Tarotka Minor Arcana: Ace of Stars

Once again, new suit brings new symbolism: Stars are the suit of creativity, action and movement. They are associated with such qualities as enthusiasm, adventure, risk-taking and confidence. This suit is associated with the element Fire. This energy flows outward and generates passionate involvement.

It can also have some spiritual connotations – there’s some argument between Stars and Cups for spirituality, but I’ll just say they both have elements of it. Stars, as a spiritual thing, are much more dynamic and “inspiring you with divine power”. Cups are more emotionally moving and focused on the soul.

Ace of Stars/Ace of Wands
Once again, the Ace is the starting point of the suit – the “root”, or basic foundation that the rest of the suit builds upon. The Ace of Stars is thus considered to be a spark of energy that moves you to act. It could be a bolt of inspiration, or a spark of energy, but you are seized with a sudden need to do something. You are driven to action, and have a need to get something done. It’s an unpredictable and uncontrollable force, and not one that’s easily directed. We’ve probably all experienced having the sudden, thrilling inspiration to do some amazing project, when we’re already in the middle of trying to do something else.

Like the other Aces, this is just a starting impulse. There is no guarantee that anything will come of this – plenty of promising projects fizzle and burn out half-way through. You need to manage the energy here carefully if you want to actually see things through until the end. That being said, the spark from the Ace needs to be used quickly, if not immediately, or it can poof out of existence as quickly as it came. Fire is a fickle element.

When inverted, the energy on the Ace is still there, but being pent up or blocked somehow – which leads to frustration. You might trying to work towards what you want, but it’s not actually accomplishing anything. All that inspiration and energy is going to waste… or it’s sticking around and making you aggravated. This might be a sign of delays, scattered focus, or just going in the wrong direction. The metaphorical element here is burning you, and you’re really itching to get something done, but it’s just not working out for some reason.

Tarotka Minor Arcana: Master of Cups

Master of Cups/King of Cups
The Master of Cups is associated with maturity, emotions, Air and Water. Air is the element of intellect and authority, Water the element of intuition and emotion. This man is still an authority figure, but his decisions are ruled by his compassion and kindness. He can represent a man of art or religion, a wise advisor and a noble healer. He listens to the suggestions of others, even when they are in conflict with his own carefully formed opinions. He never judges, never blames others for their faults, and is always a sympathetic supporter. In return, he is respected. He is a natural diplomat, able to gather many disparate allies to him, because they know he will listen and respect them in turn – even if he doesn’t condone or agree with them. He is considerate and generous to those he knows, going out of his way to make sure they feel comfortable coming to him. He prefers to solve issues with diplomacy rather than authority, and this in turn reinforces his authority, instead of undermining it.

There’s a bad habit of branding emotional and sympathetic men as pushovers, but… this guy is a pushover. The Master of Cups inverse has had his authority eroded by his inability to stand firm on issues – and others are quite willing to take advantage of that. At a certain point he can no longer stand up for himself, and winds up being trampled by stronger personalities that come along. He can also have a habit of spoiling people rotten or giving out things that aren’t deserved, especially if he has children. He means well, but don’t depend on him. He gives in too easily to those who treat him poorly, and can’t be relied upon by those who treat him well.

Something you should keep in mind, however, is that many inverted Water cards have an element of deception to them – so beware a man that seems too kind.

Tarotka Minor Arcana: Mistress of Cups

Mistress of Cups/Queen of Cups
The Mistress of Cups is associated with maturity, emotions, intuition and Water. As both the Mistress of the suit and bearing the suit of Cups, she is a Water/Water card, which means she is doubly emotional and intuitive. This is a woman of unmatched compassion, rivaled only by her ability to understand other people. Indeed, it is likely her ability to understand and sympathize that leads to her compassion. As such, she is often a gifted counselor, ready to provide a shoulder to cry on and a hand to hold whenever they are needed. Water is also the element of healing, and so this woman might also be a healer, either physically, mentally, or spiritually. She doesn’t judge and she’s willing to forgive – a kindness that can mean everything in the world. She’s genuine, and that draws people to her. Even when not physically attractive, her vivacious personality attracts people.

This can be the sign of a caring mother, someone artistic, or some manner of caretaker. There’s also such a strong association with intuition that it can indicate a psychic. If it shows up as a message to you, take it as a sign to try and understand all the hidden currents of a situation – and by understanding, having compassion.

When inverted, the Mistress of Cups is ruled by her emotions, so she’s flighty and easily influenced. She seems nice and friendly and charming, but she lacks any sort of depth. She’s not reliable. She might gossip horribly, so don’t tell her anything you don’t want everyone to know – or she might just abandon any promise she made to you on a simple whim. She is not likely to have a firm grasp on reality, which can lead her to be gullible or easily misled. She can conned with false promises, or make up impossible to fulfill expectations without any help from anyone else. There’s also an element of manipulation here – she wants attention and praise, and she’s willing to emotionally blackmail you to get it. Watch out for sob stories from this woman.

Tarotka Minor Arcana: Knight of Cups

Knight of Cups
There was love all around, But I never heard it singing
No, I never heard it at all, Till there was you!

