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(For a list of all card articles, open March 2008 on the sidebar).

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Two Of Cups

When one cup overflows into another
the river runs into the sea
it cannot return to its home in the mountain
purge its heart of salt,
for one and one make two
not indivisible, but altered
and to take the cup and draw out one grape, one vine
to have the oceans and take away one teardrop?

(Everything has happened before
and it will all happen again).

Some people get panicky, fatalistic and/or irritated when they see Death, the Devil or the Tower in a reading. I don't, but I have been known to react that way to the Two of Cups. This is partly because of the relentless heteronormativity, something it shares with the Ten of Cups. But I guess it's mostly because of the irrevocable nature of a meeting between two open hearts. What to do, where water meets water and everything changes? (Build a Thermocline Transducer? Bite me.)

So this is an encounter; this is a strange new current. I'm reminded of a line from Les Miserables (part 4, book 8, ch V): It seemed as if they so mingled their souls, that if they had desired to take them back again, it would have been impossible to identify them. 'This one is mine.' 'No, it is mine.' 'I assure you that you are mistaken. It is really I.' 'What you take for you, is I.' Somehow the vines in the picture made me think of that process of entwining and trying to draw out what there was in the beginning, but with the river that flows into the sea, it's even harder than that. The trick is to not fucking try to unravel it, but to enjoy it, mm?

Images of the Two of Cups

Conway's pictured a couple kissing on a beach; the beach was also the setting for the Page of Cups, while the King was deep under sea. There's the sense of this element drawing you deeper and deeper in.

The Scapini deck has the kissing couple, yes, and it also has a caduceus and a lion. It's the lion that sets me off, with the irreversibility; I can't help but think of Atalanta the Huntress, transformed into a lion for loving the right person in the wrong place, but that's another element entirely.

The Two of Cups from the Roots of Asia, flowing and fragile, is possibly the most beautiful card in any deck ever.

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