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.)