The Knight of Cups represents youth, emotions, Water, and Fire. Water is the element of intuition and emotion, Fire is that of action and dynamism. As such, the Knight of Cup’s thoughts and deeds are all turned towards emotion – and often love. This is the ideal suitor. He’s sensitive, warm, and kind. He’s a good listener, and he makes an effort to actually understand people. He enjoys interacting with people, which makes him friendly and charming. He may not be romantically involved (with you or anyone), but he’s sympathetic and good at getting other people to open up. He’s in touch with his intuitions and emotions, and the emotions of other people. He genuinely cares… so even if he’s not pursuing someone, it can be easy to fall in love with him.

He can, of course, be overly idealistic. Unlike the more grounded Squire, Fire and Water aren’t stable elements. He can become moody, or get his head lost in the clouds. He’s a man of intense passions, and they aren’t restrained or tempered by anything.

Once again, the Knights are cards of extremes, and thus it’s hard to tell his virtues from his faults. So what’s wrong with being a romantic and a compassionate soul??

Um. Well. I don’t know if you’ve had the dubious pleasure of receiving undying love poetry after going out on a casual pizza date with someone – but it turns out romantic gestures in movies can sometimes be creepy gestures in real life. Maybe your date would like to get to know you better before you decide this love has made your life worth living. That’s kind of a lot of pressure there. And when love goes wrong (or he gets dropped because he came on way too fast), the inverse Knight of Cups will sulk. It is the end of the world, and there is clearly a conspiracy against nice guys. At least, until the next girl comes along. Then he’s head over heels for her just as fast… which, kind of proves what the girl who dropped him knew – he was never really interested in her, just in the idea of love.

The problem here is the inverse Knight of Cups keeps all his romanticism, but he’s flighty and insincere, even if he himself doesn’t realize it. At best, he’s like Romeo, with his true love (that he can’t live without) changing at the drop of a dime. At the worst, he’s the kind of cad that fathers warn their daughters about. He’s still charming and good with people, but he’ll love ’em and leave ’em – he’s a slave to his passions, and he doesn’t really care about the ones he’s left behind.

(I’ve had a hundred more like you, so don’t be blue~)

In the end, the inverse Knight of Cups is charming but shallow – perhaps deliberately so, or perhaps he himself has been deceived by his made up concept of love – and he’s likely to wind up crossing you once you’ve finally opened up to him.

Tarotka Minor Arcana: Squire of Cups

Squire of Cups/Page of Cups
This is a story of truth… beauty… freedom… and most of all, love.

Back to the Court Cards again. Just to recap, the Court Cards represent a personality – they can either be another person, an aspect of yourself, or a message/event that shares the same “character” as the person on the card.

So who is the Squire of Cups?

She’s associated with youth, emotions, Water, and Earth. Water means she has her head in the clouds, Earth means she keeps her feet on the ground. This is someone with a vivid imagination – an artist, a poet, or a dreamer. She can represent a child, or someone who is likewise young at heart. This is the card of an idealist and romantic, possibly someone with Bohemian-like qualities. Poetry is beautiful! Art is life! Love conquers all! She might get mocked and dismissed as naive, but more often than not, the base for her ideas is solid. After all, people do make a living as artists and poets and writers, putting their dreams to paper. This may not be the most lucrative job, but the Squire of Cups doesn’t care – it’s what she wants to do, and she’s completely happy doing it. She still dares to dream despite being practical, indeed, her practicality is put towards making her dreams a reality, not giving up on them.

Leave me alone to diiiiie.

If you’ve ever seen Lilo and Stitch (and if not, you ought to), here’s Lilo, the troubled child. This person is still child-like at heart, but she’s also moody. She sulks. She throws temper tantrums. She keeps acting out in socially unacceptable ways. Her imagination is as vibrant as ever – maybe too vibrant – but it’s not really charming to adults any more. She might decide there’s a monster under the bed, or start making voodoo dolls of her playmates to act out elaborate revenge fantasies. Which, speaking of playmates, she does not get along with well. She might be bullied, or she might just be outcast because she’s weird. She can get upset easily, which can lead to nasty fights as she pushes back. It’s important to recall that none of this is because she’s malicious, she just can’t relate to other people well, and it causes her to harm even the people who are trying to help her.

Tarotka Minor Arcana: Ten of Cups

Ten of Cups
This is another happiness card – alright, so what’s the difference between the Nine and Ten of Cups? Back on the Nine, you got something you wanted, or succeeded in something, and it made you happy. The Ten of Cups, meanwhile, represents the sort of idyllic existence that a lot of people long for. If the Nine of Cups is “make a wish”, then the Ten of Cups is “and they lived happily ever after.” The Ten of Cups refers to cycles completed, journeys finished and lives well lived in the company of others. Serenity and peace are in the air, and for a moment you can simply forget about all of the material troubles of the world around you. Nothing material matters here, just the happiness that has been earned through trials and obstacles. This success is not a fleeting or temporary one, but a lasting peace and harmony that can truly be enjoyed. There are no regrets over the past, no concerns for the future, so you can live in the moment and seize the day. Don’t go looking for problems, just sit back and enjoy what you have.

