The Family of Cups – Court Cards as a Family Series

The court cards house a lot of interesting dynamics;   Especially when you look at them as families.  They have both functional and somewhat dysfunctional elements.  You get an idea of how they communicate, what’s important to them, and what their place in the family is.  It can also offer up ways of relating them when they turn up in a reading.

Over the next few weeks, I’m going to take a look at each suit as a family unit based on the following:

  • Symbolism of the suit
  • How they progress
  • Each card as a person
  • How they deal with each other as a family unit

The Family of Cups

Simple symbolism of Cups

When we look into the watery depths of the Cups, we find emotions.  Like water, emotions are fluid.  There’s no way to hold an emotion in your hand, it isn’t that kind of tangible.  Emotions take on the form of their container and all its nooks and crannies get filled up.

We also find creativity.  Much like emotions, creativity tends to be fluid.  And when it’s really coming easy, it’s said to flow – again, an association with water.  When we’re in the creative zone, it feels divinely inspired.

The mention of divinity brings us to another aspect the cups symbolize, and that’s psychic ability. Being open and able to tap into those things that are unseen, hearing the small voice of intuition and trusting it.

How they progress

If you put the cards down in a straight line, from left to right, Page to King, you can find a nice progression of the symbolism.

Pages – the purest embodiment of the symbol

Knights – honing and testing of the symbol

Queens – manifestation of the symbol

King – mastery of the symbol

Applied to the Cups

The Page is unbridled emotion, free flowing creativity and untainted connection to intuition, with little form or focus.

The Knight is emotions bound up, development of a vision for creativity and beginning to practice but not share, and a strong intuitive or psychic ability.

The Queen is emotions moving with the ease and fluidity, creativity made manifest and a voice given to intuition and psychic ability.

The King is emotions mastered and manipulated, creative vision realized and mastered, and he has become the psychic guru.

Each card as a person

The Page

This youngster is full of himself, and everything else.  He’s a lot of fun to be around. His emotions lie close to the surface, and he is able to get into the flow of creativity or a psychic connection easily, but he hasn’t quite learned how to focus it.  He sees everything with an artist’s eye.  He’s empathetic, sympathetic, and a joy to be around most of the time.  He feels emotions acutely, so he can be a tad on the moody side.

The Knight

He has learned to tame some of the turmoil of the Page.  He can take the emotions and put them into words, but won’t necessarily act on them.  He can sketch out a creative vision and sell it.  He can be the tortured artist, who starts a project but doesn’t finish it.  Or finishes it, but won’t share it because it isn’t perfect. He isn’t pushy, and he only tells you what you need to know.  He is focused and understands how to be still which allows him to hear and process the messages that come from intuition.  He might actually be the more powerful psychic.  But, he just can’t quite manifest anything on his own just yet.

The Queen

This woman has honed her skills.  She can create in ways that are astounding.  She is at once grounded, but in touch with her emotions.  She can tap into both her creative and psychic abilities.  She knows how to impart the information in a constructive way.  Her ability to manifest is unmatched.  She’s a loving mother because she can so easily relate to children, and she is a passionate wife as long as her trust hasn’t been broken.  She can be a bit distant, especially when she’s in the zone.  You won’t want to get on her bad side, though.  She can hold a bit of a grudge.

The King

This man has his fingers in a lot of endeavors, from business to creativity.  He enjoys  a good conversation and will sit down with a bottle of wine to solve the world’s problems.  He is a passionate man in all his endeavors.  He isn’t going to necessarily share his deepest secrets though unless he trusts you, and trust is hard won with this man.  He trusts his gut, and he is rarely, if ever, wrong.  He can have a bit of a reckless side as well, and might well be a ladies man who dips his toe in waters he shouldn’t, or a guy who follows hunches and loses big at the tracks.  His moods might swing quickly without warning.  But the depth of his feelings is unfathomable.  He is eloquent with a sonnet and can leave you feeling like he wrote it just for you.

