Ace of Cups- The Element of Water


A hand emerges from the sky, from a swirling cloud. Perhaps this is the hand of G-d/dess, or an angel. Some deity bestows upon us a gift, and we are awakened.

In the traditional Rider-Waite deck, this is the format of all four aces. Aces signify a gift, a beginning, a new awareness.

The hand in the Ace of Cups holds a chalice. A dove dives down holding a token. A stream activates. Water pours in streams from its mouth- is it pouring up from the lake below? Or is it streaming from the chalice itself? Perhaps it is an equal exchange- the water flows both ways, it feeds and is fed.

The scene is serene.

Cups represent the element of water. Water is the realm of the unconscious, and feelings. Inside each and every one of us is a deep ocean. And like a deep ocean, the realm of feelings and unconscious is obscure. It changes on a whim, the way a stream flows around a rock. A placid lake reflects back to us, like a mirror, leaving whats beneath the surface a mystery. When you do dive in, light only penetrates so far. We are able to see what lives close to the surface, but the further you go down, the less light, and the less you can see.

There is something frightening about the unknown. Shadows that do not tell the truth of the objects- or beings- casting them. In the depths of our unconscious lives our shadow. When we are not acquainted with our shadows- when we don’t dive deep and shine a light on the creatures that live within us- these aspects of our being can frighten us.

When we let our light shine, we gain perspective, and we see how the waters of our inner selves have distorted the truth.

Water can also be cleansing. This is also a quality of emotions. Just like still waters become murky, waters that live cleanse and nourish, and can transform landscapes.

In our culture we are not taught to feel our feelings. Some are allowed certain emotions- men are allowed to express anger, women are not. Women are allowed to cry, men are not. When we are not given permission to feel the full breadth of emotions that ALL human beings experience, the unseen, unheard, unexpressed emotions lie still. They fester. The begin to smell, and they infect us- reaching into every aspect of our being. That tightness in your chest, the lump in your throat, the burning in your stomach- turns into illness, irritability, and disease.

When you awaken to the true nature of your emotional body, you can begin to harness their great power. Like rivers that shape mighty canyons, our passions can be used to do great things. Fury at injustice, the sorrow of disconnection, the serenity of time in nature. So much untapped potential.


The Ace of Cups is a gift. An awakening. Something is opening up inside of you, allowing your light to shine a little brighter, and a little farther. Seize this opportunity- only good things await you.

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#ace #cups #aceofcups #water

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