups. As the figure walks into the unknown, so do we as we persist in the Tarot journey.
For more information about The Eight of Cups card, check out A. E. Waite’s description here.
Point 1 – FIGURE
In the card, a figure is walking away from the cups and towards the adjacent mountains. It is unclear who this figure is. Is it you walking away from the eight cups? Is it somebody else walking away from you? While the figure in the Seven of Cups had a lot choices, this figure abstains from any choice.
Point 2 – MOON/SUN
In the sky, there are symbols for both the sun and the moon. While the sun typically illustrates our consciousness, the moon typically illustrates our subconsciousness. In the sky together, they represent the paradox of our total psyche.
Point 3 – MOUNTAINS
The mountains in the card reiterate the mountains of The Fool card. They represent the difficulties in our journey. Like the fool, the figure in this card seeks to overcome the obstacles in his way.
Point 4 – GAP IN-BETWEEN CUPS
There is the pyramid of cups. Walking through the gap is the figure. This gap furthers the sense of loss and unsatisfaction that plagues the whole card. The figure walks through the gap and through the card, searching for what is missing.
An Upright Eight of Cups suggests the need for some large departure in your life. Maybe your career or a relationship isn’t working. Instead of fighting for something that isn’t there, you might have to leave the situation completely and seek out the satisfaction you are longing for. It can be sad and scary as you approach the unknown mountains of life, but the journey can bring you the fulfillment you need.
While an Upright Eight of Cups strongly suggest the need for change, a Reverse Eight of Cups is more ambiguous. You are unsure if you should stay or leave. A Reverse Eight of Cups thus suggests the need for an interior journey to determine the correct course of action. Meditate on the unsatisfaction you feel and use your intuition to seek out the right path.
For more Tarot Card Meanings, check out our blog here.
About the author: John Taylor is a content writer and freelancer through the company Upwork.com. You may view his freelancing profile here. He has a B. A. in English, with a specialty in technical writing, from Texas A&M University and a M. A. in English from the University of Glasgow. You may view his previous articles about Tarot here and his LinkedIn profile here.