How they deal with each other as a family unit

Setting the cards up in a square as pictured, when we look at them from a high level, we can say that this is a family that talks A LOT!  They are all facing each other, they are very family oriented, and have an innate need to share.  The Queen and the Knight are probably the quieter of the four as they are more focused on their inner worlds, but the King and the Page have a lively conversation and might not even notice the quietness of the other two.

When you look closer at the images, you can also see similarities in the King and the Page.  Their colors are the same, the waters are rougher, they both have activity in them, the fish coming out of the cup for the Page, and the fish coming out of the water in for the King.  The sky is a grayish color giving a similar mood to the cards.  The King is focused outward, and the Page is also focused more outward in his willingness to see and hear the fish in his cup.

The Queen and the Knight also have similarities.  The waters are calmer and appear to be more flowing and fluid.  They are both very focused and seem to be much more introspective.  Where her cup is ornate, his clothes are ornate.

Look at the cards from these perspectives, you can get a glimpse into the dynamics of this family.  Let’s look further.

As the father, the King is very attached to his youngest child.  He might even dote on him a bit.  His relationship with older child might be a little strained, because the oldest one is still trying to live up to his father, but feels much more connected to his mother.  He might not be “man enough” for his father yet.  He will walk the floor with worry when they are late on their curfew, he’s the dad in the stands yelling his head off at the sporting event.  He’s the one who beams with unhidden pride when the kids do well.  In his best side he is an understanding father, in his worst side, he might be loud and controlling.

As a husband, he is intense and his affection is strong.  He loves deeply and intimately.  If he starts to feel slighted, he might become demanding and controlling.  He could even be on the jealous side, especially if he has been less than faithful.  Otherwise, he is incredibly faithful, believing in the family unit.

As a mother, the queen is loving, and supportive.  She gently guides her children with unconditional love.  She has a good relationship with both of her children because she “gets” them both, just as she understands herself and her mate.  She is closest to the eldest child because he is more like her than he is his father.  The youngest child shows much more of his father’s traits.  She’s the mother with eyes in the back of her head, and doesn’t waste her time pacing the floor because she has a strong sense of her children at all times.  She can also be the conduit when strife arises between her children and their father.

As a wife, the Queen is deeply devoted.  She is passionate and loving. She understands her husband’s needs and as long as he is fulfilling hers, she will be like putty in his hands.  But if he betrays her, she is the one for whom the phrase “Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned – Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned” was coined (attributed to The Mourning Bride by William Congreve).

As siblings, the Knight and the Page are close, though they might fight quite a bit.  They are the pair who can say anything about each other, but heaven forbid anyone else say something bad about one of them or their parents.  They have similar interests, but different ways of going about them.  The Knight is reserved preferring to watch and process, while the Page rushes into the fray.  The Knight has a few close friends, and the Page is friends with everyone.

The Knight is very, very close to his mother.  They share the same creative eye and are of similar temperament.  They are more introspective.  He can talk to her about his psychic experiences and the intensity he feels about them.  He can share his creative projects with her without fear of harsh criticism. He may have some trouble relating to his more extroverted father, but loves him deeply and respects him.  They fight on a more male level, and might be the father and son that come to blows when the son is in his late teens and emotions rise.

The Page is close to both his parents.  He aspires to be like his father, but he also enjoys the attention of his mother.  He’s the one who will be in the middle of everything she’s doing, whether in the kitchen, or in the yard.  But he’s also following his dad around asking a million questions about why he does everything he does.  He funnels his creativity and psychic messages to anyone who will see or listen.

You can see how this is either a highly loving and functional family, or an incredibly volatile and possibly quite dysfunctional family, depending on whether the cup is positively or negatively manifested.  And there are more possibilities with this family.  What I’ve given here is just the tip!  What else do you see in this family unit?

Next time we’ll look at the Family of Pentacles and see what dynamics we can find there!


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Tracy Lucas
    May 29, 2012 @ 17:00:00

    Interesting premise! I’m not involved in tarot, per se, but I’m fascinated by your cards-turned-story idea. Seems like a writing prompt in disguise.


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