There’s a definite connotation of family to this card as well, as you can probably gather. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a family in the traditional sense (though that’s certainly strongly implied) – it simply signifies you’ve found people that you trust, and have settled down to share your happiness with them.

Happily ever after didn’t last as long as we’d hoped for.

The “trouble in paradise” card. Something – more specifically, someone – is causing problems here. It’s a sign that someone isn’t happy with the situation, which usually means no one is going to be happy with the situation (or as my parents might say, “If mom ain’t happy, nobody is happy”). Because of the connotation with family, this can also be a sign of family fights or children turning against their parents.

Tarotka Minor Arcana: Nine of Cups

Nine of Cups
Make a wish!

That’s apparently the nickname of this card, the “Make a Wish” card. The Nine of Cups is a sign of perfect happiness, contentment, and success – in other words, it’s a sign that wherever it crops up, you’re going to get exactly what you want. It’s a sign of an emotionally fulfilling situation – in theory, only emotional, but since happiness usually requires some material security, there’s also an element of that. So, raise your glass, blow out the candles, and make a wish! And hope this card shows up some place you want it. Of course, if it shows up, you’ll probably be happy with whatever it was signifying. That’s the point, of course.

Be careful what you wish for.

Well this is Ravenloft, of course. Your ultimate desires are not going to bring you happiness. If you’re lucky, it’s because they didn’t come true and now you’re disappointed. If you’re unlucky, you get exactly what you asked for. Which isn’t going to turn out to be what you wanted at all.

Tarotka Minor Arcana: Eight of Cups

Eight of Cups
Sometimes you have to just walk away. This is a bit like the Six of Swords, but while the Six of Swords is a mental retreat, this is an emotional one. As such, the Eight of Cups represents leaving pleasure behind you, usually a relationship or a group of relationships. The cups could be metaphorically taken as wine – they are all arrayed and offering a fun time, but in the end, you know it’s not doing you any good. Sometimes you have to turn down the promise of good times, because you know it’s just going to turn on you in the end. This card can be a wakeup call that a certain relationship is not doing you good, and it’s time to leave it behind you. This doesn’t even necessarily mean the relationship is painful or abusive (although it can be) – it simply means you’re stagnating while you’re here. Your feelings have diminished, to the point where you can finally turn away. The allure of pleasure is no longer enough to keep you where you are.

Well, one more for old time’s sake. What harm can it do?

A lot, really. You’re not happy here, but you keep returning to it again and again in the vain hopes that maybe this time, you’ll actually enjoy this. When inversed, the Eight of Cups represents being unable to let go of an emotional relationship that you really need to. You’re clinging to the past, because it seems better than starting all over again.

(Just to make things complicated, some people instead read this to mean walking away from a perfectly good relationship because you have issues with intimacy. If you want to shoehorn it in thar, you could say that you’re not letting go of the relationship you left – it’s sticking in your mind as “the one you screwed up and shouldn’t have let go”, which means it’s dominating your life just as much as an actual bad relationship. Or you could be like me and just curse inverses.)

Tarotka Minor Arcana: Seven of Cups

Seven of Cups
Choose Wisely.

Well of course, that’s the problem, isn’t it. You have so many choices. Some of them could be good. Some of them could be bad. Some of them might melt your face off with cheesy 80s special effects. Which is which? You don’t know! Or at least, you’re not certain, which means you aren’t willing to make a decision. There’s also an element of “where do you hide a cup…? In a room full of cups!” Thus, the Seven of Cups is the card of illusion and confusion. There’s some manner of theory (which I forget and don’t care enough to look up) about how too many options can make someone more confused and unhappy than just a single choice. Of course, arguing whether that’s accurate or true would take all day – the point here is that this guy is definitely in that situation. Mostly because if he gets it wrong, he has no one to blame with himself.

Of course, there’s a chance that none of the cups here are the “Holy Grail”. Seriously, they could just be some old cups. Why are you so convinced by that probably-senile doddering old guy? In which case, this card can represent unrealistic expectations to go with those “too many choices”.

This is the cup of a carpenter.

You chose… wisely. Inverted, the Seven of Cups allows you to put your focus on one thing, ignoring all the clutter around it. This allows for a realistic attitude, and also for you to act decisively. To act at all, really. Once you’ve seen through the illusion, it’s a time for action – you know what the right thing to do is, so act on it with determination.

Tarotka Minor Arcana: Six of Cups

Six of Cups
This is the card of simple pleasures, fond memories, and nostalgia. There’s a certain amount of small joys that children have that seem to get lost as people get older. This hearkens back to that time – it’s not wistfulness, per se, since that would indicate a certain sort of discontentment. Instead, the looking back on this card is remembering the good times to help you through the bad.

When inversed, nostalgia turns into rose tinted glasses – being convinced everything in the past was great based on unrealistic memories. This leads to an attachment to a non-existent past, which can be detrimental. You probably have heard all the jokes about old people who think everything was better back in their day – and of course, now we have people convinced everything was better back in the 1800s (so long as you were super rich. And ignored the syphilis).